In the heartland of the Taliban it is regularly taken for granted that Western notions of human rights are dismissed as an attempt to foist Christian values on a Muslim nation. Now, the reprehensible murder of a young bride is the latest fact emphasizing the systemic disregard for the rights of women in Afghanistan.

In the pre-dawn hours Thursday Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. drone turned a farmhouse in rural Yemen into a smoldering heap of charred wood that served as a bier for at least eight of those “suspected militants.”

The State Department gave out $5.6 million of taxpayers' money in 2011 to preserve cultural sites and customs in foreign countries.

The NYU/Stanford study “Living Under Drones” goes beyond reporting estimates of the civilian casualties inflicted by the deadly and illegal U.S. campaign. It also documents the hell the Pakistanis endure under President Barack Obama’s policy, which includes a “kill list” from which he personally selects targets. The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a “militant.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing a scheme that would purport to give an unelected official within the increasingly powerful but unpopular European Union the authority to veto the budgets of elected national governments. If approved, the EU would have more power over its formerly sovereign members than even the U.S. federal government has been able to usurp from American states.

The most recent indication that the U.S. military may well be in Afghanistan to stay comes from Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Appearing on a panel at the annual meeting of the International Stability Operations Association in Washington on October 16, Grossman said that “the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014,” according to Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy magazine.

Libyan rebels backed by the Obama administration and NATO governments committed a wide range of war crimes, including, in one case, summarily executing and torturing dozens of prisoners of war, possibly including strongman Muammar Gadhafi and his son, the non-profit group Human Rights Watch said in a newly released report. The new Western-backed government ruling parts of Libya out of Tripoli, meanwhile, has failed to investigate or prosecute the well-documented abuses.

Another day, another subsidized “green energy” firm going bankrupt. This time it’s A123 Systems Inc., a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of batteries for electric cars that received about $500 million in state and federal assistance, including a $249 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Meeting at St Andrews House, the Scottish government building, in Edinburgh on October 15, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron and the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond signed an agreement allowing the Scottish people to hold a referendum in Autumn 2014 deciding the question of whether Scotland should remain in the UK or opt for independence.

As the growing economic crisis continues to wreak havoc throughout the European Union, the armed forces of tiny Switzerland are preparing to deal with a potential EU disaster that could see refugees flood across the borders amid widespread unrest and chaos. Top Swiss officials have warned that if escalating turmoil were to spill across the border, Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, will be ready to tackle it.   

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