Romel Hawal was born in Habbaniya Cece, Iraq, 48 years ago. Most of the population then was Christian. Now Hawal may become part of a long exodus of Christians out of Iraq. There are no Christian services in the town any longer and his 11-year-old son knows no other Christians outside his family. “When my son swears," Hawai mourns, "it is on the Koran, not the Bible. Whenever I look at him my heart breaks. He is my closest friend. I just want him to live a normal life where he can practice Christian traditions.”
Guyanese terrorist Russell DeFreitas is to be sentenced today in U.S. federal court for his role in plotting to blow up John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York. DeFreitas’ sentencing comes one week after that of his fellow terrorist, Abdel Nur, who was sentenced last Thursday for his role in orchestrating the attack with al-Qaeda operatives and with the anarchist socialist Trinidadian movement Jamaat Al Muslimeen (JAM). Like his co-conspirators, DeFreitas is expected to be sentenced to life in prison.
Missing persons are a major human-rights issue in various countries. One niche of the missing persons saga is Asian nationals who went missing after 9/11, kidnapped by the world’s intelligence agencies. There are hundreds of people who went missing in the last several years from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine, China, Thailand, and Singapore.
The financial crisis which has been pulling eurozone nations such as Greece and Portugal into a downward spiral of high interest rates on government debt and inability to repay loans has rippled throughout many medium-sized European nations as well. Belgium and Spain are facing growing problems that may require a bailout from the European economic community. The European Union's rationale for bailing out member nations has been that it was to maintain the stability of the single currency, the euro, and to keep free trade within the community.
Six years ago the Romanian Institute for Marketing and Polling reported that 64% of the people felt that their nation was moving in the right direction, toward free-market democracy. Yet last September another survey showed that 49% of Romanians, almost half, felt that life was better for them under communism.
According to the Indian Express, India sought a UN ban on the Pakistani group Jamatud Dawa (JD) after evidence showed that it is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), an Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist group operating in Asia. LeT is suspected of being behind the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India which left 165 dead and scores wounded.
According to Borderland Beat (BB) Jan. 5, Mexican drug cartels have formed elaborate and strategic alliances with Middle Eastern drug traffickers, and those supply chains are also being used for arms trade and money laundering. BB obtained the report from El Universal, a major Mexican newspaper, and added that Mexican groups are also making inroads into European Union markets.
Internet whistleblower website WikiLeaks plans to release information on tax evasion by the rich and famous after obtaining two disks of information from former Cayman Islands branch chief of Swiss banking firm Julius Baer Bank & Trust Company Ltd. The Cayman Islands is a well-known haven for investments because the Caribbean island nation has no income, capital gains, profit, or estate taxes in addition to highly secretive banking laws.
On Jan. 16, the news syndicate Breitbart reported that the U.S. embassy in Geneva has been conducting illegal surveillance on Swiss territory. In 2006 and 2007 U.S. missions in Geneva and Bern had requested protection of their buildings through surveillance programs, but the requests were denied.
Condemned by U.S. officials as dangerous and by Republican leader Sarah Palin as "anti-American," Wikileaks has facilitated the destruction of Tunisia's tyrannical state with the whistleblower website's release of classified information about rampant corruption in the north African government. The 23-year reign of corrupt President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali ended January 15, when Ben Ali and his family fled to Saudi Arabia.