The British government has tried to raise tax revenues by raising tax rates on the highest income Britons. The January 2012 self-assessed tax returns were anticipated to provide more revenue because it was the first reporting period of the new, highest 50% tax rate for the highest earners. The Treasury, however, has reported that instead of tax revenues rising during that reporting period, revenues actually dropped from £10.86 billion in January 2011 to £10.35 billion in January 2012.
In a decision likely to further alienate Western nations against the Iranian regime, a trial court in Iran has found Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (left) guilty of apostasy and has sentenced him to death. Prior to his arrest in 2009, Nadarkhani had led a 400-person house church movement in Iran after his conversion from Islam. The court demanded on several occasions in late September of last year that the pastor renounce his Christian faith, or face possible execution for apostasy from Islam.
It seems the U.S. government is not the only one sporting a Big Brother demeanor. The British government is now revisiting previously considered plans to create databases that would enable spy agencies to monitor emails, phone calls, and text messages as well as websites visited by everyone in the United Kingdom.
Entitled the Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), the scheme would be set up under anti-terrorism laws, in much the same way the PATRIOT Act functions in the United States. UK officials contend that its goal is to closely monitor suspects before the 2012 London Olympics in July.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have started to ask questions about why taxpayers in the European Union (EU) are being forced to finance a giant homosexual lobbying group with past links to organizations promoting pedophilia. Gay and lesbian activists responded to the concerns by unleashing a wave of attacks.
Writer Bruno Waterfield’s claim that Germany has drawn up plans to deal with the inevitable Greek default was published in the British newspaper The Telegraph a little after 8 p.m. Saturday night. Within hours his claim was confirmed separately by blogger John Ward with times, dates, and consequences all spelled out by those drawing up the plans.
As the government intensifies its persecution of homeschoolers in Sweden, the president of the Swedish Association for Home Education (ROHUS) has finally been forced into exile with his family in neighboring Finland. The battle for human rights and homeschooling in the Scandinavian kingdom, however, is far from over.
Economists polled by Reuters predicted that the recession in Europe that began late last year would continue into the new year and they weren’t disappointed. Reuters announced that economic output in the 17-member eurozone declined by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2011, the sharpest since the second quarter of 2009 at the start of the recession. Those same economists are now predicting that European GDP growth will stay negative at least for the rest of the year with only modest chances of improvement in 2013.
As Libyans prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of the Western-backed uprising that ultimately toppled the regime of despot Muammar Gadhafi, human-rights monitors say hundreds of “out of control” militia groups are still engaged in mass savagery — raping and torturing people to death in makeshift prison camps, ethnically cleansing parts of the country, and more.
While the purported reforms brought on by last year’s “Arab Spring” appeared to be floundering in Egypt, the Obama administration is preparing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to advance those same reforms throughout the Islamic world.
The debt chickens are coming home to roost in Greece, and the hen house is collapsing. As the hard-pressed Greek parliament convened to vote on an enormously unpopular austerity measure insisted upon by international bankers with the power to prolong Greece’s agony with another bailout, furious mobs set Athens ablaze and fought pitched battles with police. On Monday morning, Greeks surveyed with horror the smoldering rubble of more than 90 buildings across the capital. The popular consensus: this is just the beginning.