– The Army is better positioned now than ever to make major budget cuts because “we’ve seen this downturn coming for a while,” said Army Secretary John McHugh.
– Suspected insurgents in Afghanistan have been subjected to torture including electric shocks, being hung by their hands and having their genitals twisted according to a new U.N. report released on Monday.
– Sanctions against the Syrian economy are taking their toll, weakening Syria’s currency, expanding the country’s recession and effecting most essential sectors of the economy.
– Mikhail Margelov, chair of the Russian Federation Council International Affairs Committee, said yesterday that Russia’s veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution targeting Syria was not a “blank check” for the government of President Bashar Assad. “This is, if one can say so, the last call,” he said.
– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his government to explore ways to legalize settler outposts on private Palestinian lands in the West Bank.
– Israel has a legal obligation “to protect Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in response to a wave of attacks by West Bank settlers against Palestinians.
– Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is touring Latin America this week as part of a worldwide lobbying effort to gain recognition for a Palestinian state. “We are very interested in developing our relations with all the countries of the American continent,” Abbas said in San Salvador.
– The Wall Street Journal reports that “the U.S. government has obtained a controversial type of secret court order to force Google Inc. and small Internet provider Sonic.net Inc. to turn over information from the email accounts of WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum.” The 28-year-old Appelbaum has not been charged with any wrongdoing.