On the last day of April, according to a CNN report, Iran’s government confirmed that it has begun selling its oil in euros and in yen, something it has long threatened to do. After a failed attempt during last year’s summit of OPEC leaders to persuade the cartel to begin selling its oil for currencies other than the dollar, at which Iranian President Ahmadinejad called the falling U.S. dollar a “worthless piece of paper,” Iran has begun unilaterally selling its oil for currencies that, of late, have been far stronger internationally than the dollar.
On April 18, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi — who is in Japan as an advance man for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit in May — that the unrest in Tibet has become an international issue. The Beijing government maintains that the ongoing protests and suppression of freedom in Tibet are a domestic matter.
Ian Smith's passing at age 88 on November 20 merited a few mentions in the mainstream press. Unsurprisingly, much of what was written about the man and his attempt to save his country from internationalist meddling during the 1970s portrayed him as a racist scoundrel. As with most of what passes for reporting in the mainstream media, these reports were scurrilous oversimplifications.
"KGB influence 'soars under Putin,'" blared the headline of a BBC online article for December 13, 2006. The following day, a similar headline echoed a similarly alarming story at the website of Der Spiegel, one of Germany's largest news magazines: "Putin's Russia: Kremlin Riddled with Former KGB Agents."
One of poisoned Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko's most important accusations is his charge that Ayman al-Zawahiri, reportedly al-Qaeda's "Number 2" commander, had been trained by the Soviet KGB/FSB.