tiresChina's Ministry of Commerce on September 14 called for the World Trade Organization to help settle a tariff dispute with the United States over Chinese-made tires. The Chinese are objecting to the imposition of a 35 percent U.S. tariff on tires imported from China, an Obama administration response to a United Steelworkers union complaint that its members have lost 5,000 of their jobs since 2004 because of the amount of cheap Chinese imports flooding the U.S. market.

Japan“Imagine a team of doctors who think more poison is the solution to poisoning.” That’s the attention-getting opening sentence leading off an invitation to attend a conference exploring the disaster known as the Obama administration. Good analogy! The team of experts currently running this nation has been administering its own type of poison to combat our nation’s economic downturn. Predictably, the recession isn’t ending. Instead, the nation wallows in a self-imposed and deepening quagmire.

AfghanistanWeeks after Iraq's August 20 presidential election, with disputed returns giving incumbent President Hamid Karzai more than 50 percent of the vote — enough to avoid a runoff against challenger Abdullah Abdullah — charges of vote fraud are still being investigated by the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission. As the process of determining Afghanistan's new government goes on, officials from the United States and the United Kingdom, who together form the bulk of the NATO forces that helped provide enough security to hold the election, have taken a strong interest in what comes next.

coat and tieSheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, has ordered male government employees to stop wearing suits, jackets, and ties to save electricity. By abandoning the traditional business attire, Hasina reckons that men in government office jobs will be cooler and therefore air conditioners can be turned up a bit.

Hamid KarzaiOn September 7, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Lieutenant General Karl W. Eikenberry briefed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the status of that nation's presidential election. However, despite vote tallies indicating that incumbent President Hamid Karzai had passed the 50-percent mark needed to avoid a runoff, a report in the New York Times for September 9 noted that Eikenberry had given an unequivocal message to Kazai on the day he spoke with Clinton: "Don't declare victory."

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