Pope Benedict XVI, who like other teenagers in Nazi Germany, was forced to join the Hitler Youth, recently recalled solemnly the evils of Nazism. Although it was once fashionable to try to present Christianity as some sort of precursor to Nazi anti-Semitism, and in particular to attack the Catholic Church as an accomplice of the Nazis, honest history tells a very different story. Nazi persecution of all serious Christians was unrelenting and severe.
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.
At 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.
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.
The walls are closing in on the eurozone, as options for resolving the European debt crisis are about to narrow dramatically. After many months of drama and handwringing, the sovereign debt bailout express is about to run off the rails, leaving the European central bank, and probably a number of megabanks across Europe, in financial ruins, and most likely spelling the demise of the euro and of the entire eurozone experiment.
Egypt’s deposed president, Hosni Mubarak (left), will be facing trial on charges of corruption and murder. The news is just one more plaguing issue for the former dictator, who has reportedly been suffering from health problems since he was stripped of his power months ago.
According to Egypt’s top prosecutor, Mubarak is responsible for the murder of unarmed protesters during Egypt’s notorious protests that ultimately resulted in the usurpation of Mubarak’s power. During the 18-day revolt, approximately 850 people died, many from police bullets.
Recent developments in Egyptian politics are revealing that not only Islamic militants are gaining power in the new regime: Communists are also preparing for a more active role in the new Egypt.
According to Links — International Journal of Socialist Renewal, five self-identified "Communist" and "Socialist" parties in Egypt recently merged into a united front, and are becoming increasingly bold. Links author Mohamed El Hebeishy explains:
In its efforts to avoid restructuring (i.e., defaulting on) its debt, Greece announced the sale of some of its assets to raise funds and to satisfy the austerity requirements imposed on the country last March. It is trying to raise $70 billion by 2015. Its efforts won’t be nearly enough.
National self-determination remains very much alive in Europe. People such as the Greeks and the Finns — who suffered for centuries under the rule of great empires before they established their own small nations — are resisting the attempts of European Union bureaucrats and politicians to tell them how to run their homelands.