As country after country attempts to recreate the historic events in Tunisia and Egypt, most of the world's and media’s attention has been focused on the Middle East. Cable news reports often depict a map of the region with the countries in turmoil highlighted: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. But no matter what cable news station one watches, one country — in the midst of turmoil and anti-government protests — remains unhighlighted and unmentioned on those maps: Albania.
London's Telegraph newspaper has again hammered Britain's National Health Service, that model of excellent patient care leftists want the United States to adopt. This time, the paper brought the health bureaucracy to book for its "callous" treatment of the elderly in a series of articles.
If any doubt remained that the U.S. and British governments’ case for invading Iraq was based almost entirely on lies, the Guardian has just put such doubt to rest. The British newspaper published a story based on interviews with Iraqi defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, code name “Curveball,” in which Janabi admitted “that nearly every word he had told his interrogators from Germany’s secret service, the BND, was a lie.”
A spokeswoman for the Russian government, Olga Kamenchuk, reports that VsTIOM, the state’s polling organization, has found an astounding level of ignorance among Russians about basic facts of science. As an example, one-third of Russians polled believe that the sun revolves around the earth (not vice versa), and an equal number believe that the earth is the center of the solar system. Also, most Russians polled, 55 percent of them, believe that all radioactivity is man-made.
Scandal-plagued Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be tried in April on charges of corruption and paying for sex with an under-age prostitute. The evidence is reportedly so overwhelming that the prosecutors secured a fast-track trial for the billionaire leader, bypassing the normal preliminary hearing.
On February 13 voters in Switzerland turned back a proposal that would have tightened controls on firearms possession and use in a country where a large share of the homes have at least one gun and where learning to shoot and handle a rifle for defense of country (as well as sport) is a right of passage for every Swiss male.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy agrees with other European leaders who say multiculturalism has failed.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in a quandry: the government ministers of France have been taking vacations in the sand and surf of the southern Mediterranean and presidential palaces on the Red Sea, with the Egyptian government and a Tunisian businessman picking up the tab. How high does this subsidized vacationing go in the French government? Prime Minister François Fillon, the head of government in the Fifth Republic, and Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie, second in precedence in the ministerial system, have both received gratis vacations at the expense of foreign governments or foreign nationals.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy both believe in global "solutions" to problems. How well does this play in Lisbon, Athens, Dublin, or Madrid? Portugal, Greece, Ireland, and Spain have had more than enough external pressures on their peoples in the last century.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented that Islam was just as much a part of Germany as Christianity and Judaism, she was wrong, apparently. Until it got caught, the European Union planned to distribute more than 3 million school calendars that included dates for the celebration of Muslim and Jewish holidays, but omitted Christian feasts. So for the EU, Islam was more a part of Germany and Europe than Christianity.
Boris Nemtsov is a name that may not seem significant to those actively engaged in the struggle for liberty and freedom against statism and oppression. His fate is one which has gone largely unnoticed by those in the West, but is a story that reads like a Cold War thriller, as Nemtsov is the latest high-profile victim of persecution by the Russian Federation and its head of state, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.