NATO officials in Afghanistan have reported that three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopters crashed on October 26 in two separate incidents, killing 11 U.S. troops and three American civilians.
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the UN-spawned International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on October 21 that Iranian negotiators have agreed to a draft agreement that will provide for Iran to ship much of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing. Though officially an independent agency, the Vienna-headquartered IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
The incumbent President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, announced at a Kabul press conference on October 20 that he had accepted the findings of the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) — which had reduced his margin of victory to 49.67 percent of the vote — and has agreed to a runoff election. (Afghan law requires a runoff when no candidate passes the 50-percent mark.)
The Washington Post reported on October 13 that the U.S. military is deploying 13,000 additional troops to Afghanistan — in addition to the 21,000 extra combat soldiers approved by President Obama last March.
A two-week-long series of UN climate-change talks in Bangkok attended by delegates from 180 countries ended on October 9, with their most notable result being a dispute between richer and poorer nations over whether to renew or abandon the Kyoto Protocol, the only existing global agreement that addresses so-called climate change. The next UN-sponsored climate talks will be held in Barcelona, which will be the last round of such talks before the summit in Copenhagen in December.
At 9:45 a.m. on April 27, President Obama addressed the escalating controversy over the actual location of his birth at a press briefing in the White House. At the hastily convened session, he presented the press corps with copies of a “Certificate of Live Birth,” a document issued by the Department of Health of the State of Hawaii. It contained his August 4, 1961 date of birth, the name of a doctor (David A. Sinclair?), and the names of Obama’s parents. The document was not issued by a hospital although the name and address of the “Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital” appeared in an appropriate box.
In more than half of the 50 states, a worker has the option of not joining a union in order to hold a job. In those states where such an elementary freedom exists, the economic condition is more vibrant than in states where union membership, once it is gained at a place of business, is mandatory.
Speaking in a radio interview reported by the BBC on October 8, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that those who think Israel and the Palestinians can reach a peace deal "do not understand reality and are sowing illusions."
On October 1, the Beijing government celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, declared formally through a proclamation by the communist revolutionary Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949. As is traditional on such milestone occasions, the Chinese government will stage a mammoth military parade that will showcase China's newest nuclear missiles, displayed among more than 50 types of weapons.
Speaking two days before Iran is scheduled to meet the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in Geneva to discuss its nuclear fuel enrichment program, Ali Akbar Salehi — the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization — said on September 29 that Iran will never abandon its program.