Sunday, March 18, 2012


News Links, March 19, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Storm clouds forming over Vancouver's real-estate market
Spanish property prices at all time low
Global economy on recovery path, risks remain: IMF chief
Absolute crap. You wonder how these people can keep a straight face while giving their speeches. -- RF
Latin American Nations in Worse Shape for Crisis, IDB Says
"Most Latin American nations, in the event of another global crisis, are in worse shape to implement stimulus than in 2007 as a result of lower budget surpluses before interest payments, the Inter-American Development Bank said."
Egypt: The informal economy
"Egypt's informal economy, or all unlicensed and unregistered capital and real estate, constitutes at least 34 percent of GDP, serving as a security buffer during harsh times."
Japan, 12 other Asian nations to double currency swap deal

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air Canada cites 'operational challenges' after flights cancelled
PAL to raise int'l flight rates by $100
"Soaring fuel prices in the world market have prompted Philippine Airlines (PAL) to seek a fuel surcharge increase by as much as $100 per ticket on international flights."
Airline passengers set to pay more as fuel surcharge soars

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Illegal fishing plunders and strains West Africa
'Karzai Only Said What Everyone Already Thinks'
"On Thursday, President Hamid Karzai unexpectedly called on Western military forces to end their mission to Afghanistan a year before the planned withdrawal date of 2014. In Friday's newspapers, German commentators speculate on whether this will trigger a rush to exit despite the dangers this presents."
Blast hits Aleppo; clashes and protests across Syria
China making presence felt in disputed East China Sea
"As the Chinese government intensifies its surveillance activities in the East China Sea, concerns are growing that the increased presence could trigger an international incident with Japan."
Chevron executives barred from leaving Brazil over spill
"Seventeen executives from Chevron and Transocean have been barred from leaving Brazil pending criminal charges related to a high-profile oil spill last November."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Dozens arrested at Occupy's 6-month anniversary rally
"Police arrested dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters on Saturday night during a protest marking the movement's six-month anniversary at its birthplace in New York's Zuccotti Park."
Turkish police fire tear gas on Kurdish festivities
"Turkish police used water cannon, tear gas and baton charges to break up Kurdish demonstrations across the country on Sunday, a sign of rising tension ahead of the Kurdish New Year next week."
Reports: Thousands of Tibetans attend funeral of farmer who set himself afire in protest
Strike closes 3 Fiat plants in Italy

## Energy/resources ##
Fuel, petroleum products shortage looms
"ZAMBIA faces a crippling shortage of fuel and other petroleum products as Indeni Petroleum Refinery has run out of crude oil feed stock and was yesterday expected to shut down operations."
Germany's Failing Environmental Projects
"The energy-saving light bulb ends up as hazardous waste, too much insulation promotes mold and household drains are emitting a putrid odor because everyone is saving water. Many of Germany's efforts to protect the environment are a chronic failure, but that's unlikely to change."
Trying to be green under the industrial system is like trying to eat without going to the bathroom. -- RF
The sinking of the E-Cat
Another miracle energy machine bites the dust! -- RF
Saudi Arabia, Iran Boost January Oil Exports, JODI Says
"Saudi Arabia (OPCRSAUD) and Iran increased oil exports in January from a month earlier amid higher demand for crude from OPEC member nations, official data posted on the Joint Organization Data Initiative's website showed."
If Iran is boosting exports, there is apparently little difficulty in finding buyers. -- RF
Maersk Drilling to Spend Much as $6 Billion on Oil Rigs
"'We still believe in the market,' said Hemmingsen, who is also a member of A.P. Moeller-Maersk's executive board. 'Oil production is declining rapidly and in order to meet demand, there's a lot of oil that needs to be found and produced in a very short time frame.'"
Domestic gas shortage follows Gaza power blackouts
"The ongoing electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip has led to a shortage in domestic-use gas for heating and cooking, as residents exhaust limited supplies permitted into the blockaded coastal strip."
Petrol, diesel prices continue to rise (Ireland)
"The price of petrol and diesel rose sharply again last month and hit new record highs, according to the latest survey from motoring organisation AA Ireland."

## Got food? ##
Syria's food crisis: 'The fuel goes to army tanks, not farm tractors'
"Syria's agricultural industry is collapsing, with farmers unable to plant crops in the face of a deadly security crackdown and crippling fuel and fertiliser shortages."
France Bans GM Corn Amid Mass US Protests against Monsanto
After Spain's Construction Bust, Gardens Bloom

## Environment/health ##
Cellphone radiation may cause ADHD in developing fetuses
Chevron Sees New Oil Sheen at Brazil Frade Field
As natural gas production grows, questions arise about methane leaks
Italy's Mount Enta erupts

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Proposed law in Austria causes grave concern for press freedom
Iran's Censors Tighten Grip (WSJ)
"Iran hasn't been shy about its bids to monitor, filter and block content on the Internet. Now it has taken the next leap, turning online censorship into an institution."
Developments in the US aren't so encouraging, either. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan's majority favor phasing out nuclear power: poll
A Revolt, the Quiet Japanese Way
Nobel laureate Oe calls for halt to all nuclear plants
"At France's largest book fair, instead of promoting a novel, Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe used the spotlight to call for the immediate abolition of all nuclear power plants."
Disaster goods selling well / New products emerge to meet demands for disaster prevention
Plan to N-shrine reactors for millennia
Noda Warns Of Growing N Korean, Chinese Moves

## China ##
Chinese move to their eco-city of the future
Basically, nothing is changed. This city too is doomed. -- RF
Cities called key to growth
I see big urban trouble brewing. -- RF
China's Property Prices Post Further Fall
"Average property prices in 70 Chinese cities covered in a government survey fell in February for the fifth consecutive month, as sluggish sales continue to compel developers to cut prices."

## US ##
Gas prices up for 9th straight day
U-Plighted States of America: More U.S. Cities Teeter On the Edge of Bankruptcy
"For many, the horizon of U.S. economic recovery can now be seen in the not-too-far-off-distance. But on second glance, that faint line in the sky is actually the crest of a new tidal wave heading straight for the shores of the nation's cities and states."
Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!
As gas prices increase, schools take hard look at transportation costs
Gas thieves turning to cutting vehicle fuel lines
The Fed's Stress Test Was Merely The Latest "Lipstick On A Pig" Farce

And finally… Marmite rationing!

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