Tuesday, December 25, 2012


News Links, December 25-26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
EU to give Spain, France more time to cut deficit: press
It's hopeless. -- RF
Greece Should Write Off Billions of Overdue Taxes, Report Says
"Greece should write off part of the 53 billion euros ($70 billion) of outstanding taxes owed to it as it will only be able to collect up to 20 percent of that amount, a report by the European Union and International Monetary Fund showed."
ArcelorMittal Dofasco pension plan facing $500m shortfall (Canada)
Vietnam Expanded at Slowest Pace Since 1999 After Lending Slump
Dubai ruler announces new mega city project
"No value has been given for the project but plans include building the world's biggest shopping mall, a Universal family theme park and a park that is a third bigger than Hyde Park in London."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Dubai is setting itself up for one heckuva crash. Keep watching for that second exodus of foreign workers. -- RF
Israeli Central Bank Cuts Key Rate to 1.75% from 2%
UN Adds About 5 Percent to Budget for 2012-2013

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air India to cut wages to bring down costs
Pinnacle Airlines lost nearly $10 million in November
Problems with new 787 Dreamliner continue to plague Boeing
Lufthansa cancels India flights till Jan 1
AI makes one more attempt to soar
High costs to deter FDI in airlines: IATA

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran launches international insurance company to insure its oil tankers
Iran begins naval war games: reports
Russian warships begin military exercises
Wave of nationalism sweeps through Northeast Asia
South Korea to Buy $1.2 Billion in Drones Under U.S. Plan
Poverty and fear of gangs drive young immigrants to U.S.
Afghan policewoman kills coalition contractor in Kabul: NATO
Pirates attack ship off Nigeria, kidnap four: agency
Russian military presence in Syria poses challenge to US-led intervention
Syrian refugees face harsh winter in desperate conditions
Policewoman who killed US aide in Kabul 'is Iranian'
"A policewoman who shot dead a US civilian aide at the police headquarters in Kabul is an Iranian national, Afghan authorities say. The woman, believed to have mental health problems, joined the security forces using an illegally obtained Afghan identity card."
As we all know, people with mental health problems make good patsies. -- RF
U.S. Military Builds Up Its Presence In Africa
Into Africa: US to Send Troops to 35 Nations Next Year
Looks like a pivot to Africa. -- RF
Israel tightens grip on east Jerusalem by approving another 1,242 new homes
Israeli subs operated in foreign waters: report

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Dockworkers at Northwest ports reject pact offer

## Energy/resources ##
Tech Talk - Iranian Potential and the Caspian Disputes
Tanker Carrying Bakken Oil to Canadian Refinery Runs Aground
Petrol shortage worsens, few hours to Christmas (Nigeria)
Syrian government gets badly needed diesel cargoes from Russia
First breeder reactor a far-fetched dream?
Power outage affects hundreds in Staten Island's Eltingville neighborhood
Male' could face street light black out over unpaid electricity bill, city mayor claims (Maldives)
Theft of metals and oil from churches a growing concern (Ireland)
Why Barclays is maintaining 2013 Brent Crude OIl forecast of $125/bl
German Utilities Pay Power Users as Warm, Windy Christmas Looms
LUKOIL says "no" to Iraq's West Qurna-1
The Great Oil Swindle: why the new black gold rush leads off a fiscal cliff
"A recent spate of official reports from energy agencies are predicting a rosy future of economic growth underpinned by cheap oil abundance. However, as Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed shows, scientific evidence largely ignored by mainstream media confirms that while we have enough oil and gas to burn our way to climate catastrophe, the age of cheap oil abundance is a myth."
Russia Launches Second Leg of Pacific Oil Pipeline

## Got food? ##
Nanoparticles in food
Mainland faces food shortage as prices begin to bite (Tanzania)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
New Year's Resolutions For a More Simplified and Peaceful Life

## Environment/health ##
Thousands still homeless after Evan
New Report Finds That West Antarctica Is Warming at an Alarming Rate
Environment minister Richard Benyon says Britain must plan for 'changing weather patterns'
Southwest US will have less surface water over next decade, says study
Mutant strain of noroviruses spreading (Japan)

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Spy State Tightens its Grip
E-book restrictions leave 'buyers' with few rights
Major Cloud Outages Of 2012 To Learn From
Netflix suffers outage, blames Amazon: WSJ
Iran foils new cyber attack on industrial units: report
Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email
Tajikistan blocks scores of websites as election looms

## Systemic breakdown ##
It's Not a "Fiscal Cliff" … It's the Descent Into Lawlessness
Post-Hyperinflationary Zimbabwe Welcomes The Holidays With 80% Unemployment, Empty ATMs And Paralyzed Transport

## Japan ##
Sumitomo unit eyes loan machines
"Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.'s consumer finance and core banking units will jointly develop a machine that will allow customers to apply for consumer loans without having to meet counter staff."
Fukushima children getting fat due to lack of outdoor activities
"Children in nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture are getting fatter due to a lack of outdoor exercise over fears of radiation exposure, the government said Tuesday in its school health report."
Fault-linked nuke plants sitting on 800 tons of fuel
"A combined 800 tons of spent nuclear fuel is being stored at two power stations thought to have active quake faults running underneath them."
Contaminated water leakage from reactor6, "already absorbed into the ground"
Japanese pay 18% of world's total insurance premiums
Shortage of helium gas hurts Japanese firms
Japan's contribution to U.N. budget drops to 10.83%, half the peak
Tokyo gov't takes steps to reduce dependence on TEPCO for power
Teachers too busy to deal with struggling students
"About 5,200 teachers at public schools in Japan took sick leave due to mental illness in the 2011 academic year, the Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology Ministry announced on Dec. 24, highlighting a school environment in which teachers become too busy to sufficiently deal with their students and guardians as well as their own desk work."
DBJ to offer ¥500 billion in loans
"The Development Bank of Japan will invest and loan more than ¥500 billion to enhance Japanese companies' international competitiveness over the next three years, according to sources."

## China ##
Construction of World's First Demonstration High-Temperature Nuclear Reactor Begins in China
Almost 40% of China's public afraid to go out at night: survey
Platts Report: China's Oil Demand Hits Record High in November
China's Largest Private Shipbuilder Warns of Full-Year Loss

## UK ##
U.K. House Prices Fall as Hometrack Sees Further Decline in 2013
£460m deficit in Tata pension fund, Scunthorpe steelworkers and veterans told
Street lights to be turned off
Police use Tasers on children more than 80 times in 6 years
Concerns over use of Taser guns on vulnerable people
Schools banned from fingerprinting pupils
If we live longer, we'll have to work longer
"The age at which workers receive the state pension will rise automatically in line with future improvements in longevity under government plans reported today."

## US ##
Muni Bond Funds Plunge
Student food banks fight hunger on campus
The Billion-Dollar Pension Shortfall Of Colgate-Palmolive
City of Jacksonville has a plan to turn off more than 2,300 streetlights and save around $300,000
Empty homes in Fairbanks target for heating oil thieves
Deportations of illegal immigrants in 2012 reach new US record
2 firefighters shot dead, 2 hurt in 'trap' at fire in upstate N.Y.
Why Do People Steal Meat From Grocery Stores?
25 Facts That The Mainstream Media Doesn't Really Want To Talk About Right Now
Defense Department prepares for cuts
Study: More FOIA complaints under Obama
NRC to consider solar flare nuclear safety petition
Susquehanna nuclear Unit 2 shuts down twice in one week
Expected Longshoreman Strike Could Be Another Blow to the Economy

And finally…
Santa robs safe in Australian mall
Christmas elves arrested after assault

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