Tuesday, April 17, 2012


News Links, April 18, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Merkel Offers Spain No Respite as Debt Cuts Seen As Key
Bank of Spain: Country is back in recession
"Spain's economy is back in recession after a mild recovery in early and mid-2011, and faces an 'exceptional' situation that may led to further increases in unemployment, Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said Tuesday."
Exclusive: Italy puts back balanced budget goal by a year: draft
Lagarde eyes $400 bln rise in IMF funds this week
"IMF chief Christine Lagarde hopes to gain broad consensus on a more than $400 billion rise in the fund's firepower this week, an Italian newspaper on Tuesday quoted her as saying, though it may take some time to gain final commitments."
IMF Urges Pullback on Austerity
"The International Monetary Fund, warning that Europe risks a 'prolonged period' of economic contraction, urged stronger measures to fight its debt crisis and called on many nations to support growth by slowing their near-term budget cuts."
Singapore Exports Unexpectedly Drop as Electronics Cool
Novelis Declares Closure of Aluminum Coil Manufacturing Plant in Quebec, Canada
Resin shortage from plant explosion could disrupt auto production, report says
"General Motors confirmed that some of its suppliers have been affected by the disruption, and other auto companies said they were assessing the situation."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Fuel price could plunge MidEast airlines into loss - IATA
U.S. airlines seen posting Q1 loss, 2012 profit
"Rising fuel prices pushed major U.S. airlines into the red for the first quarter and could pressure results during the peak travel season, but most carriers are likely to be profitable this year, analysts said."
Bankrupt Airline Direct Air to Liquidate Assets

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US prepares for last major Afghanistan offensive
Austerity ends 13-year rise in global military spending
"Budget cuts by wealthy western countries has ended a 13-year run of rising military spending in the world, despite big increases by China and Russia, a study released on Tuesday said."
China, Russia launch largest naval drill since 2005
"Russia and China on Sunday launched their largest military exercise since 2005, in a move many see as a response to the United States' recent emphasis on a 'return to Asia.'"
YPF Repsol: Spain says Argentina shot itself in foot
"Spain has warned Argentina that it will face retaliation over its decision to nationalise the Spanish majority stake in the YPF oil company."
Japan in talks with US to station troops in Northern Mariana Islands (article in Japanese)
Japan's government is in talks with the US military about stationing Japanese troops on Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands to conduct exercises and training with the US military with the object of upgrading Japan's capacity to protect its outlying islands. (Summary by RF)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
No Occupy events to cover? Look again.
Occupy protesters target Hanford nuclear reservation
Mob attacks McDonald's in UK

## Energy/resources ##
S. Africa, Zambia try to ease Malawi's crippling fuel shortage
Huge power blackout hits Durban (South Africa)
India to face critical power shortage this summer: Reports
IEC begins preparing for summer power shortages (Israel)
First Solar Cuts 30% of Jobs, Closes Plants as Demand Slows
When Solar Giants Try To Shrink Their Way To Prosperity
Trying to Curb Big Planes' Huge Fuel Costs (Defense News)

## Got food? ##
Food Inflation Pain in London's Culinary Hub (Bloomberg video)
Export restrictions can push global food prices higher: WTO study

## Environment/health ##
BP Spill Two Years After
"While, on the surface, many areas of the Gulf seem relatively normal, researchers have found a wide range of impacts on animals and ecosystems that they say will continue for years or decades."
Experts: Another BP-style Gulf blowout all too possible

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Gmail goes down worldwide
"Google's gmail service was down worldwide for more than 45 minutes, potentially affecting 350 million users."
Hackers take down 15 Lebanese government websites

## Japan ##
Tokyo Chief Plots to Buy Disputed Islands
"Tokyo's conservative governor said Monday that the metropolitan government has decided to purchase a group of islands in the East China Sea at the center of a bitter bilateral territorial dispute between the two regional powers, in a move that could heighten tensions between Japan and China."
Health insurance societies in trouble
"Employee health insurance societies at major companies are expected to suffer a combined recurring deficit of 578.2 billion yen in fiscal 2012, according to the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies."
Edano: All reactors to be idle / Comment indicates Oi reactors' restart unlikely in near future
Japan's Feb. industrial output revised to 1.6% fall
Electric utilities burned record levels of LNG last year

## China ##
The Ghost Malls of China: Inside a Commercial Real Estate Bubble
China FDI Falls For Fifth Straight Month

## UK ##
Ballymena targeted as leaked paper suggests closing 29 schools
"More than half of the post-primary schools in the North Eastern Education Board area could close because of financial pressures."

## US ##
U.S. factory decline suggests economy losing steam
Don't Fall For The Latest Economic Data
As schools close, towns try to preserve memories, community
Plant Vogtle nuclear reactor back online after shutdown
Activists Call for Permanent Shutdown At San Onofre As More Tubes Showing Wear
National Ocean Policy is an executive power grab
"The Obama Administration power grab continues. This time the president wants to seize more executive control over a massive piece of real estate: our oceans, the tributaries that lead to them, and the inland areas that surround those waterways."
25 Signs That Middle Class Families Have Been Targeted For Extinction
Police handcuff Ga. kindergartner for tantrum
Municipal Bankruptcy Crisis in U.S. to Have Dire National Consequences!
California City Hit With $2 Million 'Parking Ticket'
"Faced with the prospect of becoming the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, in February, the city of Stockton, Calif., decided on a novel gambit. To avoid going "bankrupt," they'd simply stop paying some of their bills, leaving more money to pay their other bills."
Housing Starts Take A Beating

And finally… Play taps for Twinkies? Maybe

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