The Costa Concordia (photo: darkroom productions/flickr)

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

  • “Fidel Castro has lambasted the Republican presidential race as the greatest competition of ‘idiocy and ignorance’ the world has ever seen, and also criticised the news media and foreign governments for seizing on the death of a Cuban prisoner to demand greater respect for human rights. Castro’s comments came in a long opinion piece carried by official media two days after a Republican debate in Florida presented mostly hardline stances on what to do about the Communist-run island.”
  • “The UK was staring down the barrel of another recession today after the economy shrank more than expected at the end of last year. Declines in the manufacturing and construction sectors drove a 0.2% fall in GDP in the final quarter of 2011, according to an initial estimate by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).”
  • “Germany is determined to play a full part in combating the eurozone crisis but will not commit to anything that it cannot deliver, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor has told delegates at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.”
  • “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that global crude prices could rise as much as 30 per cent if Iran halted oil exports as a result of US and European Union sanctions. If Iran halts exports to countries without offsets from other sources, it would likely trigger an ‘initial’ oil price jump of 20 to 30 per cent, or about $20 to $30 per barrel, the IMF said in its first public comment on a possible Iranian oil supply disruption.”
  • “India could be on a collision course with the United States and European Union after officials in Delhi made clear they intended to carry on importing oil from Iran, despite the imposition of Western sanctions against Tehran.”
  • “Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, has warned that tougher sanctions need to be imposed on Iran despite the unprecedented oil embargo agreed by the European Union earlier this week. Although he conceded the EU measures would add significant pressure to the Tehran regime, Barak told Israel Radio the embargo was unlikely to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. ‘In my opinion, we are not there yet,’ he said.”
  • “China has confirmed that a Tibetan was shot dead by security forces in Sichuan province, in the second day of unrest this week. Local officials said a mob attacked a police station in Seda county on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.”
  • “The US owner of the passenger liner wrecked off the Italian coast 12 days ago with the loss of up to 32 lives was accused last night of failing to take responsibility for the tragedy, as prosecutors shone a light on failed safety procedures. Angry consumer groups are demanding to know why Micky Arison, the billionaire head of Costa Cruise’s Miami-based parent company, Carnival Corporation, has failed to make an appearance on the island of Giglio, where passengers’ bodies are still being dragged out of the wrecked Costa Concordia.”
  • “The Palestinians were last night preparing to walk away from talks with Israel aimed at reviving peace negotiations as international mediators frantically shuttled between Ramallah and Jerusalem in an attempt to keep the peace process alive. Palestinian representatives believe that negotiations have run their course as a deadline for both sides to present proposals on borders and security expires today. Israel, which has criticised the deadline as ‘artificial,’ said talks should continue.”
  • Ralph Nader was on Democracy Now! yesterday morning commenting on Osterity’s campaign speech Tuesday night. “He Says One Thing and Does Another.”
  • “This Friday, January 27th, the first video from the new Reading Marx’s Capital Volume II series will debut on this website. The sequel to Reading Marx’s Capital Volume I, this free semester-long open course consists of a close reading of the text of Marx’s Capital Volume II (plus parts of Volume III) in 12 video lectures by Professor David Harvey.”

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