The bad news from the European Union is growing almost daily. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, had almost no economic growth at all in the last quarter The entire 17-nation European Union grew at the miniscule rate of .2 percent from the prior quarter. The prior quarter’s eurozone economic growth had been .8 percent, larger than last quarter but still far short of what is required to create confidence that the sovereign debt crisis can actually be managed. That represents the slowest economic growth since late 2009. The French economy also stalled during the quarter and the Italian economy grew only .3 percent.
The Italian government revisited its plans for handling the nation’s gaping public debt problem. On Friday, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) said that tax increases and spending cuts would both be in the new austerity plan. The tax increases included a “special levy” on income above €90,000 per year as well as tax increases on income from financial investments. More specifically, there would be a surcharge of 5 percent on incomes above €90,000 and a 10-percent surcharge on incomes above €150,000. The tax rate on financial income would increase from the current level of 12.5 percent to 20 percent. The government also pledged to crack down on tax evasion.
If you thought the Central Intelligence Agency hatched a few wacky plots to get rid of Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro, such as planting explosive sea shells on the sea shore, the boys at Langley had nothing on British Intelligence during World War II, a new book has disclosed.
British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) is reportedly considering the drastic step of “pre-crime” blocking of social media sites if the violent riots in his country continue. He contends that such a move would permit authorities more time to “catch up” with arrests of suspects shown rioting on surveillance cameras. The communication platforms under particular scrutiny are Twitter, Facebook, and Blackberry Instant Messenger.
The Chinese Communist Party has exerted every effort to manage all high-tech activities within its borders. While the government has allowed the market forces more freedom, it has attempted to retain iron control over projects such as manned space travel and high-speed trains. Unfortunately for technology, the decision-making in these sorts of projects in China, critics maintain, is driven by politics, not science. Analysts note that invariably, government-controlled technology projects are inherently weak.
The Central Intelligence Agency was intimately involved with the federal government’s infamous “Operation Fast and Furious” scheme to send American weapons to Mexican drug cartels while simultaneously working with other agencies allowing narcotics to be shipped over the border, according to a series of explosive reports.
The German government is considering banning the National Democratic Party (known as NPD, for "National Party of Deutschland," a political movement defined by the punditry as "far right." Gerhard Schröeder, the Social Democrat who preceded Angela Merkel as Chancellor of Germany, failed in his attempt to ban the small party in 2003.
The reaction was predictable. Following the tragic terror attack in Norway that left more than 75 people dead, calls to further empower government erupted worldwide.
Anti-gun zealots immediately pushed for more restrictive laws, despite the fact that Norway already has an extraordinarily strict gun-control regime. The bullets reportedly used by the killer were already illegal, as was murder.
The British government is reportedly considering martial law and other extreme measures to quell the mayhem as violent riots, fires, looting, and destruction continue to spread across the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, citizens in some areas have started banding together to protect homes and businesses.
A South Korea investigative news team has produced a documentary reporting that the largest hospital in China is selling human fetuses, placentas, and whole corpses of dead babies to a dietary supplement manufacturer for use in its line of stamina-increasing pills.
Suppose a nation was so blessed with natural resources that it almost could not be poor. Suppose that this nation led the world in gold and chromium production, that it was second in the world in platinum, zirconium, and manganese production, third in vanadium production, fifth in diamond production, seventh in iron and coal production, and produced large amounts of many other minerals and valuable elements as well.