Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in imminent danger of execution and his attorney will soon be serving a nine-year prison term.

President Obama addressed the nation from Afghanistan May 1, claiming victory over al Qaeda and touting a new agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai keeping U.S. troops in combat in the nation for at least two more years. by Thomas R. Eddlem

The State Department held a classified briefing for members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 26 regarding the administration’s handling of the reported attempt in February by a high level Chinese official to defect to the United States. As reported here previously, Wang Lijun, the famous “crime fighter” and chief of police for Chonqing City (where he was also vice mayor) made a dramatic, secret visit to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, provoking a major armed standoff between police and military forces representing Chonqing, who had been sent to capture him, and forces from Sichuan, who were ordered to take Wang into custody and stop the Chonqing police from arresting him.

The armed forces of the Communist Chinese and Russian governments began a series of unprecedented joint naval “war games” over the weekend as part of a deepening “strategic partnership” between the two powers, sparking concerns among geopolitical analysts. The controversial exercises are expected to last all week.

According to General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard aerospace division, Iranian engineers are in the final stages of decoding data from the Sentinel aircraft, the U.S. drone that was captured by Iran near the Afghan border last December.