Thursday, May 17, 2012


News Links, May 18, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spain GDP Contracts
Spain beset by bank crisis, recession, bond pressure
Moody's downgrades 16 Spanish banks
Moody's downgrades Spanish regions
"Spain got yet another slap in the face Thursday, when Moody's Investors Service downgraded four regions of the country due to their poor fiscal performance.
"The credit ratings agency issued the downgrade of Catalunya, Murcia, Andalucia and Extremadura because the regional governments are using massive amounts of debt to fund their operations and are unlikely to meet a financial target set by Spain's central government."
Nationalized Spanish Bank Plummets On News Of Bank Run
We Are Watching The Greek Banking System Die Right In Front Of Our Eyes
Euro area official sector exposures to Greece in excess of EUR 290bn Total; EUR 84bn Germany, EUR 63bn France, EUR 55bn Italy, EUR 37bn Spain (Mish)
Singapore Q1 economic growth slows to 1.6 percent
Exclusive: ECB stops operations with some Greek banks
"The European Central Bank has stopped providing liquidity to some Greek banks as they have not been successfully recapitalized, the ECB said on Wednesday, confirming news earlier reported exclusively by Reuters."
12-year-old Ontario girl slams modern banking system, becomes YouTube hit
Global trade well below pre-crisis trend: survey

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Frontier Airlines ending direct flights to Milwaukee

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Empire Holds Its War Council in Chicago
Chinese boats seized by North Koreans in rare public spat
South Korea and Japan want EU insurance for Iran oil post - Embargo
"The News reported that South Korea and Japan are asking the European Union to give them access to European insurance for Iranian oil shipments even after July 1st 2012 embargo comes into effect."
S.Africa "confident" of solution to Iran oil ban
"South Africa, which receives a quarter of its crude from Iran, is holding almost daily discussions with the United States, EU Union and Iran about reducing its purchases and is 'confident' a deal can be struck to avert U.S. sanctions, a senior energy official said on Thursday."
Analysis: Saudi Gulf union plan stumbles as wary leaders seek detail
Turkish jets stop 'Israeli violation' of airspace
"Turkey says it scrambled two military jets to chase away an Israeli plane which allegedly violated the airspace of Turkish-held northern Cyprus."
Chile advances plan to build submarine
"Chile is going ahead with plans to build its own submarine and patrol boats as part of a program to develop the Latin American nation's defense manufacturing industry."
No progress on island row in 1st Japan-China sea talks
The top issues at the NATO summit
Pakistan Reopens NATO Supply Routes for $1 Million Per Day

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Russian police detain protest leader, five others
Pre-NATO situation under control: Chicago police

## Energy/resources ##
India cannot afford import of large quantities of crude oil:FM 
"Amid rising global crude oil prices, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today warned of 'disastrous consequences' if corrective steps are not taken to deal with the problem as India cannot afford import of large quantities at high prices.
"'Petroleum prices are increasing by leaps and bounds. We cannot keep them under any carpet. If we do not take corrective measures, we will have to face disastrous consequences,' he said."
Several power plants to shut down on dearth of fuel, transmission facilities (India)
No Ties Or Hand-Driers As South Korea Readies For Hot Spell
Summer Power-Saving Measures for Businesses Announced (Korea)
"Power-saving measures for the summer will take effect from June 1, one month earlier than usual, as there are already warning signs of an electricity shortage due to freak hot weather."
Power-saving efforts alone insufficient to overcome shortage (Japan)
Pipeline Reversal from Cushing to Gulf Coast is Complete
"Crude from the Bakken oil play and the Canadian oil sands sells at a steep discount to Brent crude, which sets the price benchmark on the Gulf Coast. Producers hope to boost the price they get for their crude if they can just get the black stuff to more liquid market. For consumers, closing the price differential will very likely mean higher prices."
India asks U.S. to supply liquid shale gas: source
Diesel shortage grounds 150 fishing boats
Syria raises price for scarce diesel
US gas giant works to avoid Israel electric shortage
Power shortfall widens: exemption to textile sector withdrawn (Pakistan)
Ethanol In Gasoline Potentially Harmful To Millions Of Engines, Says Report

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thefts: statue of Christ, crucifix and hundreds of cemetery memorial plaques found in raid on scrapyard (UK)
"Hundreds of memorial plaques from churches and crematoriums, a statue of Christ and entire intact cross were among a major haul of items seized by police in a raid on scrap metal dealer's yard."

## Got food? ##
Resilience or death: Preparing our farms for the end of agriculture (…as we know it)
"No civilization has ever faced the agricultural challenges confronting us over the coming decades. Ever. And if we can pull it off – wherever we CAN pull it off – it will necessarily be with an agriculture of maximum resilience; an agriculture that can get knocked down and stagger back up again and again and again. So let's do this."
Free and Cheap Stuff for Your Garden

## Environment/health ##
Nuclear Cheerleaders Use Voodoo Science to Pretend Low Levels of Radiation Are Safe … Or Even Good For You
UK Climate Experiment Canceled On Patent Concerns
"British scientists have abandoned an experiment to test the possibility of spraying particles into the upper atmosphere to stem global warming, largely due to concerns over a patent for some of the technology, the project's leader said."
Total Finally Stop Gas Leak at North Sea Well
Fracking's Methane Trail: A Detective Story
Critics cry foul over Ohio frack proposals
"A measure passed by the Ohio Senate on hydraulic fracturing falls short of what's needed for responsible environmental oversight, an advocacy group said."
Brazil Navy investigates new oil spill off coast
'Queen of Disco' Donna Summer 'thought she became ill after inhaling 9/11 particles'
"Donna Summer, the 1970s pop singer known as the Queen of Disco, has died of lung cancer, an illness she believes she contracted from inhaling toxic particles released after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York."
Agent Orange 'tested in Okinawa'
"Recently uncovered documents show that the United States conducted top-secret tests of Agent Orange in Okinawa in 1962, according to a veterans services employee."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
9 Scary Ways Criminals Use Facebook to Scam and Rob You
100 Rio buildings risk collapse, official says
"More than 100 abandoned buildings in Rio de Janeiro are in such poor condition they are at risk of collapsing, the head of a regional engineering agency said Wednesday, a day after part of a two-story building crumbled in the Olympic city's colonial downtown."
Italy deploys 20,000 to protect sensitive targets
"Italy increased security Thursday at 14,000 sites, and assigned bodyguards to protect 550 individuals after a nuclear energy company official was shot and letter bombs directed to the tax collection agency."
Japan, Australia sign security information deal
"Japan and Australia on Thursday signed an agreement that will allow them to share intelligence as the Asia-Pacific region adapts to the rising power of China."

## Japan ##
Japan's GDP Accelerates on Government Outlays
"It's unclear, though, how long Japan itself can continue on that path, with policymakers also focused on trying to boost taxes to reign in the country's sovereign debt which is twice the size of its economy, the worst level among industrialized nations, and even worse than Greece."
Japan Hokkaido to shut 700-MW coal unit for turnaround
"Due partly to the unit's shutdown, the company sees a 1.9 percent power shortage in August, and is expected to call on its customers to curb consumption during the peak power season."
Japan Launches Commercial Rocket Business
Hot dog! It's a new era! -- RF
Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ freezes Iran transactions on U.S. court order
"The head of the Japan's banking lobby group said the action could affect crude imports, although the country's biggest refiner said it was not facing a problem paying for Iranian oil."
Ending an era, Toshiba pulls the plug on making televisions in Japan
Govt claims cyberdefense right / Says international laws should be applied to computer infiltration
"The Foreign Ministry believes Japan has the right of self-defense against cyber-attacks through existing international laws including the U.N. Charter, it has been learned."

## China ##
China's Economic Slowdown Foreshadows Trouble for the U.S.

## UK ##
Don't come dine with me: Britons shun dinner parties as costs soar
Energy bill rises push more into fuel poverty
How many "excess deaths" next winter? -- RF
Met Police uses 'quick' mobile data extraction system against suspects

## US ##
Food Stamp Use Picks Up Again, In Los Angeles County
"After a winter lull, food stamp participation in Los Angeles County picked up again in March, to rise to a new all time high of 1,036,078 persons."
HP mulls cutting at least 25,000 jobs: sources
Postal Service to close, consolidate 140 mail sites
Confidence Sinks as U.S. Job Market Progress Stalls: Economy
California's financial apocalypse: A concise guide
Markets: Technical Picture Deteriorates
JPMorgan's Trading Loss Is Said to Rise at Least 50%

And finally… Here Are 10 Reasons Not to Buy Facebook Before You Buy It Anyway

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