A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan — to determine whether the South should remain part of Sudan, or secede and become a separate country — has gone surprisingly smoothly, but tensions in Abyei are high, and violent battles have already begun that could cause another civil war to break out.

Russian natural gas corporation Gazprom was given the green light by the government of the north-central African nation Niger for the purpose of exploring the impoverished country for possible uranium mining opportunities. Gazprom subsidiary Gazprombank NGS, based in Moscow, was given a license to explore for uranium in the region of Agadez in northern Niger, reported Bloomberg World News.

"Raymond Davis must be tried under Pakistani laws," stated the nearly unanimous voice of Pakistanis as the masses express their anger and grief over the killing of two Pakistani nationals (whom they believe innocent) by Raymond Davis, a member of the U.S. embassy's technical administrative staff in Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan.

So much has been reported but so little is understood of the events that have vacillated in the Middle East. The United States’ allies in the region have begun to fall like dominoes as protests ensue from the Suez in Egypt to Amman in Jordan, following the collapse of the rule of law in Tunisia. The question that looms on the minds of many is "What will happen next?" However, complete understanding of what is transpiring behind the scenes is not possessed by many — in particular the identity of some of the key forces behind the revolutions.

Americans, Canadians and Europeans must brace themselves for a massive increase in the number of Muslims living in North America and the European Union during the next 20 years, according to a report from the Pew Forum for Religious and Public Life.

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