The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the traditional display of crucifixes in Italian classrooms violates the rights of parents and children.

Vaclav KlausUnder intense pressure from European Union leaders, other governments, and factions within his own country, Czech President Vaclav Klaus caved in on November 3 and signed the so-called Lisbon Treaty, a slightly altered version of the EU Constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The agreement, having cleared its final hurdle, is expected to go into force in December or January.

gold barsIn yet another sign of eroding international confidence in the U.S. dollar, India’s central bank has just purchased 200 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund at $1,045.00 an ounce, in a transaction valued at close to $7 billion. Nor were Indian officials at all coy about their motives. As one senior official at the Indian central bank told the Wall Street Journal, “It makes sense to buy gold as it will appreciate more than the U.S. dollar.”

Russian militaryIn September 1939, the Red Army of the Soviet Union invaded Poland under the pretense that the Polish government could no longer protect Ukrainians and Belarusians living in eastern Poland. Now it has been revealed that Russia has, in essence, marked the 70th anniversary of that infamous event with “war games” simulating a future invasion of Poland.

VOA News reported on November 2 that Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had declared President Hamid Karzai the winner of the country's disputed election, following the withdrawal from the race the previous day by Karzai's challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, the nation’s former Foreign Minister. The runoff election that had been scheduled for November 7 has been cancelled and Karzai will remain as president for a five-year term.