In the twilight of the pre-dawn on Thursday, bombs dropped on the home of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born, Yemeni-based cleric. Yemeni Air Forces carried out the attack in an effort to kill al-Qaeda militants reportedly gathered there to plan attacks on Western concerns. At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether the controversial imam was actually killed in the early morning air strike.
A Lithuanian Seimas investigating committee has concluded that he Soviet-era holdover “Committee for State Security” spy agency had struck a deal with the CIA in 2002 to create secret “black site” prisons in Lithuania to interrogate terrorist suspects outside of U.S. legal restraints. But the parliamentary committee was unable to confirm that actual interrogations and torture had taken place. Upon accepting the conclusions of the Seimas (parliament) investigation, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said that the United States had manipulated Lithuanian officials with "essentially Soviet methods."
Tony Blair, global-warming activist and former British prime minister, is under fire from the media for allegedly trying to cash in on climate change. His company, Windrush Ventures, Ltd., registered a new Internet name of "Low Carbon Capital Fund" just weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. David Derbyshire with the Daily Mail reports that some view this as Blair's way of preparing to make money off green technology. Derbyshire questioned Blair's office, and a spokesman responded, "From time to time, we register names in an area we may be interested in."
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, upon completing a two-day visit to Afghanistan on December 22, pledged that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is committed to staying in the country until the Afghan government and military are ready to take over their own defense and that there would be no deadline for the exit of allied troops from the country.
Parties on both sides of the global-warming debate are calling the UN Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen a failure. Instead of producing a legally binding treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions, a majority of participating nations merely agreed to "take note" of the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding agreement to commit to significant emission reductions by next year and to fund environmentally "vulnerable" countries.