Friday, April 27, 2012


News Links, April 28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone Retail Sales Plunge at Strongest Pace Since Late-2008; German Retail Sales Plunge Into Contraction; French Retail Sales Plunge at Record Pace; Record Job Losses, Record Retail Plunge in Italy
Spanish economy in "huge crisis" after credit downgrade
Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million
Showdown Looms Over Europe's Largest Shantytown (Spain)
"Europe's largest illegal settlement lies on the edge of Madrid. As the Spanish capital has grown, the city's limits have moved ever closer to the shantytown known as CaƱada Real, a sprawling tangle of tents and cement houses. And as the economy has tanked, a growing number of people are calling it home."
Greece to Seize Money From Suspected Tax Evaders' Accounts, with Charges and Trials Later; More Capital Flight Coming Up
Japan to buy South Korean government bonds
"Japan, concerned that the sovereign debt crisis in Europe could destabilize the regional economy, is set to purchase South Korean government bonds to strengthen financial cooperation with its Asian neighbors."
WalMart's Mexican Bribery Scandal Will Sink It Like an Iceberg Sank the Titanic

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Bird Strikes On Airliners Targeted In Congress, At Airports
Much more powerful forces than birds are already hard at work taking down the airlines. -- RF
Singapore Girl's Charms Fade as Airline Battle Heats Up
Britons favor 'fat tax' for overweight passengers
Airfares up for summer travel, likely to keep climbing
Lengthy queues continue at Heathrow airport
Iberia Airlines cancels 122 flights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraq's Sadr in Kurdistan to mediate crisis
"Powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr arrived in Iraq's Kurdistan region on Thursday, presenting himself as a mediator in a crisis between Iraq's premier and the region's president."
India says US has not threatened to impose any sanctions due to Iran oil import
Russia warns EU Iran oil embargo will be costly
"Russia pressed its case against new sanctions over Iran's nuclear program on Friday, saying an European Union ban on purchasing Iranian oil would end up hurting the bloc's member countries."
New US Stealth Fighters Now at Iran's Back Door
"America's most sophisticated stealth jet fighters have been quietly deployed to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran's mainland, according to an industry report, but the Air Force adamantly denied the jets' presence is a threat to the Middle East nation."
China approves dock project in disputed Paracel islands
Somali pirates change tactics to evade navy heat
Russia, U.S. to Hold Anti-terror Drills in May

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Another Mindanao power cooperative employee slain (Philippines)
Pasty tax: Bakers take protest to Downing Street (UK)
Protest against power shutdown, high rates (Pakistan)
"Industrialists burnt about 1,500 electricity bills in protest against inflated rates, severe loadshedding and discriminatory treatment towards the industry on Thursday."
Huge popular protests rattle Czech government
Clashes in Bahrain as police block protest march

## Energy/resources ##
Can renewable energy sustain consumer societies?
"Contradicting widely held assumptions, Trainer presents a formidable case that renewable energy and other 'tech-fixes' will be unable to sustain growth-based and energy-intensive consumer societies, with implications that are as profound as they will be unwelcome."
Giant Sails cut Fuel Consumption of Cargo Ship by 30%
Electricity usage hits all-time high 7th time (Thailand)
"Electricity consumption yesterday set a new all-time high for the seventh time this year due to hot weather, with average temperatures nationwide hitting 38.5C."
Brazil Electricity Consumption Rises 6.1% In March--EPE
Fort Worth City Hall shut down by power outage

## Got food? ##
The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America
Corn Prices Surge on Export Sales
"Corn prices jumped 4.6% after the federal government reported the sixth-largest export sale ever for the grain, which analysts believe is headed for China."
EU wheat prices rise on surge in CBOT corn, soy
"European milling wheat futures rose on Friday as Chinese demand for U.S. corn and soybeans helped to spark a broad-based advance in grain and oilseed prices."

## Environment/health ##
Bayer: Pesticide Profits or Bees?
Ukraine begins construction of shelter over Chernobyl nuclear plant

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Taliban website hacked as Afghan cyber war heats up
Iran's Oil Ministry under cyberattack
Iran 'mobilizing' for cyberwar with West: experts
Hackers hit Philippines websites amid China dispute
Train glitches affect 190,000 passengers in Tokyo
"Technical glitches and other problems disrupted morning train services in central Tokyo on April 27, affecting some 190,000 people, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) announced."

## Japan ##
Bank of Japan boosts bond buying by 10 trillion yen, extends duration
"The Bank of Japan, facing mounting government pressure, eased policy further on Friday by boosting its asset purchases by 10 trillion yen ($124 billion), more than markets had expected, and said it would buy longer-term government bonds in a show of resolve to pull the economy out of deflation."
US to move 9,000 Marines from southern Japan
Tepco To Be Nationalized As Early As July
UN Approves Larger Continental Shelf For Japan
Metro government raising funds in quest to purchase Senkaku Islands
Municipalities scramble to guard water resources
"Municipalities are scrambling to tighten regulations and protect their water resources against the threat of foreign acquisitions."
Honda posts 60% fall in group net profit for FY 2011
Restart of Tsuruga nuclear plant almost impossible: safety panel head
"Chances are almost nil for Japan Atomic Power Co. to resume operating its nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, due to the presence of faults running under it, the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission said Thursday."

## China ##
China unveils industrial capacity cut targets for 2012
Pig prices drop below break-even point
Chinese oil giants hit by refining losses
"Chinese oil giants Sinopec and Petrochina said they were hit by heavy refining losses in the first quarter, despite strong energy demand and higher oil prices."

## US ##
Cyber intelligence legislation passed in House of Representatives
"The House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation protecting US businesses and agencies from cyber-attacks, a measure that critics say erodes civil liberties by allowing firms to pass on private data."
U.S. expects trouble from refinery closing
"A decision to close refineries in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the U.S. northeast could mean higher gasoline and heating costs, officials said."
Mediocre GDP report even worse in the details
GDP Miss Far Bigger Than Announced; Real GDP is 0% Using More Reasonable Deflator
Four bank failures bring year's tally to 21

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