When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.” Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, also known as the ‘Bishop of Corum’

  • “Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has tendered his government’s resignation to Queen Beatrix, paving the way for early elections. His cabinet was plunged into crisis when Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) quit talks aimed at slicing 16bn euros (£13.1bn) from the budget.”
  • “For over two years, the mainstream political elites of Europe have been battling to save the single currency, seeking its salvation in a German-scripted programme of austerity and legally enshrined fiscal rigour that curbs the budgetary sovereignty of elected governments.”
  • “Stock markets have fallen after weak manufacturing data and political uncertainty in France and the Netherlands hit investor confidence.”
  • “Angela Merkel’s agenda of forcing through austerity programmes from Athens to Dublin faced its toughest test yet with the success of François Hollande in the first round of French presidential elections.”
  • “Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, and newly elected MPs from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party have refused to attend the opening session of parliament over a dispute regarding the wording of the parliamentary oath.”
  • “The European Union has formally agreed to suspend sanctions against Burma for a year in recognition of “historic changes”, officials say.”
  • Robert Fisk: “‘Al-Qa’ida killed two of our men here two days ago,’ the cop said. ‘Then they called us up to tell us the name of their operation – on a police radio!’ We were standing in rebuilt Fallujah, where the police request all foreigners to call by for an escort. We got six, one wearing a ski mask. You get the idea. As a police colonel said later: ‘Al-Qa’ida [is] still here, they are a nuisance, to me personally when I have to move around the city. But they are not what they were’.”
  • “Egypt has rejected a request from eight US-based civil society groups for licences to operate in the country after a crackdown on their activities sparked the first diplomatic spat with Washington since the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak.”
  • “It was described as the tensest spot in the cold war, a crossing between East and West Berlin that was once the scene of a confrontation between American and Soviet tanks. The incident came close to triggering a third world war.”

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