The financial crisis which has been pulling eurozone nations such as Greece and Portugal into a downward spiral of high interest rates on government debt and inability to repay loans has rippled throughout many medium-sized European nations as well. Belgium and Spain are facing growing problems that may require a bailout from the European economic community. The European Union's rationale for bailing out member nations has been that it was to maintain the stability of the single currency, the euro, and to keep free trade within the community.
Six years ago the Romanian Institute for Marketing and Polling reported that 64% of the people felt that their nation was moving in the right direction, toward free-market democracy. Yet last September another survey showed that 49% of Romanians, almost half, felt that life was better for them under communism.
According to the Indian Express, India sought a UN ban on the Pakistani group Jamatud Dawa (JD) after evidence showed that it is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), an Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist group operating in Asia. LeT is suspected of being behind the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India which left 165 dead and scores wounded.
According to Borderland Beat (BB) Jan. 5, Mexican drug cartels have formed elaborate and strategic alliances with Middle Eastern drug traffickers, and those supply chains are also being used for arms trade and money laundering. BB obtained the report from El Universal, a major Mexican newspaper, and added that Mexican groups are also making inroads into European Union markets.
Internet whistleblower website WikiLeaks plans to release information on tax evasion by the rich and famous after obtaining two disks of information from former Cayman Islands branch chief of Swiss banking firm Julius Baer Bank & Trust Company Ltd. The Cayman Islands is a well-known haven for investments because the Caribbean island nation has no income, capital gains, profit, or estate taxes in addition to highly secretive banking laws.