Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in London over the weekend to oppose proposed budget cuts being pursued by the new government. And while most of the union-led demonstrators reportedly remained peaceful, violence and vandalism were frequent occurrences. (See videos at bottom of page.)
When the Portuguese Parliament failed to pass an austerity bill on March 23, the country’s Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, resigned. That move leaves Portugal leaderless for at least two months while facing a significant financial crisis: it must refinance nearly $13 billion of short-term debt by June. Investors have already pushed interest rates on Portugal’s sovereign 10-year debt to almost 8 percent, while credit-rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s both downgraded that debt’s quality on March 24.
The Obama administration’s UN-backed military intervention against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is aiding al-Qaeda, which, according to media reports citing high-level commanders in the terror group and Libyan rebel leaders, is deeply tied to the revolution. When the dust settles, the anti-American Islamic extremists could easily emerge as the new rulers of that nation, or at least a part of it. And al-Qaeda is already reportedly grabbing up advanced military weaponry there.
As a means to increase government revenues, which the government says will help reduce the nation’s ever-expanding federal deficit, the Department of Homeland Security is looking into a proposed change to border crossing policies that would force Canadians looking to visit the United States, arriving via air or sea, to pay more for the privilege.