European leaders reached an agreement over the weekend on bailing out the profligate Greek government with up to $40 billion in taxpayer-funded loans at below-market interest rates, easing fears of a default but prompting outrage among Europeans.
The Socialist government of Greece has announced an austerity program that freezes pensions, cuts the salary of civil service employees, and increases taxes as a way of restoring confidence in the ability of Greece to meet its financial obligations. The government of this Mediterranean nation suffers from the same sort of extravagant spending and imprudent long-term obligations that have wreaked havoc in other European nations like Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Iceland. The actions of the Greek government have not worked.
After a 10-year hiatus in public viewing, the Shroud of Turin will again go on display from April 10 to May 23 at the cathedral in Turin, Italy. The 14-foot-long, 4-foot wide, linen fabric with the image of a naked, bloody, bearded man is regarded by millions of Christians to be the burial cloth that covered the body of Jesus Christ in the tomb after his crucifixion. The image of the Man in the Shroud, they believe, was miraculously formed. Skeptics claim it is a medieval forgery, so longstanding arguments about it are certain to be raised again in the media.
Rasmussen Reports show that a whopping 54 percent of Americans are still against the healthcare reform, while 40 percent are in favor of the passage. Opponents are fueled by a variety of reasons, particularly the cost of the plan, but no reason is perhaps as convincing and terrifying as evidence that Obamacare is doomed to fail. The condition of the National Health Service (NHS), England’s health care system, which is similar to that of Obamacare, is indicative of the future of America’s health care, and it is frightening.
A nurse in England is claiming discrimination after hospital policy punishes her for wearing a crucifix to work. Shirley Chaplin, a 54-year old Christian nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital in England, was moved into an office position after refusing to remove her crucifix. Nurse Chaplin claimed that removing her crucifix would “violate her faith.”
Using the War on Terror as a pretext, Scotland Yard has advised the owners and administrators of internet cafes and other public web access providers in London to monitor their customers’ surfing habits in order to keep an eye out for any “suspicious behavior.”
Her Majesty’s subjects in the United Kingdom are now subject to the prying eyes and ears of a European intelligence agency with powers that rival Hitler’s infamous Gestapo, the Cold War-era KGB, and its progeny the East German Stasi.
Germany, which has a higher rate of savings and a lower government debt than other nations in the European Union, is being criticized by officials in nations like Greece, Spain, and Portugal for a “deficit fetish.” The government debt and government spending in a number of European nations have been spiraling out of control. Unions and political pressure have driven up costs, and there is no strong political will in those nations to undertake steps to control debt or spending.
Let us be perfectly clear: The fiscal woes of Greece, one of the European Union’s weaker economies to begin with, are quite likely beyond even the abilities of the denizens of Mount Olympus to solve. Greece, a thoroughgoing socialist basket case for decades, is probably going to lead the rest of the soft economic underbelly of Europe — Spain, Portugal, and eventually Italy — into insolvency, a chain of events that may dissolve Europe’s decades-old experiment in economic unity.
The United Kingdom has banned two government-funded advertisements for exaggerating claims of catastrophic man-made global warming. The independent media watchdog organization, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), ruled that mainstream climate science does not support assertions made in the ads, reports the Daily Mail.
The United Nations is launching an independent review of its climate agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has weathered harsh criticism due to numerous problems with its 2007 comprehensive climate report. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC Chair Dr. Rajendra Pachauri announced the review at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York.