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European governments are doing all they can to sustain the banking sector's customary profit margins, if necessary – at the expense of the general population. Social programs are sacrificed serially to stem mounting budget deficits. The actual result is that while the budgets are shrinking cash is flowing into the very banks which had provoked the financial crisis.

Although the Iraqi government had long been opposed to oil exports from Kurdistan, the region transported oil abroad relying on its own legislation.

A corresponding standard act has not been adopted yet, but over the past few years the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has signed a series of production sharing agreements with two dozens of foreign companies all over the world.

"In Yekaterinburg, controversy erupted around the decision of an international judge, which rehabilitated foul language, recognizing three popular words, "not as insults, but interjections." The headline of a small newspaper article, which quite possibly did not belong to the author, also sounds like a sentence: "No censorship! The theme justifies obscene language ". The third sentence, however, is for all of us, and lies in a profound summary: "Unfortunately, swearing in the Russian language has become so common, and the judge's decision only recorded a sad reality."

The context of this unusual story belongs to Gogol's style.

The unanticipated failure of the the September 5 constitutional referendum in Moldova came as a shock not only to the pro-Western faction of the country's elite but no less to the forces within the EU which hoped the vote would help push Russia out of the strategic Transnistria and weaken its positions in the Balkans – Black Sea - Caspian region.

After October 1 thousands of US military hackers and spies will get down to their cyber war activities.

The declarations for taking cyber defense measures can be heard more and more often in the US. US analysts state that information and communication networks, on which the national infrastructure depends on, are becoming vulnerable for cyber criminals.

The accuracy of forecasts always leaves much to be desired, and still Russia has to take seriously the task of understanding the future of the global energy sector. Sitting on vast energy reserves, Russia is open about its energy superpower ambitions, but natural resources alone are no guarantee of a country's prosperity.

Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008 was an important political step towards a brand new status of the Russian Federation in post-Soviet societies. Over the past two years this step has been thoroughly analyzed by various think tanks dealing with the future of the Caucasus. So, what do we have in South Ossetia?

In accord with the withdrawal timetable rolled out back in 2008, B. Obama ordered the pullout of the majority of the US forces from Iraq. The plan is that only some 50,000 US servicemen will stay to train the Iraqi army and security services. Now comes the time to assess the campaign that took seven years, the gains drawn from it by the US, and the repercussions it had globally.

Wohin treibt die Bundesrepublik? (Munich, 1966, Piper Verlag, 288 pp.) by famous German philosopher Karl Jaspers (the English translation of which The Future of Germany appeared in 1967) still stirs up discussions and is behind numerous publications in Germany and elsewhere. Despite the lessons of its recent past which should have supplied Germany and theGermans with an immunity to all sorts of "ideological confusion" the identity crisis which spread far and wide affected Germans as much as other nations, individuals and institutions.

Until recently the "self-purification" idea the importance of which Jaspers had never failed to stress remained Germany's postwar identity which forced the nation to cast off its historical skin in a painful process. This dented the divided nation's stamina yet in the final analysis it adjusted itself to postwar Europe. America did a lot to help the Germans acquire their postwar identity in the country which served the border between the world of capitalism and the camp of socialism.