Despite spending government money on propaganda, shutting down the independent media, arresting dissidents, intimidating voters, and blatantly gerrymandering electoral districts, Venezuela's “President” Hugo Chavez and his cohorts still received a loud message on election day: enough is enough. But despite losing the popular vote, incredibly, the regime still controls almost two thirds of the seats in the legislature.
Officials report that the Pakistani government blocked oil tankers and trucks carrying NATO supplies into Afghanistan. The Pakistani government claims that the blockage is in response to an alleged NATO airstrike at a border post that resulted in the murder of three Pakistani troops.
Those full-body scanners the Transportation Security Administration has deployed in airports across the country have raised numerous privacy concerns. They can, after all, see right through clothing and provide a very detailed view of a person’s most intimate anatomical features — so detailed, in fact, that when a TSA screener’s genitalia were spotted by his coworkers during a training session and became an object of ridicule, the screener assaulted one of those making fun of his puny manhood.
In a few days, Germany will pay off the last of its debts arising out of the Treaty of Versailles over 90 years ago. The German Federal Office of Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues will issue the bond to pay off the remaining $97 Million on that debt on the twentieth anniversary of the re-unification of Germany.
There was much made of the speech delivered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the opening of the latest session of the United Nations General Assembly. Specifically, Ahmadinejad was lambasted by pundits and lampooned by comedians for his remarks inculpating the government of the United States in the bombings of September 11, 2001.
Item: A senior Chinese general, reported Xinhua, China’s state news agency, on September 1, just met in Beijing “with the head of a leading U.S. think tank and discussed the building of strong military ties between the two countries, despite military exchanges between the two nations having been frozen since January. ‘A sound and stable China-U.S. military relationship is good for bilateral strategic trust and regional peace and stability,’ Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Ma Xiaotian told John Hamre, president of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).... ‘China has always attached great importance to developing military ties with the United States and has made efforts in this regard,’” said Ma.
Fighting in Somalia over the past weeks between the transitional government and the Muslim insurgent group al-Shabaab has cost more than 350 civilian lives with at least 450 people wounded and 23,000 displaced.
With tobacco smuggling on the rise because of high taxes on cigarettes in the United Kingdom, Scottish government officials and anti-smoking activists met in Perth, Scotland, on September 20 to discuss ways to combat such smuggling, according to the Courier of Dundee, Scotland. The outcome of their meeting will be a report to the Scottish government.
Raul Diaz of the Mexican Superintendence of Tax Administration confirmed this week that the Mexican government intends to build a wall along the Mexican/Guatemalan border. Diaz claims that the official purpose of the wall is to prevent the passage of contraband, but has also admitted “It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants.”