(photo: avlxyz/flickr)

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

Two stories as reported by both The Guardian and Al-Jazeera:

  • “A suicide attack killed five people at the interior ministry in Baghdad as a key political bloc called for early elections in a worsening standoff that has stoked sectarian tensions. The blast, which left dozens wounded on Monday, came just days after the capital was struck by its deadliest violence in more than four months. The parliamentary coailtion loyal to anti-US Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said it backed the dissolution of parliament and early elections in a dispute that has seen Iraq’s Sunni vice president accused of running a death squad and a deputy prime minister call the government a ‘dictatorship’.”
  • “At least six people have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack on Iraq’s interior ministry, the latest since a crisis erupted between the country’s Shia-led government and Sunni leaders a week ago. The prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia, ordered the arrest of the vice-president, a Sunni, last Monday and asked parliament to fire his deputy, a move that threatens a new wave of sectarian strife just after the withdrawal of the last US troops.”

(nobody could have predicted, right?) and

  • “Iran has suspended the punishment of death by stoning for a woman convicted of adultery, the country’s foreign ministry said. A spokesman for the ministry said on Wednesday that government officials will review the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was convicted of adultery in 2006.”
  • “An Iranian woman whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery provoked an international outcry could be executed by hanging instead, the country’s judicial authorities have indicated. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 44-year-old mother of two, was convicted of conducting an “illicit relationship outside marriage” in 2006 and has since been kept in Tabriz prison in the west of Iran.”

Barbaric, yeah, that’s about right. Right up there with shooting, hanging, gassing, beheading and myriad other ways we’ve devised to do away with our brothers and sisters.

  • From Real News: “Israeli Tree Campaign ‘Judaizes’ Expropriated Land. Jewish National Fund’s practice of selling and leasing land exclusively to Jewish owners is met with growing opposition.”
  • Brazil has overtaken the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, an economic research group has said. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said its latest World Economic League Table showed Asian countries moving up and European countries falling back.”
  • China and Japan have unveiled plans to promote direct exchange of their currencies in a bid to cut costs for companies and boost bilateral trade. The deal will allow firms to convert the Chinese and Japanese currencies directly into each other.”

Editorial Cartoon

RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism “In this RSA Animate, renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?”

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