Europe

greeceThe highly secretive Bilderberg Group held its 2009 annual meeting from May 14 to 17 at a luxury resort in Athens, Greece. As always, there was very little publicity and so we have a lot of speculation and few actual specifics.

Pope BenedictPope Benedict XVI gave a speech at Israel’s Yad Veshem Holocaust Memorial this past Monday, during which he paid tribute to the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide. His words were not well-received by all, however, as some Israeli critics expected an apology from Benedict and felt that he was “restrained” in his remarks. Most notably, speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, said, “[I was] hoping to hear an apology and a request for forgiveness from those who caused our tragedy, and among them, the Germans and the church. But to my sadness, I did not hear any such thing." Reuters tells us that the speaker also “referred to Benedict as ‘a German who joined the Hitler Youth and ... Hitler's army.’”

EU flagThe EU's European Commission imposed a fine of 1.06 billion Euros ($1.45 billion) on Intel Corporation on May 13, allegedly "for violating EC Treaty antitrust rules on the abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82) by engaging in illegal anticompetitive practices to exclude competitors from the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units (CPUs)."

The United Kingdom released a list of the names of 16 people not allowed into the U.K. (apparently six more people are banned, but their names are not being released).

Carol DuffyAlfred Lord Tennyson may be turning in his grave. The author of some of the most exalted poetry in the English language, such as “Crossing the Bar” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” would probably be appalled to learn that Britain’s newest poet laureate — an honor Tennyson held from 1850 until his death in 1892 — is Carol Ann Duffy, an open lesbian much of whose poetry is a celebration of her sexual deviancy.

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