Opium Poppy (photo: Alistair Rae/flickr)

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

  • “Around 3,500 jobs will be cut at Royal Bank of Scotland over the next three years under plans to shrink its investment banking arm, the taxpayer-backed lender said today. In a further blow for banking sector staff, RBS subsidiary Ulster Bank said it would cut 950 jobs in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, while Barclays revealed plans to axe more than 400 posts at its technology and infrastructure division.”
  • “Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has said from the beginning of his seven-week tenure that the government’s efforts to pay down its massive debts would include across-the-board pain that would impact everyone equally. But he didn’t get much attention until he started targeting Italy’s super rich.”
  • “New research suggests piracy has led to widespread economic development in some parts of Somalia. The study, published by British think-tank Chatham House, looked at detailed satellite imagery. Regional centres have benefited from substantial investment funded by piracy, but coastal communities have missed out, the report indicates.”
  • “The price of Afghan opium rose dramatically in 2011, the UN has said. Opium poppy farmers in Afghanistan probably earned more than $1.4bn (£910m) last year – equivalent to 9% of the country’s GDP, it estimates. Prices started to rise in 2010 after the poppy crop was hit by a fungal disease.”
  • “The controversial American businessman at the centre of the ‘Memogate’ scandal threatening to bring down the government of Pakistan has told the Guardian he plans to fly into the country to tell what he describes as the ‘unaltered truth’ before the courts.”
  • “Leading French police officers close to President Nicolas Sarkozy were accused yesterday of smearing senior colleagues suspected of left-wing sympathies. According to the newspaper Le Monde, some of the most senior police officers in France have been questioned by examining magistrates after allegations of corruption brought against colleagues in 2007 turned out to have been manipulated or faked.”
  • “An end to the world’s longest running civil war — it certainly sounds big. And it could be, assuming the peace lasts and everyone’s true to their word. Today’s news: Burma’s government announced that they had reached a cease-fire with the Karen rebels, a mostly Christian ethnic group that makes up about 7 percent of the total Burmese population. A guerilla army of Karens has been fighting for independence from Burma since 1949.”

Editorial cartoon

My Name is Emmett Till

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