An influential Japanese politician is taking a few pokes at the American and British people. Ichiro Ozawa, who some think may be well-positioned to become Prime Minister in the near future, says that the American people are "simple-minded." He's got some choice words for the British as well. Saying he likes both British democracy and British discipline as depicted in the 1957 film The Bridge Over the River Kwai, he says, nonetheless, "I don't like the British people."

AFP news reported on August 25 that Iran's recent unveiling of new missile-firing assault boats and an aerial drone is a source of concern for U.S. officials. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters: "This is ... something that is of concern to us and ... concern to Iran's neighbors."

The marketplace solves so many “problems” that it is amazing how often people turn to government or resort to violence to force their opinions down other people’s throats. Giorgio Fidenato, an Italian agronomist, has been developing six strains of genetically modified corn seeds which he believes are resistant to the corn borer, a pest that annually causes extensive losses to farmers. The European Union has rules which allow Fidenato to plant these particular crops, but the Italian government requires special permission from the Agriculture Ministry.

As the Muslims fast in the holy month of Ramadan, Somali rebel groups have vowed to increase heavy attacks against the Somali transitional federal government and the African Union troops in the capital.

Mexico’s infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives than murderers in Venezuela, reported Maria Eugenia Diaz from Caracas for the New York Times on August 22. Yet experts struggle to explain the reasons. “There have been 43,792 homicides in Venezuela since 2007, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a group that compiles figures based on police files, compared with about 28,000 deaths from drug-related violence in Mexico since that country’s assault on cartels began in late 2006.” Diaz continued, “Some joke that they might be safer if they lived in Baghdad.”

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