Nigeria opposition candidate wins presidency in historic race

March 31, 2015

KADUNA, Nigeria — In a historic moment for Africa’s most ­populous country, former dictator Muhammadu Buhari won Nigeria’s presidency on Tuesday, the first time in 16 years of democracy that an opposition candidate has defeated a sitting president.Read full article >>



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WorldViews: Map: How the world executed people in 2014

March 31, 2015

The year 2014 was a mixed one for executions. According to new data collected by Amnesty International, the number of executions carried out around the world dropped — but the number of death sentences given out as legal punishments increased dramatically.Read full article >>



Diplomats to continue Iran nuclear talks past deadline into Wednesday

March 31, 2015

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND — Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program blew past a Tuesday deadline, U.S. officials said, with diplomats struggling to reach consensus on the difficult issues of sanctions, enrichment research and future limits.Read full article >>



Turkish prosecutor dies after being held hostage in a courthouse, reports say

March 31, 2015

A prosecutor taken hostage in an Istanbul courthouse Tuesday died of multiple gunshot wounds after security forces killed his two captors, according to multiple reports.Mehmet Selim Kiraz served as the lead prosecutor in an investigation pertaining to the death of a Turkish teenager killed during a protest. An hours-long standoff ended with police storming the office where he was held and killing two of his captors, but Kiraz had been shot multiple times in his head and body, Reuters reported.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Saudi generals use Yemen war to showcase their new swagger

March 31, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — There’s no fog of war here. It’s more like a high-gloss, stage-crafted showcase of Saudi Arabia’s new military swagger.Every evening since the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen began last week, the fortress-like grounds of the defense ministry in Riyadh has opened to journalists. They listen to a briefing on the latest battlefield events, see some black-and-white warplane video clips of missiles destroying suspected rebel buildings and convoys, and pose a few questions. All pretty standard fare for reporters covering any conflict.Read full article >>



Iraqi prime minister claims victory against Islamic State in Tikrit

March 31, 2015

BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces claimed to have seized the city of Tikrit from Islamic State militants on Tuesday after U.S.-led airstrikes cleared the way for ground operations, an advance that would mark the government’s most significant victory over the extremists since their summer blitz.Read full article >>



Yemen’s Houthi rebels get boost from country’s ousted dictator

March 31, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — An unlikely alliance with a deposed dictator appears to have helped Yemen’s advancing Shiite insurgents weather intensifying airstrikes directed at them by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition.Even as Riyadh expands its aerial bombardment of the insurgents, called Houthis, they are sweeping across the Arabian Peninsula country and threatening to take the strategic southern city of Aden.Read full article >>



WorldViews: The key moments in the long history of U.S.-Iran tensions

March 31, 2015

In Lausanne, Switzerland, top-level negotiators from Iran and a number of world powers are still wrangling over the outline of a deal that they hope will ease tensions surrounding Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. Such a deal also could be a prelude to a historic diplomatic rapprochement between the United States and Iran, two countries that share a long, turbulent history of friendship, antagonism and strife.Read full article >>

WorldViews: How the heart-wrenching photo of Syria’s surrendering child came to be

March 31, 2015

She was clearly a child of war. Against a backdrop of broken cement bricks and the dirt ground, the 4-year-old clenched her tiny hands above her head, pursed her lips and trained her eyes —a seemingly bottomless well of sadness and innocence — at the man pointing a large camera at her face.Read full article >>

WorldViews: What Yemen’s crisis reveals about China’s growing global power

March 31, 2015

On Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported that more than 500 Chinese nationals who were evacuated from Yemen had arrived safely in the city of Djibouti. The evacuees had been picked up by a Chinese fleet Sunday and Monday, fleeing an increasingly dangerous situation in the Middle Eastern state.Read full article >>



Thai junta leader seeks to replace martial law with sweeping new powers

March 31, 2015

BANGKOK — Thailand’s general-turned-prime-minister moved a step closer to seizing absolute authority Tuesday, proposing to replace martial law with even more-sweeping executive powers.Prayuth Chan-ocha, who traded his military uniform for a suit when he led a coup 10 months ago, asked King Bhumibol Adulyadej for permission to repeal martial law and institute measures that human rights activists say would be more draconian.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Two German businessmen are on a daring mission to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean

March 31, 2015

Harald Höppner and Matthias Kuhnt could have spent their savings on houses or cars. Instead, they decided to rescue refugees.Thousands of people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in recent years. The two CEOs of a mid-size company in eastern Germany had followed the news of capsized refugee boats in the Mediterranean Sea with growing outrage — and finally decided to buy a ship to patrol the Mediterranean on their own.Read full article >>



U.S., Britain fear possible ‘political interference’ in Nigerian election

March 31, 2015

KADUNA, Nigeria — The United States and Britain said Monday that Nigeria’s election results “may be subject to deliberate political interference,” a harsh warning issued just as the official vote count began in a crucial election for Africa’s most populous country.Read full article >>



Dozens killed in airstrike at refugee camp in Yemen

March 30, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi ­Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Saudi Arabia’s hostile relationship with Russia is leaving Egypt stuck in the middle

March 30, 2015

At a gathering of Arab leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh this weekend, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi read a letter from Vladimir Putin. “We support Arab nations in their effort to ensure a safe future and urge them to resolve all emerging challenges peacefully without any foreign involvement,” the Russian president’s message read, according to Sputnik News.Read full article >>



Co-pilot of doomed plane was treated for suicidal tendencies, officials say

March 30, 2015

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — The co-pilot who crashed a Germanwings jetliner was treated years ago for suicidal tendencies, authorities said Monday. But although doctors who were worried about Andreas Lubitz’s mental health had recently told him to stay away from work, Germany’s strict medical privacy laws may have prevented them from circulating their concerns more widely.Read full article >>



Iran talks intensify in final-hour bid to resolve ‘tricky issues’

March 30, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — As the White House said that talks on Iran’s nuclear program would go “down to the wire,” negotiators struggled to bridge their remaining differences in the hours before a Tuesday deadline.Read full article >>



Shiite militias in Iraq say they have assurances that U.S. will stop strikes

March 30, 2015

BAGHDAD — Shiite militia leaders claimed Monday to have received reassurances from Iraq’s prime minister that there would be no more U.S.-led airstrikes on Tikrit, opening the way for their fighters to return to the battlefield.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Islamists hack another blogger to death in Bangladesh

March 30, 2015

Three assailants cornered Washiqur Rahman, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi blogger, outside his Dhaka home on Monday and hacked him to death with meat cleavers. Police said the attackers rained their blows on Rahman’s head, “distorting” his face.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Watch: A wild rhino wreaks havoc in a town in Nepal

March 30, 2015

A rhinoceros entered the town of Hetuada in southern Nepal on Monday, creating chaos and killing at least one person. The wild creature’s rampage was documented by a number of social media users.Rhino on the streets in Hetauda. Must have come to visit the bazaar. #Nepal #Rhino pic.twitter.com/tV0WCe0U0aRead full article >>



WorldViews: China jails a Muslim for six years — for refusing to shave his beard

March 30, 2015

A Muslim was jailed for six years in China for refusing to shave off his beard, while his wife was imprisoned for two years for wearing a burqa, as part of a severe crackdown on religious “extremism” in the far-western province of Xinjiang, local media reported.Read full article >>



Middle East peace prospects are slim, outgoing U.N. envoy says

March 30, 2015

JERUSALEM — If judged by outcome, the United Nations’ special coordinator for the Middle East peace process has met with limited success, to put it diplomatically.In his seven years in the post, Robert Serry has participated in three rounds of U.S.-led peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians — all ending in failure and recrimination.Read full article >>



Arab leaders announce joint force to intervene in region’s wars

March 30, 2015

CAIRO — Arab leaders ­announced Sunday that they would form a joint military force to intervene in neighboring states grappling with armed insurgencies. It is a dramatic step to quell the unrest that has broken out in the wake of the region’s uprisings, but some analysts warned it could exacerbate the conflicts that have polarized countries and left hundreds of thousands dead.Read full article >>



In Nigeria, anxiously awaiting results to a crucial election

March 30, 2015

KADUNA, NIGERIA — Nigerians waited anxiously Sunday as the results of a bitterly contested presidential election were tabulated, a pivotal moment for Africa’s largest democracy and the region as a whole.Read full article >>



Iraqi army weighs cost of U.S.-led strikes in Tikrit as militiamen leave

March 30, 2015

TIKRIT, IRAQ — In the makeshift Iraqi army command headquarters for the operation to clear Tikrit, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim reads out the coordinates for targets that planes from the U.S.-led coalition are to strike: the local council building, the teacher’s institute, a local mall.Read full article >>



Negotiators race deadline in Iran talks

March 29, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — ­Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are focused on the pace at which sanctions and restrictions would be eased, diplomats said Sunday, as Israel’s prime minister predicted that the emerging agreement would help Tehran “conquer” the Middle East.Read full article >>



Germanwings co-pilot worried about job security, officials say

March 29, 2015

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The co-pilot who crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 had consulted with several medical professionals about a vision issue that, coupled with preexisting psychological problems, appeared to give him a growing sense of unease about his ability to keep his job, according to officials familiar with the investigation.Read full article >>



Foreign ministers arrive amid crucial weekend for Iran nuclear talks

March 29, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Diplomats from Germany and France joined the United States in frenetic talks with Iran on Saturday, amid indications that negotiations were foundering with only days left before a deadline for an agreement.Read full article >>



Nigerian presidential vote is extended amid glitches and fears of violence

March 28, 2015

KADUNA, Nigeria —Nigerians voted Saturday in the most bitterly contested election in the history of the country’s young democracy — a poll that will determine the next chapter in a long-standing fight against Islamist insurgents and the management of Africa’s largest economy.Read full article >>



The Syrian War: What Does It Take

March 28, 2015

On March 16, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave a speech in Tokyo marking this year’s 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The world institution, he said, “was created after the Second World War to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. We have to acknowledge that that vision by our founding fathers of the United Nations has not been fully realized.”Read full article >>



Saudi-led airstrikes intensify in Yemen as possible coalition land attack looms

March 28, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — Arab leaders vowed Saturday to back the embattled Yemeni president as a Saudi Arabia-led coalition intensified airstrikes on Shiite rebel targets across Yemen, escalating a conflict that many residents fear could lead to a land invasion.Read full article >>



Syrian rebels take strategic town of Idlib

March 28, 2015

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels captured the key northern city of Idlib from government forces on Saturday in what amounts to the most significant defeat in two years for the forces loyal to President Basharal-Assad.Read full article >>



Among new clues about co-pilot: Reports of ‘pressure,’ vision problems

March 28, 2015

MONTABAUR, Germany — One year ­before he made the cut for Lufthansa’s elite flying school, Andreas Lubitz worked at a Burger King behind a carwash, flipping Whoppers and frying fries and talking to co-workers about his dream.Read full article >>



Reports: Desperate pilot used ax on locked cockpit door of doomed plane

March 28, 2015

In a last-ditch attempt to enter the cockpit, the pilot of doomed Germanwings Flight 9525 used an ax to try to break down the reinforced door moments before the plane slammed into the French Alps, reports said Friday.Read full article >>



WorldViews: How Yemen was once Egypt’s Vietnam

March 28, 2015

On Friday, Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi arrived at the Egyptian seaside town of Sharm el-Sheik on a plane from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The smiling Hadi, who was about to attend a session of the Arab League, now presumably feels safer abroad, among his regional counterparts, than he would in Yemen.Read full article >>



In fight for Tikrit, U.S. finds enemies on both sides of the battle lines

March 28, 2015

BAGHDAD — As American forces open another front of battle in Iraq, they find themselves on the same side as an array of armed groups that not only consider the United States an enemy but also accuse it of actively supporting Islamic State militants.Read full article >>



Co-pilot in jet crash said to have had depression

March 28, 2015

MONTABAUR, Germany — On the day he appeared to fly a commercial airliner into a chilly mountainside in France, Andreas Lubitz was hiding a potentially deadly secret: a chronic medical condition that a doctor had determined was serious enough to keep him out of the sky.Read full article >>



How the Yemen conflict risks new chaos in the Middle East

March 28, 2015

BEIRUT — The meltdown in Yemen is pushing the Middle East dangerously closer to the wider regional conflagration many long have feared would arise from the chaos unleashed by the Arab Spring revolts.What began as a peaceful struggle to unseat a Yemeni strongman four years ago and then mutated into civil strife now risks spiraling into a full-blown war between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran over a country that lies at the choke point of one of the world’s major oil supply routes.Read full article >>



Nigerians vote for president amid fears of Boko Haram, political violence

March 28, 2015

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — One week after she was freed from her captors in the notorious Boko Haram militia, Ubwamtu Papka was sitting in a harshly lighted room in the Pinnacle Hotel in this war-scarred city, wondering why she had been brought here in a convoy of trucks.Read full article >>



Cuban baseball, standing on second, waits for a sign

March 27, 2015

Raúl Castro is not a large man. He was never said to possess a decent curveball, unlike his older brother, nor any passion for baseball, let alone baseball politics.Whether that has been good for the Cuban game depends on your view of socialist athletics. But for Major League Baseball, and the wave of Cuban talent pouring into it, the Raúl Castro era has been a good one. Very, very good.Read full article >>



Cuban baseball, standing on second, waits for a sign

March 27, 2015

Raúl Castro is not a large man. He was never said to possess a decent curveball, unlike his older brother, nor any passion for baseball, let alone baseball politics.Whether that has been good for the Cuban game depends on your view of socialist athletics. But for Major League Baseball, and the wave of Cuban talent pouring into it, the Raúl Castro era has been a good one. Very, very good.Read full article >>

WorldViews: Who are the two candidates running to become the president of Nigeria?

March 27, 2015

President elections in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, are scheduled on Saturday. The two leading candidates are starkly different: one is a Christian politician who has struggled with the growing Boko Haram Islamist insurgency; the other is a Muslim and former military ruler known for a crackdown on corruption but also for allegations of serious human rights abuses.Read full article >>



Despite Saudi-led airstrikes, Shiite rebels continue to advance in Yemen

March 27, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — Shiite rebels reached the outskirts of the key southern city of Aden on Friday, boldly defying a bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia that is seeking to push them back and carve out a protected space for the country’s beleaguered president.Read full article >>



Israel backs down and returns frozen funds to Palestinians

March 27, 2015

JERUSALEM — Under pressure from his advisers and the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is releasing some of the tax payments Israel has withheld from the Palestinian Authority for three months, to ease a potential financial and security crisis in the occupied West Bank.Read full article >>



Iran nuclear talks move into crucial weekend

March 27, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The United States and Iran forged ahead Friday in a bid to settle disagreements on Iran’s nuclear program, as diplomats from other countries involved in the negotiations made tentative plans to come to Lausanne ahead of a Tuesday deadline for a deal.Read full article >>



WorldViews: A new Chinese anti-corruption drive has an unfortunate name in English

March 27, 2015

This week, authorities in Beijing announced an initiative to catch corrupt officials who have fled overseas. The plan, set to be put into action next month, will better coordinate Chinese investigations into offshore funds and “underground banks” used by officials to funnel money out of the country.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Iranian President Rouhani trumps the supreme leader — on Twitter, at least

March 27, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — When it comes to the Iran nuclear talks, the ultimate decision on whether to make a deal will be up to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But in the world of Twitter, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reigns supreme. He boasts 311,000 followers, to the ayatollah’s 108,000.Read full article >>



WorldViews: Pakistan’s long history of fighting Saudi Arabia’s wars

March 27, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s campaign against Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, which began with waves of airstrikes overnight on Thursday, has laid down a new marker in the dangerously unstable Middle East.As WorldViews discussed earlier, the Saudis coordinated their action with a coalition of Sunni majority countries, sharpening the perception that the offensive was part of a wider regional conflict with Iran, a Shiite power that has backed the Houthis and is locked in a larger game of geopolitical chess with the Saudis in various corners of the Middle East.Read full article >>



WorldViews: 4 reasons you should care about Nigeria’s election

March 27, 2015

ABUJA, Nigeria — On Saturday, Africa’s most populous and oil-rich country will go to the polls. The election looks to be the tightest in the 16 years since military rule ended in Nigeria — and it appears likely that the contest between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari could devolve into violence.Read full article >>



A year into a conflict with Russia, are sanctions working?

March 27, 2015

MOSCOW — When it comes to inflicting economic pain on Russia, the Kremlin may be doing a better job than Western sanctions. Just don’t tell that to the Russian people, who overwhelmingly blame the West for a deepening recession that has parts of central Moscow starting to look like a ghost town.Read full article >>



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