China's President Hu Jintao opened China’s 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 8.  During a 90-minute speech, Hu praised the "epic accomplishments" and "superiority" of China’s communist system and gave no indication that government policies would change under his successor, Vice President Xi Jinping.

The reelection of President Barrack Hussein Obama may coincide with an escalation from covert to open warfare by the United States and its NATO allies against the Assad regime in Syria. Reports from the United Kingdom indicate that mere hours after Obama’s reelection, British Prime Minister David Cameron was already calling for the United States and its allies to do more to “shape the opposition” into a more effective force, and speed the process of overthrowing the government of Syria.

Tensions between Communist China, Free China, and Japan are escalating over ownership of five uninhabited islands in the East China Sea — known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

 

Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to pay a $1.4 billion debt it owes to Iran that it has been prevented from settling since a European Union embargo that started July 1. 

A report from Platts news service on June 25 said that the EU embargo included a ban on oil imports and a ban on the provision of insurance for tankers shipping Iranian oil. Shell, as an Anglo-Dutch-owned company, is subject to EU jurisdiction.

 

In the heartland of the Taliban it is regularly taken for granted that Western notions of human rights are dismissed as an attempt to foist Christian values on a Muslim nation. Now, the reprehensible murder of a young bride is the latest fact emphasizing the systemic disregard for the rights of women in Afghanistan.