During one-day cease-fire in Ukraine, team reaches site of plane crash, collects DNA

July 31, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — A small advance team of forensic experts on Thursday finally reached the site where a Malaysia Airlines flight went down in eastern Ukraine two weeks ago, after four days of false starts cut short by heavy fighting in the area.

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WorldViews: Will sanctions work against Russia? Iran’s experience offers a few clues.

July 31, 2014

When the United States first threatened Russia with sanctions in April, Iranian officials reportedly cautioned the Kremlin against ignoring the American warnings. Having experienced the effect of such restrictions on their own country, the Iranians apparently advised Russia not to underestimate the possible impact.

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Russian blogger law puts new restrictions on Internet freedoms

July 31, 2014

MOSCOW — Russia’s shrinking space for freedom of expression on the Internet is set to constrict further Friday, as tough regulations go into effect that will give Russian authorities powerful oversight over the country’s most-read online personalities, including opposition bloggers and politicians.

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Kerry tries to repair damage in U.S.-India relations

July 31, 2014

NEW DELHI — Washington is eager to work with India’s newly elected government to become “indispensable partners,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday during a visit aimed at reinvigorating strained ties.

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WorldViews: This is what an Israeli airstrike on a building in Gaza looks like

July 31, 2014

GAZA CITY — It was around 2:30 p.m., and the word had spread on al-Jalla Street.

An Israeli airstrike was about to unfold. The target: a gray, concrete building of moderate height in the heart of Gaza City.

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WorldViews: The other assassination that led up to World War I

July 31, 2014

World War I, we have long been told, was a fait accompli after an assassination. The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian emperor, by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo set into motion a chain of events that would explode into the Great War, a hideous conflict that led to the deaths of millions and redrew the world map. Many countries somberly marked the centennial of the archduke’s assassination at the end of June.

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WorldViews: How a Nazi-era sports stadium in Berlin became Turkey’s largest polling station

July 31, 2014

Berlin’s Olympiastadion, an enormous stadium built under Adolf Hitler’s rule in the 1930s, is mostly used for soccer games or concerts these days. Until Sunday, however, the historic site will serve a different purpose: as Turkey’s largest polling station.

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WorldViews: Latin America’s support for Palestinians and the echoes of the Cold War

July 31, 2014

On Wednesday, Bolivia’s outspoken President Evo Morales denounced Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, and labeled the country a “terrorist state.” Bolivia also changed the rules for Israeli citizens visiting the Andean nation, making a visa now mandatory prior to travel.

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WorldViews: Nigerian official warns pastors and healers to stop making false Ebola-cure claims

July 31, 2014

African governments are doubling down on efforts to contain the widening Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which also involves combating rumors and falsehoods about the disease.

In Nigeria, there has been only one confirmed Ebola death: A Liberian man traveling through the Lagos airport collapsed, then succumbed to the virus.

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WorldViews: Crossword: What in the world, this week

July 31, 2014

We’re starting a new feature on WorldViews this morning. How much do you really know about events around the world this week?

Try our multimedia crossword puzzle.

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WorldViews: News Crossword: What in the world, this week

July 31, 2014

We’re starting a new feature on WorldViews this morning. How much do you really know about events around the world this week?

Try our multimedia crossword puzzle.

Read full article >>



WorldViews: In Gaza: a warning, an airstrike and a family without a home

July 31, 2014

The Israel Defense Forces have a tactic in place where they contact families in Gaza to alert them that their house is about to be targeted by the military and that they should evacuate the premises. The strategy, according to the IDF, is aimed at lowering the number of civilian casualties. The homes targeted allegedly belong to Hamas members.

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WorldViews: Egyptian media reveals just how isolated Hamas is

July 31, 2014

Back in 2011, following the ouster of longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, relations between Egypt and Israel were at a low point. Things reached a nadir on the Sept. 9, 2011, when a violent clash at Israeli Embassy in Cairo forced Israel’s ambassador to leave the country. There appeared to be growing dissatisfaction in Egypt with what many perceived as years of accommodation with Israel under Mubarak, heightened by a deadly clash at the border, when five Egyptian border guards were accidentally killed by Israeli troops.

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WorldViews: Britain back to a familiar role: American wing-man in Europe

July 31, 2014

LONDON — When the British House of Commons voted last summer to buck calls to join the United States in a possible military intervention in Syria, it set off a furious round of soul-searching over whether the unbreakable bond between London and Washington had just sustained a grievous blow.

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Gay activists in China sue over electric shock therapy used to ‘cure’ homosexuality

July 31, 2014

BEIJING — Gay rights activists in China sued a counseling center Thursday for its offers to cure homosexuality through “conversion therapy” — the first lawsuit of its kind in a country where gay people are granted few rights and little recognition.

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Japan poised to impose sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

July 31, 2014

TOKYO — When Vladimir Putin was preparing for another shot at the Russian presidency a little more than two years ago, he said he would give a command to Russian and Japanese officials: “hajime.”

After half a century of frosty relations with Moscow, the order to “start” — using a word employed in the Japanese martial art of judo, in which Putin is a black belt — was well received in Tokyo. Even more so when Shinzo Abe returned later in 2012 for his second term as Japan’s prime minister and ordered his own restart with Russia, driven by pragmatic and regional considerations.

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Anti-Jewish slogans return to the streets in Germany as Mideast protests sweep Europe

July 31, 2014

BERLIN — Before the start of a pro-Palestinian rally — one of the scores being staged almost daily here since Israel launched its offensive in Gaza — an organizer on a bullhorn yelled out the do’s and don’ts as ordered last week by the Berlin police.

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Uighur scholar charged with separatism amid new violence in western China

July 31, 2014

BEIJING — A prominent Uighur scholar was formally charged with separatism Wednesday and will face trial in Xinjiang, even as conflicting accounts of violence in the restive Chinese region have emerged from Uighurs and the government.

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U.N. says Israel violated international law, after shells hit school in Gaza

July 31, 2014

GAZA CITY — United Nations officials accused Israel of violating international law after artillery shells slammed into a school overflowing with evacuees Wednesday, an attack that Palestinian and U.N. officials said killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens as they slept.

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In Gaza, 11 members of a Palestinian family are killed in a single strike

July 31, 2014

JABALYA, Gaza Strip — The Balatas, like many Palestinian families, disliked Israel but also sought to distance themselves from Hamas.

For more than three weeks, as the conflict has stretched on, the Balatas’ lives have revolved around how to best protect their large family, extending over several generations, in one of the most war-torn enclaves in Gaza. Now, trapped between the ambitions of Israel and Hamas, they have paid a heavy price.

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Kerry urges Afghan presidential candidates to put power-sharing agreement to work

July 30, 2014

Secretary of State John F. Kerry appealed to both candidates in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election to translate the broad power-sharing agreement they reached with him early this month into a working relationship they can carry into a new government, “whoever wins.”

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Razing of Mosul’s shrines sparks first signs of resistance against Islamic State

July 30, 2014

BAGHDAD – As al-Qaeda-inspired militants have reduced Mosul’s ancient religious shrines to rubble in recent weeks, their support has also crumbled, with popular outrage producing the first signs of resistance in the Iraqi city.

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WorldViews: I wouldn’t live here: Israeli soldier patrolling a border town near Gaza

July 30, 2014

NETIV HAASARA, Israel — This is one of those sleepy little Zionist farm towns, filled with Jews who confess they page through seed catalogs as much as the Torah. They live a mile or two from the Gaza border. They joke that they like the quiet life.

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WorldViews: Watch: U.N. official breaks down over deaths of Palestinian children

July 30, 2014

As my colleagues report, Palestinian officials and a U.N. agency say Israeli artillery shells on Wednesday hit a U.N.-run school that was sheltering Palestinian families, killing at least 20. A U.N. statement pinned the blame on the Israeli military, which says it’s investigating the incident. “Today the world stands disgraced,” the statement read.

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WorldViews: If you litter, Europe’s last dictator may confiscate your car

July 30, 2014

Belarus’s long-ruling president, Alexander Lukashenko, is sometimes referred to as Europe’s “last dictator.” But while he is frequently criticized abroad, Belarusans are the ones who feel the effects of his laws and policies. According to the state-run news agency BelTA, the president warned of drastic punishments for offenders polluting the environment, including the “confiscation of vehicles.”

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WorldViews: How Israel helped create Hamas

July 30, 2014

All signs indicate that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to wage a protracted battle in the battered Gaza Strip as it seeks to crush the capabilities of the Islamist militant group Hamas. The ongoing conflict has already exacted a bloody toll, with the Palestinian death count approaching the total of Israel’s 2008-2009 bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, which led to the deaths of at least 1,383 Palestinians over three weeks.

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WorldViews: Pro-Russian separatist commander orders soldiers to stop cussing

July 30, 2014

Pro-Russian separatist fighters are being warned to clean up their foul-mouthed language by local militia commander Igor Girkin, who goes by “Strelkov.”

This week, Strelkov ordered his troops to quit using curse words that are known as part of the Russian “mat.” Hey, its not like they have bigger problems to worry about — namely whether they were in fact responsible for shooting down a passenger aircraft full of nearly 300 innocent people. 

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WorldViews: New poll finds many Russians believe Ukraine shot down MH17

July 30, 2014

A poll released by the independent Russian pollster Levada on Wednesday has found that a large number of Russians believe that Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, with 46 percent saying they think it was brought down by a Ukrainian army antiaircraft missile and 36 percent saying a Ukrainian military plane shot it down (multiple answers were allowed, meaning the percentages do not add up to a hundred and people may have chosen more than one answer).

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Investigators again blocked from plane crash site; Ukraine blames rebel mines

July 30, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — An international team of investigators abandoned efforts to reach the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine for a fourth day Wednesday because of heavy fighting, and a Ukrainian official said approaches to the area have been mined.

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India high court’s ‘disgruntled wives’ ruling tests dowry laws enacted to protect women

July 30, 2014

NEW DELHI — Roughly 8,000 women in India died violent deaths in 2013 because their families were unable to cough up the demands for more dowry, according to government statistics.

Such deaths have been a longtime problem for India and explain why the country passed a series of laws against dowry in the 1980s to protect against this form of violence.

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Clashes again force investigators to abort visit to Malaysia Airlines crash site

July 30, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — For a fourth day, the international team of investigators on Wednesday abandoned their effort to reach the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine due to heavy fighting, and a Ukrainian official said the approaches to the area have been mined.

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WorldViews: How Anonymous and other hacktivists are waging war on Kenya

July 30, 2014

In its latest attack, Anonymous cell Anon_0x03 on July 27 cracked, took control and used Kenya Deputy President William Ruto’s Twitter account to tweet a list of government websites it had hacked.

Hackers and other cyber criminals on the prowl are wreaking havoc in Kenya, threatening to turn the East African country’s dream of launching an e-government into a nightmare.

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Russia’s central bank vows to support banks hit by new sanctions

July 30, 2014

MOSCOW — Russia’s central bank vowed Wednesday to support financial institutions targeted by new U.S. and European sanctions, adding potential strain to an already-taxed Russian economy.

The United States and European Union imposed the penalties after accusing Russia of channeling weapons, support and volunteers to a separatist rebellion in east Ukraine. But Russia suggested that Europe would also feel the pain of the sanctions.

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Netanyahu warns Israel to prepare for long Gaza conflict, as at least 10 more are killed

July 30, 2014

JERUSALEM — Israel will press its air and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, preparing his country for a longer and bloodier campaign and dashing hopes that the three-week-old conflict would end soon.

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Israelis support Netanyahu and Gaza war, despite rising deaths on both sides

July 30, 2014

JERUSALEM — The airwaves are filled with images of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip. President Obama is pressing for an immediate cease-fire. More than 50 Israeli soldiers have been killed.

But at home, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is riding a massive wave of popularity.

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Israel steps up bombardment of Gaza; territory’s only power plant struck

July 30, 2014

GAZA CITY — Israel targeted the home of the top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in some of the heaviest bombardment of the ongoing conflict after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned his country to be prepared for a prolonged campaign.

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Palestinians in West Bank watch, worry and check their phones as Gaza conflict rages

July 30, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The cellphone bill will be astronomical this month, but Sami Shaath remains glued to his device. Every two hours, or sooner if he sees a breaking-news alert on television, he calls his brothers and sisters in Gaza to see if they are alive.

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WorldViews: It isn’t just sanctions. A landmark $50 billion ruling will isolate Russia further.

July 29, 2014

While European diplomats were discussing further sanctions against Russia, a Dutch arbitration court ordered a record-high compensation package on Monday, making a landmark decision that could see Russia pay out more than $50 billion dollars.

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WorldViews: Why China’s investigation of Zhou Yongkang is such a big deal

July 29, 2014

The following post was written by Xu Yangjingjing, Gu Jinglu and William Wan.

BEIJING — After two years of rumors and anticipation, China’s Communist Party finally announced their investigation into former security czar Zhou Yongkang, the highest-ranking leader to be taken down in more than two decades.

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WorldViews: Is it true that American support for Israel is waning?

July 29, 2014

The enduring friendship between the American public and Israel is legendary, and something that often bewilders and infuriates critics of Israel’s policy in the Middle East. With this most recent Gaza conflict, however, and the remarkable scale of destruction (and, thanks to new technology, the wide reach for images of that destruction), some are beginning to wonder if this could be about to change.

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WorldViews: Ground crew member who checked in MH17 passengers recalls ‘a laugh, a greeting, a happy face’

July 29, 2014

Here’s what Renuka Manisha Virangna Birbal says she remembers seeing before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 took off: Families with loads of luggage. A grandmother taking pictures. Newlyweds, headed to their honeymoon.

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Obama announces expanded sanctions against Russia as E.U. aligns

July 29, 2014

LONDON — The European Union on Tuesday overcame months of misgivings to impose a wave of tough new economic sanctions on Russia, including an arms embargo and limits on access to European capital markets for Russian state-owned banks.

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WorldViews: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister says women shouldn’t laugh out loud

July 29, 2014

One of Turkey’s top officials says women should refrain from laughing out loud in public.

A woman “should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times,“ Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Monday during an Eid el-Fitr meeting, which marked the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan.

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WorldViews: In Gaza, things are going from bad to horrifying

July 29, 2014

As the conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas crosses the three-week mark, the situation in the Gaza Strip is turning extremely bleak, with death tolls rapidly rising and whole neighborhoods getting completely destroyed.

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WorldViews: One chart that explains the U.S. border crisis

July 29, 2014

This summer, a considerable amount of attention has fallen on the alarming influx of Central American migrants attempting to cross over into the United States from across the Mexican border, including some 57,000 unaccompanied minors this year alone. The bulk of these migrants come from the impoverished “northern triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, countries that suffer from some of the hemisphere’s worst crime and poverty rates.

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WorldViews: Who is Zhou Yongkang, and why did China decide to launch an investigation on him?

July 29, 2014

Zhou Yongkang is a former domestic security chief of China, making him the most powerful man to be investigated as part of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

The probe is rumored to be two years in the making, with party members affiliated with Zhou methodically targeted. If Zhou is expelled from the party and convicted on corruption charges, he would be the highest-ranking party leader to be taken down in decades.

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In China, two weeks of flight delays have passengers seething

July 29, 2014

BEIJING — While passengers normally measure flight delays in terms of hours, in China it’s been two weeks of hell — and it only looks to be getting worse.

The delays and cancellations — the worse so far this year — began suddenly last week with hundreds of flights in Beijing and Shanghai affected with little explanation. Passengers spent days and nights decamped throughout terminals.

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WorldViews: In Ukrainian village near MH17 crash site, residents fear more death is coming

July 29, 2014

War came this week to Lidiya Goryushko’s eastern Ukrainian village, where wreckage fell earlier this month from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Late last week, she and I spoke over the course of two long afternoons under the grape arbor in the well-kept garden that serves as the central hub for her bustling family. The attack on the plane was an unfolding nightmare but the explosions and gunfire that we could hear were of a still-distant battle.

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China to investigate once-powerful Zhou Yongkang, former domestic security chief

July 29, 2014

BEIJING — The ruling Communist Party on Tuesday announced an investigation of the country’s former domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, sending tremors through China’s political world and signaling that an anti-corruption drive is now reaching previously untouchable levels of the leadership.

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Afghan president’s cousin assassinated by suicide bomber

July 29, 2014

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s cousin was killed at his residence by a suicide bomber Tuesday in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, officials said.

The bomber, a 16-year-old boy, detonated explosives hidden in his turban while embracing Hashmat Khalil Karzai as part of special greetings for the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday at Karzai’s home in the Karz district of Kandahar, they said.

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