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

  • “Millions of Americans will be forced into poverty in the coming years even as the US hauls itself out of the longest and deepest recession since the second world war. A study from Indiana University, released on Wednesday, says the number of Americans living below the poverty line surged by 27% since the beginning of what it calls the ‘Great Recession’ in 2006, driving 10 million more people into poverty.”
  • “The trio who founded private equity powerhouse Carlyle Group took home more than $400m in compensation last year, according to a regulatory filing. The huge payday for the firm, which claims presidents and prime ministers among its advisers, comes as the private equity industry has fallen under intense scrutiny over the course of the race for the Republican nomination.”
  • “New analysis of oil industry contributions to members of Congress has revealed the level of the oil lobby’s financial firepower that Barack Obama can expect to face in the November elections if he refuses to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
    Obama has until 21 February to make a decision on whether to approve the pipeline, under a compromise tax measure approved late last year. America’s top oil lobbyist warned last week that the president would face ‘huge political consequences’ if he did not sign off on the project to pump tar sands crude across the American heartland to refineries on the Texas coast.”
  • “To see where the enormous sums of humanitarian aid directed to Haiti after its catastrophic earthquake in 2010 went, a good place to start is the ocean harbor. That’s where the island’s shore meets the rest of the world. And the best place for that is here at the seaport in the nation’s capital: Port-au-Prince, near the earthquake’s epicenter. There, at this moment, a gigantic ‘supermaritime’ cargo ship called the Sarine is off-loading more than five metric tons of rice that has just arrived from Miami.”
  • “A French court has rejected a bid by heirs of the founder of Renault for compensation for the loss of the car firm, nationalised in 1945. The French state took control of Louis Renault’s firm after World War II, when, under German control, it was used to make equipment for German forces.”
  • “Pakistan’s military has publicly rebuked Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani over an escalating row. The army warned of ‘serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences’ after the PM criticised military leaders in a media interview.”
  • “The trial has begun in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, of five police officers implicated in the death in custody of a blogger last year. Zakariya Rashid Hassan al-Ashiri died on 9 April, seven days after he had been arrested as part of a crackdown on pro-democracy activists in the kingdom.”
  • “The Palestinian presence in the largest part of the occupied West Bank – has been, ‘continuously undermined’ by Israel in ways that are “closing the window” on a two-state solution, according to an internal EU report seen by The Independent.”
  • Robert Fisk: “It was the Assad Speech of the Year. There was an international conspiracy against Syria. True. Arab states opposed to Syria were under ‘outside pressure’. True, up to a point. Nobody could deny the seriousness of these plots. True. After all, the Syrian government itself registers 2,000 dead soldiers, while the UN estimates civilian dead at 5,000. And when Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan warned that the violence in Syria was ‘heading towards a sectarian, religious war’, there were few supporters of President Assad who would disagree with him.”

From Real News:

Editorial cartoon

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