ITALY - $35.8 billion: No. 10 but spending less. Over the past decade, Rome decreased state military spending by 13.3 percent – more than any other country in the top 10. According to Stockholm-based SIPRI's annual report, of the 19 states in the G20, only Argentina, Indonesia, and Italy did not increase their military spending in 2009. A comrade holds a photo of Italian Army Sgt. Maj. Roberto Valente in Naples, Italy, on Sept. 17 after Valente was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Don't ask, don't tell doesn't fly with NATO members, except Turkey and the US. NATO nations now allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. But 53 nations, including North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and Syria, ban homosexuals from military service.
Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is thought to be connected to at least three alleged terrorist attacks, including the Fort Hood shootings, the Christmas Day bombing attempt on an airliner, and the May 2 Times Square bomb.
Karl Rove says President Bush really believed Iraq had WMDs. But that doesn’t excuse an action that endangered the lives of thousands.
A 75 percent drop in Yemen government revenue and other woes is making it harder to pacify a restless public with subsidies and ensure cooperation in remote tribal areas – including ones where cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and other militant types are believed to be living.
AFGHANISTAN: The central-Asian country is the worst place to be a mom, according to Save the Children. Every year, 50 million women in the developing world give birth with no professional help, and Afghan children face a 1 in 4 risk of dying before age 5. Here, an Afghan girl carries a ration from a food distribution program for her mother in Kabul on April 15, 2010. The mother is a victim of a land mine explosion and a war widow.
Somali pirates have captured a Russian oil tanker, bound for China. EU naval officials say a Russian Navy vessel is in pursuit.
Experts caution that unless Yemen diversifies its approach – which led to success in neighboring Saudi Arabia – increased military action and overt cooperation with the US, which has dramatically increased funding, may ultimately backfire.
As Yemen confronts the Arab world's poorest economy and an increasingly active Al Qaeda branch, security concerns such as today's suicide bomb stymie international aid workers seeking to help the country.