Saturday, February 25, 2012


News Links, February 26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
160 German Tax Collectors Volunteer to "Help" Greece
Greek Debt Deal Merely Buys Time: World Bank's Zoellick
Surprise, surprise! -- RF
Former Portugal's Finance Minister: "There will be a BRICs crisis soon"
"Despite the strong economic growth in recent years, 'there will soon be a crisis in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)', said the former Finance Minister of Portugal Luis Campos e Cunha."
Railroad Freight Scams - A New Breed of Pirates?
"Railroad bandits seem to be a quaint notion relegated to history books and silent films. But Zurich's intelligence reports that throughout Europe, shippers are increasingly falling victim to railroad pirates. Corporations sign on with what appears to be legitimate freight companies, only to have their cargo disappear without a trace. The schemes can be remarkably elaborate - involving multiple subcontractors and producing bogus insurance, transport and vehicle registration documents when they know authorities will require them."
Dubai homes market 'still plagued by oversupply'
Swiss watchmakers fear Asia slowdown

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
American officers killed in Afghan Interior Ministry
"Two American officers were shot dead at close range in Afghanistan's Interior Ministry on Saturday, a U.S. official said, as rage gripped the country for a fifth day over the burning of the Muslim holy book at a NATO base."
Iran warns Israel not to attack its nuclear facilities
Obama Commits to US Intervention in Syria
US, EU, Arab States Push for UN 'Peacekeeping' Forces in Syria
Syria clashes leave more dead as evacuation efforts continue in Homs
Syria blasts Saudi Arabia over arming opposition calls
Deadly gun and bomb attack in Nigerian city of Gombe
US military fleet introduces hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
Hooray! The green war machine is here! BTW, where's the hydrogen coming from? -- RF
22 Carnival Cruise passengers robbed at gunpoint on ship-sponsored tour in Mexico
Deadly car bomb hits outside Yemen presidential palace hours after inauguration
Hogs going wild in Pakistani capital
"With a police officer wounded and the presidential palace breached, the Pakistani capital has launched a fresh offensive against a uniquely feared enemy in the Muslim country -- the city's ever expanding population of wild boar.
"Each night, packs of the hairy beasts emerge from Islamabad's river beds, parks and scrubland to rifle through the overflowing rubbish bins of its mostly wealthy residents and growing number of restaurants."
Phuket Thai Navy base joins anti-pirate joint patrol

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chile's local fishermen add more roadblocks in Aysén protests
"The movement has drawn national attention to high fuel prices, cost of living in the area, and the new fisheries bill the fishermen are rejecting."

## Energy/resources ##
Crude Oil Report: Dwindling OPEC Spare Capacity Fuels Oil's Spike, Brent Poised To Test $127
"OPEC's buffer against supply disruptions is at the lowest levels since 2008, when crude oil prices made their record run to $147."
Mexico's January oil exports lowest since mid-2010
Oil Disruption is Zooming and Global Panic Awaits
Winter power shortages loom (New Zealand)
Peru Mining Companies Face Higher Risk Of Blackouts
Germany's Rising Cost of Going Green
'Egypt, Hamas agree to link electricity grids'
Power grid backlog at billions (South Africa)
"The maintenance backlog of municipal electricity infrastructure is at about R35-billion and rising by R2,5-billion a year, Parliament heard yesterday."
Fuel queues return to Malawi
Why Uranium Could Go To $200 And Beyond
Nigeria: Electricity Tariffs Go Up, Again!
ECG PRO conducts 'roll call' for new power rationing exercise (Ghana)
"Parts of the country will from Monday February 20, 2012 experience a power rationing exercise."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable theft disrupts Tembisa trains (South Africa)
Cable theft leaves phones cut off for a second week (UK)

## Got food? ##
Poor families eat only once a day (Tanzania)

## Environment/health ##
Australia's surfers mourn disappearing east coast beaches as currents sweep sand out to sea

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
4 ways to stave off the cell phone apocalypse
Pakistan begins demolishing bin Laden house: police
Anonymous attacks 'alarming,' says top security adviser
"'What we've seen from Anonymous is alarming,' Michael Leiter, the former director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center and a member of a US. Government advisory board on cybersecurity, said in an interview. 'Their ability to repeatedly take down government websites and potentially penetrate those websites shows that the group is quite committed — and growing in its ability to perpetrate cyber attacks.'"
Could Anonymous Actually Be Doing Some Good?

## Japan ##
Japan car sales rocket 40% on subsidy boost
It's not a good sign if you have to pay people to buy cars. This isn't sustainable. -- RF
Gov't wants to replace entire TEPCO board
"The government wants to replace the entire board of the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in exchange for $12 billion of tax money to resuscitate the firm, a report said Saturday."
Tokyo asks Chubu Electric to help power City Hall
"The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has asked Chubu Electric Power Co. to supply electricity to City Hall, Vice Gov. Naoki Inose said Saturday."
Japan's food self-sufficiency: mixture of pessimism and optimism
AIJ moved huge sums to Cayman Islands, Hong Kong
"AIJ Investment Advisors Co. transferred huge sums in corporate pension assets it manages to a fund in the Cayman Islands and then moved the money to the Hong Kong account of a major European bank, sources said.
"The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission has not been able to trace where the money went after reaching Hong Kong."
Japan LNG imports hit record as nuclear use dwindles

## China ##
China's Growth May Slip to 8.6% This Year on European Slowdown

## UK ##
Diesel price hits record high
"Bad news for hauliers, as the price of diesel has hit a record high having rocketed by 10 pence per litre (ppl) in just 12 months – an inflation-busting 7 per cent rise – reports RMI Petrol. The increase leaves diesel at 143.05 pence per litre (ppl), a level that could derail Government plans to curb inflation, is a disaster for motorists, and puts the livelihoods of hundreds of fuel retailers at further risk says RMI Petrol Chairman Brian Madderson."
Paratroopers readied for future social unrest in UK
Computer 'glitch' causes flight delays at Edinburgh Airport
"A 'glitch' which shut down all the computer systems at Edinburgh Airport caused 'massive disruption' and some flight delays."

## US ##
California's Stockton May Ask Bondholders to 'Suffer,' City Says
"Stockton, California, may take the first steps toward becoming the most populous U.S. city to file for bankruptcy next week because of burdensome employee costs, excessive debt and bookkeeping errors that misrepresented accounts, city officials said yesterday."
Michigan's incredible shrinking workforce
Student Debt Is Stifling Home Sales
Biggest Muni ETF Posts Biggest Two-Day Slump Since October 2008
Eight Reasons Gas Will Hit $5 This Year
Diesel passes $4 mark
Watch for cold chain breakdown this summer as truckers hauling perishables turn off their refrigeration units to save fuel. We already saw this last summer. -- RF
Got BTU? Accounting for America's Energy and GDP
Another revealing energy insight from Gregor Macdonald. -- RF
Democrats Want to Use US Oil Stockpile to Relieve High Prices; It Won't Work!
Regulators take over Ga., Minn. banks (total for year is now 11)
Super Commuters Surge as Stuck Homeowners Fly 'Greyhound' Routes
U.S. Nuclear Plants to Buy More Safety Equipment
"Operators of the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States have agreed to purchase additional equipment to respond to emergencies that interrupt off-site power, the Nuclear Energy Institute said on Tuesday."
Airlines attempt 3rd broad fare hike of 2012
Cargo thieves prefer Jack Daniel's

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