International leaders meeting at a conference held at the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 20 renewed their commitment to turn over responsibility for the nation’s security to the Afghan government by 2014.

The latest incident of Mexican violence occurred on early Sunday morning, July 18, about 1:30 a.m. What one report termed a “murder squad” arrived in eight SUVs to a private birthday party. The celebration was being held at a popular rental venue just outside the industrial suburb of Torreón, described as a usually quiet location amid lakes and gardens in the northern state of Coahuila.  

AmiriThe return of Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri to Iran from CIA custody has news agencies wondering whether he defected or was kidnapped by the CIA during a June 2009 hajj (Islamic religious pilgrimage) to Mecca. “Americans wanted me to say that I defected to America of my own will, to use me for revealing some false information about Iran's nuclear work," Amiri said from Tehran airport last week, claiming, "I was under intensive psychological pressure by [the] CIA.... The main aim of this abduction was to stage a new political and psychological game against Iran.”

gay pride flag in ArgentinaA wave of same-sex couples may be bearing down on the metropolis of Buenos Aires in the coming weeks and months after Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize homosexual marriage. The 33-27 vote from Argentina’s senate came on July 15 following intense debate that included appeals against the move from the country’s Catholic and evangelical leadership.

On Tuesday, July 13, the first seven of what is expected to be up to 52 political prisoners released from Cuba, arrived in Madrid, Spain, with family members on two commercial flights. Of the prisoners to be released, 20 have so far expressed desire that Spain be their place of exile.