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.
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.
Frank Dikotter, an historian from Hong Kong, has been allowed wide access to Chinese Communist Party archives. Speaking at the Independent Literary Festival, Dikotter described Mao Zedong as the greatest mass murderer in human history. According to the historian, the entire death toll from the Second World War was 55 million people. Mao alone was responsible for the death of a mind-numbing 55 million in the years after the war.
A costly plan by the central government of India to create unique biometric identification numbers for every Indian is meeting stiff resistance from civil-liberties groups as the regime prepares to send swarms of officials across the nation this month to kick off the program.
There’s a new arms race heating up, one that involves not nuclear weapons or satellite-guided bombs but communications. In May of this year, Chinese engineers achieved a significant technological breakthrough, broadcasting an encrypted signal 10 miles using a new technique called “quantum teleportation.”
The bank run at Afghanistan’s largest bank, Kabul Bank, was precipitated by the takeover of the bank by Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank, last week. By Friday nearly all of its currency reserves and most of its capital had been withdrawn by nervous customers, with no end in sight.
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.
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."
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.