The bailouts of the four "PIGS" countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) continues apace within the European Union. Only days after grim news in bankrupt Greece — rising bond rates, a significantly underestimated debt-to-GDP ratio, and a looming nationwide union strike to protest "austerity" measures — Portugal has received a €78 billion loan from the EU.
The reported killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1 by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan has brought to the fore many long-festering issues concerning our war in Afghanistan and the region. Some of the questions that have stirred the most immediate and fiery reaction in American political circles concern the extent to which Pakistan's government, military, and intelligence officials aided, abetted, and protected bin Laden and his al-Qaeda/Taliban associates.
While the world is distracted by the spectacle of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, what remains unchanged in the ongoing Jihad is the brutal persecution of Christians in Pakistan and throughout the Muslim world. While the death of Osama is being greeted throughout the West with celebration, the attempt by Jihadist thugs in Pakistan to murder a Christian pastor and his family is being ignored.
Pakistani officials and U.S. aid to Pakistan are coming under intense scrutiny over the claim that reputed terror master Osama bin Laden was allegedly able to hide out for so long in an area known as a military stronghold close to the capital.
As a quiet example of how privatizing Social Security works in the real world, Chile’s 30-year experiment is succeeding beyond expectations. Instead of running huge deficits to fund the old “PayGo” system, private savings now exceed 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The four European Union members known together as PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) are those countries whose general irresponsibility and massive government overspending has been enough to drive down the value of the euro as the interest rates on their government bonds are pushed to unsustainable levels. Last year the financial collapses in these countries, especially Greece, caused the euro to plummet 15 percent in just the first six months of the year.
Reputed terrorist mastermind and former U.S. government ally Osama bin Laden has been killed by a military operation in Pakistan, President Barack Obama and other American officials claimed on the night of May 1. Bin Laden’s body was subsequently dumped at sea, according to news reports. But not everybody is convinced that officials are telling the truth.
As early as January of 2005, high-ranking officials were discussing the best way to sell the idea of North American “integration” to the public and policymakers while getting around national constitutions. The prospect of creating a monetary unit to replace national currencies was a hot topic as well.
A high-ranking Mexican drug-cartel operative extradited to the United States claimed in a recent court filing that he was actually trafficking tons of cocaine on behalf of the American federal government, prompting a media frenzy in Latin America but almost no coverage in the U.S. press.