- “Hopes of a debt deal between Greece and its private creditors in time for Monday’s eurozone meeting have been dashed, amid increased pressure on bondholders to accept bigger losses. After being close to a breakthrough, the high-stakes talks – aimed at averting a Greek default by slashing the country’s monumental debt load – were set back when the International Monetary Fund and Germany insisted that investors agree to reduced interest rates on new bonds.” Greg Palast had an interesting comment on the Eurocrisis at yesterday’s Book Saloon. The whole post is worth reading.
- “It came to a very British end, this most Russian saga. The barristers thanked the judge, the judge thanked the typists and the translators and, after nearly four months of quite extraordinary testimony, all rose and filed out of the neon striplit box that is Court 26 of London’s new Commercial Court, and returned to their wildly different lives.”
While the average American was glued to either Goat Rodeo 2012 or some other mindless pablum this weekend, there were things going on elsewhere in the world.
- “Syria has condemned a new Arab League initiative that calls on President Bashar al-Assad to cede power by holding early elections and forming a ‘national unity government’. Syrian state television, quoting an unnamed official source, said early on Monday morning that the resolution, passed on Sunday night, contradicted the will of the Syrian people and was a violation of its national sovereignty. The source said the resolution was part of a conspiracy against the Syrian people.”
- “The decision by Khaled Meshaal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, not to seek re-election when his term is up later this year has cast uncertainty on the movement’s recent shift towards a more moderate approach in its struggle against Israel.”
- “The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which represents Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has won 47 per cent of all seats in the country’s election for the lower house of parliament, the election commission has said. The FJP won 235 seats in the new People’s Assembly, Abdel Moez Ibrahim, the head of the country’s election commission, announced on Saturday. It also secured 127 seats on party lists, while its candidates won another 108 in first-past-the-post constituency votes, where votes were cast for individual candidates.”
- “The prominent US-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced the release of its annual report today in Cairo, in a move its executive director said is meant to reflect the report’s primary focus on the so-called “Arab Spring,” and that came with harsh words for Egypt’s ruling generals one year after a popular uprising here.”
- “The chief Egyptian military prosecutor decided to pardon a blogger, who was jailed for criticizing the army, among nearly 2,000 detainees, on the one-year anniversary of the Egyptian uprising that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, the Associated Press reported. Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad was arrested in March and sentenced to two years in prison after he was charged with criticizing the army and publishing false information. He posted blogs comparing the military to Mubarak’s regime, which is usually voiced by protesters, the AP reported.”
- “Thousands of Yemenis have taken to the streets of the capital Sanaa in protest against a law granting President Ali Abdullah Saleh full immunity from prosecution over his government’s vicious crackdown during a year-long uprising. Tens of thousands of demonstrators demanded the president be put on trial and executed for crimes they say he committed during his 33 years in power, the AFP reported.”
- “On a vast stage in a hanger north of Paris, in front of thousands of screaming fans, stood a man in a sober suit and sensible tie. This was France’s self-styled Mr Ordinary, who once appeared so jovial, placid and unthreatening that his own party called him The Marshmallow.”
- Tariq Ali on Democracy Now!: Obama’s Expansion of Af-Pak War “Has Blown Up in His Face”
- Prof Richard Wolff’s weekly radio broadcast: Economic Update. Scroll down to Saturday, 21 Jan, 12:00pm. A discussion with Mark Provost about the difference between income and wealth is the main topic. Good show.
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.