36 reported killed in Shanghai stampede

December 31, 2014

BEIJING — Stampeding crowds at a New Year’s celebration in the heart of Shanghai killed at least 36 people and injured 47, authorities said.The stampede occurred shortly before midnight, at 11:35 p.m., at the Bund — a waterfront area that is one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist landmarks. Emergency crews were dispatched and the wounded sent to four hospitals in the city, officials said in a short statement posted on the city government’s social media account.Read full article >>



Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas moves to join International Criminal Court

December 31, 2014

JERUSALEM —A day after a failed bid at the United Nations to push a Middle East peace settlement, ­Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas moved Wednesday to join the International Criminal Court, setting the stage for potential war-crimes complaints against Israel.Read full article >>



South American commodity boom drives deforestation and land conflicts

December 31, 2014

BOGOTA, Colombia — A commodity boom has helped pull millions out of poverty across South America over the past decade. It has also unleashed a new scramble for oil, minerals and cropland that is accelerating deforestation and fueling a new wave of land conflicts from Colombia to Chile.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Could war come back to Western Sahara? Some of Algeria’s Sahrawi refugees think so.

December 31, 2014

Tumana Ahmed is tired of dreaming of a homeland she has never seen.The 28-year-old was born in the desolate desert of western Algeria, in a refugee camp that was supposed to be temporary. Only there has been nothing temporary about her situation, or that of about 150,000 of her current neighbors.Read full article >>



Hundreds of Syrian migrants reach Italy after crew apparently abandons ship

December 31, 2014

A cargo ship hiding hundreds of Syrian migrants docked at an Italian port overnight Wednesday after authorities intercepted the drifting vessel. Authorities believe the crew abandoned the ship and set it on autopilot to crash into the Italian coast.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Throw your furniture out the window, and other ways to ring in 2015

December 31, 2014

New Year’s Eve is upon us and, yes, many of us will explode fireworks and perhaps down some booze. But why not celebrate the New Year with some of these other traditions from around the world.Eat a grape (12 of them)Read full article >>



World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting – The Washington Post 2014-12-31 08:30:00

December 31, 2014

KABUL — Many winters ago, I stood in a vast, empty intersection of central Kabul. The only sounds were the jingle of passing horse carts and the ticking spokes of old bicycles. There were no other Westerners on the streets, and all eyes were upon me. Despite being wrapped in many layers of modest clothing, I felt naked. Read full article >>

AirAsia search-and-rescue effort becomes a recovery operation

December 31, 2014

BEIJING — With the discovery of floating wreckage and bodies Tuesday in waters off Indonesia, the massive search-and-rescue effort for a missing AirAsia jet now turns into a recovery operation.Crews mobilized Wednesday morning to pull more bodies from the Java Sea and to comb underwater for the main fuselage and flight recorders, which represent their best chance of figuring out why the plane crashed.Read full article >>



Putin foe Alexei Navalny avoids jail but decries Kremlin for punishing his brother

December 30, 2014

MOSCOW — President Vladi­mir Putin’s foremost opponent defiantly challenged the Kremlin on Tuesday evening, hours after a court ruling that seemed cunningly designed to keep him in check.A judge had sentenced the brother of Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and a scourge of Putin’s since 2011, to 31/2 years in prison while ordering Navalny himself to remain under house arrest.Read full article >>



Palestinian-backed resolution fails at U.N. Security Council

December 30, 2014

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday rejected a resolution that would have called for Israelis and Palestinians to strike a peace deal within a year and for Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders within three years — a blow to Palestinians seeking to increase pressure on the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.Read full article >>

WorldViews: This single tweet got a Turkish journalist detained

December 30, 2014

#SedefKabaş pic.twitter.com/qaSC5Lj5Xp The detention of journalists is not exceptional in Turkey: The Committee to Protect Journalists says the country was the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2012 and 2013, and among the 10 worst this year. However, reports of the detention of Turkish journalist Sedef Kabas on Tuesday suggest a remarkably low bar for arrest: a single tweet.Read full article >>



WorldViews: In Venezuela, screaming over ice cream

December 30, 2014

Setting aside for a moment whether it is appropriate to be serving trout-flavored ice cream, let alone scoops of something called “mushroom in wine sauce,” the closure of a favorite Venezuelan ice cream shop has turned into a new symbol of the country’s fast-melting economy.Read full article >>



WorldViews: The story of one of the Cold War’s greatest unsolved mysteries — and the new effort to solve it

December 30, 2014

Around midnight on Sept. 18, 1961, a plane carrying U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold crashed nine miles from its intended destination, the town of Ndola in Northern Rhodesia, now the independent republic of Zambia. The 56-year-old Swede and 15 other people aboard the aircraft perished.Read full article >>



WorldViews: What if North Korea didn’t hack Sony?

December 30, 2014

Anyone who follows North Korea will be familiar with the wild fake stories that come out of the country. Remember when Kim Jong Un had his uncle fed to a pack of wild dogs? That was fake. And when Kim had his ex-girlfriend murdered for making a “sex tape”? Also fake. The fishy stories go back decades: In 1986, there were a number of (obviously untrue) reports that Kim Jong Il had assassinated his father.Read full article >>



WorldViews: What happens next in AirAsia search?

December 30, 2014

After an agonizing three-day search, Indonesian authorities spotted bodies and debris they have confirmed came from the missing AirAsia plane. The announcement ends one phase of the investigation and mystery even as it begins another. So now that they’ve found the disappeared plane’s debris, what happens next?Read full article >>



In Colombia, a palm oil boom with roots in conflict

December 30, 2014

MAPIRIPAN, Colombia — Long before the massacre, when Mapiripan was just a faraway little place not worth fighting for, Aida Gordilla and her family came to the wide-open grasslands outside town and fenced off a homestead. They called it Macondo, like the enchanted village in the Colombian novel popular at the time, “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”Read full article >>



WorldViews: Did Argentina’s president ‘adopt’ a Jewish boy to save him from life as a ‘werewolf’?

December 30, 2014

Last week, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner “adopted” a boy as her godson to prevent him from turning into a werewolf, according to multiple news reports. A report in the Guardian subsequently deemed the story spurious.Read full article >>



World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting – The Washington Post 2014-12-30 12:19:00

December 30, 2014

MOSCOW— The opposition activist widely considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most formidable political foe avoided prison Tuesday after trial on fraud charges, but denounced a decision to jail his brother as a pressure tactic by the Kremlin.Read full article >>



Jordan pilot purportedly interviewed by Islamic State

December 30, 2014

BEIRUT — The Islamic State has released what it claims is an interview with the Jordanian pilot who was captured by the militant group after his plane went down in Syria last week.The interview, which could not be independently verified and was published in the Islamic State’s English-language magazine, quotes 26-year-old Muath al-Kaseasbeh as saying that a “heat-seeking missile” downed his F-16 fighter jet.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Is Luis Estrada the conscience of Mexico?

December 30, 2014

MEXICO CITY–A Luis Estrada film is not a riddle to decipher. The themes from the famous Mexican director come blaring at you with their high-beams on, usually from the opening credits.Within the first minutes of his most famous film, the 2010 drug-war indictment “Infierno” (Hell), the main character gets deported, held up at gunpoint, robbed by police, and falls in with gangsters who have taken over his hometown; and it ends with blood dripping down the corrupt mayor’s podium and over Mexico’s eagle-and-serpent national symbols. In his 2006 film “Un Mundo Maravilloso” (A Wonderful World), about social inequality and globalization, his peasant protagonist finds himself…

WorldViews: ‘The Interview’ isn’t the only piece of American pop culture causing international incidents

December 30, 2014

One of the key takeaways of the whole “The Interview” saga is that American-made works of pop culture can be subject to very different interpretations when looked at from abroad. The now-infamous Seth Rogen and James Franco film may have seemed like a funny way to skewer one of the world’s most repressive governments, but to North Korea it apparently looked like “most blatant act of terrorism and war,” to use the words of one Pyongyang official.Read full article >>

In education-crazy South Korea, top teachers become multimillionaires

December 30, 2014

SEOUL — Clasping his headphones and closing his eyes as he sang into the studio microphone while performing a peppy duet with one of South Korea’s hottest actresses, spiky-haired Cha Kil-yong looked every bit the K-pop star.Read full article >>



Search for missing AirAsia jetliner yields no solid evidence of its location or fate

December 30, 2014

BEIJING — As the search for a missing AirAsia passenger plane stretched into its third day, authorities widened their hunt and asked for outside help, even as hopes dimmed among families of the 162 people aboard the jet.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Chinese murder mystery leaves tantalizing clues

December 30, 2014

BEIJING — For eight years, the deaths of his neighbor’s two children have haunted Nian Bin. Police arrested Nian, tortured him into confessing to the  murders and sent him to death row.But in one of the most dramatic reversals in China’s modern legal history, Nian’s lawyers showed that police manufactured evidence against him and hid other evidence pointing to his innocence.Read full article >>



Palestinians to ask U.N. for recognition of statehood and demand end to occupation

December 30, 2014

Arab nations on Monday endorsed a Palestinian proposal for the U.N. Security Council to set a 2017 deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, a return to the borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and recognition of a Palestinian state, according to Jordanian and Palestinian officials.Read full article >>

WorldViews: Watch: Iraq’s miserable 2014, in two minutes

December 29, 2014

More than a decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the country is no closer to living in peace and stability. The onslaught of the Islamic State, which captured swaths of Iraqi territory this year, has led to a startling refugee crisis. More than 2 million Iraqis were forced from their homes this year alone. As my colleague Loveday Morris reports, the vast numbers of Iraqis displaced by conflict add to a considerable population of Syrian refugees, who fled to Iraq to escape the horrors of the civil war next door.Read full article >>



Scottish government confirms Ebola case in Glasgow

December 29, 2014

LONDON — A health-care worker who recently returned to Scotland from West Africa has been diagnosed with Ebola, the Scottish government said Monday.The patient has been isolated and is receiving treatment at the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases on the Gartnavel General Hospital campus in Glasgow. In a televised news conference Monday night, one of the nurse’s doctors, Alisdair MacConnachie, said the patient was “clinically stable” and had a “good prognosis.”Read full article >>



Adriatic ferry fire claims 10 lives; hundreds rescued by helicopter

December 29, 2014

Battling a gale-force storm and monster waves, rescue crews used helicopters to pluck more than 420 people from the frigid decks of a Greek-operated ferry crippled by fire in the Adriatic Sea. At least 10 people died, officials said Monday, but left open the possibility of more people missing.Read full article >>



Greek impasse forces early elections and fears of a return to euro crisis

December 29, 2014

ATHENS — The Greek government collapsed Monday, setting the stage for elections in four weeks that are shaping up as a contest between the public’s anger over the pain of austerity and its fear that the alternative could be even worse.Read full article >>



WorldViews: 5 Google search trends that help explain the chaos of 2014

December 29, 2014

Every year, Google releases a variety of lists that reveal the world’s favorite search terms. The American tech corporation also distinguishes between countries and categories, which allows an examination of global differences in search behavior.Read full article >>



In China, a rare criminal case in which evidence made a difference

December 29, 2014

FUZHOU, China — Hope is rare in China’s courts.This is a country where 99.9 percent of suspects are found guilty. Where authorities put to death more convicted criminals each year than the rest of the world’s countries combined.Read full article >>

WorldViews: Report says 120 Islamic State fighters executed — by Islamic State

December 29, 2014

Few doubt the horrific scale of atrocities committed by the Islamic State since it captured large areas of Syria and Iraq earlier this year. What may be more surprising is that even some of the group’s own members may have experienced that brutality. According to a new report from the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, at least 120 members of the Islamic State have been “executed” since the group proclaimed its caliphate in June.Read full article >>



WorldViews: How a Bollywood blockbuster about an alien from outer space prompted outrage in India

December 29, 2014

NEW DELHI — It is not the usual boy-meets-girl Bollywood movie plot. The new blockbuster holiday movie called “PK” is about how an alien-meets-India.The film has earned more than $33 million in the 10 days since it opened, but has also earned much ire from Hindus.Read full article >>



WorldViews: 7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014

December 29, 2014

2014 has been a brutal year. The death toll of Syria’s ongoing civil war likely eclipsed 200,000, while the hideous rise of the Islamic State spurred a U.S.-led bombing campaign. A separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine led to thousands of deaths and clouded relations between the West and Moscow, which is believed to be aiding the rebels. And an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants saw whole stretches of the Gaza Strip reduced to rubble.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Searching for a sliver of hope in Congo

December 29, 2014

KIVUYE, Congo — The Rwandan militia commander showed up moments after I arrived in this village deep in the eastern Congo. He was barely more than a teenager, a youth in lizard-colored fatigues and cap affixed with a red star, clutching a walkie-talkie. But he was called Major Hamza. And his authority was clear. He demanded to know who I was.Read full article >>

Indonesian official says missing AirAsia jet is believed to be at the bottom of the sea

December 29, 2014

BEIJING — As they resumed the search for the missing AirAsia plane Monday morning, Indonesian authorities said they believe the commercial jet with 162 people on board already lies at the bottom of the sea.Read full article >>



Flamboyant AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes faces his first major crisis

December 29, 2014

AirAsia was failing and falling ever deeper into debt in 2001 when Tony Fernandes bought the carrier from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom for a single Malaysian ringgit — worth less than 35 U.S. cents at the time, according to the Reuters news agency.Read full article >>



NATO flag lowered in Afghanistan as combat mission ends

December 29, 2014

KABUL — The 13-year NATO combat mission in Afghanistan formally ended Sunday with a ceremonial retirement of its green flag and a pledge by top officials of the U.S.-led coalition to remain reliable partners in Afghanistan’s unfinished war against the Taliban and other militant groups.Read full article >>



Desperate for soldiers, Assad’s government imposes harsh recruitment measures

December 28, 2014

BEIRUT — The Syrian regime has intensified efforts to reverse substantial manpower losses to its military with large-scale mobilizations of reservists as well as sweeping arrest campaigns and new regulations to stop desertions and draft-dodging.Read full article >>



World Digest: Dec. 28, 2014

December 28, 2014

CAMEROONBoko Haram attacks towns, military campAbout 1,000 suspected Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria attacked five towns in northern Cameroon during the weekend and briefly occupied a military camp Sunday before being removed by the air force, an army spokesman said.Read full article >>



After years of delays, Pakistan cracks down on violent Islamists

December 28, 2014

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — After pledging for years to crack down on violent Islamists, Pakistani authorities are now taking exceptional steps to do so, with a major military operation against the militants and a vow to rein in radical propaganda.Read full article >>

Greek Parliament vote could bring back euro crisis as elections loom

December 28, 2014

ATHENS — The long-dormant euro crisis could come roaring back to life Monday with a vote in the Greek Parliament that is expected to bring down the pro-austerity government and open the way for a radical leftist party to take power for the first time in the history of the European Union.Read full article >>



Air search for missing AirAsia jet suspended

December 28, 2014

BEIJING — With the disappearance Sunday morning of yet another plane from Southeast Asia, the day unfolded here with scenes that have grown tragically familiar: the series of news conferences by government and airline officials, the mounting of a huge search-and-recovery operation, the families gathered at the airport tearfully awaiting word.Read full article >>



Islamist with $3 million U.S. bounty surrenders to Somali authorities

December 28, 2014

NAIROBI, Kenya — A leader with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, who the United States offered $3 million for his capture, surrendered in Somalia, a Somali intelligence official said Saturday.Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to Somali police in the Gedo region, said the intelligence officer, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.Read full article >>



AirAsia Indonesia flight to Singapore goes missing with 162 on board

December 28, 2014

A Singapore-bound AirAsia Indonesia jet carrying 162 passengers and crew members lost contact with air-traffic control on Sunday morning, prompting Indonesian authorities to launch search and rescue operations.Read full article >>



The U.S. and Iran are aligned in Iraq against the Islamic State — for now

December 28, 2014

Iranian military involvement has dramatically increased in Iraq over the past year as Tehran has delivered desperately needed aid to Baghdad in its fight against Islamic State militants, say U.S., Iraqi and Iranian sources. In the eyes of Obama administration officials, equally concerned about the rise of the brutal Islamist group, that’s an acceptable role — for now.Read full article >>



John Paul II gunman lays flowers at Vatican tomb

December 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY — The man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II more than 33 years ago showed up at the Vatican on Saturday to put white roses on the pontiff’s tomb. Mehmet Ali Agca said he wanted to meet Pope Francis.Read full article >>



WorldViews: McCain: ‘We are literally doing everything the Iraqi government has requested.’

December 27, 2014

BAGHDAD — Normally a fierce critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sounded almost like an ally to the president on Saturday when he spoke to reporters at the U.S. Embassy.Read full article >>



North Korea slams U.S. over Internet shutdown, calls Obama a ‘monkey’

December 27, 2014

BEIJING — North Korea on Saturday compared President Obama to a “monkey in a tropical forest” as it blamed the administration for disrupting its Internet access amid a hacking dispute related to the movie “The Interview.”Read full article >>



Americans are eager to visit Cuba, but changes to U.S. rules may come slowly

December 27, 2014

MEXICO CITY — There are the people who want to honeymoon on the same beaches their grandparents did. Those who want to extend their Florida vacations with a quick jaunt to the island 90 miles south. Those who want to buy the Havana Club rum and the hand-rolled cigars and see the midcentury jalopies before they disappear. And they want to go, like, today.Read full article >>



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