Japanese Financial Services Minister Shozaburo Jimi confirmed that China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan had not defected to the United States, something rumored from Chinese-based sources for several days over the weekend. But the question now being asked is why the rumor started in the first place.
After a kidnapping attempt outside an elite private school in Monterrey, the U.S. government told consulate staff to send their children out of the northern Mexican city, according to a recent Reuters report. The school was one attended by staff children.
Thirty-three miners, who were trapped some 2,300 feet underground in northern Chile since August 5 when the main access tunnel collapsed where they had been working, have been informed they may not be rescued until December.
Seventy-two people, believed to be migrants heading for Texas were gunned down in San Fernando in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, near the Gulf of Mexico and about 150 miles from Monterrey. Randal Archibold wrote in the New York Times for August 25 that the bodies were found the previous day in a large room on a ranch in northeast Mexico.
An influential Japanese politician is taking a few pokes at the American and British people. Ichiro Ozawa, who some think may be well-positioned to become Prime Minister in the near future, says that the American people are "simple-minded." He's got some choice words for the British as well. Saying he likes both British democracy and British discipline as depicted in the 1957 film The Bridge Over the River Kwai, he says, nonetheless, "I don't like the British people."
AFP news reported on August 25 that Iran's recent unveiling of new missile-firing assault boats and an aerial drone is a source of concern for U.S. officials. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters: "This is ... something that is of concern to us and ... concern to Iran's neighbors."
The marketplace solves so many “problems” that it is amazing how often people turn to government or resort to violence to force their opinions down other people’s throats. Giorgio Fidenato, an Italian agronomist, has been developing six strains of genetically modified corn seeds which he believes are resistant to the corn borer, a pest that annually causes extensive losses to farmers. The European Union has rules which allow Fidenato to plant these particular crops, but the Italian government requires special permission from the Agriculture Ministry.
Mexico’s infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives than murderers in Venezuela, reported Maria Eugenia Diaz from Caracas for the New York Times on August 22. Yet experts struggle to explain the reasons. “There have been 43,792 homicides in Venezuela since 2007, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a group that compiles figures based on police files, compared with about 28,000 deaths from drug-related violence in Mexico since that country’s assault on cartels began in late 2006.” Diaz continued, “Some joke that they might be safer if they lived in Baghdad.”
A strike from an unmanned aerial vehicle killed 20 people in Pakistan on August 23. According to Reuters news service, "missiles fired from a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft killed 13 militants and 7 civilians in Pakistan's North Waziristan." The attack, and the deaths, illustrate how the unintended consequences of policy decisions and operations conducted decades ago continue to shape events of the present.
Citing a statement from an aid worker in the Congo, an August 23 MSNBC report revealed that rebels in eastern Congo gang-raped nearly 200 women and some young boys during a four-day period between July 30 and August 3. The rapes took place only a few miles from a UN peacekeepers' base.