4 in the Afternoon1 DUAL MESSAGE Today’s provincial budget appears to swing both ways. While the it promises increased spending on healthcare, highways and infrastructure, on the other hand, the film and video industry took a hit, it plans to reduce prescription funding for the children and seniors, and will cut 500 civil service jobs.

2 SPEAKING OF BUDGETS The austere UK budget was announced yesterday and involved pension cuts, reductions to welfare spending and raised the cutoff for low income benefits. Are we starting to see a pattern here?

3 BEHIND KOFI WE STAND The UN security council has united in support of UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan aimed to contain the violence in Syria. The informal agreement hopes to facilitate humanitarian access and promote a peaceful political transition.

4 JOKES UNWELCOME Robert De Niro is under fire after making a race-related joke about Michelle Obama and the Republican candidates’ wives at a Presidential Fundraiser on Monday night. Gingrich has taken to the airwaves to blast De Niro (and also the President for some reason) about the comment. I get it, you can only say ridiculous things if you actually believe them. On a barely related note, and providing an excellent reason to post a picture of the Cloonster, George Clooney and his father were arrested while protesting Sudanese violence at the Sudanese embassy in Washington last week.