Moody’s summary of its annual report on France’s finances appeared on Monday sufficiently couched in calm and reasoned tones that the markets took little notice: “The country’s Aaa rating with a stable outlook reflects the French economy’s strength, the robustness of its institutions and very high financial strength.”

STOCKHOLM — As the growing “Occupy Wall Street” protests prepare to enter their second month after spreading across the United States, “solidarity” demonstrations were held over the weekend in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries around the world.  

 

Spanish flagTroubled European nations' credit ratings are continuing to plummet. On October 13 Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spain to AA-, three steps beneath the optimum AAA rating. Last week the Fitch agency also downgraded Spanish credit worthiness (as well as Italian). S&P’s cited weak growth in Spain's economy (estimated at one percent this year, a reduction from February's 1.5 percent projection) as well as the general dire situation of the PIIGS EU member-states (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain).

British authorities have rescued at least 400 children who were brought to Britain often for use in blood rituals conducted by witch doctors, the BBC reported this week. The BBC’s data come from child protection organizations and Scotland Yard, and document the problem: the superstition of juju, or the use of objects in rituals of witchcraft.

Under a new European Union (EU) edict on toy safety, unsupervised children below the age of eight will no longer be permitted to blow up balloons due to choking hazards, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph. Balloons and other toys — including magnetic fishing games, toy lipsticks, and recorders — have been added to the expanding catalog of Euro Zone regulations that are further empowering the region’s nanny state government.