Voice of America and other news sources reported on October 25 that Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has been sentenced to death by hanging by Iraq's top criminal court. Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic, was the only Christian in Saddam Hussein’s government, which was dominated by Sunni Muslims.
U.S. taxpayers, it seems, are not the only ones being taken for a ride by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The New York Times reported on October 23 that Iranian taxpayers, too, are being forced to pony up millions of dollars for the Karzai regime, a story that was confirmed, at least in part, by Karzai himself two days later.
The publication of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the Iraq war by the whistleblower WikiLeaks earned condemnation from governments on three continents within hours of their posting on the Internet. The U.S. government, the British defense ministry, and the Iraqi prime minister's office all quickly condemned the documents being revealed to the public.
The Associated Press reported on October 21 that government officials in China had taken a woman from her home during her eighth month of pregnancy and forcibly aborted her baby.The report cited a statement made by the woman’s husband, Luo Yanquan — identified as a construction worker — who said that his wife “was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on October 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.”
Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, was the site Wednesday of four deaths attributed to the savage and escalating drug wars. In one case, a woman was beheaded — marking the first such death in the turbulent city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. In a separate incident, another victim was identified as 21-year-old Texas National Guardsman José Gil Hernandez Ramirez of El Paso.
The decline of Europe continues. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that permitting vast numbers of Muslim Turks into her country without their being assimilated into German society and culture is a failure. Her words, though true, come 40 years too late. Generations of Turks born in Germany have grown up without ever having either mastered the German language or grasped the notions of ordered liberty in the basic law of Germany.
France is running low on fuel supplies as nationwide strikes led by labor unions paralyze roads, fuel refineries, public transportation, and more. And the protests are expected to intensify.
Reuters News reported on October 15 that Mohammad Sammak, a Sunni Muslim who serves as secretary general of Lebanon's Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue, told a synod of bishops that the loss of Christians from the region was an “impoverishment.”
Liu Xiaobo, co-author of "Charter 08," was arrested two days before that freedom manifesto was published on December 10, 2008, and was finally sentenced on Christmas Day 2009 to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” Late last week he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his trouble.