The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna announced on September 24 that North Korea had barred United Nations inspectors from a reprocessing plant at its nuclear reactor plant in Yongbyon. The plant converts spent nuclear fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium. By its decision, North Korea has reneged on an agreement reached in February 2007.
In the wake of the tainted toothpaste and pet food scandals, thousands of infants have been sickened in China by contaminated powdered milk. So far, two infants have died from the product that has been contaminated with melamine, the same agent that was found to have contaminated pet food sold in the United States.
“There has been no deal with China to censor the Internet,” stated International Olympic Committee spokeswoman Giselle Davies according to Associated Press. The controversy began, AP reported on July 31, “when Kevan Gosper, the press commission head of the IOC, said he was surprised to learn that Web sites for Amnesty International along with others … would be blocked to reporters,” and also said he suspected that “an agreement has been reached” with China “by very senior people in the IOC.”
At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, female gymnasts He Kesin, Yang Yilin, and Jiang Yuyuan electrified the Chinese with their stellar performances. But even as China celebrated, controversy was brewing over whether or not the athletes met the age requirements for competition established by the International Gymnastics Federation.
According to the technology news Website Arstechnica, the Nike shoe company has "decided to put the Chinese government's finely-tuned dissident-hunting skills to work in order to turn up an anonymous conspiracy theorist who posted a 'false accusation' about the company."
Communist China’s ravenous energy appetite has fueled its growing political and economic ties with Iran’s revolutionary government. On July 21, Iran’s Pars Oil & Gas Company and China’s CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corp.) finalized contracts to exploit Iran’s North Pars gas field.
Thomas Schweich, recently retired principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and coordinator for counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan, alleges that the Afghan regime is shielding its country’s illicit drug trade.
U.S. troops in Afghanistan may soon find themselves squeezed in a new political power play in Kabul. Gulbadin Hekmatyar, leader of the radical Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), is being invited by President Hamid Karzai (almost certainly under U.S. State Department pressure) to end his long insurgency and join the Afghan government.
Chinese officials announced on May 26 that owing to the massive devastation caused by the May 12 earthquake, the communist regime’s harsh family planning policy of only one child per family would allow exemptions for those parents whose only child was killed or severely injured by the quake.
On the last day of April, according to a CNN report, Iran’s government confirmed that it has begun selling its oil in euros and in yen, something it has long threatened to do. After a failed attempt during last year’s summit of OPEC leaders to persuade the cartel to begin selling its oil for currencies other than the dollar, at which Iranian President Ahmadinejad called the falling U.S. dollar a “worthless piece of paper,” Iran has begun unilaterally selling its oil for currencies that, of late, have been far stronger internationally than the dollar.