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Lakeside Diner

People should not be forced to work for free against their will. (photo: Commons:Bundesarchiv)

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

  • “Greece will not get funds from a second EU/IMF bailout until its private creditors give final approval for their losses next week, EU ministers say. Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Greece had taken all the legal action necessary to get the 130bn euro (£110bn; $175bn) bailout. But the bailout must await the debt swap with private bondholders on 8 March, he said.”
  • “The probability of a sharp, global slowdown has eased due to recent measures in the eurozone to tackle its debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday, but it warned risks to world growth remain ‘squarely to the downside’. In a report to G20 finance ministers in Mexico over the weekend and only published yesterday, the IMF said that the eurozone should act decisively on multiple fronts if it is to resolve the sovereign debt crisis.”
  • “The unemployment rate in the eurozone continued to rise in January, hitting another record high. The jobless rate in the 17 countries that use the euro rose to 10.7% in January, while December’s figure was revised up from 10.4% to 10.6%.”
  • “China’s manufacturing expanded and a key measure of its exports rose in February, a survey suggests, easing concern about an economic slowdown. China’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, an indicator of manufacturing activity, rose to 51.0 from 50.5 in January. The new export orders sub-index rose to 51.1 from 46.9. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.”
  • “Our Prime Minister certainly has few doubts about who’s orchestrating the backlash against workfare. ‘Trotskyites!’ Cameron boomed during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions; if he’d thrown in “wreckers”, it wouldn’t have been a bad impression of Andrej Vyshinsky, Stalin’s semi-hysterical prosecutor during the 1930s Show Trials. And yet Cameron barely had time to put down his ice pick before news trickled out that the Government was abandoning sanctions for the work experience scheme. Here was the vindication of that well-known Trotskyist transitional demand: that people should not be forced to work for free against their will.”
  • “Israel is pressing Barack Obama for an explicit threat of military action against Iran if sanctions fail and Tehran’s nuclear programme advances beyond specified ‘red lines’. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is expected to raise the issue at a White House meeting on Monday after weeks of intense diplomacy in which Obama has dispatched senior officials – including his intelligence, national security and military chiefs – to Jerusalem to try and dampen down talk of an attack.”
  • “Russia and China, who vetoed two previous Security Council resolutions on Syria, are also backing the call for Baroness Amos to be allowed in. It comes as the rebel Free Syrian Army said it was withdrawing from the Baba Amr district of Homs, which has been under siege for nearly a month. France says two French journalists trapped in Homs are now safely out.”
  • Robert Fisk: “He is 54 but looks 70 – ‘like an Indian yogi with a long white beard,’ as ex-Colonel Mohamed el-Ghanem’s Swiss lawyer puts it. ‘I entered his cell – I had a Swiss official next to me who formally introduced me. Colonel Ghanem was sitting on his bed with his feet on the floor. Then he lay on the bed and pulled the blanket up to his chin. He did not say a word – not a single word. For much of the time, he shut his eyes’.” Reminds me of Edmund Dantes and the Abbe Faria in the Chateau D’If.
  • “WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website, has again published a massive trove of documents, this time from a private intelligence firm known as Stratfor. The source of the leak was the hacker group Anonymous, which took credit for obtaining more than 5m emails from Stratfor’s servers. Anonymous obtained the material on 24 December 2011, and provided it to WikiLeaks, which, in turn, partnered with 25 media organizations globally to analyze the emails and publish them.”
  • “A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness. The National Institute for Health Research is funding a £1.9m trial of minocycline, which will begin recruiting patients in the UK next month. The research follows case reports from Japan in which the drug was prescribed to patients with schizophrenia who had infections and led to dramatic improvements in their psychotic symptoms.” Could be a huge breakthrough. Psychotropics today have some heavy duty side effects. These unfortunate people can use all the help they can get.

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine Last chance. If you haven’t already, share this video with others. Bet yer glad this plug is over, huh.

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

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