Occupy Baltimore (photo: James Cridland/flickr)

The coffee’s freshly ground, there’s a wide variety of teas and the sticky buns are homemade.

  • “Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has failed to secure the support of his coalition for a raft of new austerity measures, reports say. He was meeting officials from three parties to try to secure a deal leading to a fresh bailout package. The main stumbling block in the crunch talks was proposed cuts to supplementary pensions, reports said.”
  • “The good news is that German exports in 2011 broke all records. The bad news is that they then slumped considerably in December. In fact, German exports topped 1 trillion euros for the first time ever, but the euro crisis impacted results at the end of the year, with demand for German goods dropping at the fastest rate in almost three years.”
  • “The decision by Russia and China to veto an Arab League-inspired resolution at the United Nations Security Council has created serious strains especially between Moscow and the West. Worse, it has probably sent the wrong signal to President Assad, who many analysts believe is determined to step up the violence.”
  • “Syria is short on friends these days. Former allies all around have given up one-by-one on the government of President Bashar al-Assad as his security forces meet a popular uprising with an increasingly harsh crackdown. Turkey, once one of Assad’s most vocal supporters, for instance, is now his most vocal critic. India has also reversed its stance on Syria.”
  • “The United States is looking to cut the size of its embassy in Iraq – the largest and most expensive US diplomatic mission, officials say. A state department spokeswoman said the objective was to reduce the cost of the embassy, which employs about 2,000 diplomats and 14,000 contractors. The New York Times quoted officials as saying that the US was preparing to cut the number of staff by up to a half.”
  • “The United States and Japan are renegotiating the terms of a controversial 2006 agreement, and plan to move thousands of US Marines from Okinawa, the BBC reported. The 2006 agreement aimed to remove 8,000 Marines from Okinawa on the condition that the air base was relocated on the island. However, the deployment of troops was delayed based on this part of the plan.”  We need to give the whole island back to the Okinawans.  Now.
  • “Talks to end a week-long police strike over pay in the Brazilian state of Bahia have ended without agreement. Some 300 officers remain holed up in the state legislature in the capital, Salvador, with the building surrounded by soldiers and federal police. The strike has led to a spike in crime, with more than 100 murders in Salvador.”
  • “The ongoing investigations that led to the closure of the News of The World cost Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp $87m in the last three months of 2011, the company has announced. But the media giant shrugged off the hacking scandal as net income increased 65% for the quarter ended December 31.”
  • “The Russian Supreme Court has backed a decision that disqualifies liberal candidate Grigory Yavlinsky from running for the presidency on 4 March. The Central Election Commission said it had found irregularities in a quarter of the signatures collected by Mr Yavlinsky to take part in the campaign. Mr Yavlinsky, 59, had insisted that all the signatures were authentic.”
  • “A major fundraiser for Susan G Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer advocacy group at the centre of a row over its funding cut to Planned Parenthood, has called for the organisation to ‘clean house’ at the top, starting with the resignation of its founder Nancy Brinker.”
  • The Election We Should Be Following” by David Swanson. “For progressives and populists around the country who take an interest in Congressional races there are always a few good challengers we might hope to send to Washington. Incumbents, we assume, can take care of themselves.”
  • From Real News: “Occupy Baltimore Activists Protest Building of Youth Jail. Baltimore Occupy and Algebra Project activists are arrested by police during protest of new juvenile facility for youth charged as adults.”

For those of you go-getters who have already read the first 3 chapters of Marx’s Capital, Vol 2, Prof Harvey’s Lecture 2 is now online. I’m a slacker, I just started Chapter 1. I wanted to finish Mari Sandoz’s Crazy Horse first.

The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.