Drone missile strikes against suspected militants continue in Pakistan along the Afghan border, in case you'd for some reason become optimistic.  Officially, this program does not exist, so don't tell anyone I mentioned it.

     Kyrgyz authorities are rounding up people as a result of last week's Kyrgyz-on-Uzbek ethnic violence.  They still blame former President Bakiyev's supporters, so it would seem likely that they are rounding up their own political enemies.

     North Korea is having its first leadership meeting since 1966.  Scuttlebutt is that Jong-Il's 27 or 28 year old son Jong-Un will be given a very senior job so that when his dad dies he can take over.

     Taiwan and China are signing a tariff reduction pact.  The AP finds a factory worker to state that this is just a plot for China to take over Taiwan.  It is the official policy of World News Today that we think both Taiwan and China are damn fools for asserting there is only one Chinese government and that they are it.

     Hong Kong's air has lots more pollutants than some places.  The AP found an office worker who said it stings when she goes outside.  No mention of why recent electoral reforms (increasing the size of the parliament and the candidate selection committee) should help.

     The drug cartel situation in Mexico remains grim, in case you'd become optimistic.  While the authorities have arrested one of the co-heads of the Sinaloa crime family involved in Colombian cocaine smuggling, only a year after they arrested its top leader, shootouts between the gangs and the authorities still occur regularly with a handful of people dying in each incident.

     The AP has found Chinese bloggers speaking intemperately about the presence of a US aircraft carrier participating in South Korean war games.

     The AP found some soldiers who are complaining about the Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan.  Apparently, if they see a man of fighting age leave a building from which they are taking fire they can't fire at him unless they see him with a weapon or drop a weapon.  Surely this is poppycock, because, with half a brain, you could force the Afghan to the ground and capture him, leaving until later the effort to sort out whether or not he had been firing.

     The government of China seems to have taken a calm approach to strikes in the last month among industrial workers asking for higher wages.  Not only were they not quickly stopped by force, but they even let the media cover some of the events.

     Guinea is having an election today.  World News Today endorses Conde.  The election follows the death of the dictator Conte in 1998 and the Camara coup that followed.  While Camara originally said he'd have pretty quick elections and not run for office, he reneged and one of his Presidential guard shot him in the head.  He survives in Burkina Faso, recovering, while his former Deputy, Konate, turns out to be the hero of the piece, setting up a civilian government and organizing the elections of today.

     Rwanda is preparing for another fake election by cracking down on critical newspapers and the opposition, included among them are a figure who denies the 1994 genocide occurred, a crime in Rwanda.

     Romania's highest court, for no reason stated by the AP, ruled some of the recent austerity measures unconstitutional.  This puts an indefinite hold on a major IMF loan Romania is seeking.  The loan is why they passed the bill which cut pensions and government salaries.

     Cuba has been busy privatizing 2.5 million acres of land, about half of the total it expects to give away to Cubans who want to try their hand at farming.  Prices for crops will be set by the government and farms which don't produce within 2 years will be taken back.

     Mohammed el-Baradei, formerly of the IAEA, led a protest of 1000s in Egypt against police brutality which was not, perhaps surprisingly, brutally put down by the police.

     Bolivia's main opposition leader has been ordered arrested by a court which says he is funding finance foreign mercenaries.

     The European Union says that member countries do not have to recognize same-sex marriages.
     There have been some protests, put down violently, in Indian Kashmir this week, ostensibly over the police having killed some Kashmiris.

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