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China: Update. The aircraft carrier Varyag returned to port at Dalian after completing its fifth sea trial. There still is no sign of an air squadron aboard.

Republic of China: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Taiwan said Tuesday that Taiwan remains willing to work with other countries on exploring resources in the South China Sea, while reaffirming the nation's claim to several disputed island groups and surrounding waters in the region.

Comment: The Chinese government on Taiwan asserts the same claims to the South China Sea and its islands as the Communist Chinese government in Beijing. The government on Taiwan understands international cooperation in developing seabed resource better than the Communists, but both assert Chinese ownership.

Afghanistan: During or shortly after President Obama's visit the anti-government forces detonated three suicide explosions in Kabul on 2 May. The apparent target was a foreign forces base in the eastern part of the city. There are no reports of casualties.

Comment: If the capital is not secure, the countryside is not secure, even if it there are few attacks. The Taliban and other anti-government forces are husbanding personnel, relying on roadside and suicide bombings and waiting. The bombings are reminders that the government and the NATO forces cannot keep the capital secure.

As for Afghan government forces, credible sources already have reported many intend to switch sides after US forces cease combat operations. That is what Afghan government forces did in 1996 when the Taliban approached Kabul.

Al Qaida is gone from Afghanistan. There are no reports in open sources of Arab-inspired attacks. It is no exaggeration to state that the Taliban despise the Arabs for having plunged Afghanistan into ten more years of civil war against foreign soldiers. They will never again invite the Arab terrorists to Afghanistan.

Mali: After fierce fighting in Mali's capital Tuesday, troops loyal to the junta overran the main camp of the soldiers who tried to oust them in a countercoup. Gunfire was reported in Bamako as Malian government troops battled each other, killing at least 12 people.

Comment: All news sources report the counter-coup failed. The southern Malians fought better against each other than against the terrorists in the north.

Afterthought: Update. The Dutch government fell over austerity measures on 21 April. Five governments have fallen because the elected representatives of the people are resisting the bankers, meaning that the pro-austerity governments are being removed from office. If Sarkozy loses, France would make the sixth.

End of NightWatch.

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