Viktor BoutViktor Bout, 44, the infamous Russian international arms dealer dubbed the “merchant of death,” with ties to Marxist and Islamist terrorist groups, made his first pre-trial federal court appearance on Friday, Jan. 21, in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

This past week, the red-carpet arrival of Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), marked the beginning of the first full all-out Sino-U.S. summit in 13 years. President Hu was welcomed to the United States by Vice President Joe Biden, before the two left for the White House to meet with President Barack Obama. 

On Friday, January 14 President Obama announced that he plans on easing trade and travel relations with Communist Cuba, including making it easier for U.S. citizens to travel directly to the island from American airports. The President added that he had instructed the relevant government departments to allow religious groups and students to travel to the communist-run island.

The Obama administration is planning to renew the Bush administration's idea of "military commissions" trials for Guantanamo detainees and other suspects long imprisoned in the so-called "war on terrorism."

West Texas authorities report that bullets are still flying across the border from Mexico. And the violence is escalating. Fox News reported that last Thursday an unknown gunman fired from the Mexican State of Chihuahua upon U.S. highway workers.