Europe rallies behind Merkel as Greeks hit breaking point

June 30, 2015

BERLIN — Her critics call her the villain of the Greek drama, a taskmaster forcing a bankrupt nation to its knees. But even as the Greeks reach their breaking point, the leaders of Europe are lining up behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Read full article >>




Can Tunisia crack down on terror while preserving its democracy?

June 30, 2015

TUNIS — Tunisian authorities have promised to shut extremist mosques, squeeze terrorists’ ­access to funds and call up army reserves. They are also promoting sweeping new anti-terrorism legislation.The measures are in response to attacks on security personnel and massacres of tourists — including the rampage by a Tunisian gunman at a beach resort Friday, which claimed the lives of at least 38 people.Read full article >>




WorldViews: China’s new climate change plan — in four graphs

June 30, 2015

On Tuesday, China formally submitted its climate change action plan to the United Nations. The document, which can be viewed here (in Chinese first, and then in English), formalizes the commitment made by President Xi Jinping alongside President Obama last November — to reach a peak in emissions by 2030, and make “best efforts to peak early.”Read full article >>




WorldViews: Israel’s prime minister tweets cartoon comparing Iran to the Islamic State

June 30, 2015

It’s no secret that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is adamantly opposed to the negotiations currently taking place in Vienna right now over Iran’s nuclear program.For months now, Netanyahu, backed by Republicans and neo-conservatives in the United States, has led the international counter-offensive against the Obama administration’s efforts to forge an opening with Tehran. In a controversial speech before Congress last March, Netanyahu likened the Islamic Republic to the Islamic State, the Sunni extremist organization in Syria and Iraq that’s actually at war with Iran’s allies.Read full article >>




WorldViews: The U.N. says South Sudanese soldiers gang-raped girls and then burned them alive

June 30, 2015

A new report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) claims to have found evidence that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and associated armed groups in South Sudan engaged in extreme sexual violence and torture against civilians.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Three Cuban cities on Pope Francis’s fall tour

June 30, 2015

A schedule of Pope Francis’s eight-day trip to Cuba and the United States this fall shows he will meet with Raul Castro and celebrate Mass in three different cities on the island between Sept. 19 and 22.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Chart: There are more Spanish speakers in the U.S. than in Spain

June 30, 2015

// </p> <p>// The population of Spanish speakers in the United States has now surpassed that of Spain, according to a report published by an organization affiliated with the Spanish government.As the chart shows, the total number of Spanish speakers in the United States — a figure combining estimates of native Spanish speakers and those with bilingual proficiency — now is larger than the overall populations of a host of Spanish-speaking nations and is second only to Mexico. There are more than 41 million native Spanish speakers in the United States and nearly 12 million with limited proficiency.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Burma, once a pariah state, gets its first taste of KFC

June 30, 2015

KFC has become the first major Western fast-food chain to open a restaurant in Burma, with the grand unveiling of an outlet in the country’s commercial capital on Tuesday.Images from the restaurant’s opening in Rangoon show large crowds. Reports from Agence France-Presse suggest that some customers lined up for hours to eat at the restaurant, which sits on a busy central street.Read full article >>




WorldViews: How Mexico is going to make Donald Trump pay

June 30, 2015

MEXICO CITY — One of the risks of having a business empire with tentacles encircling the globe is that if you refer to your business partners as drug-runners and rapists, there are plenty of people to get upset.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Putin offered to support Venezuela in case of war with Colombia, book claims

June 30, 2015

During a moment of peak tensions between Colombia and Venezuela, Vladimir Putin told the late Hugo Chávez to count on his support if war broke out, according to a new biography of José Mujica, the popular ex-Uruguayan president who was close to his Venezuelan counterpart.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Greece’s government has an unlikely ally: A Turkish politician

June 30, 2015

Greece’s imminent economic collapse has polarized political opinion in Europe and elsewhere. Some have little sympathy for the indebted nation’s unwillingness to play by the rules of the euro zone; others have expressed solidarity with an embattled government that’s placing the struggles of its people over the mandates of technocrats in Brussels.Read full article >>


At barren shops and closed banks, Greeks feel strain of ‘economic war’

June 29, 2015

ATHENS — Ten packages of pasta, a bag of flour, canned white beans and rice.On a Monday of uncertainties for Greece, which may soon bid farewell to the euro, groceries were what Stalo Mestana decided she could count on. She loaded up her shopping cart and paid with a credit card — because banks are shuttered and cash just turned into a precious commodity.Read full article >>




Europe may not admit it, but its future is on the line in Greece

June 29, 2015

LONDON — He said he felt sorrow and betrayal. He begged, and he blamed.With Greece’s future in Europe on the line, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pulled off an emotional tour de force Monday as he sought to talk the country down from its perch at the edge of the abyss.Read full article >>




Puerto Rico’s governor on need to postpone debt payments for years: ‘It’s about math’

June 29, 2015

The governor of Puerto Rico said in a televised address Monday that the island cannot pay back more than $70 billion in debt, setting up an unprecedented financial crisis that could rock the municipal bond market and lead to higher borrowing costs for governments across the United States.Read full article >>




U.S. markets slide as Greece fears rattle investors

June 29, 2015

BEIJING — U.S. markets slid about 2 percent Monday as investors reacted to the latest chapter in Greece’s financial saga, handing investors their biggest losses of the year.The Standard & Poors 500 index wiped out its gains for the year, closing at its lowest point since April with a a decline of 2.1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was off 1.95 percent, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 2.4 percent.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Here’s what is in the way of a ‘good’ Iran nuclear deal

June 29, 2015

They’re happening again. In an elegant Vienna hotel, international diplomats and negotiators, including U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, will be locked in discussions with interlocutors from Iran over a deal aimed at settling global fears over Tehran’s nuclear program.Read full article >>




Cairo blast kills top prosecutor, raising fears about militant reach in Egypt

June 29, 2015

CAIRO — A powerful car bomb killed Egypt’s top prosecutor Monday in a high-profile assassination that underscored the apparently expanding reach of militants and their ability to mount a sophisticated strike against a well-protected senior official.Read full article >>




WorldViews: The remarkable bravery shown by Tunisians during the Sousse beach attack

June 29, 2015

In the aftermath of last week’s attack on a tourist resort in Sousse, Tunisia — a mass shooting that left at least 38 people, mainly tourists, dead — there has been one recurring glimmer of positivity: the bravery shown by hotel staff and others during the attack.Read full article >>




Shock, grief in Britain over deaths of up to 30 nationals in Tunisia attack

June 29, 2015

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday called the fight against the Islamic State “the struggle of our generation,” as Britain grappled with the aftermath of a beach massacre in Tunisia, the worst terrorist attack on British citizens since the London bombings on July 7, 2005.Read full article >>




Greece banks closed amid deepening crisis over future in euro zone

June 29, 2015

ATHENS — Greeks faced shuttered banks and a closed stock market Monday at the beginning of a fateful week that may determine whether they will be able to hold on to the euro currency.The blows from the breakdown in talks between Greece and its creditors also pummeled financial markets. Asian and European exchanges were down sharply, the euro slumped, and Wall Street plummeted, with Greece less than 24 hours away from being unable to pay its bills.Read full article >>




WorldViews: This is what Greece looks like on the brink of economic disaster

June 29, 2015

As talks between Greece and its creditors broke down over the past few days, a Greek financial meltdown has become a very scary and very real possibility.Images from Greece show exactly how real the fears of the collapse were, with long lines at ATMs a recurring theme as people rushed to withdraw their savings. On Monday, Greece ordered banks shut for six business days while regulators imposed a limit of 60 euros ($67) on withdrawals, hoping to stem a run on the banks.Read full article >>




China launches development bank for Asia, calls it first step in ‘epic journey’

June 29, 2015

BEIJING — Underscoring its growing global heft, China launched an infrastructure bank for Asia on Monday, receiving the backing of 50 countries for an initiative that seeks to boost the region’s economy but also put Beijing at the center of its development.Read full article >>




Israel intercepts Gaza-bound aid ship in Mediterranean

June 29, 2015

JERUSALEM — Israeli naval commandos intercepted a protest ship at sea bound for the Gaza Strip on Monday and diverted the vessel toward a port in Israel. The Israelis said no one was injured in the operation.Read full article >>




In Japan, even the gun enthusiasts are in favor of gun control

June 29, 2015

ISEHARA, Japan — Chiaki Sakurai heard a story from his shooting buddies about an American school in Japan. “I heard that there’s an American school here that has a sign out front saying ‘No guns,’ ” he said incredulously one day this week during a break from target practice at a shooting range. “The school has a sign, even though it’s in Japan!”Read full article >>


In Japan, even the gun enthusiasts welcome restrictions on firearms

June 29, 2015

ISEHARA, Japan — Chiaki Sakurai heard a story from his shooting buddies about an American school in Japan.“I heard that there’s an American school here that has a sign out front saying ‘No guns,’ ” he said incredulously one day this month during a break from target practice at a shooting range. “The school has a sign, even though it’s in Japan!”Read full article >>




Greece will close banks for 6 days, impose limits on withdrawals

June 29, 2015

ATHENS — Greek leaders planned to shutter their banks for six business days starting Monday and impose strict limits on ATM withdrawals amid rising global concerns about the nation’s economic future.Sunday’s decision to declare a bank holiday was a signal that Greece’s five-year battle to stay in the shared euro currency may swiftly be coming to an end, as leaders elsewhere urged steps to find a way to avoid that. Panicked citizens tried to pull their money from their accounts while they still could. ATMs in Athens were running out of money, and tensions were running high as Greeks stood in line for hours to…

Puerto Rico governor says island’s debts can’t be paid

June 29, 2015

Puerto Rico is set to release a key financial stability report by former International Monetary Fund economists Monday, officials said Sunday, in a crucial week for the island as bond deadlines come due and investor concerns increase about the possibility for debt restructurings and a limitation on government services.Read full article >>


Years after invasion, the U.S. leaves a cultural imprint on Afghanistan

June 29, 2015

KABUL — In a private room inside the Wiana Cafe, Mahmood Rezai snapped his hands to an imaginary beat, mimicking the actions of his favorite rap stars: Eminem, 50 Cent and Tupac. Under the Taliban, Rezai’s own lyrics — blistering critiques of social woes — would have earned him a beating, or worse. Today, he is a testament to the subtler influences of the nearly 14-year-long American presence in Afghanistan.Read full article >>


Unpopular Brazilian president to visit U.S. as her country’s economy slides

June 29, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO — In March 2011, President Obama swept onto the stage at the Municipal Theater here to tumultuous applause.“I met with your wonderful new president, Dilma Rousseff, and talked about how we can strengthen the partnership between our governments,” he told an invited audience.Read full article >>


Iran nuclear talks to miss Tuesday deadline, will run ‘a few days’ longer

June 28, 2015

VIENNA — The Iran nuclear talks will spill beyond a Tuesday deadline, officials said Sunday as Iran’s foreign minister broke off from the negotiations and flew to Tehran for consultations.A potential agreement to rein in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief remains elusive in this final round of talks, the culmination of more than 19 months of intense negotiations. Major differences still divide the two sides: Iran on the one hand and six world powers, including the United States, on the other. The key unresolved issues concern the pace at which sanctions would be lifted and how much access Iran would grant international…

Israel wants to force-feed Palestinian prisoners who go on hunger strikes

June 28, 2015

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Israeli government wants to force-feed Palestinian prisoners who go on hunger strikes, an extreme medical procedure that Israeli doctors say they will refuse to perform because it is unethical and inhumane.Read full article >>


Three attacks deepen fears about Islamic State’s global reach

June 28, 2015

The attacks appeared to have no connection in terms of tactic or target.The beheading and failed attempt to blow up a chemical plant in France bore no operational resemblance to the suicide bombing of a mosque in Kuwait or the armed assault on a tourist-packed beach in Tunisia.Read full article >>


CIA photos of ‘black sites’ could complicate Guantanamo trials

June 28, 2015

Military prosecutors this year learned about a massive cache of CIA photographs of its former overseas “black sites” while reviewing material collected for the Senate investigation of the agency’s interrogation program, U.S. officials said.Read full article >>


Greece on the brink of default after talks with creditors break down

June 28, 2015

LONDON — Greece’s long-running standoff with its European creditors appeared headed on Saturday for an abrupt — and potentially cataclysmic — ending as the continent’s finance ministers rejected an emergency Greek request to help the cash-starved country meet a Tuesday deadline for paying back its debts.Read full article >>


WorldViews: Justice Roberts cited the traditions of four cultures in his dissent on gay marriage. Here’s what he didn’t mention.

June 27, 2015

In his written dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision to effectively legalize gay marriage in all 50 states in the United States, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made a conspicuous gesture to the rest of the world. He referred to the “social institution” that the majority of the court was “transforming,” and anchored its legitimacy in the currents of history.Read full article >>


Witnesses recall the horror of terrorist attack on Tunisian beach

June 27, 2015

SOUSSE, Tunisia — In the final moments of the worst terrorist attack in Tunisia’s history, witnesses recalled, the assailant casually strolled to the ocean at a popular resort to wash his hands and face.Read full article >>


Armenian president suspends electricity hikes behind protest

June 27, 2015

YEREVAN, Armenia — The president of Armenia on Saturday suspended hikes in household electricity rates in an effort to end the protests that have blocked the capital’s main avenue for six straight days. The demonstrators, however, didn’t disperse.Read full article >>


Fears of terrorism mount in France

June 27, 2015

LYON, France – Following Friday’s attempted assault on a chemical plant that officials described as a terrorist attack, France was hunkering down Saturday for what politicians and analysts warned could be a prolonged period of uncertainty and fear.Read full article >>




Thousands mourn in Kuwait’s mass funeral after Shiite attack

June 27, 2015

KUWAIT CITY — Thousands of people in Kuwait took part in a funeral procession Saturday for 27 people killed in an attack on a Shiite mosque in the capital a day earlier.An upstart local affiliate of the Islamic State, calling itself the Najd Province, claimed responsibility for the attack that was carried out by a suicide bomber during midday Friday prayers inside one of Kuwait’s oldest Shiite mosques, which was packed for Ramadan holy month services. The Islamic State views Shiites as heretics and refers to them as “rejectionists,” among other slurs.Read full article >>




Kerry begins final round of Iran nuclear talks

June 27, 2015

VIENNA — The final round of the Iran nuclear talks began Saturday with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cautioning that a lot of hard work lies ahead to reach a deal in the dwindling days before a deadline.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Japan has a flag problem, too

June 27, 2015

As the debate about the use of the Confederate flag raged in the United States this week, many looked abroad for other symbol-based controversies. Germany, which had banned the swastika and other Nazi iconography after World War II, became an especially common reference: If the Germans had banned Nazi symbols, the logic went, why couldn’t the United States ban symbols of the Confederacy?Read full article >>




Cuban artist pushes boundary between art and politics, and pays a price

June 27, 2015

HAVANA — It was probably inevitable, given the trajectory of her career, that Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s creative vision would collide one day with her country’s less-expansive political reality.From a young age, Bruguera, 46, won international acclaim as an irreverent, barrier-breaking performance artist. She smeared the floor with pig’s blood to make a point about sexual assault. She stripped naked and ate dirt in tribute to Cuba’s vanished indigenous tribes. During one performance in Colombia, she circulated trays of cocaine — real cocaine — inviting audience members to try it. They did.Read full article >>




ISIS claims to be behind deadly Tunisia attack

June 27, 2015

BEIRUT — Assailants beheaded, bombed and gunned down victims on three continents Friday, killing more than 60 people and raising fears that a global surge of terror strikes could be imminent. There was initially no reason to believe the disparate attacks — at a factory in France, a beach resort in Tunisia and a mosque in Kuwait — were connected.Read full article >>




Gunman storms Tunisia resort in deadly attack aimed at foreigners

June 27, 2015

CAIRO — Tunisia suffered its worst terrorist attack in recent memory Friday as a gunman fatally shot 39 people at a beach resort, an assault that rattled the fragile democracy and threatened to devastate its critical tourist industry.Read full article >>




An exclusive look at the draft schedule for Pope Francis’s U.S. trip this fall

June 27, 2015

Pope Francis will meet with inmates in a Philadelphia prison gym, poor migrants at a D.C. church — where he may serve them lunch — and disadvantaged youth at an East Harlem elementary school, according to a working itinerary of his visit this fall to the United States that was shared with The Washington Post.Read full article >>




Islamic State claims responsibility for Tunisia attack

June 27, 2015

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bloody attack on tourists at a resort town in Tunisia on Friday.In a statement circulated by Islamic State supporters online, the group said the attack had been carried out by a man named Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani. Tunisian officials earlier Friday said the gunman, who was shot and killed by police, was from the Tunisian city of Kairouan. Read full article >>




Explosions hit French factory; terrorism probe opened

June 27, 2015

SAINT-PRIEST, France — Yassin Salhi was another extremist who fell through the cracks.Like the three homegrown terrorists who staged multiple assaults in and around Paris in January, Salhi, a 35-year-old ­deliveryman who staged an audacious attack Friday at an American-owned chemical factory in southeast France, was well known to French intelligence. In 2006, he came under surveillance for his links to radical Islamist groups. But by 2008, authorities were following him less frequently, though they were still occasionally monitoring him between 2011 and 2014.Read full article >>




WorldViews: In Kuwait, a man paused to gaze at worshipers. Then he blew them up.

June 26, 2015

A ghastly day of terror attacks on three continents began with a suicide bombing of a mosque in Kuwait. The attacker entered the Imam Sadiq mosque, one of the oldest Shiite mosques in Kuwait City, and detonated the explosives strapped to his body, killing at least 25 people and wounding hundreds.Read full article >>




WorldViews: Bangladesh might exile Rohingya refugees to a remote, flood-prone island

June 26, 2015

Mohammed Islam is a Rohingya Muslim who has lived in a refugee camp in Bangladesh since age 9, after his family fled religious tension in his home country of Burma, also known as Myanmar.His life is one of uncertainty coupled with despair, which has deepened in recent weeks because of  a  Bangladesh government proposal to move 32,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island that swamps at high tide.Read full article >>




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