marijuana“Drug Czar” Professor David Nutt, the top British adviser on drugs, was fired last week over controversial statements criticizing current drug policies. The dismissal has prompted outrage among government scientists and even resignations among members of his council. Now, he is leading a revolt and threatening to form a new independent committee to continue his work.

Delivering his acceptance speech at a November 3 press conference, the day after Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared him the winner of the country's disputed election, President Hamid Karzai issued an appeal to “to bring peace to this soil” and said that Afghans should “ask our Taliban brothers and others to return and embrace their own land.”

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.”