Wednesday, March 14, 2012


News Links, March 15, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Riches to rags for Spanish towns
More austerity needed in Greece: EU/IMF
Europe to Germany: your eurocrisis 'answers' don't work for us
Zimbabwe government may 'close without diamond money'
"Zimbabwe's government could 'close' unless projected diamond revenues start to flow into the treasury, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has warned."
Canada's housing market flirts with bubble
The Limits of Austerity Continue to Be Tested
Rail Budget 2012: Train fares increased across all classes (India)
Russia plans man on Moon and Mars landing by 2030
Ain't gonna happen. -- RF
South Korea Jobless Rate Hits 11-Month High

## Airlines on the Ropes ##
Kingfisher Airlines to curtail overseas operations
"India's Kingfisher Airlines said it would curtail its overseas operations as the debt-laden carrier struggles with a cash crunch and mounting losses."
Southwest Airlines says high fuel prices mean it won't earn a profit in 1st quarter
South Carolina-based charter airline cancels flights
"Charter airline Direct Air has suspended flights for at least two months, leaving passengers scrambling to get home and wondering if they'll get their money back.
"The airline abruptly stopped flying Monday afternoon — at the peak of the spring break travel season — apparently because it couldn't pay its fuel bills."
Jet Airways increases excess baggage charges by Rs 50 a kg
"The airline blamed rising jet fuel costs for the revision in fares. 'The revision in excess baggage charges is on account of the recent increase in aviation turbine fuel prices, as baggage weight directly contributes to fuel burn,' said a Jet Airways spokesperson."
United cuts more capacity amid higher fares, fuel prices
Airlines May Stall With High Fuel Prices
Fares expected to soar through summer; blame jet fuel costs
Cathay Pacific Declines on Profit Drop, 'Challenging' Outlook
"Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (293) was the second-biggest decliner in Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index after predicting a 'challenging' year and suffering a 63 percent drop in second-half profit."
Frankfurt Airport Cargo Volume Tumbles 9.1 Percent

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
India to continue Iran oil supplies, says S Jaipal Reddy
"India will continue its oil supplies from Iran, petroleum minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Tuesday.
"'We'll continue to receive supplies from Iran,' Reddy said in answer to queries by journalists on whether India was planning to suspend oil supplies from Iran due to pressure from the US."
Strategies to deal with Iran sanctions (India)
"When it comes to Iran, India means business. This was clear from New Delhi's decision to send a delegation comprising officials and businessmen to Tehran."
Iran window of opportunity for diplomatic solution 'shrinking', Barack Obama warns
Most Americans Would Back US Strike Over Iran: Poll
Little US Popular Support for Israeli Attack on Iran
Which poll is right? -- RF
Report: US asked Russia to deliver ultimatum to Iran
"A leading Russian newspaper reported today that US Secretary of State Clinton requested that Russia tell Iran upcoming talks are the 'last chance' before it pursues a military option."
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces impeachment calls
"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced demands for his impeachment after delivering a caustic defence of his record during an unprecedented public interrogation by Iran's parliament."
East China Sea pact does little to defuse tensions between Japan and China
Taiwan protests Phl oil exploration in disputed Spratly islands
Russia may give NATO a base for Afghan supply runs
"Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday endorsed a proposal to allow NATO use of a southern Russian air base as a hub for transport of supplies to Afghanistan and suggested it was premature to withdraw troops from the war-torn country."
India and China Vie for Influence in Nepal
Vehicle bursts into flames on runway as Leon Panetta flies into Afghanistan
Nato approved measures to prevent attacks on foreign personnel day before alleged Leon Panetta attack
"Nato approved new measures to prevent attacks on foreign personnel by their Afghan allies only the day before an Afghan worker apparently used his car to try to attack Leon Panetta American defence secretary at Camp Bastion."
In 'highly unusual' move, Marines asked to disarm before Leon Panetta speech
Another example of how TPTB are afraid of the people. Alert readers will recall this item from a couple of weeks ago. -- RF
Taliban Attacks Karzai Officials at Massacre Site
US dangles secret data to enlist Russia missile shield help
Azerbaijan arrests '22 Iranian spies'
"Security services in Azerbaijan have arrested 22 people they say were hired by Iran to carry out terrorist attacks against the US and Israeli embassies as well as Western-linked groups and companies."
U.S. Marine Corps, Army to Restart 'Forcible Entry' Drills

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Decrying federal 'bully tactics,' B.C. natives vow to block pipeline (Canada)
"Ottawa is headed for a legal showdown with British Columbia first nations if it insists on proceeding with the Northern Gateway pipeline, the leader of the Yinka Dene Alliance warns."
Bahrain opposition may be losing touch with the youth

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi Arabia does not want to replace Iran oil: Official
BS Alert! KSA cannot replace Iran's oil. Period. -- RF
IEA warns of falling spare oil production capacity
IEA, you're a little late to the party, but come on in, anyway. It's BYO. -- RF
Crisis in Libya Shows the Effects of Production Downtimes
Not all oil is created equal. -- RF
Electrical fire leaves swath of Boston in darkness
Brazil Ethanol Drive Falters on Domestic Supply Shortage
Egypt gas disruptions cost Israel NIS 15b
"Disruptions in deliveries of Egyptian natural gas has cost Israel NIS 15 billion - NIS 12 billion to buy alternative fuel, and NIS 3 billion in environmental damage - Ministry of Finance acting director general Doron Cohen told an Israeli Institute Of Energy And Environment today."
Effects of pipeline attacks spread beyond Egypt
JSW Steel asks govt to curb iron ore export
Islamists threaten Somalia's new oil zone
South Korean reactor loses power temporarily
"All power was lost for 12 minutes at a nuclear reactor in South Korea in February, the country's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said March 13."
Asia thirst for high-sulphur gas oil boosts fuel prices
"Refiners in Asia and the Middle East are turning high-sulphur gasoil into environmentally friendly fuel quicker than customers can use it, reducing supplies of the lower-quality, cheaper fuel and forcing key importers to make a hard choice."
Ships Vie With Japan Utilities as Fuel Supplies Dwindle: Freight
"Oil refiners' investment in more- efficient facilities is leaving shipping lines competing with Japanese power producers for a fuel that no one wants to make.
"Refiners are upgrading plants to cut output of fuel oil, a byproduct from making gasoline and diesel, as it sells for less than the price of crude. Shipping lines are seeking more of the product -- known in the industry as bunker -- to fuel expanding fleets, while Japanese electric companies are speeding purchases as they close nuclear plants for checks after 2011's tsunami.
"'We have a bunker market that's still growing, and we have no fuel,' said Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of Singapore-based Facts Global Energy Inc. 'Everyone is destroying the capability for fuel-oil production.'"

## Got food? ##
Fast-track breeding could bring a second Green Revolution
"Green revolution: Fast-track breeding is beginning to develop crops that can produce more and healthier food – without controversial genetic engineering."
But the biggest problem facing industrial agriculture is the availability of water and energy. -- RF
Rising Gas Prices Mean Rising Food Prices
India's inflation rises to 6.95% on high food article prices
Diseases from imported fish, spices on the rise, CDC finds
'Pink slime' critics fight ammonia-treated meat

## Environment/health ##
'Invisible tsunami' of rising sea levels puts US coasts at risk, expert says

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
New malware preys on Iran nuclear weapons tension
"Researchers: China-based hackers goal is to corrupt US military computers"
Social Media Scam Alert: Top Ten Ways to Tell Kony is Phony
Google Adds (Even More) Links to the Pentagon
Ikea accused of hiring detectives to spy on dissatisfied customers in France
Cyber-attack on BBC leads to suspicion of Iran's involvement

## Japan ##
Japan's Sharp names new president as losses mount
Magnitude 6.1 quake jolts eastern Japan, no tsunami warning
Tale of Trouble at Japan Pension Funds
"A scandal involving the alleged disappearance of billions of dollars in pension-fund money is highlighting an uncomfortable truth here. Most of the pension plans set up by groups of small businesses in Japan are under water, the latest data from the health ministry shows, even as the burden of future payouts grows in step with the aging of the country's population."
Auto giants, other major makers cut '12 bonuses
BOJ To Cut Executive Salaries By 10-30%
Cutting bonuses is a serious matter for Japanese consumers because they depend on these twice-yearly cash infusions to bolster their household balance sheets, pay off loans, and save for retirement. -- RF
Cost Estimate For Nuclear Power Set To Rise
They are just now going to add costs for decommissioning. And still they are not adding the astronomical cost of waste management for 100,000 years. -- RF
January factory output growth revised down
High cesium levels detected in mud at Fukushima dam lake
Radioactive materials may have sunk 30 cm into ground
"Radioactive materials released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant into the atmosphere were found 5 centimeters beneath the ground three months after the breakout of the nuclear crisis last March, but are now believed to have sunk 10 to 30 cm deep, a study by a research institution showed Wednesday."
Japan's oldest reactor marks 42nd anniv., resumption unforeseen
A Fukushima citizen proved monitoring post was manipulated

## China ##
Chinese Economy Already in 'Hard Landing,' JPMorgan's Mowat Says
"China's economy is already in a so- called 'hard landing,' according to Adrian Mowat, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s chief Asian and emerging-market strategist.
"'If you look at the Chinese data, you should stop debating about a hard landing,' Mowat, who is based in Hong Kong, said at a conference in Singapore yesterday. 'China is in a hard landing. Car sales are down, cement production is down, steel production is down, construction stocks are down. It's not a debate anymore, it's a fact.'"
Brace for China's impending crash
Beijing Looks at Legalizing Underground Lending
China oil and gas demand at record highs
China Believed to Make Large Purchase of Corn

## UK ##
U.K. May Revive Long Gilt First Used in South Sea Bubble
"Britain is proposing to revive 'perpetual gilts,' first used in the wake of the 1720 South Sea Bubble crisis, to allow the government to borrow for as long as possible at record-low rates, according to two people familiar with budget discussions."
I Will Gladly Pay You 100 Years From Now, For a Hamburger Today (Mish)
"UK Chancellor George Osborne proposes 100-year bonds. Essentially his message is 'I Will Gladly Pay You 100 Years From Now, For a Hamburger Today'. Whether it's Tuesday of next week or Tuesday a hundred years from now, the safe bet is the debt will never be repaid."
Fitch Puts U.K. Debt on Negative Outlook Days Away From Budget
Benefit reforms 'will hit single working mothers' warns Save The Children
"Save the Children said more than 50,000 single working mothers could lose as much as £3,500 a year under the UK government's new universal credit, pushing some below the breadline."
UK unemployment rises by 28,000 to 2.67m, ONS reports

## US ##
Five Charts That Prove We're in a Depression (Forex Pros)
When looking at these charts you have to wonder where the "recovery" is. And yesterday we saw how employment figures are cooked. But of course there's no propaganda in America. -- RF
Banks Oversold, Muni Defaults Still Coming: Whitney
Meredith, baby, we love ya! -- RF
Treasuries Hammered as "Operation Twist" Unwinds; Another Triumph of the 1% Over the 99%
Latinos See Rise in Poverty & Unemployment
Departing Goldman banker slams 'rip-off' culture
New York State Set to Add All Convict DNA to Its Database
"New York is poised to establish one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation, requiring people convicted of everything from fare beating to first-degree murder to provide samples of their DNA to the state."
Rising Fuel Costs and the Next Revolution
"Were it not for the ultra low natural gas price, rising gasoline and crude oil prices would be crushing the economy by now."
"Cash burn rate": American Companies Running Out Of Cash

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