Tuesday, March 20, 2012

 

News Links, March 21, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
IMF and ECB Bailouts "Created" Huge Bondholder Losses; More Haircuts Coming Up (Mish)
Greeks return to farming as country leases agricultural land
"Against a backdrop of soaring unemployment, business failures and biting austerity, Greeks are returning to farming as a way of making a living."
Growing Antitax Movement Shows Irish Stoicism Wearing Thin
How big is Israel's shadow market? NIS 86 billion in 2011 and counting
Shipping glut to see 25% fall in SCI investment (India)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Two-hour queues: Bangkok's 'futuristic' airport not coping with tourists
LAX baggage screening facility working at only half capacity
Cash-strapped airlines hike domestic fares by up to 50% (India)
"Domestic airlines, reeling under losses and severe cash crunch, have jacked up their fares by up to 40 per cent on key metro routes across both on the economy and business class. The airlines have hiked spot fares by 50 per cent and are likely to increase it further, said industry sources."
Airlines face bankruptcy if fuel price reaches USD 150: IATA
"Airlines face bankruptcy if fuel prices were to soar to USD 150 a barrel from about USD 120 at the moment, IATA chief Tony Tyler warned on Tuesday, pointing out that Europe risks suffering the biggest losses, AFP reports."
Kingfisher headed for crash-landing? Can cancel license, warns govt (India)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. War Game Sees Perils of Israeli Strike Against Iran
Of diapers and drugs, Iran's trouble paying bills
How sanctions punish the innocent, and also backfire against US companies. -- RF
U.S. exempts Japan, 10 EU nations from Iran sanctions
"...because they have significantly reduced purchases of Iranian crude oil." Yea, give whatever excuse is needed. The bottom line is, the world can't do without Iran's oil. -- RF
Iran's Threat To The Dollar
Iran will attack to defend itself: Khamenei
"In the face of aggression from the United States or Israel, Iran will attack to defend itself, Iran's most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday."
Export of rice under barter system to Iran suggested (Pakistan)
"Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) appreciated the permission to export wheat to Iran under barter system and urged the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to allow barter trade for the export of rice and other commodities as well. Unisame also urged the MOC to expedite the procedure for barter for wheat to enable commencement of business."
Dozens of bombs kill at least 52 across Iraq
"More than 30 bombs struck cities and towns across Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 52 people and wounding about 250, despite a massive security clampdown ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad."
Polish authorities seize $100 million in fake US treasury bonds, arrest 8 people
Philippines' Aquino Says More U.S. Troops Welcome
Pakistan parliament committee demands end to U.S. drone strikes
"A Pakistani parliamentary committee recommending a new direction for ties with the United States said on Tuesday it wants a halt to attacks in Pakistan by U.S. drone aircraft."
U.S. to determine Afghanistan troop pull-out by end-2012
Kuwait says Iran has assured it will not shut Hormuz
"Iran has assured Kuwait it will not try to close the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping route, Kuwait's ruler said in remarks carried by state-run news agency KUNA on Tuesday."
Israel to phase out civilian atomic reactor by 2018
"Israel is phasing out a civilian nuclear reactor to which it has admitted foreign inspectors while keeping a second reactor, widely believed to have produced atom bombs, off-limits, officials said on Tuesday."
Germany Confirms Sale of Nuclear-Capable Sub to Israel
Afghanistan Commander: War Is Actually Going Fine
Russian Anti-Terror Troops Deploy in Syria
Africa Piracy a Threat to US Homeland Security, Expert Writes

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Unrest seen if gov't fails to act on high oil prices (Philippines)
Police use rubber bullets to control unrest for the first time (Maldives)
Austerity Isn't Working: UK Uncut Protest Outside Downing Street On Budget Day, March 21, 2012
March 22: Portuguese workers to stage general strike – Portugal
Witness: Occupy protesters beaten during arrests
Occupy protesters organize for NATO summit in Chicago

## Energy/resources ##
Going Back to the First Look at Saudi Arabian Oil Production (The Oil Drum)
Just the other day I mentioned that not all oil is created equal. Keep that in mind while reading. -- RF
Brazil Fears Unstable Seabed at Chevron Offshore Field (Rigzone)
"Brazilian officials are concerned that the seabed above an offshore oil field operated by U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. is unstable and could lead to a series of oil seeps at the field, according to a report Monday by local newspaper O Globo."
65pc electricity deficit leads to 16-hour outages (Pakistan)
"Power deficit for common consumers shot up on Monday to almost 65 per cent, forcing the Ministry of Water and Power which now controls electricity distribution to resort to up to 16 hours of loadshedding even in urban areas."
Namibia: Power Outages, Water Cuts Impeding Development
Space-Based Solar Power
A sobering assessment if you thought this was The Answer. -- RF
Oil Price Set for Long-Term Rise: Shell CEO
"Longer term you will see demand rising and we will need all investments to cope with that demand. In the very long term we will see prices going up because of high demand and as it gets more expensive to get the resources out of the ground."
China grabbing up uranium to secure nuclear lead
Sri Lanka's massive power and energy crisis: No easy answers, no immediate relief for consumers
More closures deepen Atlantic, East Coast refining woes

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Ohio tops national list of copper, metal theft

## Got food? ##
Drought spreads to Brazil, crop yields hit
"Drought has spread from Argentina and Paraguay to Brazil and is hitting soy yields at a time of growing concerns that regional growth may suffer as pressures mount on commodity prices."
Canada recalls 135 brands of ground beef
"Canadian food retailers and restaurants were scrambling Tuesday to comply with a massive federal recall of potentially contaminated frozen ground beef."
Study: Genetically Modified Corn Increases Body Weight in Rats

## Environment/health ##
Ukraine officials: Chernobyl decontamination ineffective
"A Ukrainian official, citing the Chernobyl disaster as an example, said Japan must continue monitoring radiation levels around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant because decontamination work--no matter how expensive--may prove futile."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords
Have background checks for job candidates gone too far?
As Occupy Arrestees Arraigned, Iris Scans Affect Bail

## Japan ##
Survey finds soaring cesium level in soil in Iitate
"The Environment Ministry said Monday that a soaring cesium reading of 154,000 becquerels per kilogram has been logged in soil from the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, the highest level yet."
Dire job situation still plagues grads
"Half the 2010 graduates from universities and technical colleges, and two-thirds of high school graduates, are either unemployed, working as temporary staff, or have quit or are expected to quit their jobs within three years, according to government estimates."
Local gov'ts eager for switch to cheaper power face price hikes, supply problems
"Local governments keen to save money by contracting small but government-endorsed power companies are finding it hard to meet their electricity needs, while increasing demand is also pushing up prices."
Japan to deploy missiles, destroyers for N. Korea 'rocket' launch
Panasonic reportedly to close California plant

## China ##
China Southern Power Grid warns of potential 13m kw power shortages
"China Southern Power Grid (CSG) projected Monday that April and May would likely face a power shortage of 13 million kilowatts as it expects peak electricity demand on its grid to rise 9 percent this year, Global Times reported."
Chinese fuel prices continue record rise
Beijing Reasserts Grip in Chongqing
Slowdown in Chinese iron ore demand

## UK ##
7 million UK cars "illegal"
"Typically, offenders were delaying repairs for four months, with the main reason being shortage of cash, with 40% of drivers saying it was just too expensive to repair their car."
Britain should protect Falkland Islands 'at all costs', say 61% of voters

## US ##
Throwing cold water on the U.S. manufacturing rebound
"A new report out today claims that everything you've heard about the renewed strength in manufacturing in the U.S. is wrong."
Kiss the McMansion Goodbye: Is the American Home Shrinking?
The fake housing recovery
NRC Eyes Changes to Address Station Blackout Conditions
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking as it considers revised regulations that address station blackout, which is the total loss of on-site and off-site alternating current (AC) power to a nuclear power plant."
Highest Price Ever of Gasoline in March; State-by-State Gas Price and Gas Tax Comparison
Presenting The High Cost Of Armageddon Avoidance (chart)
$4 Gas Average Is Here
$5 gas prices would tank consumer
As Fuel Prices Soar, Trucking Industry Seeks Alternatives With Natural Gas
Welcome to the Predatory State of California - Even If You Don't Live There
Local Hospitals Dealing with Drug Shortages

And finally… Marmite black market flourishes as supplies dwindle (NZ)




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