A pair of lawsuits threatens to strain the relationship that has developed between the United States and Pakistan since 9/11. For the first time since 9/11, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has become noticeably worse.
The First Vice President of Iran, Mohammed Reza Rahimi, one of the closest political allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, faces charges of corruption in Iran. The story, which follows on the heels of a recent agreement signed between Iran and Afghanistan, reveals just how unsavory international politics can be.
The bear continues to rattle as, on December 23, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported that a former Russian colonel was “detained on suspicions of complicity in terrorism.” Sources at Moscow’s Lefortovo district court identified the suspect as “Former Colonel of the Russian Military Intelligence Service (GRU), Vladimir Kvachkov” and told Itar-Tass that Col. Kvachkov “is suspected of complicity in terrorism and plans to organize an armed revolt.”
Back in 1991, as newspapers around the world heralded headlines that read “Communism Falls” and the “End of Communism,” Gus Hall, the then-head of the Communist Party USA, quoted Communist Manifesto co-author Friedrich Engels saying: “If current events are negative, focus on the long-range.” Hall passionately declared “Communism is not dead.”
Even as Christians in Iraq cancelled church services at Christmas for fear of further Islamic terrorism against their dwindling community, Muslims in Nigeria carried out a series of bombings targeting the Christians during this holy season.
Several weeks ago, Greece was on the point of collapse and the European Union needed to bail out the government. In November, Ireland, once the economic dynamo known as the “Celtic Tiger,” needed a bailout of its banking system. Earlier this month, it appeared as though Belgium might be the next domino in that economic house of cards which is the European Union. The Euro itself is viewed as facing grave, perhaps insurmountable, problems. Spain and Italy are in serious trouble. Now things seem to be coming to a head. Greece, as reported here by Brian Koenig, faces a downgrade of government bonds from the Ba1 rating by Moody’s Investor Service. The confidence level that investors have in the new Greek government appears very low.
The bear is still in the woods and it is waking up from its 20-year hibernation, as a "new" free-trade zone agreement sets itself to restore the Soviet Union. On December 16, 2010, Reuters reported on what could be described as the resurrection of the former Soviet Union, through the invitation of the Ukraine to join the post-Soviet free-trade zone, or Customs Union, between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
The economic experts were recently proven wrong once again, as the estimate of the U.S. trade deficit dropped to $38.7 billion. According to a report from the Commerce Department, most of the trade deficit continues to be found in the import of goods from China; the data for October shows a $25.5 billion trade deficit with that nation. However, the communist regime has found one area in which they believe U.S. imports are in danger of disrupting their economy: the rise in the use of English.
Greece risks Mediterranean isolation, as government debt accumulates and international confidence weakens — especially now that Moody's Investors Service is reviewing a possible downgrade of its current Ba1 credit rating. With Greece's debt levels rising to 127 percent of GDP, Moody's noted that the "review will focus on the factors, namely nominal growth and fiscal consolidation, that will drive the country's debt dynamics over the next few years."
Why has Africa, a continent rich in human and natural resources, remained mired in poverty while the rest of the world has generally become more prosperous? As a December 21 New York Times report indicates, one of the biggest reasons is the lack of property rights. Poor Africans who have worked tracts of land for generations “are discovering that African governments typically own their land and have been leasing it, often at bargain prices, to private investors and foreign governments for decades to come,” according to the newspaper: