Only a headline so far. And let’s hope it stays that way for a serious slowdown in China really would bring Australia back into line with the struggles being experienced by most of the rest of the developed world.

A great big piece of… Well, its granite really that is the subject of this little bit of Friday culture to help you prepare for your artistic weekend.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which describes itself as the largest art museum in the western United States, is preparing to unveil its latest expensive ($US10 million) acquisition.

Is this what Australian troops are dying for? From the BBC news this morning:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned a rape victim who was jailed for adultery, after she apparently agreed to marry her attacker.

A government statement said she agreed to the marriage, although her lawyer said she did not wish to marry him.

The woman, named as Gulnaz, gave birth in prison to a daughter who has been kept in jail with her.

The land of equality. They really know how to punish the rich, those American Republicans. Reports the New York Times:

Senate Republican leaders introduced a bill that would keep the payroll tax rate at its current level for another year. The cost is roughly $120 billion. Senate Republicans would offset most of the cost by freezing the pay of federal employees through 2015 and gradually reducing the federal work force by 10 percent.

In addition, Senate Republican leaders would go after “millionaires and billionaires,” not by raising their taxes but by making them ineligible for unemployment compensation and food stamps and increasing their Medicare premiums.

Lengthy caretaking. It has only taken 530 days or so since the election and Belgium finally has a government. Elio di Rupo, a 60 year old socialist, is to head a six party Coalition reluctantly put together only after warring politicians from Flemish and French speaking communities were forced into agreement by rapidly rising interest rates,