From Al-Akhbar's excellent economic page, a New Year's bundle: Abdel Halim Fadlallah's article on Growth without welfare, on how the 4 folds economic growth of the world between 1975 and 2007 was matched by a 4 folds increase in unemployment; and how the increase in growth has also been met with a decrease in human welfare. Another article on the unending wheat subsidies saga: the flour mills cartel is holding the government hostage and demanding more subsidies, which implies that the price of bread may suddenly increase by 25%. We also learn that the Lebanese government is asking the World Bank to take charge of the social security fund: great move, the Bank being known for its transparent, human and pro-poor methods.
On a different note, H5N1, the avian flu virus has been found in birds in Haifa, a few km south of the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine. The Lebanese ministry of agriculture has reacted by asking the ministry of finances for a budget of $350,000 to establish a surveillance system in South Lebanon. Lets see when it gets it.