Thursday, February 02, 2012


News Links, February 3, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Egypt requests $1 billion loan from World Bank: statement
Italy govt to pass labour reforms even without unions
"The Italian government will pass labor market reforms even if trade unions do not give their consent to the measures, Labour Minister Elsa Fornero told union leaders on Thursday, according to an official close to the discussions."
Greece Warns It Will Soon Be In "Condition Of Absolute Poverty"
German Central Bank 228 Billion Euros in Debt Rescuing Europe; Bundesbank President Criticizes Merkel's Fiscal Pact, Says "No Grounds for Eurobonds"
Spain to Unveil Bank Overhaul
China's Wen Raises Euro Funding Prospect
Dry Bulk Freight Index Drops and Container Shipping Line Forecasts and Profits Slump
Baltic Dry: The Death Of An Index
ArcelorMittal's threat to cut jobs widens to Poland, Czech Republic
"The world's biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal's 2012 operational plans, involving a spate of potential job cuts across Europe, have surfaced in recent weeks, with the biggest cuts possible in Poland based on affected job numbers released last week."
Mortgage pullback hints of housing crisis in Canada

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Exclusive: U.S. and allies exploring prospects for Assad exile
Russia to sell Arms for Syria & Veto the UNSC
India delegation to go to Iran to boost oil exports
"India will send a business delegation to Iran at the end of February to explore how it can increase exports in order to meet payments for Iranian oil hit by international sanctions, a senior government official said on Thursday."
Israel says Iran has material for four A-bombs
And Israel has how many nukes? -- RF
Israel could launch military strike on Iran 'within nine months'
US airbase in Germany to host missile shield command
UK lead combat role in Afghanistan will end before 2014, says Downing Street

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Portuguese strike flops, workers fear for jobs
"The trains ran and the buses, too. Staff made it to work and shops and banks opened across Lisbon. Weak backing for a transport strike on Thursday reflected a broader lack of appetite for militant action by workers concerned for jobs threatened by Portugal's growing debt crisis."
Thousands Demand Food, Jobs in Mexico City
Media blackout as protests hit Sicily
Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: the contagion of revolution
Occupy Oakland Outlines Police Abuses, Plans Another Rally
Occupy Pittsburgh ordered to leave BNY Mellon property
Occupy Maine camp ordered to leave park
Occupy Detroit protesters target Bank of America

## Energy/resources ##
Europe Freeze Kills 89, Fears Rise Over Russian Gas
"Record-low temperatures in parts of Eastern Europe pushed the death toll from Arctic conditions to at least 89 people on Wednesday, and have forced Russian gas provider Gazprom to warn over supplies to Europe...
"A source at Russian gas export monopoly, which supplies a quarter of Europe's gas imports, said it was getting more requests from export markets than it could physically accommodate as demand from Russia spikes."
Russia, Ukraine argue over gas as EU reports shortage
"Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom on Thursday denied cutting supplies to cold-stricken Europe, pointing the finger at transit nation Ukraine, which in turn said it was taking only as much fuel as agreed in its contract with Moscow."
Power Shortages In South Africa Lift Platinum
Namibia: Shortage of Electricity Projected for This Winter
Forecast: Blackout. Israel is about to run out of natural gas
"Israel is running out of natural gas as the only existing production field, the Mary-B field off the Ashkelon coast, is close to being depleted. This could lead to electricity shortages, planned blackouts - and much higher electricity rates. The shortage is expected to last at least until next year, when the Tamar gas field starts production."
Forced blackouts expected due to energy crunch (Israel)
"200% increase in diesel fuel consumption, 108% rise in jet fuel oil use seen in 2011."
Diplomat: Power cuts pitch North Korea capital into darkness
Methane Gas Hydrates - Vast Energy Resource or Ecological Disaster Awaiting?
Japan too is pinning its hopes on methane hydrates. But it's unlikely energy can be produced economically. -- RF
Azerbaijan in No Position to Capitalize on Proposed Iranian Oil Sanctions
"Azerbaijan, as a major oil and natural gas producer in the Caspian Basin, would seem poised to capitalize on any move to cut off Iranian exports. Yet industry insiders in Baku point out that Azerbaijan's energy production is peaking, and a majority of its supplies are already allocated to current customers."
Fuel industry panics over supply woes
"The fuel industry says it is taking steps to avoid serious fuel shortages, while retailers say they are running dry."
Blackouts embarrass govt–Gondwe (Malawi)
Insight: Oil Industry Sees No Threat From Electric Car
World's Largest Rare Earth Metal Refinery to Open in Malaysia
U.K. Said to Plan Cuts to Solar Subsidy at Predictable Intervals
India Cuts PV Subsidies
Clouds gather over Spain's renewables sector as aid cut
"Spain's push to become a world leader in renewable energy risks collapsing after the government slammed the brakes on generous subsidies as part of an austerity drive."
Uranium - Demand to exceed supply
"Last year's disaster resulting from Japan's ill-advised siting of its Fukushima nuclear power station near five earthquake fault lines jolted not only nuclear power producers around the world but the entire industry pipeline, including uranium miners."
Eventually not a drop of groundwater to drink?

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Civil emergency 'inevitable' because of metal thefts, warns water chief (UK)
"There are now fears that the water, gas and electricity supplies could be endangered as thieves continue to cash in on the soaring value of metal on the world markets."

## Got food? ##
CBK raises the red flag over looming food shortage (Kenya)
Food Crisis as Drought and Cold Hit Mexico
Kiwis take the lead in heading off global food crisis

## Environment/health ##
Blizzard expected to pound central USA

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Hacked companies still not telling investors
Feds Seize 307 Sports-Related Domains Ahead of Super Sunday
US 'no-fly' list of suspected terrorists doubles in 12 months
Key Internet operator VeriSign hit by hackers
System glitch halts some trading on Tokyo Stock Exchange

## Japan ##
Megabank braces for government bond crash
Huge losses put Japan's top brokerage in survival mode
"The once-mighty House of Nomura, shaken to its very foundation by a massive loss mainly from its European operations, may come under the control of a megabank as it seeks a way to survive."
Japan Escalates Warnings on Yen as Sharp's Earnings Collapse
"'Exporting from Japan is nearly impossible as the more we sell the more we lose money,' Sharp President Mikio Katayama said yesterday in Tokyo."
Mazda in quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion
Sony gives $2.9bn loss warning
"Japan's electronics company doubles annual net loss forecast amid weak TV sales, strong yen and natural disasters."
Hitachi's nine-month profit dives 61%
Nuclear safety advisers slam stress tests
"Two advisers to Japan's nuclear safety agency have slammed stress tests being conducted on idle nuclear reactors, saying they do not guarantee the safety of the facilities and calling into question the impartiality of the U.N. nuclear agency, which approved Japan's handling of the tests on Jan. 31."
Japan Jan nuclear plant usage falls to 10.3 pct
Death toll climbs as heavy snow grips northern Japan

## China ##
China Reinforces Energy Supplies
"Chinese institutions unveiled three separate energy deals in North America and Europe on Thursday that underscore Beijing's continued interest in foreign assets as it looks for supplies to feed its booming economy."
Worst Yet to Come for China Growth: Official Think Tank

## UK ##
Derbyshire to turn off 40,000 street lights at night
Cash for scrap to be banned as Government tackles metal theft epidemic

## US ##
US Adds $120 Billion In Debt Since Debt Ceiling Hike On Friday, $310 Billion More On Deck In Next Two Months
New York Gasoline Gains as Hess Plans to Shut Catalytic Cracker
Nuclear Reactor At San Onofre Plant Remains Shut Down Over Leak
Job cuts spiked in January
Is Now The Time To Move Away From Major U.S. Cities?
Gresham's Law at Work: Pennies and Nickels Are Disappearing
5,000 street lights broken in New Orleans
Jim Grant says gold, not paper currency, is the future

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