Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a congressional order declaring the Haqqani network a terrorist organization. The Pakistani-based organization is responsible for many violent attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. It is unclear at this point how the Pakistani government will respond to this move by the United States. The State Department believes this will cut off some of the funding to the organization from countries such as Saudi Arabia.
China suffered a series of earthquakes last week, resulting in the deaths of at least 64 people in the Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. More than 6,600 homes were destroyed in the earthquake, with 120,000 more seriously damaged. The China Earthquake Networks Center says that the largest of the quakes registered at a magnitude of 5.7.
The French government has been sending aid money to Syrians in rebel-held areas in an effort to help them restore running water and other necessary services. Diplomats have said that France is not supplying money for weapons for the rebel armies, but rather assisting the rebel councils that are attempting to unify the opponents to the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Barack Obama last week, calling him “a very honest man” and simultaneously discrediting Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Putin seems hopeful that he and Obama can reach a compromise on the proposed European missile defense system if Obama is re-elected in November.
The deep drought is not only harming crops and causing fires, but is also contributing to increased bear activity across the United States. Reports of bears breaking into candy stores, raiding kitchens when windows were left open, and increased campsite robberies abound. The drought has reduced much of the bears’ natural food source, leaving them starved and searching for food anywhere they can find it. One black bear tried to clean out a hotel bar in Telluride, CO.