Wednesday, April 04, 2012


News Links, April 5, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Europe's central bank looks in vain for growth
Markets slide as Spanish bond yields soar
Rajoy Says Spain in 'Extreme Difficulty' as Bond Demand Drops
Australia Trade Deficit Rings Alarms Bells
Australia's Export Slump Intensifies Rate-Cut Pressure: Economy
Indian Corporate Default Rate at 10-Year High
Consolidation in steel industry will continue - Schmolz Bickenbach COO
Commerzbank's Shipping Loan Losses Seen Increasing: Freight
"As soaring fuel costs and slumping freight rates leave shipping companies struggling to pay their creditors, Commerzbank AG (CBK) may face shipping-loan losses of as much as 441 million euros ($588 million) this year."
Baltic index turns negative for 1st time since late Feb
Jobless figure reaches 448,000 (Saudi Arabia)
Yahoo moves to lay off 2,000 employees
Is Ireland's Property Tax Revolt the End of Austerity? Don't Bet on It
Cash jobs crackdown by IRD (New Zealand)
"Sixteen cash-dominated industries including restaurants and electricians are being targeted by Inland Revenue as part of its crackdown on the underground "cash" economy."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Royal Jordanian seeks merger as competition, fuel squeeze profit
Australian aviation market shows signs of slowdown just as airlines were enjoying yield premiums
Airline Consolidation Brings Turbulence to Elite Flight Status

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraq says Iran proposes Baghdad as nuclear talks venue
"Iran has proposed holding the next round of talks with six world powers over its disputed nuclear program next week in Iraq instead of Turkey, Iraq's foreign minister said on Wednesday."
Will overfishing by foreigners drive Senegalese fishermen to piracy?
"The complaints made by Somali fishermen some years ago about illegal fishing are very similar to those being voiced by the fishermen of Senegal today"
EU antipiracy force to 'seize initiative'
"The European Union's anti-piracy military force will become more proactive in the fight against pirates, the departing force commander said Tuesday, in an effort to seize the initiative in an evolving battle that is moving closer to land."
In Major Policy shift, Turkey to Buy Libyan Crude to Replace Iranian (but not right away)
However, yesterday we saw that South African oil imports from Iran jumped from zero to $364 million. It's a zero-sum game. Somebody will always need Iran's oil. -- RF
Japan, Britain in talks on joint arms development
"Japan and Britain hope to reach a deal to begin joint development of arms following Tokyo's easing of its ban on exports of military equipment late last year, Britain's Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday."
Warring militias in west Libya vow no let-up in fight
Melting Arctic Ice May Usher in New Era of Geopolitical Conflict
Arabian Sea caught in China-India standoff
Japan govt mulls providing patrol ships to R.P.
"The government is considering providing the Philippines with patrol vessels and a sea-ground communications system as part of its official development assistance, according to sources.
"The move is apparently intended to secure the safety of the nation's sea-lanes and help the Philippines boost its maritime security against piracy and counter China, whose maritime activities in the South China Sea have strained its bilateral relationship with the Philippines."
U.S. Should Broaden Mil-to-Mil Ties in Asia Pacific: Ng
"The United States needs to focus on building military-to-military relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region as it increases its activities there according to Singapore's defense minister."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Austerity suicide: Greek pensioner shoots himself in Athens
"A cash-strapped Greek pensioner who said he feared having to 'scrounge for food' shot himself dead in Athens' main square in the latest in a series of suicides and attempted suicides triggered by European austerity measures."

## Energy/resources ##
Massive blackout in Cyprus
"An electric company spokesman says the whole island of Cyprus is waking up without electricity after a problem at one of the island's power plants resulted in the entire grid shutting down."
Italians Get Sticker Shock at the Gas Pump
Crazy gas prices driving German consumers mad
Gov't eyes power barges, Iligan diesel plant to address Mindanao power shortage (Philippines)
Dreams Of A Mining Future On Hold In Afghanistan
Middle East gasoil premia seen surging into summer
"Gasoil premiums in the Gulf Middle East have climbed to one-year highs, with tight supplies and firm demand likely to keep upward pressure on prices in May and June after a brief dip in late April, traders said.
"Saudi Aramco's gasoil buying throughout March and cargoes it has already booked for April to plug a supply shortage caused by refinery maintenance, combined with demand from East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania, has pushed up premiums."
Yemen Increases Prices for Diesel and Kerosene by 50 Percent
High gas prices may mean tough summer for motorists (Canada)

## Got food? ##
Farmers: Get ready for bust in local produce prices (US)
Food inflation will spike in coming months (India)

## Environment/health ##
All 10 rivers in Tripura run dry (India)
Birds sing louder than 30 years ago to be heard over city din
Bottled water industry wages PR battle against tap water movement

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Security lapse at Birmingham Airport amid power cut and computer crash
Accused September 11 mastermind referred to trial at Guantanamo
Oh, brother! -- RF
Worse Than SOPA! New CISPA Cybersecurity Bill Will Censor The Internet!

## Japan ##
Japan heading for energy death spiral?
Staying cool in the heat / Drink, ice-cream makers bracing for summer power shortage
Cash-strapped TEPCO may forgo summer bonuses
Executives can survive without their bonuses, but in Japan the rank-and-file workers depend on twice-yearly bonuses to make ends meet and boost their savings. -- RF
Long-term no-go areas considered
"The government is considering designating areas near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as off-limits for residents for an extensive period, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Wednesday."
Smelt in Gunma lake four times over new legal radiation limit
And who will go to prison for this crime? -- RF
Storm briefly halts cooling system at Onagawa nuclear plant

## China ##
Diesel costs hamper cremation industry
"Shanghai's funeral homes said they have lost money when cremating bodies in recent years because of an increase in diesel prices."
Low cost era over for China's workshops to the world
That's why we need Myanmar. -- RF

## UK ##
Petrol prices hit 170p at some garages as strike talks begin

## US ##
Insider Trading Laws Do Not Apply to Members of Congress. No, Seriously.
"Surprised? You may be even more surprised to learn that congressional staffers and lobbyists are also exempt from insider trading regulations."
Americans brace for next foreclosure wave
US gasoline demand at lowest since 2001 in Jan-EIA
Car prices at record highs - and rising

And finally… Pawn shop worker accidentally shot in butt

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