Britain joins E.U. to criticize Russia for its ‘stop list’ of 89 European officials

May 31, 2015

LONDON — Britain on Sunday joined the European Union in lashing out at Russia for blacklisting 89 Europeans, including senior politicians, who are banned from traveling to Russia in what appears to be a tit-for-tat response to sanctions imposed by the E.U.Read full article >>




Vladimir Katriuk, alleged Nazi war criminal, dies in Canada at 93

May 31, 2015

Vladimir Katriuk, the second most wanted man on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of Nazi war criminals, died in Canada. He had been charged by Russia with genocide. He was 93.His lawyer, Orest Rudzik, confirmed the death and said he believed it occurred May 22. The exact cause and other circumstances were not disclosed.Read full article >>




War in Yemen is pushing health-care facilities to the brink of collapse

May 31, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — Two months of war have devastated Yemen’s health sector, aggravating a dire humanitarian crisis by depriving millions of people of urgent medical care and threatening outbreaks of diseases such as polio and measles, according to doctors and international aid organizations. Read full article >>




U.S. citizen Mohamed Soltan freed from Egyptian prison

May 31, 2015

Tears, tight hugs and cries of “Welcome home” greeted a frail American citizen on his sudden return to the United States on Saturday night after nearly two years spent in an Egyptian jail cell. It was a surreal homecoming for Mohamed Soltan, 27, a citizen journalist and activist who survived a year-long hunger strike and a life sentence, only to be whisked from his cell and later onto a plane bound for Washington, the product of months of advocacy by his family and quiet, frantic negotiations between the U.S. government and Egypt, his family said.Read full article >>




Syria airstrikes kill scores amid government setbacks

May 30, 2015

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Syrian government air raids killed scores of people in northern Syria on Saturday, a day after loyalist troops suffered yet another defeat on the battlefield, according to reports by activists and monitoring groups.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Self-exiled former Georgia president Mikheil Saakashvili returns as governor of key region in Ukraine

May 30, 2015

MOSCOW—He’s probably best known as the former president of Georgia. Or more recently, as a one-term academic at Tufts University, or to residents of Brooklyn, as the man about Williamsburg in fluorescent shoes.Read full article >>




Pro-Iran militias take upper hand after U.S.-backed forces crumble in Anbar

May 30, 2015

HABBANIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi forces have seized from Islamic State militants a string of hamlets and villages in the dust-choked desert southeast of Ramadi in recent days, closing in on the key city for a counteroffensive.Read full article >>




Residents in a Mexican neighborhood miss the cartel that protected them

May 30, 2015

OCOTLAN, Mexico — At the makeshift shrine for the Warriors of the Five, the young men are listed by their gang handles: Chicken. Nacho. Whitey. In the photos, some have elaborate tattoos, others brandish guns. Read full article >>




WorldViews: Map: The U.S. is bound by treaties to defend a quarter of humanity

May 30, 2015

This post has been updated.The United States is bound by a number of treaties that could, in theory, force it to get involved in a war if an ally is attacked. Consider, for example, the situation in Ukraine, a non-member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. If a NATO ally were to find itself under similar threat from Russia, the U.S. may find itself duty bound to war.Read full article >>




Kerry, Iranian envoy discuss unsettled issues as nuclear deadline nears

May 30, 2015

GENEVA — Significant differences remain between the United States and Iran over a nuclear deal, but the two sides are clear on what needs to be resolved and the urgency of doing it before a June 30 deadline, a senior Obama administration official said Saturday after six hours of talks here between Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.Read full article >>




Houthi rebels in Yemen are holding multiple Americans prisoner

May 29, 2015

The rebel group that has seized power in Yemen has taken at least four U.S. citizens prisoner, according to U.S. officials who said that efforts to secure the Americans’ release have faltered.One of the prisoners had been cleared for release in recent days only to have that decision reversed by members of the Houthi rebellion that toppled the U.S.-backed government earlier this year and now controls most levers of power in Yemen.Read full article >>




Sumo groups hope skinny Japanese kids can recapture their nation’s glory

May 29, 2015

TOKYO —Chikara Yamanobe is about as far from a sumo wrestler as it’s possible to be. He’s so skinny that his ribs stick out, and his eyes well up when he gets manhandled in the ring. He’s also 5 years old. Read full article >>




WorldViews: After FIFA arrests, Brazilians ask: Why didn’t we do this?

May 29, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO — As the shock wave subsided after this week’s arrests in Switzerland of seven FIFA bosses — including the former head of the Brazilian soccer confederation, José Maria Marin — Brazilians expressed three reactions.Read full article >>




WorldViews: It’s not corruption that keeps FIFA’s Sepp Blatter in power. It’s history.

May 29, 2015

It’s confusing to many how a man as universally reviled as FIFA President Sepp Blatter can still command so much influence. From his blatant sexism to his role at the top of an institution racked by allegations of corruption, Blatter has become a pantomime villain — a scheming bureaucrat, an agent to autocrats and crony capitalists, a “dark prince” lording over the world’s most beloved game.Read full article >>




FIFA President Sepp Blatter reelected

May 29, 2015

The embattled chief of world soccer hung onto his post Friday after a rival bowed out in an election that displayed the deep rifts inside the sport amid American-led allegations of widespread corruption among some of its top overseers.Read full article >>




At last minute, Israel is saved from soccer-suspension vote

May 29, 2015

JERUSALEM — With a bit of the drama of high-wire, last-minute diplomacy, the Palestinian Football Association was pressed to withdraw its proposal Friday to have Israel suspended from world soccer’s governing body and agreed instead to a compromise that allowed both the Israelis and the Palestinians to claim victory.Read full article >>




WorldViews: After 33 years, the U.S. drops Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Here’s what it means.

May 29, 2015

The U.S. State Department’s formally removed Cuba from its official list of state sponsors of terrorism. The move signals a significant, symbolic step toward the normalization of ties between Washington and Havana and the potential opening of embassies in both countries.Read full article >>




WorldViews: In Egypt to meet moderate Muslims, France’s far-right leader is scolded for her views on Islam

May 29, 2015

Marine le Pen, the leader of the popular French far right National Front party, has often seemed at loggerheads with Islam. Just after the devastating attacks in Paris this year, for example, she tweeted: “It is the Islamists who have declared war on France.”Read full article >>




Islamic State claims militants carried out twin blasts at Baghdad hotels

May 29, 2015

BAGHDAD — Islamic State militants asserted responsibility Friday for coordinated attacks on two of the Iraqi capital’s most upscale hotels. The bombings claimed at least 15 lives as lavish weekend wedding parties were in full swing.Read full article >>




Kerry attends inauguration of Nigeria’s new president

May 29, 2015

ABUJA, Nigeria — Muhammadu Buhari, who last led this country as a military dictator three decades ago, was sworn in as its elected president Friday.Buhari takes over amid high expectations that he can resolve problems of chronic corruption and poor administration that have driven oil-rich Nigeria’s economy to near-collapse, even while the country is under threat from Boko Haram militants who have given the Islamic State its first foothold in sub-Saharan Africa.Read full article >>




Double hotel bombing strikes Iraqi capital

May 29, 2015

BAGHDAD — A coordinated bomb attack hit two of the Iraqi capital’s most upmarket hotels Thursday night in a strike at targets frequented by foreigners and wealthy Iraqis.Two cars rigged with explosives blew up within minutes of each other around midnight Thursday, a security official said. At least 15 people were killed and 42 injured, the Associated Press reported.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Map: The world according to the Islamic State

May 29, 2015

The Islamic State had one of its most successful weeks recently with the capture of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria. But another statement about the group is also quite disturbing: The militants established 10 networks outside of Iraq and Syria, according to the Soufan Group.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Kazakhstan’s ecological mystery: Why have over 100,000 saiga antelopes died in just a few weeks?

May 29, 2015

As a species, saiga antelopes have endured a lot. They once roamed the Earth with Wooly Mammoths during the last Ice Age and but were almost driven to extinction by a loss of habitat and hunting during the late-20th century. Now the distinctive animals, easily distinguished by their large noses and prized for their meat and horns, are considered an endangered species and protected by the government of Kazakhstan.Read full article >>




Does Brazil’s new speaker of the lower house want the government to fall?

May 29, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO — An evangelical Christian who plays rock drums and has been likened to Frank Underwood, the ambitious schemer in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” has upended Brazil’s politics since being elected speaker of the country’s lower house four months ago.Read full article >>




World Digest: May 28, 2015

May 28, 2015

FranceHollande: Britain should stay in E.U.France wants Britain to remain in the European Union, President François Hollande said Thursday after talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who insisted the status quo in Europe was “not good enough.”Read full article >>




For a new American ambassador, India is a kind of homecoming

May 28, 2015

JALANDHAR, India — A quiet stroll around the old neighborhood had been planned. But word spread quickly that U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma was returning to his family’s home in northern India after years in the United States. Read full article >>




Report: Western women are attracted to Islamic State for complex reasons

May 28, 2015

LONDON — Western women in the Islamic State are playing a crucial role in disseminating propaganda and are not simply flocking to the region to become “jihadi brides,” according to a new British research report.Read full article >>




WorldViews: The U.S.-trained commander of Tajikistan’s special forces has joined the Islamic State

May 28, 2015

In late April, the chief of an elite police unit in Tajikistan disappeared. Relatives said Col. Gulmurod Khalimov, who commanded the Tajik Interior Ministry’s special forces, had gone on a business trip. Other rumors suggested he had vanished after falling out with colleagues at a high-level meeting.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Chart: The mystery behind a dramatic rise in executions in Saudi Arabia

May 28, 2015

This week, Saudi Arabia announced the executions of Awad al-Rowaili and Lafi al-Shammary. These two men had been found guilty of smuggling amphetamines in the northern region of Jawf, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday. Their executions were followed on Wednesday by news of the killing of Hussein Daghriri in the southern province of Jazan. Daghriri had been found guilty in a murder, the SPA reported.Read full article >>




Putin denies Russian troops are in Ukraine, decrees certain deaths secret

May 28, 2015

MOSCOW — If there was one weak spot in Russian support for the Kremlin’s aims in Ukraine this year, it was the population’s strong aversion to sending in Russian troops — something Russia denies doing, despite mounting international evidence to the contrary.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Drinking in a public park in Moscow? Your name could end up on a ‘board of shame.’

May 28, 2015

MOSCOW — If officials from President Vladimir Putin’s party get their way, a Soviet-style practice of naming and shaming citizens for bad behavior may soon be instituted in the Russian capital.Oleg Smolkin, the United Russia party’s executive head in Moscow, told state-owned news network Moscow 24 this week that there are plans to set up “boards of shame” online and along the entrances of apartment buildings to out residents who commit such petty atrocities as smoking in the wrong place, drinking alcohol on kids’ playgrounds, parking their cars on lawns or letting their dogs poop in the wrong section of courtyards.Read full article >>




WorldViews: British tourists say their Greek holidays are being ruined by Syrian refugees

May 28, 2015

The world is in the middle of a full-blown migration crisis, with conflicts and poverty leading people to take terrifying risks in the slim hope of a new and better life on other shores. You see it in places like Lebanon, where around a quarter of the population is now Syrian refugees, or in Southeast Asia, where Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants attempt perilous and grueling journeys over sea.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Why the FIFA arrests made Russia so angry with the U.S.

May 28, 2015

News of the arrest of prominent officials in FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, on U.S. federal corruption charges triggered a fair amount of jubilation among soccer fans, keen to see the murky administration of the world’s most beloved sport cleaned up.Read full article >>




Brits turn to breast-feeding for pay to wean moms off bottle-feeding culture

May 28, 2015

LONDON — When Vanessa Purdy spotted a poster inviting her to earn shopping vouchers for breast-feeding, she didn’t think twice about signing up.“I thought, ‘If I can get money for breast-feeding, why not?’ ” the 31-year-old mother said on a recent afternoon as she was nursing her son, James. She spent the vouchers on groceries, vitamins and baby toys, but Purdy said the most valuable part of the scheme was that discussing breast-feeding helped make it “seem more natural.”Read full article >>




WorldViews: Islamic State says ‘historical monuments’ of Palmyra are safe — except for the statues

May 27, 2015

The Islamic State’s capture of the Syrian city of Palmyra has caused a great deal of concern around the world, and not just because of the considerable strategic importance of the city itself. Many around the world fear what the Islamic State could do the pre-Islamic ruins just by the city, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Syria’s most important archeological sites.Read full article >>




WorldViews: How FIFA became the world’s most powerful and loathed sports organization

May 27, 2015

For many, the arrest of seven top officials at FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, on U.S. federal corruption charges was a long time coming. The world may love the beautiful game more than any other, but the sport’s main administrative organization is widely perceived as being bloated and rapacious. Its head, FIFA President Sepp Blatter — who was not among those arrested — rules like a sovereign monarch, undeterred by hostile public opinion.Read full article >>




Amnesty International: Hamas guilty of torture, summary executions

May 27, 2015

JERUSALEM — The human rights group Amnesty International charged Wednesday that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist militant organization that controls the Gaza Strip, used the cover of last summer’s war with Israel to carry out abductions, torture and ­extrajudicial executions with impunity.Read full article >>




Afghan forces repel guest house attack as residents cower in fear

May 27, 2015

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani praised security forces on Wednesday for repelling a Taliban assault on a Kabul guesthouse, which sparked a six-hour gun battle that kept nearby residents cowering until dawn.Read full article >>




Iran envoy: Nuclear talks possible beyond June 30 deadline

May 27, 2015

Negotiations aimed at reaching a deal over Iran’s nuclear program could extend beyond a self-imposed June 30 deadline and are not bound by a “specific time,” a senior Iranian envoy said Wednesday.The comments appear to strengthen predictions that the talks between Iran and six world powers may not settle on a final agreement in the next month, but negotiators could press ahead if there is progress toward an accord.Read full article >>




Iran envoy: Nuclear talks possible beyond June 30 deadline

May 27, 2015

Negotiations seeking to reach a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers could extend beyond a self-imposed June 30 deadline and are not bound by a “specific time,” a senior Iranian envoy said Wednesday.Read full article >>




WorldViews: In Iceland, it’s no longer legal to kill Basques on sight

May 27, 2015

In late April, one of the world’s strangest laws was quietly revoked. Authorities in Iceland’s Westfjords district, the scenic northwestern corner of the island nation, repealed a 400-year-old decree ordering the death on sight of any Basque person found in the region.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Map: The epic and horrific sea journeys made in the Southeast Asian migrant crisis

May 27, 2015

The illegal journeys made across the sea by migrants are invariably arduous and dangerous. For example, in the first few months of this year alone, thousands have died as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa, seeking a better life in Europe.Read full article >>




Militants storm upscale area in Kabul

May 27, 2015

KABUL — Heavily armed militants stormed an upscale Kabul neighborhood Tuesday night, resulting in a fierce gun battle and a series of explosions that continued until dawn. Police said the attack took place in the city’s Wazir Akbar Khan area, at the base of a large hill that overlooks central Kabul. Read full article >>




With rural Japan shrinking and aging, a small town seeks to stem the trend

May 26, 2015

KAMIYAMA, Japan — At first glance, Kamiyama looks like any other rural town in Japan: shuttered stores on the main street, a gas station unencumbered by customers, hunched-over old ladies tending rice fields.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Meet the Nigerian senator who may have been an inspiration for ‘Orange is the New Black’

May 26, 2015

NAIROBI — After U.S. prosecutors accused him of being a drug kingpin, he could have gone underground. Instead, he ran for the Nigerian senate — and he won.Now, that decision appears to be backfiring. In the past week, Buruji Kashamu was placed under house arrest and faced an extradition hearing. It’s still unclear, though, whether he’ll lose his freedom.Read full article >>




Post reporter’s ‘espionage’ trial adjourns; it’s unclear if it will resume

May 26, 2015

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian went on trial Tuesday on espionage and other charges in a closed Tehran courtroom more than 10 months after he was imprisoned, but the proceedings were adjourned without any indication of when they would resume.Read full article >>




Iraq opens operation to choke off Islamic State lifelines in Ramadi

May 26, 2015

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Shiite militias launched an offensive Tuesday intended to put a stranglehold on Islamic State fighters in Ramadi, taking the lead from Iraqi security forces that lost the western city to the extremists just over a week ago. Read full article >>




Chinese military sets course to expand global reach as ‘national interests’ grow

May 26, 2015

BEIJING — China said Tuesday that it plans to extend its global military reach to safeguard its economic interests, while defending its territorial claims at sea against “provocative actions” by neighbors and “meddling” by the United States.Read full article >>




WorldViews: India’s Narendra Modi completed one year in power. Here’s how he did.

May 26, 2015

When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept into power a year ago this month, expectations were high. The Indian economy was in the doldrums, and a scandal-ridden administration seemed frozen in place. Modi had campaigned on the promise of a new India, with smart cities, clean streets and dazzling economic growth.Read full article >>




WorldViews: The latest reported hostages of Islamic State: Two North Korean citizens

May 26, 2015

Despite being separated by half a planet, two of the most controversial entities in the world may now find themselves intertwined: the Islamic State and the North Korean government.According to Libya Observer, a local publication that posts to Facebook, a 60-year-old North Korean doctor and his wife were kidnapped by Islamic State militants in the city of Sirte as they were on their way back to Tripoli last week. The North Korean Embassy was reported to be working to find out the pair’s location and secure their release.Read full article >>




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