Happy New Year! (if anyone is reading this blog other than a couple of my friends, haha!) A round-up of recent news items of interest to me.
* How could I have missed this? Somehow I had no idea this was going to be happening, and it seems very important. Baghdad Green Zone Handed Over to Iraqi Control at Midnight, New Year's Eve Despite the formal handover, however, American soldiers will be in charge of security for the next 90 days. And some Iraqi soldiers in the Green Zone said they would still be under American supervision. So it sounds like the situation is in flux and somewhat uncertain.
* This is an update on the Chinese dairy scandal. An executive in the dairy company responsible for tainted dairy products plead guilty to charges that she knew of problems for months before informing authorities. At least someone is being held accountable. However, it's disturbing that the death penalty is a possible penalty. China's legal system leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, they impose the death penalty for relatively minor crimes. I didn't approve of the Olympics being given to China because of the appalling human rights situation there. And there's no indication that holding the Olympics there improved the situation at all. China Dairy Executive Knew of Problems with Milk
* Vatican severs ties to Italy's laws I don't know why I find this kind of fascinating. Must be the lawyer in me. The Vatican will no longer automatically adopt new Italian laws as its own, as some are at odds with Catholic doctrine, according to this news blurb. I wonder why this is happening now? How strange that the Vatican even exists as an independent political entity. It seems so medieval. It's as if the White House were an independent country, at least on a physical level. The Vatican is just a collection of buildings smack dab in the middle of Rome. Obviously, it's the headquarters of the Catholic church and the home of the Pope, but the fact that it's technically its own country seems bizarre.