Taliban forces are reportedly taking credit for the assassination of Ahmad Wali Karzai (left), Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother, who was shot in the head by the long-time chief of his own security detail on July 12.

Police are still investigating and said an internal dispute, not politics, could have been the motive. The BBC suggested rival criminals could have been to blame. But the Taliban resistance sent a message to Al Jazeera boasting of their role in the murder and warning all government officials to resign or be killed - anywhere at any time.   

There is a theme to news stories about the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) in the last few years: Rosy projections always turn out worse than expected. So it's of little surprise that Reuters announced on July 11 that the recession in Greece is worse than the “experts” had predicted.

The Australian liquor industry, under an ostensibly voluntary arrangement, has announced that it will carry health warnings on its bottles such as, “Drinking can harm yourself and others.”

Of course, many recall that warning labels told Americans 40 years ago that cigarettes (commonly known decades before as “cancer sticks”) could be hazardous to their health.

South Sudan flagSouth Sudan formally declared independence from its former oppressor North Sudan over the weekend after decades of bloody conflicts, but the problems plaguing the two countries are far from being resolved.

EU flagEurope’s slow-motion economic collapse continues apace as Eurozone governments and banks continue to wring their hands over what to do to postpone the inevitable Greek default. And now there’s a new wrinkle: Italy, whose level of sovereign indebtedness relative to GDP is second only to that of Greece, has suddenly appeared on investors’ radar screens. If Italy — the second largest economy in the Eurozone — goes the way of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, there will not be enough money in Europe’s rapidly-dwindling rescue fund (the European Financial Stability Facility or EFSF) to effect a bailout.