New year, new crisis. For the beleaguered, once-independent nations of Europe now entangled in the eurozone, the economic drama unfolding in Portugal this week looks woefully familiar. According to the latest speculations in the financial press, the Portuguese government is now under pressure from other European governments to accept a bailout from the EU, much like what happened with Ireland last fall. As with Ireland, Portugal is now denying the need for any bailout, insisting that she can solve her own problems with spending cuts, tax hikes, and other budgetary modifications.
In a gesture of goodwill to Moscow, the government of Kyrgyzstan decided to name a 14,587-foot mountain, located in the Tian-Shan range in northern Kyrgyzstan, the Putin Mountain in honor of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The announcement was made by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, “who signed the bill to rename the peak,” according to the Telegraph.
Approximately four years after fleeing Iraq in fear of arrest, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is returning to Iraq in triumph.
As the Washington Post reported on January 5, Sadr once fled to Iran, but now returns to Iraq with a significant bloc of power within the Iraqi government:
Analysts say secret U.S. diplomatic cables released by the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks show that American taxpayers — through the war-contracting firm DynCorp — provided drugs and financed a party for Afghan National Police recruits where young boys were used as sex slaves. The corrupt Karzai regime then pressured U.S. officials to “quash” the story before it came out in the press.
In 1998, a study conducted by Andrew Wakefield, a former British surgeon and researcher, and his colleagues was published in The Lancet. According to the conclusions of the study, there was a direct connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, a new examination of the data reveals that Wakefield may have altered some of the information used in his study to reach his conclusion.
The murder of a Pakistani governor is being greeted with adulation by “moderate” Muslim scholars. Why? Governor Salman Taseer opposed the death penalty for those convicted of blasphemy against Islam.
As if news of the restoration of the Soviet Union through the new Customs Union was not alarming enough on its own, Britain's Telegraph recently reported that Russia’s “domestic FSB security service is trying to subsume the SVR foreign intelligence service in order to recreate a latter day KGB in all but name.”
In the aftermath of the attack by Muslim terrorists on a church in Alexandria, Egypt, new revelations are casting further doubt on claims by the Mubarak government that “all Egypt is the target” of the bombings, and not just members of the Coptic Christian community.