European leaders have reached an agreement, after 18 failed summits since their debt crisis began, to "break the vicious circle" of bank bailouts piling debt onto stressed governments and central banks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the funds will only be used in countries that are taking reform seriously, but all 27 EU nations agreed to a framework toward better bailouts.
Remember the Protestant work ethic? AEI's Values & Capitalism blog traces the correlation between the decline of industriousness and the crisis in Europe-and America.
Syrian human rights groups say that Thursday was the bloodiest day this year in the Syrian uprising, with 190 civilians killed in a 24-hour period. Today there are reports of about 170 tanks amassed near Aleppo, a commercial center and the largest city near Syria's border with Turkey, which has threatened President Bashar al-Assad with the "wrath" of Turkey should Syrian aircraft stray close to its border. Threats of a wider war, including one that could have the United States facing off against Russia, loom.
With yesterday's vote in the U.S. House to hold in contempt Attorney General Eric Holder-the first such vote against a sitting Cabinet member in history-Operation Fast and Furious is taking center stage in Congress. Lawmakers charge the Justice Department with a cover-up related to a "gun-walking" operation, in which federal agents tried to track illicit Mexican cartel gun buyers rather than arrest them. New emails from the Justice Department suggest that Holder knew something had gone wrong with the gun-running operation, even as he assured key congressional committees that federal agents were involved in gun interdiction efforts only.
In Mexico, presidential elections this Sunday appear likely to hand power back to the once-dominant and authoritarian PRI (or Institutional Revolutionary Party) in the wake of the country's inability to rein in the drug cartels. But according to prominent Mexican journalists, many residents take it as a given that the U.S. government "intentionally supplies the Sinaloa cartel with guns." They see it as a move to control Mexico and its drug flow.
Any reporting on Mexico's drug cartels poses a risk. A year ago Mexico beat out Iraq as the most dangerous place in the world for reporters. According to Reporters Without Borders, 80 Mexican journalists have been killed and 14 others have disappeared since 2000.
Don't miss King's College history professor Joe Loconte writing in The Wall Street Journal on religious liberty: "The evangelical preachers who supported the Revolution knew their Bible and believed it. They insisted that the gospel of Jesus upheld the rights of conscience in religious matters-Jesus never coerced anyone into following him, they pointed out-and that republican government would collapse without it."
Fond farewell: When it comes to reporting on religious liberty, for many of us at WORLD, Compass Direct News has provided a steady and reliable source of information about the persecuted church around the world. The news service with its hub of reporters based in Istanbul will close tomorrow, but Compass Direct News, we're told, will appear under a new name, Open Doors News. The task or reporting on these conflict areas only grows more difficult and dangerous, it seems, and we pray those involved Godspeed in this transition.
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