Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the so-called “BRICS” countries, added more pressure against the U.S. dollar after their leftist leaders called for a new international monetary system and announced that they planned to start issuing credit for trade among themselves using their own currencies.
The communist Chinese regime is cracking down on Tibetan monks at a major Buddhist monastery as well as the surrounding community, murdering and arresting protesters while prompting worldwide condemnation and warnings of more atrocities to come.
On Tuesday, Cuba announced that José Ramón Machado, 80, would fill the second highest position in the Communist Party, putting him in line to possibly succeed President Raul Castro. The New York Times notes that the announcement was significant as it was the first time since 1959 that “someone other than the Castro brothers” was selected to fill such a prominent position.
Islamic extremists are continuing to press their advantage in the new, post-Mubarak Egypt, and are now demanding that one of the few Christians serving in the government be removed — or else.
Emad Shehata Michael, a Coptic Christian, is the newly appointed governor of Qena. The act of appointing a Copt as governor was hardly an innovation; according to the Associated Press, his predecessor “was actually a Christian and a former police general as well, but he was appointed by Mubarak and was much reviled for his incompetence, security background, and close ties to the regime, enabling the Salafis to draw on local dissatisfaction in their current campaign.”
In Great Britain, in the days prior to the invasion of Iraq, government ministers and oil industry executives spoke about how best to exploit the rich oil reserves in that country, according to an article in the UK newspaper The Independent.
The paper reports that there were at least five meetings among representatives of BP, Shell, and the British government, taking place near the end of 2002. The invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003.
The so-called London Taliban is attempting to impose Sharia law by threatening homosexuals and women who don’t know wear Muslim garb with violence.
The city’s Daily Mail newspaper, in yet another installment of its episodic chronicle of Islam’s march through Britain and its institutions, reports that Muslims are harassing women who refuse to wear Islamic headgear, the hijab, or even worse, the suffocating burqa. Neighborhoods are being declared “gay free” zones.
Finland is a curious blend of statist socialism and national independence. Its politics do not always fit easily into American thinking. No one would call the small country a socially conservative nation. Religious belief is weak, and vices such as illegitimacy, alcoholism, and pornography are shockingly more prevalent than in its cousins — Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.
The grim litany of gang murders, tortures, and outright butchery by drug cartel members in Mexico has rendered the region near the international border almost untenable, and the latest discovery of 145 bodies in mass graves near San Fernando has precipitated a crisis in the logistics of dealing with death. The Houston Chronicle reported on Friday that the Mexican morgues were overwhelmed, and 70 of the bodies had been moved to Mexico City on Thursday.
China is the United States' biggest creditor and our second largest (behind Canada) trade partner. Official public meetings in Beijing and Washington between leaders of the two countries tend to give the appearance that, except for some minor disagreements, U.S.-PRC relations are all sweetness and light.
Most Americans — blessed with an inimitable Constitution written by men of great character and wisdom who understood the profound importance of human liberty — take freedom of expression for granted. So it sometimes surprises them to learn that their notion of free speech and free press is exceptional in the world.