The ruling military junta in Egypt is moving ahead with criminal prosecutions of dozens of foreigners, including more than 15 Americans, working for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — all of which are funded with American or European taxpayer money — despite U.S. threats to cut off aid. The trials are set to begin on February 26, according to judicial sources cited in news reports.

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.

Following a 13-hour marathon session on Monday, eurozone ministers announced an agreement to loan Greece another $170 billion, which saves the banks while punishing private investors and damaging Greek national sovereignty.

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