Big Blue Marble

AF&O’s periodic sampling of news from around the globe… From the Associated Press, news of a victory for the separation of church and state: A one-ton granite monument to the Ten Commandments placed in front of Winston-Salem’s City Hall by a lone council member was swiftly removed Tuesday. The monument violated a policy that councilman Vernon Robinson – who installed the monument Monday – had voted for in September, said city spokeswoman Carrie Collins. The policy bans public displays or plaques on city-owned facilities without permission of the city council or manager. “It had nothing to do with what was on the plaque,” Collins said. “It was just that it was in violation of city policy.”

Israeli warplanes bombarded Hezbollah bases deep in southern Lebanon, 24 hours after a soldier was killed in an attack by the Shiite Muslim group’s militia in the volatile border region.

The United Nations is on the case to stop the use of child soldiers in the world. Meanwhile, inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog arrived in Libya to work with British and US teams on closing down Tripoli’s reported weapons of mass destruction programs. And in Iraq news, UN chief Kofi Annan says he is leaning toward sending a team to help save the US power transfer plan in Iraq as a wave of anti-American protests mobilized the Shiite majority for a second straight day.

Will the trains stop rolling in France? It appears a one-day railway strike could happen soon.

At least 27 people were killed and 72 injured when a huge explosion, apparently caused by a defective boiler, ripped through a liquefied natural gas plant near the eastern Algerian port of Skikda.