The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, released annually by Transparency International, shows northern Europe continues to be perceived as the world's least corrupt region, with six countries taking the top 10 spots. The island-state of Singapore climbed into first place this year with New Zealand and Denmark. The United States fell behind Chile and into 22nd place, marking the first time it failed to rank in the top 20. Russia ranked worst among global powers, falling from 146th place to 154th place, tied with Cambodia. Nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index were below five on a scale of 0 (high corruption) to 10 (low corruption). That means not just the following countries have a corruption problem.
Four militants attacked the United Nations compound in Herat, Afghanistan Saturday in the most serious incident on a UN facility since the Oct. 2009 attack on a Kabul guesthouse that killed several employees.
Jordanian intelligence has been crucial in the past, but its warnings were ignored before an Al Qaeda attack on a CIA base last year, according to the US spy agency.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai confirmed that he's talking to the Taliban, seeking a political settlement with the group that harbored Al Qaeda prior to and just after 9/11.
Pakistan is keeping the Torkham border crossing, a key supply route for US forces in Afghanistan, closed in apparent retaliation for a NATO attack on a Pakistani border post.
A US air attack that mistakenly killed three Pakistani border troops sparked the government to close the Torkham border post, a vital NATO supply line into Afghanistan.
Bob Woodward's recent book amplified US whispers that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is unstable. There is a problem, but it isn't his brief show of emotion today.