Wednesday, the financial crisis which is threatening all Europe deepened, as the rates for Portuguese government debt instruments jumped higher based upon a decision by Moody’s rating service to reduce those bonds four levels to "junk" status. The drop was from Baa1 to Ba2 on long-term Portuguese bond ratings.
Problem loans at China’s banks are significantly worse than initially thought, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s news release on July 4th. This raises concerns already expressed about China’s continued ability to grow its economy at annual rates approaching double-digits. The weakness is so pervasive that Moody’s “views the credit outlook for the Chinese banking system as potentially turning to negative. ” It added:
We assume that the majority of loans [by the banks] to local governments are of good quality, but based on our assessment of the loan classifications and risk characteristics, as provided by the NAO [China’s National Audit Office] and other Chinese agencies, we conclude that the banks’ exposure to local government borrowers is greater than we anticipated…
Only months after the French government banned the wearing of burqas in public (as in London, left), police in Australia have announced that they will begin to require suspects to remove their head coverings so that their identities can be confirmed.
The French ban on the burqa came into effect in April, with punishments that emphasized assimilation into French society; as The Telegraph reported at the time the ban went into effect, the penalty for wearing a burqa is a “fine of 150 euros (£133) and/or a course of citizenship lessons. A man who forces a woman to go veiled will be fined 30,000 euros (£25,000) and serve a jail term.”
Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview over the weekend that the austerity measures being imposed on Greece in exchange for additional bail-out funding from the IMF will result in “the sovereignty of Greece [being] massively limited. ” He added, “One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone.”
Thanks to a massive grassroots pro-life campaign, lawmakers in Poland have cast an initial vote in favor of legislation that would ban all abortions in that country. As reported by the website LifeNews.com, the effort was headed by the Polish pro-life group PRO Foundation (website graphic, left), which organized a grassroots campaign to lobby members of Parliament to support the measure. Additionally, noted the pro-life website, “the nation’s Catholic bishops have also played an integral role in advancing the legislation.”
Unwilling to be intimidated by the often-violent mass protests of radicals, Greek lawmakers passed yesterday the second and final austerity bill that was essential in order for the country to receive crucial bailout funds to prevent the government from defaulting by mid-July.
The full-blown insanity of feminism may have found its fullest expression at a Swedish pre-school, according to a news report, where the teachers have banned the use of "him" and "her" to describe boys and girls and men and women.
The leftist school, the Daily Mail reports, has adopted a "genderless" vocabulary, it says, so the kidlets are not confined to traditional stereotypes.
Despite protests from Muslims and Jews living in the Netherlands, the Dutch parliament has passed legislation which requires the humane slaughtering of livestock. If the Dutch Senate also passes the bill, the Netherlands will join Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and Luxembourg in banning the religiously-motivated practice of slaughtering animals without first stunning them.
Nearly one million union workers in the United Kingdom have begun a strike to protest the government’s austerity plans. The protest is the first of the “summer of discontent” and is sure to cause major disruptions at airports and schools.