From Jenna Orkin, Rice Farmer et al.
"WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning appeared divided along party lines, with a conservative majority ready to hold that corporations cannot be held accountable in federal courts for international human rights violations."
--The Supremes are moving with lightning speed on this case, apparently fully aware that a delay in ruling might result in a massive PR issue. Of course, I didn't expect the Court to suddenly rediscover the Constitution. But everything become clearer when you understand that this ruling allows oil companies to hire gunmen and armies, and commit murder, without the slightest bit of liability or exposure. That's what happened in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.
So, if the court slams corporate personhood down our throats then the list of grievances justifying revolt becomes that much longer and more offensive. -- MCR
"PARIS — Interpol said Tuesday that 25 suspected members of the loose-knit Anonymous hacker movement have been arrested in a sweep across Europe and South America.
"The international police agency said in a statement that the arrests in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain were carried out by national law enforcement officers working under the support of Interpol's Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime.
"The suspects, aged between 17 and 40, are suspected of planning coordinated cyberattacks against institutions including Colombia's defense ministry and presidential websites, Chile's Endesa electricity company and national library, as well as other targets."
-- It seems that this thing called Anonymous is more ubiquitous than we know. Of course, as is customary with all totalitarian regimes, just labeling someone serves to evoke what TPTB hope is a visceral negative gut reaction. I'm not so sure anymore. -- MCR
Anonymous wasted no time in taking down the Interpol web site after Interpol made 25 arrests for activities in South America. We have that story on the World News Desk. -- MCR
"Hammered by the financial crisis that has led to ever diminishing income, a group of residents in northern Greece have joined forces with potato farmers to slash consumer prices and ensure producers can get their crop to markets by cutting out the middle man.
"Hundreds of families turned up Saturday in this northern Greek town to buy potatoes at massively reduced prices, sold directly by producers at cost price. They lined up in cars and with bicycles, on foot and with scooters to collect their bags of spuds from a truck that flung its doors wide open and was doing a roaring trade in the parking lot of a local courthouse."
-- This is our future if we are to survive. Embrace it. Let's hear it for System D! -- MCR
Necessity is the mother of common sense. - JO
Frankfurt Airport Strike Expands: Transport Minister Warns of 'Disastrous Consequences'
"With German union GdF slated to expand its strike on Wednesday at Frankfurt Airport, Europe's third largest, air transport could be massively disrupted in Germany and possibly globally. The airport's operator and German flag carrier Lufthansa say they will seek a court injunction to stop the strike."
Protests rock Pulwama over power shortage (Kashimir)
The Fukushima Psychiatrist: 'It's Amazing How Traumatized They Are'
"SPIEGEL ONLINE: What consequences does such a level of traumatization have?
"Shigemura: I am currently treating a man in his early forties. He had a house on the coast close to Daiichi that was destroyed by the tsunami. That's when he lost his 7-year-old son. The man had to flee and he tried to rent an apartment somewhere else. But the landlord rejected him because he works for TEPCO. When he finally found a flat the neighbors posted a paper on his door: TEPCO workers get out. Because the man received quite a high dose of radiation, he had to change to another department. Now he's got a desk job that he doesn't enjoy and isn't trained for. He is afraid that he might get ill with cancer, he is in financial difficulties because his salary was cut and he lost his house. He also has problems with his family. His mother lost her husband to the tsunami and she feels guilty, because she couldn't save him and her grandson. She cries a lot. When my patient gets home after work, he doesn't feel comfortable there either."
-- Must read!... Now, let me repeat what I have been saying consistently over the year since the earthquake. One of mankind's most-critical tasks is to safely shut down every nuclear reactor on the planet while we have the ability to do so. If we do not, then every other effort to build lifeboats that we make may prove to be utterly moot. -- MCR
No it's not: Worst-Case Meltdown 'Threatened Japan's Existence' - JO
Zero Hedge lands one right between the eyes. -- MCR
"The London Metal Exchange, the world's largest metals exchange, reports that copper stockpiles from the U.S. to China are already at 2-1/2-year lows and poised to decline for the fifth month in a row. The news has awakened the slumbering copper bulls to move speculation, sentiment and pricing to the highest level in two months."
"The industry is literally powerless in Tamil Nadu with the state electricity board (SEB) sunk in debt. With the state falling short of 4000 MW of power, the situation is going from bad to worse, reports CNBC-TV18's Swathi Narayanan."
"'The stark reality is that global LNG supply is at much greater risk than global oil supply,' analyst Pavel Molchanov of Raymond James & Associates in Houston noted in an industry brief last month."
Fuel crisis hits Mansa again (Zambia)
Sounds like safe sex! -- MCR
As real as any other "miracle." - JO
The "bottomless barrel" could also be expressed as "somebody's pockets." -- RF
"The Federation of A. P. Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (FASMME), a newly-formed organisation has said unless the power situation improves, small enterprises will collapse."
There's the C-word! -- RF
Wall St. cheers while Main St. rots. This illustrates the total disconnect between the stock markets and the real economy. -- RF
World Bank warns: China is a ticking time bomb (Paul Farrell)
"Will Super Rich in China or U.S. be first to trigger meltdown?"
Much dismay about this revelation concerning remains from the attack on the Pentagon and the crash in Shanksville. But it's history, long testified to and railed against by family members but not mentioned in today's articles, that some remains from the World Trade Center ended up at the toxic landfill in Staten Island. - JO
"Website crashes briefly following Interpol's announcement of the arrest of 25 suspected members of the hacking group Anonymous."
"Germany is the unquestioned boss amid Europe's debt crisis and economic woes. But the turnaround has inspired discomfort among its neighbors and among Germans."
"Japan and India are in talks on holding their first-ever joint naval exercises this summer, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
"The drills are intended 'as a check against China and its increasingly active maritime forays,' according to the official. That country is causing friction with its neighbors over ocean rights in the South China Sea, a crucial sea lane between Japan and India."
"The coast guard would be able to investigate illegal landings on islands and have more powers to eject ships."
"Piracy is a growing threat to West Africa's plans to double oil production over the next decade and is already having a devastating impact on ports, the UN Security Council was warned Monday.
"A growing number of attacks are being recorded in the Gulf of Guinea and entries into some ports have been cut by more than two-thirds as insurance premiums skyrocket, ministers and officials told a council debate on piracy."
"Zanzibar — FILTHINESS, water shortage and frequent shortage of fuel, unreliable electricity supply and security threats are some of the problems facing investors in Zanzibar, officials from the Zanzibar Association of Tourists Investors (ZATI) have said."
"Most engineers are too polite to tell you this but our country has a real problem on its hands. It affects you now but it is about to get a lot worse.
"Engineers tend to keep it secret because they make it their job to fix problems, to keep systems going. That's just part of being a professional engineer. But if you ask them about it directly they'll tell you that in recent times this problem has turned into an ever-increasing crisis."
The worldwide shortage of engineers keeps worsening. And it's affecting the oil industry, too. Engineers and skilled workers are the people who keep industrial civilization running, and they're getting to be in short supply around the world. – RF
Missing money: 880,000 pensions hit by Japan investment scandal
"A growing scandal around an investment company that has lost $2.3 billion has affected pensions for up to 880,000 people, Japan’s government said Tuesday.
"AIJ Investment Advisors has reportedly been lying to clients for years, boasting of annual returns of up to 240% while in fact 185 billion yen in pension investments has melted away."
"Japan's prime minister ordered workers to remain at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant last March as fears mounted of a 'devil's chain reaction' that would force tens of millions of people to flee Tokyo, a new investigative report shows."
"Out in the evacuation zone, cars lie abandoned and groceries sit untouched – but the mangled nuclear plant is alive with activity"
"The tsunami-hit Fukushima power plant remains fragile nearly a year after it suffered multiple meltdowns, its chief said Tuesday, with makeshift equipment—some mended with tape—keeping crucial systems running."
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Elpida Memory Inc.'s (6665) bankruptcy filing is having a widening impact on creditors and investors.
"A number of leasing companies, including Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. (8593) and IBJ Leasing Co. (8425), announced Tuesday that they either cannot recover the money owed to them by Elpida or could face delays in getting it back. Elpida leases semiconductor manufacturing equipment from these firms, and it owes Mitsubishi UFJ Lease 8.9 billion yen."
"Commodity futures are also on the drawing board. Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said in January that the regulator will seek to roll out more futures products and financial derivatives, including silver and crude-oil futures.
"'The launch of silver futures will be relatively easy, but oil futures will be more difficult, given the size of the oil market, the broad interests involved in it, and intense international competition,' Mr. Fang said. Still, with China responsible for '40% of incremental consumption of crude oil,' it has more potential than any other country to start a competitive oil-futures product, he said."
"A drought in Yunnan province has left 3.19 million people and 1.58 million livestock short of drinking water, the provincial government said Monday.
"Some plants had to halt production due to water shortage, costing rough losses of 10 billion yuan ($1.6 million), vice-governor Kong Chuizhu said."
"In a new move to promote the international use of China's currency, banks in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen have been given approval to launch cross-border yuan-remittance services for individuals, according to people familiar with the matter."
"Some 7,800 people die during winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly, says fuel poverty expert Professor Christine Liddell of the University of Ulster. That works out at 65 deaths a day."
"Many anti-capitalist protesters evicted from St Paul's Cathedral have moved to a nearby camp - with one activist warning there is 'more to come'."
Occupy protesters 'will be back' (BBC video)
"Nobody’s ready to start talking about the 'mean streets' of Seattle. But an alarming spike in street violence in this usually mellow city has everyone running scared. Mayor Mike McGinn, calling the increase a 'public safety emergency,' pledged Monday to beef up police patrols and urged citizens to help combat lawlessness in their neighborhoods."
"The Obama administration is considering the option of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve amid concerns that Iran will interrupt oil supplies and push gasoline prices higher, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said."