Europe

protest in GreeceThe real meaning of economic bubbles and their aftermath is beginning to rear its ugly head in Greece, where civil unrest paralyzed the country during a violent general strike on Wednesday of this week. Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece’s two largest cities, were convulsed by violent protests featuring running street battles with police and mobs of terrified Christmas shoppers fleeing gangs of masked youths hurling improvised explosives.

Human Rights CourtThe European Court of Human Rights ruled against Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion on December 16, saying it violates the right of a pregnant woman to receive quality medical care when her life may be at risk. The supra-national court seated in faraway Strasbourg, France, ruled that in 2005 a pregnant woman with cancer should have been able to terminate the life of her unborn baby in Ireland rather than having to travel to England for an abortion.

The dominoes in Europe are falling — at least that is one interpretation of the latest Standard & Poor’s outlook on the government bonds of Belgium. The ratio of debt to GDP in a European nation that was a founding member of the European Common Market and whose capital, Brussels, is the home of the European Union headquarters, NATO headquarters, and is in many ways the symbolic “center” of unified Europe is almost 100 percent. Which means that if the entire wealth of the nation were devoted to paying the national debt for an entire year, it could not do so (an analogy for consumers might be that if the family’s credit card debt was greater than the entire income of the family for one year.)

Following the release of a series of State Department cables that unveiled Russia's support of international terrorism, WikiLeaks has yet again released a cadre of cables that further place Russia under the veil of scrutiny regarding its activities in Tajikistan.

Stockholm bombingAfter two bombs were detonated in downtown Stockholm over the weekend, killing the man suspected of the attack and injuring two others, investigators from several countries are trying to determine whether the suspect had accomplices in Sweden or abroad. So far, experts are divided on the question.

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