The bear continues to rattle as, on December 23, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported that a former Russian colonel was “detained on suspicions of complicity in terrorism.” Sources at Moscow’s Lefortovo district court identified the suspect as “Former Colonel of the Russian Military Intelligence Service (GRU), Vladimir Kvachkov” and told Itar-Tass that Col. Kvachkov “is suspected of complicity in terrorism and plans to organize an armed revolt.”
Several weeks ago, Greece was on the point of collapse and the European Union needed to bail out the government. In November, Ireland, once the economic dynamo known as the “Celtic Tiger,” needed a bailout of its banking system. Earlier this month, it appeared as though Belgium might be the next domino in that economic house of cards which is the European Union. The Euro itself is viewed as facing grave, perhaps insurmountable, problems. Spain and Italy are in serious trouble. Now things seem to be coming to a head. Greece, as reported here by Brian Koenig, faces a downgrade of government bonds from the Ba1 rating by Moody’s Investor Service. The confidence level that investors have in the new Greek government appears very low.
The bear is still in the woods and it is waking up from its 20-year hibernation, as a "new" free-trade zone agreement sets itself to restore the Soviet Union. On December 16, 2010, Reuters reported on what could be described as the resurrection of the former Soviet Union, through the invitation of the Ukraine to join the post-Soviet free-trade zone, or Customs Union, between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
Greece risks Mediterranean isolation, as government debt accumulates and international confidence weakens — especially now that Moody's Investors Service is reviewing a possible downgrade of its current Ba1 credit rating. With Greece's debt levels rising to 127 percent of GDP, Moody's noted that the "review will focus on the factors, namely nominal growth and fiscal consolidation, that will drive the country's debt dynamics over the next few years."
It appears that efforts in the UK to crack down on those who speak out publicly against homosexuality are backfiring. In two different cases, street preachers taken into custody by police after publicly declaring their Christian belief that homosexual conduct is morally wrong have been awarded monetary settlements by the courts for wrongful arrest.