Don’t deliberate

Obama addresses an audience of 4,000 West Point cadets in his Afghanistan exit-strategy speech.

Former Belgian colony Rwanda was accepted into to the Commonwealth of former British colonies, and reestablished diplomatic ties with longtime arch-nemesis France, the nation that many Rwandan politicians blame for involvement in the 1994 genocide.

On World AIDS Day, South African president Jacob Zuma pledged to expand treatment for all HIV-positive babies and those vulnerable to developing AIDS in the country with the world’s most vast epidemic. Zuma — elected in April — shows a sea change on the topic, compared to predecessor Thabo Mbeki, who denied any link between HIV and AIDS, and whose appointed health minister suggested those with HIV opt for home remedies such as beetroot and garlic, rather than antiretroviral drugs.

Apparently no one’s all that worried about the whole Dubai debt emergency thing anymore.

Now that media giant Bloomberg has bought Business Week, it’s making curve-ball changes to the face of the magazine. For one, PBS talk show host Charlie Rose will write a weekly column starting in late December. Rose will do what Rose does best, engaging with influential people from a variety of fields. In the transition, over 100 BW employees have been slashed, and some of the weekly’s main columnists have moved to other publications.

General Electric is poised to buy French telecom company Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion. GE would have to have Vividendi’s substantial stake before it could sell NBC Universal to Comcast.

Chinese Premier Wen Jibao rebuffed calls to loosen up his currency while in the EU. He, in turn, warned countries not to practice trade protectionism. On a lighter note, Wen and EU officials did sign some agreements about energy and the environment and stuff.

Sri Lanka released the over 120,000 refugees of the civil war between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers of Elam. “Transport out of the camps is a problem, but people seem to be very happy,” said one official. The international community has been calling on the Sri Lankan government to close the camps since the end of the war, the Sri Lankan government had promised to do it by January.

The UN called Switzerland’s ban on the construction of minarets “clearly discriminatory” and divisive. The Swiss foreign minister acknowledged the government is concerned about how the vote would affect the country’s image.

A bomb exploded on a passenger train headed from Siberia to Azerbaijan, while the train was in the North Caucus Republic of Dagestan, which happens to border Chechnya and Georgia. This, after trains traveling between St. Petersburg and Moscow collided after an explosion this weekend, killing 26 people.

Russia said it will join any consensus on more sanctions against Iran, after Tehran claimed it would expand nuclear activity in defiance of a UN rebuke. The decision signals waning patience with Iran’s failure to not make the world think it’s secretly making atomic bombs, and a warning from Russia that Iran may not be able to rely on the country to defend its actions. Meanwhile, China warned the world that diplomacy, not sanctions, is the effective way to deal with Iran’s stubbornness and secrecy.

After three months of deliberations, U.S. President Obama ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, as expected. Exit strategy? Get Afghans to up fight. More on that later.



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