An Italian court convicted 23 CIA agents for kidnapping an Egyptian dissident on the streets of Milan November 3, sparking a global outcry against CIA “extraordinary rendition” tactics for terrorist suspects. None of the Americans was actually present at the trial, as all of the suspects had fled the country in advance of the investigation.
Reuters reported on November 4 that for many members of the odious Stasi, the secret police of the old East German Communist government, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was not a time of celebration. That is a recurring theme among pro-Communist academicians in America, old elites within Communist run nations, and even President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who a few weeks ago spoke glowingly of Marxism.
On October 24, the Francophone European Association for Baha’i Studies convened its annual conference in Luxembourg. Normally, the minutes of the meetings of such a niche organization would not be newsworthy. This year, however, the group’s agenda was dominated by discussions of the anxiously awaited future of a new world order and a one-world government.
“Drug Czar” Professor David Nutt, the top British adviser on drugs, was fired last week over controversial statements criticizing current drug policies. The dismissal has prompted outrage among government scientists and even resignations among members of his council. Now, he is leading a revolt and threatening to form a new independent committee to continue his work.
Under intense pressure from European Union leaders, other governments, and factions within his own country, Czech President Vaclav Klaus caved in on November 3 and signed the so-called Lisbon Treaty, a slightly altered version of the EU Constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The agreement, having cleared its final hurdle, is expected to go into force in December or January.
In September 1939, the Red Army of the Soviet Union invaded Poland under the pretense that the Polish government could no longer protect Ukrainians and Belarusians living in eastern Poland. Now it has been revealed that Russia has, in essence, marked the 70th anniversary of that infamous event with “war games” simulating a future invasion of Poland.
When searching for reforms to promote gender equality the world often turns north. The Scandinavian countries have more equality between men and women than most other societies. Women in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark were early in entering the labor market and have the highest political representation in the world. In Sweden, women hold close to half of the seats and Finland is headed by a female president.
The Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) is expected to approve this week President Dalia Grybauskaite's demand for a full investigation of allegations of a CIA “black site” prison in the Baltic nation's capital in 2004-05, according to various news reports.
Day two of NATO’s Defense Ministers’ meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, continued on October 23, with NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and ISAF commander U.S. General Stanley McChrystal all urging stronger support for the war in Afghanistan.