Friday, February 03, 2012


News Links, February 4, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
The System D Speak-Easy Economy (Daily Reckoning)
This is a good read and a window on the rapidly growing global economic reality. More and more of the world's people are being cut in, while governments are being cut out. People are deciding that they will/must take care of themselves. -- RF
The dark web: Guns and drugs for sale on the internet's secret black market
Greece struggles on reform, lenders eye rising bill
Greek Bailout May Have to Be $19.7 Billion Higher
"Euro zone governments may have to provide up to 145 billion euros ($191 billion) to Athens under a second emergency loan program for Greece, EU sources said on Friday, 15 billion euros more ($19.7 billion) than previously expected."
Euro zone sales tumble at Christmas, no sign of growth
Canada Unemployment Rises to Nine-Month High as Job Growth Misses Estimate
Hungary's Malev airline halts operations
"Hungary's state-owned airline Malev Hungarian said Friday it would shut down temporarily due to a critical cash drain."
Posco sees 12% fall in 2011 consolidated net profit
China gold demand soars to 891 tonnes, India's 868 tonnes in 2011: RSBL
African Top Central Banks Turn on Governments to Curb Prices
The population growth Ponzi scheme

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Korea, US In Talks On Cutting Iran Oil Imports By 50% -SK Executive
It can't be easy if they have to talk about it. -- RF
U.S. Lifts Ban On Uzbekistan Military Aid
"The United States has temporarily waived a ban on providing military assistance to Uzbekistan because of the country's crucial role in transiting supplies to forces in Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials."
Iran 'trying to attack Israeli targets in retaliation for scientists' deaths'
"Iranian agents are attempting to attack Israeli targets around the world in retaliation for covert operations, including the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, the head of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, has warned."
Israel, U.S. Divided Over Timing of Potential Military Strike Against Iran
Oil risks fuelling flames of Sudan conflict
Analysis: India's military build up may be too little too late?
"India's 1.3 million-strong armed forces, hobbled by outdated equipment and slow decision-making, are undergoing an overhaul as defence priorities shift to China from traditional rival Pakistan."
Falkland tensions grow ahead of invasion anniversary
Africa land grabs 'could cause conflicts'
NATO acquiring UAVs
Russian Communists Court Discontented Youth

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
China gets restive taste of post-Dalai Lama era
China cut off internet in area of Tibetan unrest
Europeans to protest ACTA on Feb 11
Greek rescue package talks blocked by unions and employers

## Energy/resources ##
Wastewater gains appeal as treatment improves, resources run dry (Canada)
House Committee approves Lamborn bill to open more land to oil shale exploration (US)
"Oil shale isn't yet commercially viable but on Wednesday the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources passed Rep. Doug Lamborn's bill to speed up its production in the West anyway."
Saudi Aramco to Spend $200 Billion on Oil & Gas Investments Over the Next Decade

## Environment/health ##
East Europe Freeze Death Toll Exceeds 100 as Towns Blocked
"Russian electricity consumption surged to an all-time record yesterday amid a severe cold spell across much of the country's territory, OAO System Operator said today on its website. Power use reached 156,964 megawatts as of 10 a.m. yesterday in Moscow with outside temperature at minus 25 Celsius, the Russian power-network administrator said."
Cold weather death toll passes 100 in Ukraine
Over 60 people die in cold spell in Russia in January
Record lows recorded at 38 locations (Japan)
Deadly freeze: Hundreds dead in Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe
Death toll tops 200 from cold in Europe

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Anonymous hackers access Greek ministry website
"Hackers associated with the activist group Anonymous posted a protest against Greece's EU and IMF-inspired austerity policies on the website of the country's justice ministry Friday, a ministry spokeswoman said."
Anonymous Eavesdrops on FBI Anti-Anonymous Strategy Meeting
"As FBI and Scotland Yard investigators recently plotted out a strategy for tracking suspects linked to Anonymous, little did they know that members of the group were eavesdropping on their conference call and recording their plans."

## Japan ##
Cold affects power supplies / Some regions close to blackouts as consumption rates soar
Panasonic predicts record annual loss
"Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has forecast a record annual net loss of 780bn yen ($10.2bn; £6.3bn) for the year to March."
Elpida in big quarterly loss as tie-up talks swirl
Frozen pipe halts thermal power generators in Oita
"Piping in a fuel-supply system at a thermal power station here was frozen early on Feb. 3 as the temperature fell below freezing, causing all three power generators at the plant to halt, the plant operator said."
Oil Product Exports to Japan Surge to Record High (Korea)
"Data from the Korea National Oil Corporation shows that the shipments of products such as petroleum and diesel fuel to Japan topped US$7.4 billion last year, up more than 70 percent from the previous high of $4 billion recorded in 2006."
More radioactive water leaks found at Fukushima nuclear plant
Yakuza labor structure formed base of nuclear industry
Kyushu buys costly power to deal with plant trouble
"An unplanned shutdown of a gas-fired plant forced Japan's Kyushu Electric Power Co to venture outside its usual circle of suppliers for the first time since 2005 to buy costly power on Friday, and peak winter demand after the Fukushima disaster suggests similar cases could occur in coming weeks."
Mine detectors for Japan's helicopters
"Laser mine detection systems for helicopters have been ordered from Northrop Grumman for Japan's maritime military."
40% Of Flood-Hit Japan Firms To Shrink Thai Ops: Poll
Nippon Sheet Glass to cut 3,500 jobs amid Europe crisis
"Japan's number two glass maker, Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG), will lay off 3,500 workers worldwide, as it faces losses due to its significant exposure to Europe."
Flu hits 'alarm level' for 1st time this winter
Local govts struggle to fight heavy snow / Aged residents unable to dig out, volunteers in short supply, houses in danger of collapse
Govt to ask power utilities to cut costs / Proposal to limit electricity price hikes

## UK ##
Minus 11 as UK braces for widespread snow
Cold weather sends UK gas prices to 10 month-high
Jobs fear as glass-maker Pilkington cuts back
"Glass manufacturer Pilkington is to cut production at a UK factory under plans to axe 3,500 jobs worldwide."

## US ##
American Airlines Went Bankrupt in November; Are Taxpayers on the Hook for Pension Benefits?
Obama proposal for jobless vets includes effort resembling 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps
Back to the Depression. Although this time there will be no recovery. -- RF
Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low (Zero Hedge)
Nonfarm Payroll +243,000 ; Unemployment Rate 8.3%; Those Not in Labor Force Rose an Amazing 1,177,000 (Mish)
As these reports show, the "improvement" in the unemployment situation is due to an astounding number of people disappearing from the labor force. And you've got to wonder how many of these people shift to the underground economy. -- RF
Congress Calls for Accelerated Use of Drones in U.S.
Food company recalls eggs in 34 states
Sanyo To Close Solar Factory In California
Pension Threat: The Looming Crisis Facing Investors
Wow! Just look at these stunningly huge shortfalls at major corporations. As I've said again and again, pensions and "retirement" are disappearing fast. To survive, more and more people will find themselves resorting to "System D." -- RF
Providence Rhode Island Faces "Bankruptcy by June" says Mayor; Pension Plan 32% Funded (and About to Get Worse)

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