The Times of London reported on November 17 that UN and Iranian officials have been engaged in secret negotiations toward an agreement to persuade world powers to lift sanctions against Iran that would and allow Tehran to continue with most of its nuclear program in return for cooperation with UN inspectors.

UighurCommunist China has executed nine men for crimes committed during violent, ethnically motivated riots that took place in China’s Xinjiang region in July. Eight of the men were from the Muslim Uighur minority, and the other was reported to be from the Han majority, although the official China News Service did not specify this.

British officials announced that five British soldiers were shot and killed on November 3 by an Afghan policeman in the Nad e-Ali district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. British military officials said the men were shot as they drank tea at a checkpoint in the village of Shin Kalay where they had been living. They had been advising Afghan policemen.

Delivering his acceptance speech at a November 3 press conference, the day after Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared him the winner of the country's disputed election, President Hamid Karzai issued an appeal to “to bring peace to this soil” and said that Afghans should “ask our Taliban brothers and others to return and embrace their own land.”

gold barsIn yet another sign of eroding international confidence in the U.S. dollar, India’s central bank has just purchased 200 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund at $1,045.00 an ounce, in a transaction valued at close to $7 billion. Nor were Indian officials at all coy about their motives. As one senior official at the Indian central bank told the Wall Street Journal, “It makes sense to buy gold as it will appreciate more than the U.S. dollar.”

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