Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps, the star swimmer of the US contingent in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is perhaps the greatest Olympian of this time — winning the most number of gold medals in a career; achieving 8 of the 14 in the current Olympics, breaking the 7-gold-medal record set by Mark Spitz back in 1972; and breaking world records in 4 individual events and 3 relay events.

The US media coverage being given to him reminds me of the attention given to Manny Pacquiao. And with the slumping economy affecting the esteem of the US, Michael Phelps amazing year in the Olympics is a sure upper for them.

Georgia

In international news, Russia will be pulling out from Georgian territory soon, and back into South Ossetia. All the while, I thought it was Russia wanting to expand its territory by invading (or taking back?) Georgia — Iraq-ish in a sense.

Reading up a bit showed that the Georgian military essentially initiated the conflict, trying to weed out the separatists in the South Ossetia region, which was essentially backed by Moscow. Increased offensive on the separatists prompted Russia to aid them, later spilling over into actual Georgian territory.

Now, an agreement has been reached between the warring nations, prompting the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops back to the South Ossetian region.