*+-Julie Gutman: As the international community prepares to mark the 61st annual Human Rights Day on December 10, here is a short list of some of the best human rights developments of 2011 outside the Middle East.
*+-Carl Bloice: The military propagandists needed to come up with something to distract attention from the reality that things are going badly in Afghanistan, very badly. Public opinion in the U.S. has soured toward the war. Every other country that has troops on the battlefields is under tremendous popular pressure to withdraw them.
*+-Emily Spence and Brian McAfee: Heavily armed militias are trying to increase the very same kinds of turmoil that charitable groups are striving to remedy. They are doing so in order to gain control of four main minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold that garner an estimated $180 million in revenues each year.