Nowadays it seems rare to read a news story with a happy ending, between tales of economic disaster across the world and violent outbursts from jihadists, protestors, and criminals. Fortunately, today (October 13) we celebrate the ongoing rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile, of which 14 have already been saved and the 15th rescue is underway. At the rate the miners are being brought up, it seems likely they should all be on safe ground by tomorrow.
Pakistani authorities on October 10 reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan for NATO forces, ending an 11-day blockade. The Pakistani government imposed the blockade in response to a September 30 NATO airstrike at the border post, which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani troops. On October 5, the United States took responsibility for the helicopter attack and issued an apology, explaining that the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said General David H. Petraeus.
The U.S. CIA engaged in torture in its secret prison in Poland with a “criminal standard of proof,” the British Broadcasting Corporation reported October 6. The remarks represent the view of former jurist and Swiss Senator Dick Marty, a the former Council of Europe Rapporteur on Torture who has investigated the case.
Few other human beings were eye witnesses to, and participants in, events of the 20th Century as was Vilius Brazenas. A survivor of wars, revolution, plague, famine, foreign military occupations and forced deportations, he became a tireless champion of freedom and unyielding foe of totalitarianism in all its forms. Mr. Brazenas passed away at the age of 97, in a hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania, on October 3 following complications from a recent fall.