The coffee’s freshly ground, there’s a wide variety of teas and the sticky buns are homemade.
Happy New Year, Firepups. Welcome to the Year of the Dragon. Let’s all see what we can do to make it a very uncomfortable year for the 1%ers.
- “The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has warned that the year ahead will ‘undoubtedly’ be harder than 2011 in the starkest of a series of downbeat messages from European leaders dominated by fears over the economy. Merkel said Europe was experiencing its ‘harshest test in decades’ but would ultimately be made stronger by the crisis. Urging greater European co-operation to salvage the Euro, Merkel said the German economy was performing well ‘even if the next year will undoubtedly be more difficult than this one’.”
- From Real News: “Military Spending: Bang for the Buck? Bob Pollin: Military vs Education spending, how many jobs does one billion dollars create.”
- “An alliance of European local authorities, national governments, US film stars, Japanese shops, soft drink companies and Russian foundations have stepped in to prevent oil companies exploiting 900m barrels of crude oil from one of the world’s most biologically rich tracts of land. According to the UN, the ‘crowdfunding’ initiative had last night raised $116m, enough to temporarily halt the exploitation of the 722 square miles of “core” Amazonian rainforest known as Yasuní national park in Ecuador.”
- “Egypt has reassured the US that it will stop raids on the offices of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the US state department says. Officials said property seized in the raids would be returned to the groups, which include two based in the US. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has spoken to Egypt’s military ruler by phone to discuss the issue, they added.”
- “An Arab League advisory body has called for the immediate withdrawal of the organisation’s monitoring mission in Syria, saying it is allowing Damascus to cover up violence and abuses. The Arab League has a small team in Syria checking whether President Bashar al-Assad is keeping his promise to end a crackdown on a nine-month uprising against his rule.”
- This should get interesting. “A provincial governor in Argentina has died of a gunshot to the head while celebrating the new year with his wife. Police say the Rio Negro governor, Carlos Soria, was at home when the incident happened, shortly before 05:00 local time (08:00GMT).”
- “A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck under the sea several hundred miles south of Japan today, shaking buildings in the capital, but officials said there was no danger of a tsunami. The quake struck near the uninhabited island of Torishima in the Pacific Ocean, about 600km (370 miles) south of Tokyo, and its epicentre was about 370km (230 miles) below the sea, the Meteorological Agency said.”
- “When news broke here in early December that a young Indonesian student had doused himself in gasoline, lit a match and ran flaming toward the presidential palace, Indonesians reacted with shock and confusion. An outpouring of supporters set up vigil at the hospital where he clung to life, as speculation swirled about why the man had set himself alight.”
- Mr Robert: “How come they lasted so long? We are so keen to analyse the revolutions that tore the Middle East’s dictatorships apart this year that we have forgotten the record of endurance of these vicious men and their sheer, dogged, ruthless power to survive.”
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.