The sovereign debt crisis in the European Union can be summed up fairly simply: The governments of overspending nations are asking the governments of fiscally prudent nations to prop them up. The prudent nations, whose governments pay their obligations out of revenue, rather than by selling bonds, tend to be those in the more financially conservative parts of Europe, such as Finland, Holland, and Germany. Those nations that are waist deep in debt, whose bond offerings have in some cases been reduced to junk bond status, tend to be in the south of Europe around the Mediterranean Sea.
Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik (left), currently on trial for a bomb attack in Oslo and a shooting spree nearby that left more than 75 people dead, has openly admitted to the mass murder. However, in court, the 33-year-old man denied criminal responsibility partly by invoking U.S. foreign policy, claiming the deadly rampage was a “preventative strike” taken in self-defense to prevent the “Islamization" of Norway.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld the decision of the Rotterdam District Court in 2011 to permit the extradition to the United States of a man suspected of contributing to the planning of a suicide bomb attack on an American military base in Afghanistan in 2010.
Over 70 years after Soviet forces secretly murdered approximately 22,000 Polish intellectuals and military officers in the Katyn Forest, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that atrocity to have been a “war crime.” However, unlike other “war crimes” of the Second World War, the calculated butchering of tens of thousands of Poles will have very little impact on a government that went to great lengths to avoid aiding the investigation: the Russian government will be required to pay 5,000 euros (approximately $6,500) to cover the court costs of the fifteen descendants of Katyn victims who brought the case before the court.
"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." — Washington Irving
On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling permitting the United Kingdom to extradite to the United States six men suspected by the U.S. of committing acts of terrorism.
The sovereign debt crisis of the European Union is not going away anytime soon. The new Italian government has already had a crisis of confidence and a threatened general strike that has pushed the yield on Italian government bonds higher and led the new premier to ponder resignation.
On Sunday the London Independent newspaper published the words from a video confession with the Iraqi most responsible for false intelligence reports that brought the United States to war with Iraq. "We went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie," the interviewer said to Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi — codenamed “Curveball.” Al-Janabi replied simply: "Yes."
On Tuesday, prisoner advocacy group Amnesty International suggested that the countries of the European Union cease participating in the Central Intelligence Agency’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
"Extraordinary rendition" refers to the CIA’s capture of “enemy combatants” and their subsequent transfer to one of the so-called “black site” secret prisons for questioning, where the detainees were often reportedly subjected to inhuman tactics to elicit responses from them.