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

  • Bill Moyer’s Journal is back and is online. From Friday’s show: “Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.” (38 min segment)
  • “China has criticised sanctions imposed by the US on a Chinese firm for selling refined petroleum products to Iran. China’s foreign ministry said imposing unilateral sanctions on Zhuhai Zhenrong based on US law was ‘unreasonable’. The US said on Thursday Zhuhai Zhenrong was one of three international firms to be punished for dealing with Iran.”
  • “A blast has hit a Shia Muslim religious procession, killing 18 people and wounding 20 others, in Pakistan’s central Punjab province, local police say.”
  • “Pakistan’s embattled government is preparing to call early elections in an attempt to find a way out of the political crisis that has paralysed the country, as a confidence vote in parliament and critical court cases loom on Monday. At war with the courts, the opposition and the military establishment, President Asif Zardari’s administration has agreed to an opposition demand to hold early national polls, but only after the separate election takes place in March for the Senate, the upper house of parliament, according to members of the ruling coalition and its advisers.”
  • “Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has made a surprise visit to Nepal and announced Beijing with provide the Himalayan nation with $119 million in aid for economic development. Wen, who arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday on his way to the Middle East to attend the Fifth World Future Energy summit in Abu Dhabi, and met with his Nepalese counterpart, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.”
  • “The UN in Somalia says tens of thousands of people will have died of starvation by the time the famine in the Horn of Africa ends. The food crisis was declared in Somalia six months ago and levels of need are expected to remain high until July or August. UN aid chief in Somalia, Mark Bowden, told the BBC malnutrition rates there were the highest in the world.”
  • “Valetin Abe probably never saw himself as the savior of 17 different villages in Haiti in the post-earthquake world of 2010 and 2011. A native of the Ivory Coast and a Fulbright Fellow at Auburn University who was finishing up his Ph.D. studies in aquaculture a few years ago, he was sent to Haiti by the university and some of their supporters ‘to examine what might be possible to accomplish with this kind of farming here.’ Tilapia farming, that is.”
  • “He is one of the most vilified men in the highly vilified field of climate science, yet Professor Michael Mann is surprisingly jolly. Despite being the focus of a brutal campaign orchestrated by the fossil-fuel industry and senior politicians within the US Republican Party, Mann’s cheery stoicism is positively infectious. ‘I’ve been the focus for attack by those who deny the reality of climate change for so long that it almost seems like forever,’ the professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University says. ‘I’m a reluctant public figure, but I have embraced the opportunity to communicate the science’.”
  • “A new round of modest constitutional reforms proposed by the king of Bahrain will do little to stop the nearly year-old uprising in the island kingdom, activists and opposition leaders said on Sunday. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa delivered a televised address on Sunday morning in which pledged to limit the power of the executive branch. Under the proposed reforms, members of parliament would have more power to question cabinet ministers, and more protection from dismissal by the king.”
  • The Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr would have been 83 years old yesterday. I particularly like his speech to the sanitation workers in Memphis on the night before he was murdered, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” The audio player is below the video excerpt.

Editorial cartoon

Prof Richard Wolff’s weekly radio broadcast, Economic Update. Scroll down to Saturday, 14 January, 12:00pm. His topic this week is public vs private sector enterprise.

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