VOA News reported on November 2 that Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had declared President Hamid Karzai the winner of the country's disputed election, following the withdrawal from the race the previous day by Karzai's challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, the nation’s former Foreign Minister. The runoff election that had been scheduled for November 7 has been cancelled and Karzai will remain as president for a five-year term.
According 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."
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.
The incumbent President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, announced at a Kabul press conference on October 20 that he had accepted the findings of the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) — which had reduced his margin of victory to 49.67 percent of the vote — and has agreed to a runoff election. (Afghan law requires a runoff when no candidate passes the 50-percent mark.)
According to Xinhua News, the Chinese government’s official press agency, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting First Vice President of Iran Mohammad Reza Rahimi on October 15 that China will maintain economic cooperation with Tehran and foster "close coordination in international affairs” with the Middle East nation. Rahimi was visiting Beijing to attend a forum of Central Asian states.