An al-Qaeda leader of American birth was killed by a predator drone strike in Yemen last week, marking the first time in the war on terrorism that an American has been directly targeted. The leader in question was Anwar al-Awlaki. Born an American and an outspoken al-Qaeda activist, he was considered by the Central Intelligence Agency to be the most dangerous English-speaking propagandist working for al-Qaeda.
The North Korean propaganda team has been running a massive campaign over the last year to elevate the future leader of North Korea in the minds of the people. Kim Jong-un, the son of current president Kim Jong-il, is a four-star general at the age of 28, and is slated to take over for his father soon. The propaganda team in North Korea have shown the elite leaders of the regime bowing to Kim Jong-un at state events, and have carefully crafted his public image to make him look like his grandfather, the Great Leader who founded the nation.
An American delegation of four Republican senators visited the Libyan capital of Tripoli last week to speak with the transitional government that is in place there. The delegation began talks with those taking over control of Libya seeking to build ties with the new state now that Col. Qaddafi has been successfully ousted. American investors are watching the talks closely, in hopes that they will be able to trade with Libya in the near future.
Germany’s Parliament has voted to increase the bailout package for several states that have been unable to pay their debts. While this a great step for the European Union as a whole, it will be slow in having an effect. Every country in the EU has to approve the move, and with 17 countries represented that can take a considerable amount of time.
Inmates in one of California’s high-security prisons have been performing a hunger strike since Monday, refusing all state-provided meals. Their stated goal is to force the state of California to improve the living conditions inside the prison, where many inmates live in total isolation. The prison officials have stated that they will discipline any inmate that participates in the strike.
The nation’s largest banks are beginning to to levy debit card transaction fees against consumers, coming in the form of a monthly charge to account holders who use their debit cards. The average monthly fees range from $3 to $5. This comes as a result of a new rule that limits the banks’ ability to charge merchants transaction fees for debit card purchases. Transaction fees used to be about $0.44, and now they are limited by law to $0.24 per purchase.