While most international currencies have been buffeted about by the world's choppy economic waters, the unsinkable U.S. dollar has just kept on sailing. Oddly enough, finance ministers at the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Washington this week are likely to view that as something of an embarrassment.
If it sounded like Dubya was speaking off the cuff, he was. The United States will do "whatever it takes" to defend Taiwan, President Bush said last week--dropping 30 years of calculated "strategic ambiguity" about its intentions in any conflict between the two Chinas.
Got a ditty creepin' and crawlin' around inside your head and just can't place it? Your troubles will soon be over. A Norwegian company, Fast Search and Transfer, has developed a computer-software program that picks up the notes you hum, whistle or sing, and then finds your tune from a database of 10,000 songs.
The Bush administration announced last week that it would fund opposition activities inside Iraq, signaling its first move against Saddam Hussein. But Saddam's opponents are looking for more than money--they want better support from U.S. warplanes. "What we need to do is change the rules of engagement for American forces," says Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, the anti-Saddam coalition.
Congo's new president, Joseph Kabila, brought his campaign for international legitimacy to Washington last week and won the first round. He held his own in meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell--and even with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, one of Congo's "worst enemies," according to a Congolese diplomat.
Why are Burma's military leaders easing up on their opposition, the National League for Democracy (NLD)? Since the new year, they have ceased press attacks, released 84 activists, and even held talks with NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi-- "the most interesting development since 1990," says one EU spokesman.
The U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey aircraft program has weathered two fatal crashes in the last year. But will it survive its latest scandal? An anonymous tipster revealed recently that Osprey maintenance records had been doctored in an effort to preserve the $30 billion-plus program.But Pentagon insiders say even this is unlikely to sink the project.
Sworn in: last Friday Joseph Kabila was sworn in as president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Succeeding his father, who was assassinated just the week before, Kabila guaranteed "the independence, unity and cohesion of the Congolese people."Retired: Kalusha Bwalya, one of Africa's greatest soccer players, hung up his boots last week after a 21-year career.