Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission released figures on September 16 showing President Hamid Karzai with 54.6 percent of the vote in the first complete results reported since the country's August 20 presidential election. However, the results will not be certified until the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission finishes examining thousands of potentially fraudulent ballots.
China's Ministry of Commerce on September 14 called for the World Trade Organization to help settle a tariff dispute with the United States over Chinese-made tires. The Chinese are objecting to the imposition of a 35 percent U.S. tariff on tires imported from China, an Obama administration response to a United Steelworkers union complaint that its members have lost 5,000 of their jobs since 2004 because of the amount of cheap Chinese imports flooding the U.S. market.
“Imagine a team of doctors who think more poison is the solution to poisoning.” That’s the attention-getting opening sentence leading off an invitation to attend a conference exploring the disaster known as the Obama administration. Good analogy! The team of experts currently running this nation has been administering its own type of poison to combat our nation’s economic downturn. Predictably, the recession isn’t ending. Instead, the nation wallows in a self-imposed and deepening quagmire.
Weeks after Iraq's August 20 presidential election, with disputed returns giving incumbent President Hamid Karzai more than 50 percent of the vote — enough to avoid a runoff against challenger Abdullah Abdullah — charges of vote fraud are still being investigated by the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission. As the process of determining Afghanistan's new government goes on, officials from the United States and the United Kingdom, who together form the bulk of the NATO forces that helped provide enough security to hold the election, have taken a strong interest in what comes next.
Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, has ordered male government employees to stop wearing suits, jackets, and ties to save electricity. By abandoning the traditional business attire, Hasina reckons that men in government office jobs will be cooler and therefore air conditioners can be turned up a bit.
On September 7, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Lieutenant General Karl W. Eikenberry briefed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the status of that nation's presidential election. However, despite vote tallies indicating that incumbent President Hamid Karzai had passed the 50-percent mark needed to avoid a runoff, a report in the New York Times for September 9 noted that Eikenberry had given an unequivocal message to Kazai on the day he spoke with Clinton: "Don't declare victory."
Japan's newly elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama met with the new U.S. ambassador to Japan John Roos on September 3, just four days after leading the Democrat Party of Japan to victory over the Liberal Democratic Party, which has governed Japan for more than 50 years.
The American television reporters who were imprisoned in North Korea, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, say they were “violently dragged” from Chinese soil into North Korea by North Korean soldiers. They now suspect their Korean-Chinese guide may have deliberately led them into a trap, AP reported on September 2.
“There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every 12 people on the planet. The only question is: how do we arm the other 11?” said the gun-running protagonist in the 2005 Nicolas Cage film Lord of War.
With more than 60 percent of the votes tallied from Afghanistan's August 20 presidential election, incumbent President Hamid Karzai had received 47 percent of the vote as of September 2, still short of the 50 percent required to avoid a runoff. Karzai's leading challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, has received 33 percent.