Over the course of centuries, Switzerland has developed a reputation as a place of sanctuary for dissidents and refugees from oppression. From John Calvin and the Huguenots in the 16th century to German Jews fleeing the Holocaust in the 20th century, Switzerland has been a refuge. However, the Swiss are now sending a clear message to foreigners residing in their country: “Do not take such hospitality for granted.”
Kenya is forcing more than 8,000 Somali refugees found in no-man's land between Kenya and Somalia to go back to Somalia, while a second group of refugees has been moved toward the border with Ethiopia in violation of international law.
As government representatives from the United States, South Korea, and Japan announce that they will meet in Washington, D.C., in early December to discuss North Korea following its attack on South Korea, the recent WikiLeaks release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables has shed new information on the world’s sole remaining Stalinist state.
The financial crisis in Europe, which paralyzed Iceland, which sent Greece into a spiral of angry confrontations with public employees unions, which is tottering Portugal and Spain, and which now is shaking Ireland, has produced a collapse of the government. A $100 billion bailout from the European Union — equal to almost $25,000 per person in the Republic of Ireland — is the catalyst for the collapse of the government. Moody’s has lowered the rating on Irish debt, meaning that the interest required to pay this government debt will rise.
North Korea bombarded a South Korean island with a barrage of as many as 170 shells in the early morning hours of November 23. “I believe we should punish them severely to a point where they will never think of another attack,” the South Korean-based newspaper Chosunilbo quoted South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as responding in a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting after the attack. Lee's remarks were more restrained on his official presidential website, where he pledged to “retaliate against any additional acts of provocation in a resolute manner.”