Bertie Ahern narrowly defeated an attempt Wednesday to oust him from office because he took secret cash payments from businessmen.
Ahern, 56, faced his first-ever "no confidence" vote in Ireland's parliament following his testimony this month to a corruption tribunal, which has exposed payments to Ahern in the mid-1990s exceeding 100,000 EUR(US$140,000). After a bitter 3½-hour debate, lawmakers in Ahern's three-party coalition voted to keep supporting him even though such payments break current ethics laws - and, according to opposition leaders, Ahern obstructed and told lies to the taxpayer-funded investigation. Ahern, Ireland's popular prime minister since 1997, prevailed in an 81-76 vote but faces further months of testimony to the probe.
After a trip to Russia, Polish writer Maya Wolny concluded that the West did not even have a close idea of how things really were in the Russian Federation.