Tuesday, February 21, 2012


News Links, February 22, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greek debt pact is far from a done deal
"In their jubilant celebration over the latest agreement to solve Greece's debt debacle, European officials forgot to check with two important groups: the Greek voters and the bondholders who lent Athens the money it now says it can't pay back."
Deal "Really" Finalized? Will Greece Survive the Ides of March? Disastrous Piecemeal Breakup of Eurozone Likely in the Cards (Mish)
Japan, China want Europe to help itself / Leaders determined to prevent crisis from worsening, limit harm to Asian economies
United, US Air Slide on Fuel at Nine-Month High
Not helping any one airline, the whole sector is in crisis (India)
Three airlines to raise fuel surcharges in HK
India January Consumer Price Index Up 7.65%
Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story
"Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country's economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger.
"Since the end of 2008, the island's banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association."
Asian companies seek greener pastures in Russian Far East

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Arab League says China, Russia may be shifting on Syria; EU prepares fresh sanctions
'India's decision to import Iran oil a slap on US face'
Invincible Me: Israel drums up for Iran strike (RT video)
Iranian navy ships return from Syria through Suez
Iran says would act against enemies if endangered
"Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying on Tuesday."
India criticized for Iran oil imports
Top Ten Ways Iran is Defying US, EU Oil Sanctions and How You are Paying for It All
"It wasn't supposed to be like this, the Neocons assured us. Iran would soon be on its knees because of ever more stringent US sanctions on Iran. But Iran just cheekily sent two warships through the Suez Canal to dock at the Syrian port of Tartous. The old Mubarak government in Egypt might not have allowed such a thing, but the Arab Spring has brought to power an Egyptian government eager to demonstrate its independence from Washington."
Afghanistan's Karzai says speaks to Taliban every day: report
Fishing as Slaves on the High Seas
Out of sight, Somali piracy fight gets rougher
Somali pirates hijack ship off Oman
"Somali pirates have hijacked the MV Leila in the Arabian Sea, bringing the total number of attacks against ships to more than 40 this year."
US military nurtures a new weapon – the Slimeball
Afghan Central Bank Targets Cash Flight
"Afghanistan's central-bank governor said he will issue new currency restrictions to stem the exodus of billions of dollars in cash—some of it in stolen U.S. aid and drug money—flowing out of the country as foreign forces withdraw."
Libya clashes kill scores in al-Kufra
"Scores have been killed and injured in clashes between two rival ethnic groups in Libya's remote south-eastern area, according to local reports."
Islamist attacks draw Nigeria and US military closer
"Dealing with Islamist groups such as Nigeria's Boko Haram will require more than a purely military approach, although Nigeria welcomes training from the US military's Africa Command."
Obama to address AIPAC, meet with Netanyahu
War on terror -- Round 3
China's growing military presence has Russia on edge
U.S. Four-Star Down Under For Talks
"In line with a new U.S. strategy placing increased emphasis on the Pacific, the Navy's second-highest-ranking officer is visiting Australia and Singapore, meeting with defense officials to discuss a greater U.S. presence in the southwest Pacific."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Rise in crime intensifies unease in once-safe Egypt
"Egyptians say they don't recognize the country now, a place with carjackings, soccer melees and brazen bank robberies."

## Energy/resources ##
Gaza suffers from electricity shutdown
"Gaza's sole power generating plant stopped working last Tuesday when Egypt blocked the flow of diesel fuel through underground tunnels.
"The Israeli blockade and now Egypt's refusal to allow fuel into the blockaded territory despite appeals by Palestinian officials is adding to the severity of the crisis."
Power pulls the plug on ATMs (India)
U.S., Mexico Sign Accord for Joint Oil Exploration in Gulf
Chevron Pumps Billions Into Kazakhstan For Barrels Of Sour Crude
Chesapeake Energy Has Curtailed 1 BCF of Gas Production
Diesel shortage keeps 17 CTU buses off road (India)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Lahore: Copper cables stolen from railways loco shed
"Pakistan Railways is already in crisis due to corruption, shortage of diesel and engines while the thieves have now targeted engines parked at Lahore loco shed. The copper wires of 14 engines have been stolen."

## Got food? ##
Record Rice Crop Boosting Stockpiles to Decade High: Commodities
This is good news... but we must keep in mind that virtually all rice is grown using oil products. -- RF
How Using Antibiotics In Animal Feed Creates Superbugs
'Unrealistic' to Expect Lower Food Costs: ConAgra CEO

## Environment/health ##
Oilsands impacts posing 'financial risk' to Alberta, says PCO
"Collateral damage from Canada's booming oilsands sector may be irreversible, posing a 'significant environmental and financial risk to the province of Alberta,' says a secret memorandum prepared for the federal government's top bureaucrat."
Large areas of open ocean starved of oxygen

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Canada's police chiefs support Internet surveillance bill
NSA: Anonymous Could Cause Power Outages Through Cyberattacks
SOPA author demands ISPs keep user data for 18 months

## Japan ##
Amid lingering devastation, next stage starts at Fukushima plant
"Overturned cars remain stuck in holes. Collapsed roads and mangled steel towers are still visible, as are twisted steel frames, shattered wood and crumbling concrete hanging precariously from the skeletons of buildings.
"Nearly a year after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. is now preparing for the next stage in ending the crisis. But the scene at the site shows that an enormous amount of work lies ahead amid lingering uncertainties about the situation within the damaged nuclear reactors."
Radiation from disaster detected 643 kms off Japan's coast
"Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima power plant disaster has been detected as far as almost 643 kilometers off Japan in the Pacific Ocean, with water showing readings of up to 1,000 times more than prior levels, scientists reported Tuesday."
Japan says no decision yet on Iran oil import cuts
Japan likely to win exemption from U.S. sanctions: media
Japan Suggests No Quick G-20 Deal on IMF Funding
Just 5% of Tohoku disaster debris disposed of
Mazda to raise Y170 bil to shore up finances
Current account deficit feared / Jan. trade figures portend account blowout, analysts say
"While the Finance Ministry reported Monday that Japan suffered a record trade deficit of 1.475 trillion yen in January, views are growing the nation will also post a current account deficit in January."
Struggling utilities now down to 2 reactors online
"Electric power companies are warning of impending blackouts while eagerly awaiting approval of "stress test" reports to restart their reactors. But they also have to win over local governments and are now facing growing calls for further safety tests that would all but ensure Japan would be without nuclear energy this summer."
N-shutdowns may leave firms starved for juice
"The impact of nuclear reactor shutdowns on business activities is being increasingly felt. Already hit by power shortfalls, private companies now fear power utilities may raise electricity fees."

## China ##
China sets up fund to bankroll takeovers

## UK ##
Energy bills force families to cut back on food and fuel

## US ##
As US Debt To GDP Passes 101%, The Global Debt Ponzi Enters Its Final Stages
Surging gas prices threaten to derail economic recovery
Drivers fume as average price for gallon of gas in New York City nears $4
California gas: $4 per gallon and counting
Where Gas Could Go This Summer (CNBC video)
Also recounts incidents of violence against gas station employees. Gas riots and mobs: Coming soon to a venue near you. -- RF
Gas prices spike in wake of refinery fire, Iran supply cut
For a rainy day, many have little saved
10 Signs That America Is Decomposing Right In Front Of Our Eyes
Infographic On The Greatest Gun Salesman In America: President Obama
Wealthy Enriched by Double-Dipping U.S. Plan
Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say
Ethanol 11 cents per gallon in red in January
"Figures from Iowa State University Extension confirmed that Iowa's ethanol plants operated in the red during January, to the tune of 11 cents per gallon."
Hey, I thought ethanol was supposed to make the US energy-independent! -- RF
Halftime in America? More like sudden death: Did Clint's pep talk signal end to mutant capitalism?
"Halftime in America, Clint Eastwood calls it. Halftime? No folks, the game's in overtime for Wall Street, the Super Rich and their 'mutant capitalism,' as Jack Bogle calls America's out-of-whack economic system in his 'Battle for the Soul of Capitalism.'"
Multi-million dollar foreclosures (CNN Money slide show)
Can Americans Handle $150 Oil?
Thieves try to steal diesel fuel from gas station; HAZMAT called out to clean up mess
Soaring gas prices could raise delivery fees

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