1. A WAVE of headline-grabbing assaults across Afghanistan has drawn attention back to the Haqqani network. The group, part crime family, part militant force, is the chief suspect in the assaults on April 15th in Kabul, Nangarhar, Logar and Paktia (see map). The network is led from the border region of North Waziristan in neighbouring Pakistan by a veteran jihadist, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his sons, Sirajuddin and Badruddin and is thought to be allied to the Taliban. http://www.economist.com/node/21553089?fsrc=nlw%7Cwwp%7C4-19-2012%7C1436534%7C38566178%7C
2. Anders Behring Breivik entered an Oslo courtroom shortly before nine o’clock this morning to face trial for killing 77 people, mostly youngsters, on July 22nd last year. Released from his handcuffs on entering the courtroom, he made a Nazi-like clenched-fist salute and interrupted the judge’s opening statements. He did not, he said, recognise the “Norwegian court”. Most of the youngsters who died on Utøya were, it was revealed, shot in the head, some several times and mostly at close range. Breivik entered a plea of self-defense in his rambling 1,500-page manifesto where he portrayed himself as the leader of a new movement to save Norway and the rest of Europe from conquest by Islam, Marxism and multiculturalism.
3. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir threatened to invade the capital of South Sudan and topple its government, in a widening fight over an oil-rich border region that is turning into a test of economic survival for the east African neighbors.
Mr. Bashir made the comments in a rally of his troops, who are now engaged on at least three fronts with South Sudan, including the oil hub of Heglig, after launching two fresh assaults the day before. “Heglig isn’t the end, it is the beginning, and we shall go all the way to Juba,” the southern capital, he told the troops. Mr. Bashir has moved to mobilize jihadist groups and other paramilitary forces to augment his army, which has more than 100,000 soldiers, hundreds of tanks and fleets of Russian helicopters and MiG fighter planes.
4. House rejects Buffett Rule. H. Res. 620 In the House of Representatives, U. S., April 19, 2012.
Resolved: to pass Obama-favored 30% minimum tax on all income. Expected that it would have hit millionaires the hardest.
229 Republicans voted to reject. 179 Democrats unanimously voted for it. 19 congressmen didn’t vote. It would have needed 207 pro-Obama votes to succeed.
Five “Democrats” joined the Republican side: Matheson (Utah); McIntyre (N. Carolina); Rose (Ariz); Scott (GA); Terry (Neb).