William F. Jasper
As the United Nations opened its latest conference on global warming, Mother Nature sent snowstorms and freezing temperatures that disrupted travel all across Europe and much of the Northern Hemisphere. Even Cancun, Mexico's sunny resort city that hosted the confab, was not spared the chill. The UN summit, known as COP16 (the 16th Conference of Parties on global warming), concluded Saturday morning after an all-night marathon session. Cancun may not have experienced blizzards and ice, but it did, nevertheless, get hammered with record low temps for the month of December.
The recently concluded economic summit (June 26-27) of leaders of the G8 and G20 nations in Toronto was, according to most media coverage, an untidy row among those calling for continued government "stimulus" (Team Obama) and the rest of the major economies (led by Germany, the U.K., and China) calling for fiscal restraint and serious cuts in deficit spending. However, the much-ballyhooed disagreements over fiscal policy obscured the much more important result of the Toronto summit: the ongoing G8/G20 push to transform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into a global Federal Reserve System, with financial regulatory powers to create money "out of thin air," as the Fed does, without having to request replenishments from IMF member nations.
"At the recently concluded session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Nicaragua came up against intense and concerted international pressure from fellow United Nations (UN) member states over the abortion ban the Latin American country's National Assembly adopted unanimously into law four years ago," reports the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).
The escalating violence along the Mexico-U.S. border has reached new levels of ferocity, as rival Mexican drug cartels battle each other and, simultaneously, wage war against Mexico’s federal, state, and local governments.
"A record 69 people were murdered across Mexico on Saturday, making it the deadliest day since President Felipe Calderon took office just over three years ago," the Latin American Herald Tribune reported on Wednesday, January 13, citing Mexico's El Universal newspaper. The previous daily death toll record was 57 murders on Aug. 17, 2009.
Many China watchers were stunned by the announcement of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on March 15 that prominent Party leader Bo Xilai had been removed from his post. For the past several years, Bo Xilai was a rising star in Communist China’s firmament. Many western observers have speculated that he would one day be China’s “paramount leader.”
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has been riding the promotion circuit since his latest book, On China, was released on May 17 by Penguin Press. The release was timed to precede the 40th anniversary (July 9, 1971) of his secret trip to China that is credited with opening relations between the United States and the Communist regime of Mao Zedong (which was then assisting the Communist forces that were killing American troops in Southeast Asia).
The reported killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1 by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan has brought to the fore many long-festering issues concerning our war in Afghanistan and the region. Some of the questions that have stirred the most immediate and fiery reaction in American political circles concern the extent to which Pakistan's government, military, and intelligence officials aided, abetted, and protected bin Laden and his al-Qaeda/Taliban associates.
China is the United States' biggest creditor and our second largest (behind Canada) trade partner. Official public meetings in Beijing and Washington between leaders of the two countries tend to give the appearance that, except for some minor disagreements, U.S.-PRC relations are all sweetness and light.
“This is the most exciting story I’ve ever covered in my life,” gushed veteran journalist Charles Sennott. “I’ve been a reporter for 25 years. I’ve covered the Middle East for more than 15 of those years. It was just so thrilling, so breathtaking, so unpredictable, and really a journey for the whole country of Egypt but also for those correspondents who’ve covered the Middle East for a long time.”