1. Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was captured in Thailand in 2008 in a sting operation led by the US, has finally been extradited by the Thai government to stand trial in the United States. As reported by the Bangkok Post and others, Bout has dealt arms to the FARC in Colombia, to Angolan rebels, and to murderous villains around the globe. This is a win for US diplomacy and law enforcement, and for people around the globe caught in the crossfire of armed conflict.
2. Talks! I know, I know, we've been down this road many (many!) times before, but direct talks have been restarted between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. From the reports today on the News Hour, we'll know they're serious if the principals involved are Netanyu and Abbas, not delegations, but this is a hopeful first step. There were no pre-conditions set for talks, and everyting is on the table. We'll see where it goes.
3. And in a story covered by the NY Times, there has been a shift in who is holding our nation's debt - away from other governments and toward us. For the first time since 2000 foreign governments were net sellers of US bonds and most of the rest of the new debt is held by Americans. This has significant implications for foreign policy, long term solvency, and the ability of the Treasury to issue more bonds.
"In calendar year 2007, the Treasury borrowed a net $237 billion. Of that, 81 percent came from foreign governments, mostly from central banks. Private foreign investors took up the rest, as American companies, banks and individuals reduced their combined Treasury holdings by $13 billion.
It's a step in the right direction - there are many, many more to take, but it's a step.