Pope BenedictPope Benedict XVI gave a speech at Israel’s Yad Veshem Holocaust Memorial this past Monday, during which he paid tribute to the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide. His words were not well-received by all, however, as some Israeli critics expected an apology from Benedict and felt that he was “restrained” in his remarks. Most notably, speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, said, “[I was] hoping to hear an apology and a request for forgiveness from those who caused our tragedy, and among them, the Germans and the church. But to my sadness, I did not hear any such thing." Reuters tells us that the speaker also “referred to Benedict as ‘a German who joined the Hitler Youth and ... Hitler's army.’”

EU flagThe EU's European Commission imposed a fine of 1.06 billion Euros ($1.45 billion) on Intel Corporation on May 13, allegedly "for violating EC Treaty antitrust rules on the abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82) by engaging in illegal anticompetitive practices to exclude competitors from the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units (CPUs)."

Mexican Violence, gun controlsOn the CBS television show Face the Nation on April 12, in an interview with Bob Schieffer, Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan tried to blame much of the violence in his country on the allegedly lax gun-control laws in the United States. He maintained in part: “Ninety percent of all weapons we are seizing in Mexico, Bob, are coming from across the United States.” Reinstituting the so-called assault-weapons ban in the United States, which expired in 2004, said the ambassador, “could have a profound impact on the number and the caliber of weapons going down to Mexico.”

Assad

After months of initiatives and statements from the new Obama administration indicating it intended to reverse U.S. policy and reopen relations with Syria, President Obama, on May 7, signed an executive order renewing sanctions on Damascus that had been put in place by President George W. Bush in 2004.

Pope in JordanPope Benedict XVI arrived in Amman, Jordan, on May 8 at the beginning of an eight-day Holy Land pilgrimage. Besides Jordan, the pope’s tour will include visits to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics had barely set foot in predominantly Muslim Jordan, however, when it became apparent that the reaction to his visit among followers of Islam would vary widely.

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