On October 16, the Swiss government — despite previous assurances that its banking system was largely immune from the worldwide banking crisis — issued a long-term loan of up to $54 billion to its largest bank, UBS AG. Agence France Presse reported that to secure its loan, the Swiss government will take a temporary stake of 9.3 percent in the bank.
During a two-day European Union summit held in Brussels from October 15-16, French President Nicolas Sarkozy (whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency) stressed that the EU would maintain its stringent goals to reduce carbon emissions, despite economic objections from some EU member nations. Following the prevailing opinion held by much of the world, the EU’s leaders have based their continent-wide regulations on the theory that periodic variations in global temperatures are the result of man-made causes, such as emissions of C02 gasses.
The ongoing chaos in the world’s financial markets shows no sign of abating, and governments, financiers, and their kept economists are now openly talking of a reprise of the Great Depression, unless something is done quickly.
His vociferous support for Russia's heavy aerial bombardment and invasion of Georgia notwithstanding, Mikhail S. Gorbachev is scheduled to be presented the Liberty Medal on September 18 by former President George H. W. Bush.
While Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in Beijing schmoozing with world leaders during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on August 8, Russian troops, tanks, and bombers were launching a surprise attack on neighboring Georgia.
On August 3, the world lost Nobel Prize laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the conscience of the Cold War. Convicted in 1945 of criticizing Joseph Stalin’s regime, Solzhenitsyn spent years in a Soviet prison camp, nearly succumbing to disease and other hardships. After his release, Solzhenitsyn began publishing materials describing the horrors of the Soviet prison camps, or gulags. His most famous book, The Gulag Archipelago, led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970.
Western political leaders and media pundits expressed outrage at the friendly reception accorded Zimbabwe’s defiant dictator, Robert Mugabe, by fellow African leaders at the recent annual summit of the African Union in Egypt.
For more than a decade and a half, Viktor Bout has been fueling the most savage wars and terrorist operations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East with guns, bombs, tanks, missiles, and munitions. Notorious as the “Merchant of Death,” his scores of Russian cargo planes have ferried untold tons of armaments from Russia and Ukraine to bloody conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.
"KGB influence 'soars under Putin,'" blared the headline of a BBC online article for December 13, 2006. The following day, a similar headline echoed a similarly alarming story at the website of Der Spiegel, one of Germany's largest news magazines: "Putin's Russia: Kremlin Riddled with Former KGB Agents."