The name “Katmandu” brings up images of Lost Horizons and Shangri La and, perhaps, the Abominable Snowman. Katmandu is the capital of Nepal, a nation nestled within the Himalayan Mountains and sandwiched between the two most populous nations on the planet, China and India. Although imbued with the doctrines of Hinduism, the politics of Nepal is emphatically not other-worldly. In 2008, the national parliament was elected with the mission of ending the monarchy and producing a new constitution for the nation.
The walls are closing in on the eurozone, as options for resolving the European debt crisis are about to narrow dramatically. After many months of drama and handwringing, the sovereign debt bailout express is about to run off the rails, leaving the European central bank, and probably a number of megabanks across Europe, in financial ruins, and most likely spelling the demise of the euro and of the entire eurozone experiment.
Egypt’s deposed president, Hosni Mubarak (left), will be facing trial on charges of corruption and murder. The news is just one more plaguing issue for the former dictator, who has reportedly been suffering from health problems since he was stripped of his power months ago.
According to Egypt’s top prosecutor, Mubarak is responsible for the murder of unarmed protesters during Egypt’s notorious protests that ultimately resulted in the usurpation of Mubarak’s power. During the 18-day revolt, approximately 850 people died, many from police bullets.
Recent developments in Egyptian politics are revealing that not only Islamic militants are gaining power in the new regime: Communists are also preparing for a more active role in the new Egypt.
According to Links — International Journal of Socialist Renewal, five self-identified "Communist" and "Socialist" parties in Egypt recently merged into a united front, and are becoming increasingly bold. Links author Mohamed El Hebeishy explains:
In its efforts to avoid restructuring (i.e., defaulting on) its debt, Greece announced the sale of some of its assets to raise funds and to satisfy the austerity requirements imposed on the country last March. It is trying to raise $70 billion by 2015. Its efforts won’t be nearly enough.
National self-determination remains very much alive in Europe. People such as the Greeks and the Finns — who suffered for centuries under the rule of great empires before they established their own small nations — are resisting the attempts of European Union bureaucrats and politicians to tell them how to run their homelands.
The chickens of unfettered immigration came home to roost for Britons again this week. Four Muslims are on trial for beating a teacher because they didn't like him teaching about religions other than Islam. Meanwhile, a jury sent a teenage hitman to prison for life for the contract murder killing of a Turkish woman whose husband was suspected of taking out the contract.
The European Union is making rapid advances toward becoming officially recognized as a nation-state by the United Nations and the international community, prompting a fierce backlash from political parties and experts concerned with national sovereignty — particularly in the United Kingdom.
So much for freedom of speech and religion in Great Britain: A British doctor has been censured by the government’s medical licensing board, the General Medical Council (GMC), for having the audacity to discuss Christianity with one of his patients. What’s more, in choosing to fight this censure, the physician stands a chance of having his medical license revoked, ending a 28-year career in the profession.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who resigned Wednesday after being arrested on allegations that he attempted to sexually assault a chambermaid at Manhattan’s posh Sofitel Hotel, has been released from New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail on bail Friday afternoon.
Mexican authorities recently stopped two tractor trailers containing a total of 513 illegal aliens. They were caught at a checkpoint, using X-ray equipment, in the county's southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala. They are, to some degree, lucky to have been caught before entering Mexico. Otherwise, they might have been in big trouble given Mexico's stiff immigration law that severely punishes illegal aliens, and which is much tougher than U.S. immigration law. Even worse, they would have faced the depredations of corrupt public officials and criminal gangs had they made it past the checkpoint and been dumped somewhere in Mexico.