President Obama addressed the nation from Afghanistan May 1, claiming victory over al Qaeda and touting a new agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai keeping U.S. troops in combat in the nation for at least two more years. by Thomas R. Eddlem

Last Thursday's two-notch downgrade of Spain's sovereign debt by Standard and Poor's credit rating agency is triggering pushback at the ballot box. 

The State Department held a classified briefing for members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 26 regarding the administration’s handling of the reported attempt in February by a high level Chinese official to defect to the United States. As reported here previously, Wang Lijun, the famous “crime fighter” and chief of police for Chonqing City (where he was also vice mayor) made a dramatic, secret visit to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, provoking a major armed standoff between police and military forces representing Chonqing, who had been sent to capture him, and forces from Sichuan, who were ordered to take Wang into custody and stop the Chonqing police from arresting him.

A self-styled international "court" under the auspices of the United Nations ruled Thursday that former Liberian war lord and ruthless dictator Charles Taylor - who worked with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for years - was guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone’s ghastly civil war. He could face life in prison when his sentence is announced next month.

"NATO will be holding its 25th summit in President Obama's hometown of Chicago, United States, on 20-21 May 2012," the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has announced.

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