After a series of reports brought the issue into the spotlight in recent years, allegations of involvement in drug trafficking by the regime of socialist Venezuelan “President” Hugo Chavez are making headlines once again.
The vast and bloated leviathan of government seems to be finding itself beached all over the world. California is virtually facing a budgetary meltdown, since its deficit is simply too great for Californians to pay. Greece is rocking on the shoals of national bankruptcy, as are other Mediterranean nations like Italy and Spain. Now France is facing warnings from the International Monetary Fund that reducing France’s national deficit to four percent of GDP, instead of to three percent of GDP as recommended by the IMF, will jeopardize the financial stability of not only France but also of Europe.
Officials in the United States may be considering Pfc. Bradley Manning as a "person of interest" in their investigation into the leaked Afghan "war diary" made public by whistle-blower Website WikiLeaks, but a retired Pakistani general says he knows who the culprit really is. According to General Hamid Gul, the U.S. government did it. Washington orchestrated the leak, he told the UK's Financial Times, in an effort to "scapegoat him for its failures in Afghanistan."
In a speech given in England on July 1, 2008, then-president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement David Berwick, who is now Chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), praised England’s National Health Service (NHS), indicating a desire to bring a similar system to the United States. He remarked, “Here, in the NHS, you have historically put primary care — general practice — where it belongs: at the forefront. The NHS is a bridge, it’s a towering bridge, between the rhetoric of justice, and the fact of justice.”
What's next for Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin? A guest appearance as a celebrity contestant on Dancing With the Stars? If so, there are sure to be plenty of adoring paparazzi-journos in the United States and Europe praising his macho ballroom prowess.
An AP report noted that colonels from the United Nations Command (UNC) — the agency responsible for carrying out the terms and conditions of the July 27, 1953, cease-fire agreement in Korea — met at the "truce village" of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on July 23 with representatives of Pyongyang's Korean People's Army. During that meeting, UNC officers reminded North Korea about the UN Security Council order to honor the 1953 truce.
AFP news reported on July 22 that a spokesman for the North Korean delegation at the ASEAN security talks in Hanoi has condemned the U.S.-South Korea naval exercises planned for July 25 as a threat to global peace. The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on July 21 to take part in the exercises.
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass has penned a cover story for Newsweek magazine calling for a smaller U.S. presence in Afghanistan, but not complete withdrawal.