Over Easy

(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)

In continuing tribute to the Diner tradition of Southern Dragon, today we look at media and news outside the U.S.

A scene of horror was created in Southeast London’s Woolwich neighborhood just outside an army barracks when two men hacked a soldier to death then actively publicized their own crime.   They announced to passersby that they were returning a murder there for the deaths of their fellows abroad at British hands.

One was pictured holding a knife and speaking to a woman at the scene….According to the paper, Cub Scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett asked him: “Would you like to give me what you have in your hands?”

“He was covered with blood,” she said. “I thought I had better talk to him before he starts attacking somebody else.”

She says the suspect told her the dead man was a British soldier, adding: “I killed him because he kills Muslims over there and I am fed up that people kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Comparisons were being made to the recent atrocity at Boston’s Marathon.

In Egypt’s Sinai region hostages have been taken and the Morsi government is struggling to recapture them from tribes that are in revolt against officials who have failed to give even basic services in that area.

More importantly, there are no indications that authorities even know the whereabouts of the hostages. The presidency says it is not talking to the hostage takers, but there are mediation efforts under way, and it does not seem that these men could be released without some sort of dialogue.

Tribal leaders have been key in talks with assailants in previous hostage situations involving tourists or members of the security forces. There have been claims over the past year that President Morsi had also been resorting to so-called Jihadists to mediate with armed groups in Sinai, which, if true, can be quite risky.

The government is, once again, between a rock and a hard place, but it is arguably a position they could have avoided if a genuine, transparent and wide-reaching dialogue and programme was set to develop the Sinai.

The economic slump in the European Union has ameliorated among signs that the worst part of the decline is over.

“There are signs the rate of decline is easing, which does suggest we may be moving into a period of stabilisation, but it’s taking a lot longer than most people anticipated,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

“It’s looking more like the end of the year (until) we’re going to see the numbers start to show signs of stabilising.”

The new orders services index fell to 45.3 from 46.2, meaning a big upturn in the PMI next month looks unlikely.

Williamson said there were signs that the rate of decline eased this month in the “peripheral” euro zone countries outside Germany and France.

“But against that we’ve seen a worrying steep deterioration in service sector expectations for the year ahead.”

The easing of deficit levels in the U.S. has eased pressure here as well, erasing a major factor cited by opponents of public services to erase such basic support systems as social security and medicare.

Never.Give.Up.