Sunday, March 11, 2012


News Links, March 11-12, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Economic malaise forces Belgium to extend austerity
"Belgium will extend austerity measures by 1.82 billion euros ($2.39 billion) because of a possible contraction of its economy this year, to keep its 2012 budget deficit within EU limits."
Spain's Two Largest Unions Call for General Strike; Mood of the Nation
French Sarkozy wants Europe trade, border protection
"France's Nicolas Sarkozy called for better protection of Europe's companies and borders in a re-election campaign speech on Sunday, saying he wanted to renegotiate the open-borders Schengen Agreement and push for a 'Buy European Act.'"
ECB Calls for "Naming and Shaming" of EMU Budget Violators; Public Warnings, My Goodness! (Mish)
Saudi inflation at 14mth high on food, housing
"Saudi Arabia's annual inflation rate edged up to a 14-month high of 5.4% in February, mainly because of higher food and housing costs, state news agency SPA reported yesterday."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Sixteen Afghan civilians killed in rogue U.S. attack
Israel kills five more Gaza militants; rockets hit Israel
"Israeli warplanes killed five militants in Gaza on Saturday, the second day of cross-border violence in which Palestinian fighters have fired dozens of rockets into Israel, both sides said."
Over 100 rockets fired at southern Israel
Iraq militia stone youths to death for "emo" style
"At least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shi'ite militants against youths wearing Western-style 'emo' clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say."
Aircraft Carrier Enterprise Sets Off On Final Journey - Direction Iran
Israel Unveils New Bunker Buster
Kony 2012: US state department – we have no intention of leaving Uganda
Remains of 167 bodies found in southern Mexican cave
US to Restart Military Aid to Yemen
Iran offers gas supply to Jordan
U.S. Military Unveils Ray Beam as Latest Non-Lethal Weapon

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Big Hungary rally calls for government ouster
"Thousands of people protested outside Hungary's parliament on Saturday calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his centre-right government which they say has undermined democratic values and weakened the economy."
Russians stage new protest against Putin
"Several thousand Russians gathered in central Moscow on Saturday for a rally seen as a test of the opposition's ability to mount a sustained challenge to President-elect Vladimir Putin."
Bahrain says will hold dialogue to end crisis soon
Hundreds of thousands protest austerity measures in Spain
Saudi women students boycott classes in rare protest
"Thousands of students at an all-female university in Saudi Arabia boycotted classes on Saturday, protesting against poor services, witnesses said, in a rare display of dissent from women in the conservative Islamic kingdom."
Road blocked to protest power outages (Pakistan)
Colombia: TransMilenio bus protests paralyse Bogota
Anti-nuclear protesters plan nationwide marches (Taiwan)
Photos: Fukushima disaster remembered at protest against nuclear power (US)
Ecuador indigenous protesters march against mining
Farmers Gear To Take The Government To Task
Tens of thousands gather at Capitol for "Reclaim Wisconsin" anniversary rally (US)
"Tens of thousands of people converged on the Capitol in Madison on Saturday in a scene very reminiscent of the rallies held last year at this time to protest the sudden passage of Act 10, which stripped public workers of most collective bargaining rights."
Police on alert for weeklong protests vs fuel price hikes (Philippines)
Pakistan unrest: Bomber kills 14 at funeral near Peshawar
Kandahar braces for unrest after rogue U.S. soldier kills Afghan civilians

## Energy/resources ##
Russian Diesel Exports From St. Petersburg Drop 55% in February
Oil Trades Near Highest in More Than a Week After Record Chinese Imports
Nuclear renaissance? More like nuclear standstill (Cnet)
Global fallout: Did Fukushima scupper nuclear power? (BBC)
Gaza power plant shuts down for third time in a month
OECD Gives Up the Oil, to the Developing World (Gregor Macdonald)
"Now that global oil supply is a zero-sum game, in order for the five billion people in the Non-OECD to consume more oil they need a donation from us, here in the OECD. And as you can see, we are 'happily' (recession, unemployment, lack of growth) giving up these energy sources as best we can."
India Decides to End Cotton-Export Ban After Protests From Growers, China
Flip-flop on cotton export ban: The inside story

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Anger as cable thieves disrupt health provision (UK)

## Got food? ##
Small-Space Gardening
Indonesian retailers say beef shortage is hurting (Indonesia)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Bill would create partnership between NSA and U.S. corporations
Amateurs battle malware, hackers in UK cybergames (UK)
How spies used Facebook to steal Nato chiefs' details

## Japan ##
Thousands rally against nuclear power
"Tens of thousands of people rallied near Japan's crippled Fukushima plant Sunday demanding an end to nuclear power as the nation marked the first anniversary of a disastrous quake and tsunami."
Civil society rising
Fukushima workers brave radiation for 1,000 yen an hour
Only 2 nuclear plants have seawalls - Fukushima Daiichi, Daini
Business leaders concerned about declining population in Tohoku
A year on, Tohoku stuck in limbo
To "recover," the Tohoku region will have to become something much different from what it was before. But it's certain much effort and money will be wasted trying to do the impossible. -- RF
Without massive government outlays, future for Fukushima is bleak

## China ##
Chinese police shoot three in Tibet amid protests
China February crude oil imports at record high
Cotton Imports by China May Advance This Year Amid Government Stockpiling

## UK ##
Thousands of 999 police axed as spending cuts hit frontline numbers
Gatwick Airport power cut leaves luggage grounded
The scale of ramping up risky lending was simply staggering
London Olympics Could Cost Taxpayers $17B
Study warns water shortage risk for region

## US ##
Deficits Push N.Y. Cities and Counties to Desperation (NYT)
You can see that giant wave of muni bond defaults in the offing, like a tsunami bearing down on the coast. Move inland now, while there's still time! Or, if you believe the finance gurus who claim that all is well, then put your nest egg in muni bonds and pray. -- RF
Pennsylvania's Harrisburg to Skip Two Debt Payments
"Pennsylvania's distressed capital city, Harrisburg, will skip $5.3 million of debt payments due next week, the first time the city has defaulted on its general obligation bonds, to ensure there is enough cash to fund vital services."
An Example To Avoid: City Of Stockton On The Brink
If the Economy's "Recovering," Why is the Largest-Ever U.S. City Bankruptcy on the Horizon?
Government records highest-ever monthly deficit
"The U.S. government just notched its highest ever monthly deficit, with the red rink running to an estimated $229 billion in February."
Daycare on demand: round-the-clock childcare services on the rise
BofA to slash mortgage balances by $100,000 or more
Gas prices up another 12 cents in past two weeks
Bon appétit! Pink slime? Nothing wrong with it in school meals, USDA says.
Online Push to Ban 'Pink Slime' in School Lunches Gains Momentum
Nationwide drug shortage
"A nationwide drug shortage that's dogging the Food and Drug Administration is hitting home with first responders."

And finally…
Doomsday Prophet Camping Says Predictions Were 'Incorrect And Sinful'
Flight attendant on plane rants about crashing

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