The financial crisis threatening to bring down the economies of Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (the so-called “PIGS” countries) has long-term consequences which will affect whole generations in those nations. But the problems in Spain — high unemployment and immigration woes, regional tensions, and a low birth rate — seem to be combining in a "perfect-storm," making a financial meltdown perhaps even more likely there than in any of the other troubled European Union member-states.

G8 FranceAt last week’s meeting held in Deauville, France, the assembled leaders of the so-called G8 (the “wealthiest industrialized nations”) agreed to send at least $20 billion dollars to Egypt and Tunisia to help the nascent governments in those countries to spur their economic growth. The G8 leaders hope that a large infusion of aid money will prevent these countries from sliding away from the “democracy” they claim to be establishing.

In the latest display of the intolerance of Islam, Muslims in Egypt are trying to block the reopening of a Coptic church until the church’s dome and cross have been removed.

For longtime readers of The New American, the fact that President George W. Bush immediately looked to Pakistan as the prime ally in waging the War on Terror after 9/11 was an eye-opener.

The name “Katmandu” brings up images of Lost Horizons and Shangri La and, perhaps, the Abominable Snowman. Katmandu is the capital of Nepal, a nation nestled within the Himalayan Mountains and sandwiched between the two most populous nations on the planet, China and India. Although imbued with the doctrines of Hinduism, the politics of Nepal is emphatically not other-worldly. In 2008, the national parliament was elected with the mission of ending the monarchy and producing a new constitution for the nation.

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