Aung San Suu Kyi (with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

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

  • “Two decades after Burma’s army crushed her campaign rallies and voided her election to the premier’s seat, Aung San Suu Kyi is campaigning on Burmese television. Don’t expect theatrics: the pro-democracy icon is straightforward and stiff throughout her televised speech.”
  • “China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has delivered a strong warning about the ‘urgent’ need for reforms, without which, he said, tragedies such as the Cultural Revolution could still happen. He was speaking after his last National People’s Congress news conference. He added that China’s decision to cut its economic growth target to 7.5% for 2012 was essential to sustain growth.”
  • “Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising against his rule, according to a cache of what appear to be several thousand emails received and sent by the Syrian leader and his wife. The Syrian leader was also briefed in detail about the presence of western journalists in the Baba Amr district of Homs and urged to “tighten the security grip” on the opposition-held city in November.”
  • “Amnesty International today issued a chilling report revealing the pervasive use of torture on civilians by government forces while in Damascus. The visiting UN envoy is set to weigh in on Assad’s response to the UN-proposed peace plan, according to Reuters.”
  • “As evidence emerges of more massacres by Syrian forces, one of two key veto-wielding nations protecting the regime from international action looks set to soften its stance: China. Having vetoed only six UN Security Council resolutions in its history — the majority of them related to Taiwan, a nation China sees as a breakaway part of its sovereign territory — diplomats and observers say Beijing is unlikely to use its veto for a third time to protect the Syrian government.”
  • “The cost of solar power in North Carolina is falling steeply, a state trade group reported, providing the first real evidence of a trend that is likely occurring in other states that are harnessing the power of the sun. The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems dropped by 36 percent in North Carolina between 2006 and 2011, from $8.50 to $5.44 per watt. All the while, fossil fuel costs jumped three percent on average in the state every year of the past decade, the report found.”
  • “American racism will always cripple its ability to occupy non-white countries, whose people the U.S. fundamentally disrespects. “The United States cannot help but be a serial abuser of the rights of the people it occupies, especially those who are thought of as non-white, because it is a thoroughly racist nation.” The latest atrocities in Afghanistan are just par for the course.”
  • “Amazonia is much more than just the earth’s lungs: it is home to 20 per cent of the world’s fauna, 20 per cent of its fresh water reserves and countless animal species. In the 1960s and 1970s, Brazil started the conquest of the massive ancient forest in order to increase the country’s prosperity – a people without land moved to a land without people, built roads, dams and cities. Since then, two million hectares of tropical rainforest have been burned down and cleared in the Amazon every year. An area approximately the same size as France, 65 million hectares, has now disappeared.”
  • “It’s not even the crime that counts sometimes. Or the time in prison. It’s that little box on an application that asks you to reveal if you have a criminal history. Checking that box can mean the difference between failure and success. On this edition, the nationwide movement to ‘ban-the-box’, and make criminal histories less of a stigma.”
  • “Could last fall’s Occupy fever portend a progressive takeover of Congress? The answer could hinge on the outcome of an upcoming Democratic primary in a congressional district near Chicago, where a corporate-friendly centrist faces a remarkably stiff challenge from a 25-year-old Occupy Wall Street supporter who has even cut an OWS-themed campaign ad.”
  • “Before you bite into your next burger, you may want to find out where the meat came from. Farm? Nope. Factory? You wish. Lab? Most likely. A substance known as “pink slime” is hitting lunch plates everywhere. However, it isn’t a fast food chain using the substance to stretch its dollar, but rather the USDA buying the stuff in bulk, 7 million pounds of it to be exact.”

Senior Moments

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