WorldViews: What it’s like to be a doctor treating Ebola during the worst outbreak in history

July 29, 2014

By the time Billy Fischer left the Ebola treatment center in Gueckedou, Guinea, early last month, he could complete the meticulous preparation routine in his sleep.

First, he donned the scrubs. Then, he pulled on a pair of thick rubber boots that came up to his knees. Then, he put on a body suit made of an impermeable material, two pairs of gloves, a face mask, an impermeable hood that covered his neck and — finally — goggles.

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Malnutrition, disease rising in camps of Burma’s Rohingya Muslims

July 29, 2014

Alittle girl balances a bag of donated rice on her head as she begs for her family of eight. Other children play in fetid, trash-clogged pools of water. And at a religious class at a makeshift mosque, more than a third of the children had not eaten that day. Or the day before.

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U.S.: Russia violated 1987 treaty by testing ground-launched missiles

July 29, 2014

The Obama administration has determined that Russia violated a 1987 treaty on intermediate-range missiles by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior administration official said.

The violation, which began some years ago, is included in a 2014 compliance report on the treaty to be released Tuesday and was the subject of a letter President Obama sent Monday to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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In D.C., Syrian defector displays photos of mutilated bodies

July 29, 2014

A Syrian defector who smuggled out thousands of photos of mutilated corpses, showed some of those images in Washington on Monday and said they depicted prisoners who were tortured and killed by the security services of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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At Gaza hospital, grief and shock for families of victims

July 28, 2014

GAZA CITY — Inside Shifa Hospital, amid the tumultuous rush to save lives, men pushed a gurney carrying the lifeless body of a child wrapped in a sheet. A girl in a red dress, her face covered with blood, walked in a daze past the dead and the nearly dead.

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U.S. paratroopers in Afghanistan hope to deal a few final blows against the Taliban

July 28, 2014

SHINKAI, Afghanistan — It was a homecoming of sorts for Lt. Col. Paul Larson, returning to this remote corner of southern Afghanistan at the twilight of America’s longest war. He was back to take stock of a slice of the battlefield that seemed brimming with possibility when he last led soldiers here a decade ago.

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WorldViews: Turkey’s Erdogan joins club of world leaders who win at sports

July 28, 2014

This weekend, Turkey’s demagogic Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan found a new way to burnish his credentials and state his authority. He donned cleats and an eye-catching orange jersey and took the field alongside other politicians and celebrities at the opening ceremony of a soccer stadium in Istanbul. And he scored goals — three of them, in fact – in the space of 15 minutes.

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WorldViews: Eid in Gaza: ‘There were kids torn to pieces’

July 28, 2014

Note: This post contains excerpts from a report by Sudarsan Raghavan, William Booth and Ruth Eglash. You can read the full report here.

At Gaza’s Shifa Hospital on Monday, chaotic scenes unfolded as the dead and the wounded arrived, some by ambulance, some carried in the arms of relatives. One woman was shaking uncontrollably and screaming, “My brother, my brother.”  One man was crying in front of the mangled corpse of his father.

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Federal judge confirms Libya is paying legal fees for embassy bombing suspect

July 28, 2014

A federal judge in New York disclosed Monday that the Libyan government is paying the legal fees for a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist accused of involvement in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.

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WorldViews: The one thing everyone in Israel seems to agree on: John Kerry blew it

July 28, 2014

Anyone who has made even a passing glance at the Israeli media in the past few days will have noticed the incredible chorus of criticism being directed at John Kerry right now. The secretary of state has been lambasted by all sides for his apparent failure in attempts to negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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State Department urges Iran to release Washington Post correspondent

July 28, 2014

The State Department on Monday called for the release of The Washington Post’s Iran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, who was detained last week in Tehran along with his wife and two others for undetermined reasons.

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WorldViews: Chechnya: Where Obama is banned and Steven Seagal is guest of honor

July 28, 2014

On Saturday, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced that President Obama would be banned from entering the Russian republic he rules. Addressing his Instagram followers, Kadyrov said Obama and European officials José Manuel Barroso, Herbert Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton would not only be barred from the country but also have their bank accounts and assets in Chechnya frozen for their roles in sowing global discontent.

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Europe weighs Russia sanctions against economic pain

July 28, 2014

SCHWEDT, Germany — In the United States, Igor Ivanovich Sechin is persona non grata, banned from entry and his assets frozen because of Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine. But in this German industrial town, the czar of Russia’s energy sector is a pillar of the local economy.

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WorldViews: This is what Eid is like in one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous provinces

July 28, 2014

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan — A baby — naked, with red-hennaed feet and round eyes lined with kohl — screamed in anguish as emergency doctors in this area’s hospital for war victims stitched up a finger-size gash on the side of her tiny head. In a ward down the hall, a young woman had just been brought to the intensive care unit from the district of Sangin. A stray bullet from fighting between Taliban gunmen and Afghan forces struck her while she was sleeping; she bled for eight hours before it was safe to leave for the hospital.

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Significant new European sanctions on Russia expected, U.S. says

July 28, 2014

The Obama administration expects Europe to adopt significant new sanctions against Russia this week, including against key economic sectors that the Europeans have resisted targeting in the past, the White House said Monday.

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WorldViews: This is the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Here’s why you should be worried.

July 28, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak in history has put a number of countries in West Africa in lockdown, led to the deaths of nearly 700 people since February and brought new reports of doctors, including Americans, contracting the virus they are attempting to contain. The situation is undeniably scary. Here’s what you need to know.

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WorldViews: Satellite images show Gaza’s destruction

July 28, 2014

This weekend, a brief humanitarian cease-fire allowed Gaza residents and their international guests to survey the damage wrought by weeks of Israeli military strikes and missile launches from Hamas and other militant groups. “Many roads were barely passable, and almost silent,” The Post’s William Booth reported from Gaza. “Women did not wail. The men looked stunned. Their neighborhoods were reduced to ugly piles of gray dust, shattered cement block and twisted rebar.”

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WorldViews: How Eid in Gaza turned into another day of carnage

July 28, 2014

After a weekend of a series of pauses in fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas and relative calm on Monday morning, reports filtered in that the respite was over as Gaza’s main care facility was bombed. Multiple injuries were reported. Here’s a rundown of the short-lived truces up to this event:

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WorldViews: Why China’s McDonald’s just ran out of hamburgers (and just about everything else)

July 28, 2014

BEIJING — No more Big Macs. Forget the Quarter Pounder. There’s not even a chicken nugget to be found in many McDonald’s restaurants across China today.

The shortage of meat is the result of China’s latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country.

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In South Korea, hiking has become almost a national identity

July 28, 2014

ODAESAN, South Korea — South Koreans are weekend warriors. The sport of choice? Hiking. Mountains are everywhere, and most can be climbed in a day. You need only the following prerequisites: a love of nature, multi-course meals packed into Tupperware, several bottles of rice wine and high-end gear.

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Gaza campaign on pace to become deadliest Israeli conflict in recent years

July 28, 2014

JERUSALEM — Palestinian and Israeli casualties are mounting at a pace that could surpass any other Israeli conflict in nearly a decade, amid signs of a deepening military and political stalemate driven by diplomatic gridlock, Palestinian militant resilience and the absence of a clear Israeli exit strategy.

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New fighting breaks out in Gaza despite Obama’s appeal for a cease-fire

July 28, 2014

GAZA CITY — The conflict in Gaza raged on Sunday, even as both Israel and Hamas offered brief truces and President Obama pressed Israel for an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire,” reflecting growing concern over the rising death toll.

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As fighting continues in east Ukraine, U.S. releases images said to implicate Russia

July 28, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — Rebels and government troops fired on each other’s positions Sunday in a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine, sending residents into bomb shelters, as Washington released images that it said prove Russia is shooting across the border into Ukraine to support separatists.

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In Eastern Ukraine, rebels claim few changes after downed flight

July 28, 2014

HRABOVE, Ukraine — More than a week after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine, near the Russian border, the catastrophe appears to have done little to change the dynamics on the ground.

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Boko Haram kidnaps Cameroon official’s wife

July 28, 2014

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon — Nigerian Boko Haram militants kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister and killed at least three people Sunday in a cross-border attack involving more than 200 assailants in the northern town of Kolofata, officials in Cameroon said.

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New U.S. help arrives for Syrian rebels as government, extremists gain

July 27, 2014

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — A U.S.-backed effort to arm the moderate Syrian opposition is finally ramping up along the Turkey-Syria border, but it may come too late to save the rebels from defeats on two fronts, by President Bashar al-Assad’s government and by the extremists seeking to carve out an Islamic state.

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Will stepped up enforcement stop the flow of Central American migrants?

July 27, 2014

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras —Her slender wrists still red from the handcuffs, she stepped off the airplane on the 36th day of her journey, back where she began.

Diana Aguilar paid $4,000 to her smuggler, which would afford her two more chances at crossing illegally into the United States, but one deportation was enough.

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The new land of opportunity for immigrants is Germany

July 27, 2014

BERLIN — An unemployed architect back in Barcelona, Jordi Colombi weighed his options and decided to start a new life. Armed with two suitcases and a Spanish-omelet recipe to feed his homesickness, he arrived two months ago in the land of opportunity.

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Maliki’s bloc says it is willing to consider other candidates for his position

July 27, 2014

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s days at the helm of his country appear to be numbered after his own party seemed resigned to finding another candidate for the post, releasing a statement urging politicians not to “cling” to their positions.

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As wounded Israeli troops return home, military censorship is harder to enforce

July 27, 2014

RAMAT GAN, Israel — The Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv is on a war footing. In the 10 days since Israel started its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the hospital has received more than 50 soldiers with wide-ranging combat injuries.

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Without visas for newly adopted babies, Md. family waits in China

July 26, 2014

After a long, bureaucratic year and a half, Mike Norton had little reason to doubt that by this weekend he’d finally welcome Joseph and Marianna, his new Chinese son and daughter, to his family’s Laurel, Md., home where a Fisher-Price playset and a large yard with a rope swing, zip line and hammock wait.

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Anthony Smith, adventurer who crossed the Atlantic by raft in his 80s, dies at 88

July 26, 2014

Anthony Smith, a British author, explorer and inveterate adventurer who in his mid-80s — against the advice of well-meaning doubters — voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean on a sail-powered raft, died July 7 at a hospital in Oxford, England. He was 88.

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Depth of Gaza devastation becomes clear after cease-fire

July 26, 2014

GAZA CITY — With safe passage promised by a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire, residents of the areas hardest hit in Gaza fighting returned to their homes Saturday. They could not believe what they saw.

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WorldViews: Why ‘cease-fire’ is such a difficult word in the current Israel-Hamas conflict

July 26, 2014

On Saturday, Israel and Hamas observed a 12-hour cease-fire, creating a brief respite in fighting in the Gaza Strip. Israel later announced that it had agreed to a four-hour extension of the pause.

In other conflicts, cease-fires are usually considered an informal agreement to stop fighting, often with the aim of figuring out a formal accord on a return to peace-time relations. This cease-fire isn’t quite like that. It’s a “humanitarian cease-fire,” designed to give those living in Gaza’s hardest hit areas some relative peace and allow ambulances to visit those areas. Once the cease-fire ends, fighting will presumably resume. The world’s diplomatic elite, …

Russia, Ukraine trade accusations of cross-border shelling

July 26, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — Government troops were engaged in a pitched battle with rebels on Saturday just outside the separatist bastion of Donetsk and plan to advance next into the city that has been at the heart of the pro-Russian insurgency.

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For a few injured Gazans, a harrowing lifeline to Jordan

July 26, 2014

AMMAN, Jordan — Hala Ghaben is one of just a handful of injured civilians to have escaped the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its military incursion into the enclave more than two weeks ago. But she doesn’t count herself “lucky.”

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WorldViews: Troubling photos of destruction as Gazans return to their neighborhoods

July 26, 2014

As a 12-hour pause begins in Gaza, residents returned to their streets and surveyed what was left of their neighborhoods. Eight-five new bodies were dug out of rubble Saturday morning, and ambulances were still trying to reach other areas in Gaza.

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WorldViews: Five helpful suggestions for the Chinese man who suddenly finds himself with millions of AmEx points to burn

July 26, 2014

Earlier this year, Chinese almost-billionaire Liu Yiqian purchased a Chenghua Meiyintang “chicken cup” at an auction in Hong Kong, reportedly paying more than $30 million for the 500-year-old piece. The sale made headlines for several reasons:

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Kerry faces bigger obstacles to Gaza truce than in past Mideast conflicts

July 26, 2014

CAIRO — The hunt for a way to end fighting in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 800 people is hobbled by a head-spinning litany of complications, chief among them for the United States that one combatant — Israel — is a close ally and the other — Hamas — a blacklisted semi-enemy.

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Israel and Hamas agree to a 12-hour cease-fire

July 26, 2014

JERUSALEM —Large Palestinian protests against Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip spread across the West Bank on Friday, as U.S.-led talks to secure a lasting truce sputtered while Gaza residents awaited a possible lull in fighting.

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WorldViews: The beautiful, historic shrines that Islamists try to destroy

July 26, 2014

News emerged this week that among their various outrages, Islamic State militants had destroyed the Tomb of Jonah in the city of Mosul, a biblical site holy to Christians and Muslims alike, which the jihadists ”turned to dust,” according to an Iraqi official. The militants espouse a radical, puritanical strain of Sunni Islam whereby all shrines or holy sites that honor beings lesser than their God are considered apostate.

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Young people fill Palestinian protests against Israeli offensive in Gaza

July 25, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Muhammad Assaf remembers hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers at the border checkpoint Thursday night. He remembers hunkering down with his friends, teens like him, against a tall concrete security barrier that separates Israelis from Palestinians. Then, he said, two Israeli soldiers appeared — and started firing live bullet rounds at them.

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Russia, Ukraine trade accusations of cross-border shelling

July 25, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine —Russia and Ukraine on Friday traded accusations of cross-border shelling amid rising tensions that threaten to escalate the conflict even further just as Ukrainian forces are making significant advances and forcing separatists to retreat.

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WorldViews: In the U.K., where there’s (colored) smoke, there’s (political) fire

July 25, 2014

LONDON — To the people of Glasgow, with their heads cranked skyward, it was a spectacular flypast from the Royal Air Force during Wednesday evening’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. With the jets trailing smoke, the sky was an instant canvass of red, white and blue — the colors of the U.K.’s Union Jack flag.

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WorldViews: Today’s lunch special in the Vatican cafeteria: Pope Francis!

July 25, 2014

Popes: They’re just like us!

Pope Francis wandered into the Vatican’s employee canteen “like a thunderbolt out of the blue” Friday  after apparently deciding that he’d like to eat lunch alongside the Vatican’s staff.

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WorldViews: Scenes from Iraq: ‘Death would be better than this life.’

July 25, 2014

The coffin of a 19-year-old was lifted high on the shoulders of his loved ones and carried down his street, where a hanging banner urged young men to answer the call to wage jihad against Sunni insurgents.

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WorldViews: Beneath the conflict in Gaza lies the death of the two-state solution

July 25, 2014

It is not that controversial to suggest that the two-state solution — the mantra intoned for decades now by U.S. politicians when speaking of peace between Israelis and Palestinians — is dead. Indeed, a flurry of recent articles and commentary have all said as much.

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WorldViews: Russia’s war on McDonald’s takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

July 25, 2014

Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.

But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

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WorldViews: Israel calls Brazil a ‘diplomatic dwarf’ — and then brings up World Cup humiliation

July 25, 2014

In a statement on Wednesday, Brazil condemned what it said was a  ”disproportionate use of force” by Israel in its Gaza Strip offensive by pulling out its ambassador from Tel Aviv for “consultation.” The country is the second country to recall its ambassador from Israel; Ecuador did so earlier in the week.

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Displaced by anti-Taliban military operation, Pakistani Pashtun poets revive their craft

July 25, 2014

BANNU, Pakistan — For more than five centuries, poets in remote northwestern Pakistan have recited verses about the area’s mountainous scenery, their tribal culture and love.

That all changed as Islamist militants tightened their hold on Pakistan’s tribal regions after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Taliban and its allies quickly crushed the poets’ words and spirits. They were warned not to write phrases that referred to women or serenity and instead ordered to compose jihadist messages of war, brutality and conformity.

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