U.S. taxpayers, it seems, are not the only ones being taken for a ride by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The New York Times reported on October 23 that Iranian taxpayers, too, are being forced to pony up millions of dollars for the Karzai regime, a story that was confirmed, at least in part, by Karzai himself two days later.
The publication of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the Iraq war by the whistleblower WikiLeaks earned condemnation from governments on three continents within hours of their posting on the Internet. The U.S. government, the British defense ministry, and the Iraqi prime minister's office all quickly condemned the documents being revealed to the public.
The Associated Press reported on October 21 that government officials in China had taken a woman from her home during her eighth month of pregnancy and forcibly aborted her baby.The report cited a statement made by the woman’s husband, Luo Yanquan — identified as a construction worker — who said that his wife “was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on October 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.”
Liu Xiaobo, co-author of "Charter 08," was arrested two days before that freedom manifesto was published on December 10, 2008, and was finally sentenced on Christmas Day 2009 to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” Late last week he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his trouble.
Pakistani authorities on October 10 reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan for NATO forces, ending an 11-day blockade. The Pakistani government imposed the blockade in response to a September 30 NATO airstrike at the border post, which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani troops. On October 5, the United States took responsibility for the helicopter attack and issued an apology, explaining that the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said General David H. Petraeus.