The fighting continues in Libya, as NATO has stated that it is still unwilling to withdraw its military operations in the region. Citing the fighting surrounding the Libyan city of Sirte as an example, the American Defense Secretary has said that NATO is being very careful so as to flush out all the remaining loyalist forces before giving their political leaders official consent to pull out.
In an effort to reignite his supporters, former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has broadcast a message while in hiding, urging those still loyal to him to “rise up” and denounce the new Transitional National Council, which is currently taking over the governmental operations of Libya. Qaddafi’s goal is to seed discontent among his former people, hoping that they will accept him as their leader once again.
The death toll for Syrian anti-dictatorship protest has risen to 2,900, according to a United Nations report released last week. The Syrian government refuses to give way to the protesters, and as a result the casualties continue to mount. While the protests started peacefully in March, they have escalated into an armed struggle as governmental opposition grows.
Afghan and American soldiers at an outpost overlooking Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan received a welcome, yet unusual respite to the fighting last week. This time of year is prime harvest season for pine-nuts, a common, annual produce of the Afghan hills. Because many of the local laborers need this harvest to survive, the Taliban declared a temporary, unilateral cease-fire to allow the locals to harvest the pine-nuts without fear of being shot.
The economy may not be in the tanks gain, as the U.S. Labor Department reported an addition of roughly 100,000 new jobs for the month of September. Amid fears that the economy may be facing a double-dip recession, this is very welcome news. Unemployment is unchanged, however, and hovers at 9.1 percent.
Russian president Dimitri Medvedev continues to defend the Russian Veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution that would levy sanctions against Syria. The proposed sanctions would force the Syrian government to end the violence against protesters, but Russia will continue to veto this resolution until the council includes a clause eliminating military action as a possible option.
The federal government cracked down on medical marijuana dispensaries in the state of California, claiming that federal law takes precedence over state law. The claim is that they are only cracking down on those in violation of state laws, although there are fears that this means the federal government will crack down on all medical marijuana facilities.