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.

Researchers in Germany announced that they have used adult stem cell therapy to cure a man afflicted with both leukemia and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Writing about their research in the December issue of the medical journal Blood, doctors from the Charite-University of Medicine in Berlin explained that in 2007 the 44-year-old American patient, Timothy Brown, volunteered to receive the experimental adult stem cell therapy to treat his leukemia. At the same time, the researchers decided to perform a stem-cell transplant in an effort to fight his HIV. Not only was the stem cell donor a good blood match for the patient, wrote the researchers, but he also had what the doctors determined was a gene mutation that demonstrated a natural resistance to HIV.

Citizens of nations that once were wholly independent and who now are part of the nebulous “European Union” pine for times lost. Bernd Niesel, a 67-year-old retired serviceman in Germany, has a shrine — a museum, literally — to the Deutsche Mark, the currency of the Federal Republic of Germany developed with the keen, market-oriented mind of Ludwig Erhard, Minister of Economics and then Chancellor of post-war West Germany.

Mike HancockAnother Russian espionage plot has been uncovered, this time in London, involving controversial British Liberal Democrat MP Michael Hancock and his parliamentary aide, Russian national Katia Zatuliveter, a suspected sleeper agent who is being deported on charges that she is a threat to British national security, according to the MI5 intelligence service.