The U.S. Government will soon begin paying Taliban members who claim to switch sides in the insurgent war in Afghanistan, according to a report by the BBC.

Ahmed Wali KarzaiAccording to a New York Times report published on October 27, Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, is on the CIA’s payroll. Not only that, Ahmed Karzai is suspected to be involved in the lucrative Afghan opium trade, although Karzai himself denied both CIA and opium connections in a recent interview.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an extremist group linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility in a website posting on October 27 for a pair of bombings two days earlier that killed 160 people in Baghdad. The BBC quoted the Islamic group’s statement that its suicide bombers had targeted "dens of infidelity" in the Iraqi capital, including "the ministry of oppression, known as the ministry of justice, and the Baghdad provincial assembly."

NATO officials in Afghanistan have reported that three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopters crashed on October 26 in two separate incidents, killing 11 U.S. troops and three American civilians.

Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the UN-spawned International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on October 21 that Iranian negotiators have agreed to a draft agreement that will provide for Iran to ship much of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing. Though officially an independent agency, the Vienna-headquartered IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.