WorldViews: 13 times U.S. presidents and Saudi kings have met

January 27, 2015

When the White House announced late last week that President Obama would cancel his plans to visit the Taj Mahal during his trip to India and instead fly to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to pay his respects to the late Saudi monarch, it meant only one thing: Washington has very deep ties to Saudi Arabia — including one that will mark 70 years next month.Read full article >>



Airlines suspend Baghdad flights after shots hit plane

January 27, 2015

BAGHDAD — Most of the international airlines flying to Iraq canceled flights to Baghdad on Tuesday after bullets hit a plane as it was landing, injuring a child passenger and raising fears for the safety of travelers.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Swedish far-right leader says Islamism is a bigger threat than Nazism

January 27, 2015

The Swedish Democrats (SD) won 13 percent of the vote in September’s general election, becoming the third-most-popular political party in the country. Their success took many by surprise, but in many ways it was the result of a shift seen in other European far-right parties: SD, which has roots in Swedish fascism and white supremacy, had tempered its more extremist policies, and instead focused on social conservatism, immigration and Islam.Read full article >>



WorldViews: What a Soviet soldier saw when his unit liberated Auschwitz 70 years ago

January 27, 2015

When the Soviet Army’s 322nd Rifle Division entered the concentration camp at Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945, they found a desolation. Mounted on shaggy ponies, they had proceeded with caution as they entered the camp, fearful of a Nazi ambush. But there was no trace of the German enemy.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Map: How the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has surged since October

January 27, 2015

The number of foreign fighters traveling to Iraq and Syria, mostly to fight alongside the Islamic State, has grown to 20,000 — up more than 5,000 from previous estimates made in October, according to the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR).Read full article >>



Fidel Castro gives cautious nod to efforts to restore U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations

January 27, 2015

HAVANA — Fidel Castro broke a long and speculation-inducing public silence over his country’s steps to mend ties with the United States, saying he still distrusts Washington but offering a qualified endorsement of the landmark diplomatic outreach.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Chinese officers caught feasting on an endangered salamander

January 27, 2015

BEIJING — China is in the throes of the harshest crackdown on corruption in decades, but officials in Shenzhen apparently didn’t get the memo.While officials across China have been fleeing the country and hiding their money and other traces of their formerly luxurious lifestyles, reporters caught several Shenzhen police officers at a lavish meal, feasting on a giant salamander.Read full article >>



WorldViews: The first time a U.S. president met a Saudi King

January 27, 2015

On Tuesday, President Obama will travel to Riyadh to pay his respects to the late King Abdullah and meet the new Saudi king, Salman bin Abdulaziz. Obama’s decision to cut short his trip to India is a good signal of how important the trip is: Thanks to geopolitics and oil, the United States and Saudi Arabia have had an important, if sometimes strained, alliance for decades.Read full article >>



At Auschwitz, a nightmare revisited

January 27, 2015

OSWIECIM, Poland —Never forget? How could he? Years after the physical scars had healed and Johnny Pekats was a Park Avenue barber taking a little off the top for the likes of Adlai Stevenson and Mario Cuomo, he would still wake up in cold sweats.Read full article >>

WorldViews: This beautiful language tree shows how India is as linguistically diverse as Europe

January 27, 2015

An intricate chart drawn by Finnish-Swedish graphic artist Minna Sundberg traces the common roots of the tongues spoken by a vast swathe of humanity. The myriad “Indo-European” languages all share a common ancestor, though historians debate who that is. Some say the language group emerged from the steppes north of the Black Sea 4,000 years ago with the migrations of chariot-driving nomads; others argue it dates further back — some 9,000 years — to early farmers living in what’s now Turkey.Read full article >>



Obesity is rising in India. So are weight-loss surgeries.

January 27, 2015

NEW DELHI — These days, real estate developer Prateek Sawhney ignores junk mail fliers from plus-size stores. Instead, he shows off his slim physique with designer duds, while sporting around New Delhi in a shiny, green BMW. Read full article >>



Obama lays out sweeping vision for US-India relations, emphasizes human rights

January 27, 2015

NEW DELHI — President Obama laid out a sweeping vision for the future of U.S.-India relations here Tuesday, pushing India on human rights issues while asserting that the relationship between the two countries could become one of the “defining partnerships” of the 21st Century. Read full article >>



Oil-rich Saudis find new help in struggle to delay action on climate change: Cheap gas

January 27, 2015

As the ruler of a country that sits atop 300 billion barrels of oil, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah was no fan of proposals to limit the burning of fossil fuels. During most of his reign, the king’s chief envoy to climate talks was a ­global-warming skeptic who boasted of his success at scuttling climate treaties.Read full article >>



Argentine president calls for dissolution of spy service

January 27, 2015

BUENOS AIRES — In her first speech since the mysterious death of a top prosecutor, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said Monday night that her government would dissolve and rename the nation’s spy agency, and she defended herself and her government against accusations that she orchestrated a coverup to absolve Iranian officials of responsibility for a two-decade-old terrorist attack.Read full article >>



Kurds drive Islamic State fighters from strategic town of Kobane

January 27, 2015

The key Syrian border town of Kobane, the main focus of U.S. airstrikes in Syria for the past four months, has been retaken from the Islamic State by Kurdish forces, according to the U.S. Central Command and Kurdish activists.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Remembering R.K. Laxman, India’s famed cartoonist of the ‘Common Man’

January 26, 2015

R.K. Laxman, India’s preeminent political cartoonist, died Monday at 93. Laxman’s daily cartoons on the front page of the Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language newspaper, were a staple of Indian life for some six decades. He was most famous for his perennial “Common Man” character, a vehicle through which the cartoonist commented on the foibles, hypocrisies and injustices of India’s political scene.Read full article >>



Russian leaders lash out at West for inciting ‘anti-Russian hysteria’

January 26, 2015

KIEV, Ukraine — As Western leaders mulled new punitive measures against Russia over its involvement in the latest violence in eastern Ukraine, Russian leaders lashed out Monday, accusing the West of using the events to incite anti-Russian hatred and of playing an on-the-ground role in furthering the fighting.Read full article >>



WorldViews: How Modi dressed better than Michelle, and other highlights of Obama’s India trip

January 26, 2015

President Obama’s second visit to India during his two terms in office was full of fun tidbits (did you know Prime Minister Narendra Modi survived a crocodile attack?), images of a blossoming friendship, and yes, even a breakthrough nuclear “understanding.” Here is a breakdown of the buzziest moments from Obama’s trip.Read full article >>



WorldViews: The growing diplomatic importance of Hindi to Narendra Modi’s India

January 26, 2015

When President Obama greeted a news conference in Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, he made an extra effort to use Hindi language and expressions. ”Namaste. Mera Pyaar Bhara Namaskar,” he said as he opened the news conference (“My greetings with affection”). ”Chale saath saath,” he said as it concluded (“lets walk together”).Read full article >>



In New Delhi, Obama announces modest efforts to bolster trade with India

January 26, 2015

NEW DELHI — President Obama on Monday announced a series of modest initiatives to bolster trade and investment with India as he nears the end of a three-day trip here that has underscored the fragile nature of the renewed U.S.-India partnership.Read full article >>



WorldViews: As Obama visits, what Delhi’s air pollution says about India and climate change

January 26, 2015

NEW DELHI —The thick winter haze that settles over Delhi — a nasty mix of smog, vehicle exhaust and smoke from cooking fires — abated somewhat when President Obama arrived in India this week for talks. A bit of rain came and cleared the air. Even so, the air quality index hovered around 200 when the president arrived at the viewing stand to watch India’s Republic Day Parade on Monday. That’s approaching what’s deemed a “very unhealthy” level of the microscopic 2.5 particulate matter, which causes respiratory disease and other ailments.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Greece’s new prime minister wants Germany to pay for Nazi war crimes

January 26, 2015

After the seismic victory of Greece’s leftist Syriza party in national polling Sunday, the country’s new prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, is leading all of Europe down an uncertain path.Syriza has vowed  to renegotiate the crippling debts saddled on the Greek economy by European lenders — a move that some fear could threaten the unity of the eurozone. Tsipras and his allies, meanwhile, see their ascension as a historic opportunity, as WorldViews discussed here.Read full article >>



WorldViews: To much disbelief, Australia decides to knight Queen Elizabeth’s husband

January 26, 2015

Britain’s Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, currently has 11 separate honors listed in his full name. He’s known as the Duke of Edinburgh, Baron Greenwich and a Knight of the Thistle, to list just a few. On Monday he received another title, with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announcing that Philip would become Knight of the Order of Australia.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Why France won’t let you name your child ‘Nutella’

January 26, 2015

A couple who named their child “Nutella” are now the proud parents of baby “Ella” after a French court rejected their decision to name the child after the delicious hazelnut spread. The child, born in September, was renamed by the court, which determined that the “Nutella” name was not in the best interest of the child, French media reported.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Here’s what Narendra Modi’s fashion says about his politics

January 26, 2015

During President Obama’s visit to India to take part in the country’s Republic Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wardrobe gained a huge amount of attention, and not only because he wore a suit with his name embroidered on it a thousand times.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Obama attends India’s elaborate Republic Day parade

January 26, 2015

NEW DELHI — President Obama attended India’s Republic Day parade Monday, a stunning display of military might, lavish floats, dance performances, and daredevilish feats on motorcycles.Obama attended as a special guest of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The invitation, offered after Modi visited Washington in the fall, underscores the desire of the two men to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Prime Minister Modi wore a suit that takes personalization to a ridiculous extreme

January 26, 2015

NEW DELHI — The suit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore Monday had something to say: his name.The Indian suit, which Modi wore to meet President Obama at the presidential palace here, looked from afar to be navy blue with wide gold stripes. But it conveyed a message. The stripes were actually embroidered letters that spelled out Modi’s name.Read full article >>



A young, impatient leftist is Greece’s defiant new face

January 26, 2015

ATHENS — On his first day as Greek prime minister after a historic election win that sent both hope and jitters rippling across Europe, Alexis Tsipras did everything differently.Wearing an open collar at the grand presidential residence, the youngest Greek leader in 150 years skipped the traditional religious oath on a Bible. Instead of the customary handoff with his predecessor, the former Communist activist laid flowers at a memorial to hundreds of leftist resistance fighters slaughtered during World War II.Read full article >>



WorldViews: How Greece’s triumphant leftists want to change Europe

January 26, 2015

Greece’s likely new prime minister, the charismatic Alexis Tsipras, has been described as a “fiery” politician, a “dangerous ideologue,” and even a “serial killer” — a wily operative who ruthlessly elbowed his way to the top. His Syriza party has been cast as a radical, anti-establishment outfit, whose stubborn socialist agenda may plunge Europe into crisis.Read full article >>



‘One is enough’: Chinese families lukewarm over easing of one-child policy

January 26, 2015

BEIJING — When China announced it was relaxing its one-child policy in late 2013, marketing director Kang Lu chatted with her husband about whether they wanted a second baby.“But given our current circumstances, we quickly abandoned the idea,” she said. “It wasn’t a tough decision.”Read full article >>



New Saudi king ascends the throne as terrorism threat grows

January 26, 2015

ARAR, Saudi Arabia — At 3 a.m. on a cold desert night earlier this month, four Islamic State militants carrying guns, grenades and cash slipped into Saudi Arabia here through a hole in the new heavy fencing that separates this country from Iraq.Read full article >>



Greeks emphatically reject austerity, elect Syriza in historic vote

January 25, 2015

ATHENS — After five years of extreme austerity prescribed to treat an epidemic of debt, a battered but defiant Greece on Sunday emphatically rejected the medicine.With millions of voters turning out — from graffiti-scarred lanes in the Parthenon’s shadow to islands lapped by aqua-green waves — the country delivered a historic win to Syriza, a radical leftist party that could put Greece on a collision course with the rest of Europe. The expected showdown has already rattled Greek financial markets and may challenge the core principle behind Europe’s currency union.Read full article >>



Obama, India’s Modi claim breakthrough on nuclear issues

January 25, 2015

NEW DELHI — At the start of a three-day U.S. presidential visit rich with pageantry and symbolism, President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday that the two countries have made progress toward resolving a long-standing impasse on civilian nuclear cooperation.Read full article >>



Rocket attack puts Ukraine back on the West’s agenda

January 25, 2015

Moscow — Western leaders are weighing what new pressure they can put on Moscow to rein in pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, after a rocket attack on the port city of Mariupol left dozens of civilians dead.Read full article >>

WorldViews: How Indians feel about Obama’s visit for their country’s Republic Day

January 25, 2015

President Obama will be attending India’s Republic Day festivities Monday on his second visit to India during his administration. Despite lukewarm relations with India in the past, the Modi and Obama administrations have been pursuing a strong bilateral partnership.Read full article >>



As Boko Haram rampages, Nigerians head to polls. John Kerry is worried.

January 25, 2015

LAGOS, Nigeria — Against a backdrop of militant Islamist attacks, Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday urged Nigeria’s president and his leading opponent in upcoming elections to accept the results of next month’s vote and encourage their supporters to eschew postelection violence.Read full article >>



Paraguay tries to stop execution of woman in China

January 25, 2015

BEIJING — Rosalia Amarilla stepped into the international terminal of Beijing’s cavernous main airport on the afternoon of July 24, 2012, with more than 7 pounds of cocaine stuffed into her underwear and bra.Read full article >>



Abandoned as a child bride, wife of Narendra Modi hopes he calls

January 25, 2015

NEW DELHI — She’s waiting for him, as she has been all her life. But when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dined with Barack and Michelle Obama at a glittering banquet Sunday night, his wife wasn’t by his side.Read full article >>



Japan’s prime minister condemns video said to show hostage killed by Islamic State

January 25, 2015

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was “speechless” after a video uploaded Saturday appeared to show the decapitated body of Haruna Yukawa, one of two Japanese hostages held by the Islamic State.Read full article >>



Obama, India’s Modi claim breakthrough on nuclear issues

January 25, 2015

NEW DELHI — President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday that the two countries have made progress toward resolving nuclear issues at the start of a three-day visit that is heavy on pageantry and symbolism.Read full article >>



New far-right anti-immigrant sentiment hits German streets

January 25, 2015

DRESDEN, Germany — Ahmed, a 36-year-old Moroccan, hoped to find a better life in Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany. But these days in Dresden, he said, he is afraid to walk the streets.This urban phoenix rebuilt from ashes after World War II is the center of a movement against immigrants — Muslims in particular — that has shocked much of the rest of Germany even as anti-immigration marches have spread to 10 cities nationwide. Downtown Dresden, Ahmed and other immigrants here say, has become a no-go zone for them on Monday nights, when the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West — or Pegida, in…

As normalization talks begin, Cubans begin anticipating changes to come

January 25, 2015

HAVANA — Most Americans have been barred by their own government from visiting Cuba for decades. For the rest of the world, it’s just another Caribbean vacation destination.Millions of sandals- and shorts-wearing Europeans, Canadians and Latin Americans flock here each year for the wide beaches and free-flowing rum. Although the accommodations are modern, the Cuba experience also offers a step back in time, to a slow-moving land of belching 1950s cars and peeling Spanish mansions — thanks to both the state-run economy and the U.S. embargo enacted in 1960 — and the residual glory of a once world-famous revolution. Read full article >>



Islamic State video claims one Japanese hostage beheaded; Islamists make new demand for release of second.

January 24, 2015

A video posted online Saturday appears to show the dead body of Haruna Yukawa, one of two Japanese men being held captive by Islamic State militants, according to news reports.The Japanese government said it was attempting to verify the video, which shows a static image of the second hostage, freelance journalist Kenji Goto, holding a photograph of what appears to be Yukawa’s beheaded body, according to USA Today.  Shortly after it appeared online, the video was deleted, according to the Associated Press, which was unable to verify the contents of the video.Read full article >>



In Ukraine, pro-Russia rebels launch new offensive in port city of Mariupol

January 24, 2015

MOSCOW — The key port city of Mariupol became the latest flash point of rapidly intensifying hostilities in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, as a barrage of rocket fire struck the area, killing dozens of civilians, and pro-Russian rebels announced a push toward the strategic coastal city that serves as Ukraine’s last bastion of control in the region.Read full article >>



On Obama’s India visit, climate-change deal unlikely as Modi boosts coal production

January 24, 2015

SHAKTINAGAR, India — In the hilly Singrauli region of northern India, animals feed on ash-covered grass, smoke stings the eyes and burns the throat, and the reservoir is foul with toxins such as mercury and arsenic. Even the breakfast eggs are gray.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Why Obama’s trip to India’s Republic Day is a big deal

January 24, 2015

NEW DELHI — President Obama is traveling about 7,500 miles to be the guest at a parade here. But it’s not just any procession.Obama will attend India’s annual Republic Day parade, a stunning, hours-long spectacle that showcases India’s culture, military, states and federal programs.The parade, held Jan. 26, celebrates the adoption of the Indian Constitution — the day that India became a republic. (It’s not the same as Indian Independence Day, which is in August.)Each year, the Indian government invites a different foreign head of state to be its special guest. Last year it was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.“It’s India’s most important formal invitation…

Obama shortens trip to India to pay respects to the late King Abdullah’s family in Saudi Arabia

January 24, 2015

NEW DELHI — President Obama will not visit the Taj Mahal on his trip to India and will instead fly to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the family of the late King Abdullah, who died this week at age 90.Read full article >>



Leftist Syriza party set to win Greek vote, setting up showdown with Europe

January 24, 2015

ATHENS — To the thumping rhythms of a Leonard Cohen tune, the pair of leftist leaders hugged tightly, then thrust their fists into the cool air of an Athens evening as thousands cheered and waved blazing-red flags. Read full article >>



U.S. diplomats meet with Cuban dissidents in Havana in gesture of reassurance

January 24, 2015

HAVANA — Following a day of meetings with Cuban officials to iron out the difficulties and formalities of restoring diplomatic relations, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson spent Friday hearing from the other side.Read full article >>



Yemen on edge after government resigns amid widening unrest

January 23, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — Thousands of Yemenis rallied in support of rival political groups on Friday and separatist groups in the south pressed for secession following the government’s resignation in response to a siege by Shiite rebels.Read full article >>



Miesihai site about all things