On Tuesday, Italy’s controversial Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi narrowly survived a political fitness test in Italy’s lower house of parliament while rioting ensued outside.
Support for the 74-year old leader has eroded due to suspected fraudulent business dealings and ties to Italy’s mafia, and his affection for young women.
As a result, despite winning Tuesday’s vote, his future as prime minister could be short-lived, leaving him in trouble with the law.
The Romani people are a controversial ethnic group.
They have a turbulent history and are alienated in many modern societies.
Now in France and other parts of Europe they are being kicked out, which begs the question, why do they find it so difficult to fit in?
Who are the Romani people?
Romani (also referred to as Roma or Gypsies) are believed to have started emigrating from northwest India around the 11th century, moving towards Europe and North Africa, while living a largely nomadic existence.
The media is one of the most important forces in our society, affecting the way we think, act and behave.
Since the latter half of the 20th century, media ownership has become increasingly concentrated, dominated by a few key players.
Perhaps most powerful amongst them is Rupert Murdoch, the founder and CEO of News Corporation. Recently, however, Murdoch has become the subject of backlash from competitors who believe his presence could become just too powerful.
The concentration of media ownership
For the past month, and especially during the past two weeks, millions of French people have been hitting the streets protesting and striking against changes to their government pensions.
And with a fuel crisis looming and a crucial vote today, a fierce standoff with the government has emerged to see who will back down first.
The democratic battle
Having become one of the world’s wealthiest and most successful countries, Norway is now concentrating on helping everyone else.
It does this largely through its gigantic global pension fund – a fund that has since become a shining light for responsible and ethical investing.
The Government Pension Fund – Global
This fund was set up in 1990 to invest the proceeds of the country’s profitable oil industry so as to pay for Norwegians’ retirement and the well-being of future generations after the oil runs out.
On Tuesday, Jerome Kerviel, the former trader of French bank Societe Generale, was found guilty of forgery and breach of trust and sentenced to three years in prison.
He was also told to repay the bank the €4.9 billion (US$7 billion) he lost them – the largest trading loss in history. But he disputes the ruling and claims that the bank knew what he was doing all along and even encouraged it.
The rogue trader
While many European governments are desperately trying to balance much-needed spending cuts with fragile economic growth, the German economic engine is thriving.
This success is mainly due to a finely-tuned employment culture, financial self-discipline and heavy Chinese demand for German machinery.
Germany’s return to form
On Thursday, the Irish government revealed that it would need €50 billion to bail out its struggling banks: €30 billion for Anglo Irish Bank and the rest for Allied Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.
The stated reason for the taxpayer bailout is that without it, no one will lend to Ireland’s government or banks anymore due to a loss of confidence.
But one Irish economist believes this is simply not true. And that because of the government’s decision, Irish taxpayers will be spending the next few decades enslaved to debt.
Europe’s economic problems from April have resurfaced this week, in what seems to be a constant swing of negative momentum between themselves and America.
Yesterday Spain had a massive 24-hour strike, Greece is battling with truck drivers, Portugal’s borrowing rates are reaching record highs, and Ireland’s government is under major stress thanks to a single bank.
Here is a snapshot of the PIGS’s economic situation.
Tomorrow, Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting Britain in what will be only the second such visit since Britain broke away from the Church in 1536.
His four-day ‘state visit’ as both the head of the Catholic Church and the head of the Vatican City “country” is shaping up to be a controversial one.
Large protests are expected over a range of issues including their handling of child sex abuse and their attitude towards women, homosexuals and contraception.