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.”

DroneA strike from an unmanned aerial vehicle killed 20 people in Pakistan on August 23. According to Reuters news service, "missiles fired from a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft killed 13 militants and 7 civilians in Pakistan's North Waziristan." The attack, and the deaths, illustrate how the unintended consequences of policy decisions and operations conducted decades ago continue to shape events of the present.

Citing a statement from an aid worker in the Congo, an August 23 MSNBC report revealed that rebels in eastern Congo gang-raped nearly 200 women and some young boys during a four-day period between July 30 and August 3. The rapes took place only a few miles from a UN peacekeepers' base.

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