Last Friday, the leaders of the former Soviet republics of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan entered into an accord strengthening the economic integration of their three nations, a step they intend to accelerate their permanent union.

The Obama administration has flaunted its advocacy of the Islamist parties that have been gaining power since the Arab Spring overturned several governments in the Muslim world the past year, and that skewed perspective is contributing to a misrepresentation of the violence that is now taking place in post-Mubarak Egypt. In the words of Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J., left), President Obama “seems to have completely missed the point” of the massacre of Coptic Christians. “This is not a situation of equal power and equal responsibility for violence," he points out. "The Copts called on the military government to treat the Copts as equal citizens and protect their rights; the government itself turned on them with a massacre.”

Moody’s rating service warned on Monday that France’s coveted triple-A credit rating is in jeopardy as a result of the country’s “elevated borrowing costs … amid a deteriorating growth outlook.” Senior credit officer Alexander Kockerbeck said “As we noted in recent publications, the deterioration in debt metrics and the potential for further liabilities to emerge are exerting pressure on France’s creditworthiness and the [current] stable outlook of the government’s Aaa debt rating.”

According to the Swiss newspaper The Local, last week "[t]he European Union said ... it is helping Greece negotiate with Switzerland in a bid to claw back some of the €60 billion [$81 billion] in unpaid taxes believed to be hidden in Swiss banks."

Thursday’s article in The New York Times by writers Jack Ewing and Nicholas Kulish about the “rift” between factions over the role of the European Central Bank (ECB) was a distraction and misdirected attention from what is really happening there. The piece makes it sound as though the ECB is standing firm against pressures to have it buy up the debt from Greece and Italy in order to keep the debt “contagion” from spreading elsewhere.

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