Welcome to 2013, readers. Here's a quick parcel of "may you live in interesting times" items to start off your new year.
• Greeks feel unfolding social and humanitarian crisis "There is an anger against the national government which hasn't yet expressed itself, and it's building up like water behind a dam, waiting to break out. They're going to start smashing shop windows and grabbing things, and ultimately I wouldn't put it past the Greek society to storm parliament."
• Tea estate owner, wife killed by workers in India The article refers to what was going on as a "labor dispute," but dispute seems too mild a word for "an army of 700 workers gets together, armed with bows and poison arrows, and set the plantation owners on fire."
• Slavery's global comeback A brutal piece about how slavery's made a return around the globe (and in many places, never went away). A reminder that even as the future rolls in, many of the past's horrors are still very much with us.
• "Arrest us all" As the protests — some violent — in India have drawn attention to the horrific levels of rape in that country, this is not a new problem. In 2005, a mob of 200 women marched into the Nagpur district court and brutally killed a serial rapist that the police had let go scot-free for years.
Worth remembering that when a justice system fails widely enough in its duty to mete out vengeance, people will eventually start doing the job themselves. While I personally think the women in Nagpur were completely justified to kill their tormentor, vigilantism gets real nasty when it becomes increasingly endemic.
• Interfaith unions on the rise in UK Marriages between Muslims and Christians are becoming more frequent in the UK. Remember this the next time someone tells you that Muslims — apparently uniquely among all types of immigrants — are all fanatics who won't ever change in response to a secular society.
• China removing addicts' pleasure centers In the next stage in China's march towards dystopia, some doctors are "treating" drug addiction by burning out the pleasure centers of addicts and the mentally ill. As if that wasn't enough, China's also ramping up its internet censorship. Malevolent robot overseers are probably just a few months away.