It’s been a year full of disasters, but today’s news is worse than any so far with at least 75 killed in the Christchurch earthquake and who knows how many murdered by Gaddafi and his mercenary thugs. There’s not much to say about the earthquake except to hope that many of those listed as missing turn up unharmed. Gaddafi has passed the point of no return – it’s obvious from his threats of house-by-house retribution that the people have no option but to fight it out. The only question is what the rest of the world can do to bring the inevitable end as quickly as possible and with as little bloodshed. One option would be to withdraw recognition from the Gaddafi regime, which is clearly guilty of crimes against humanity. That would be a signal to waverers that the time to switch sides away from Gaddafi is sooner rather than later.