Beijing quietly celebrates Olympic win

July 31, 2015

BEIJING — China wins again.The Chinese capital was awarded the right Friday to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, defeating long-shot rival Almaty, Kazakhstan.The win secured Beijing’s place in history as the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games, and signaled the country’s rising international clout.Read full article >>


Debris unlikely to solve mystery of missing Malaysian plane, experts say

July 31, 2015

More than 16 months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route to Beijing, experts say there is little hope that a bit of wing found on an Indian Ocean beach will unravel what happened to the 239 people on the airplane.Read full article >>


Jewish extremists torch Palestinian homes, killing toddler, authorities say

July 31, 2015

DUMA, West Bank — Arsonists set fire to two Palestinian homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Friday, burning a toddler alive and injuring three others in an attack that authorities say was most likely carried out by Jewish extremists.Read full article >>


Discovering a piece of Flight 370 won’t help investigators find the rest

July 31, 2015

While confidence increased Friday that a piece of airplane wing that washed ashore on an Indian Ocean island this week belonged to an airliner that disappeared more than 16 months ago, the discovery will provide little help to those searching for the remains of the 239 people on board, an expert said.Read full article >>


British leader pledges tougher line to block migrant crush across Channel

July 31, 2015

LONDON — Britain’s prime minister pledged Friday to send extra fencing and sniffer dogs across the English Channel to the French port of Calais as part of escalating efforts to block desperate migrants attempting to cross to England via the undersea tunnel.Read full article >>


Female Ukrainian war hero facing 25 years in Russian jail

July 31, 2015

MOSCOW — The contentious trial of a female Ukrainian war hero charged in the deaths of two Russian journalists began in southern Russia on Thursday, amid public protest from the Ukrainian government and private negotiations to strike a deal for her releaseRead full article >>


Debris washed up on island could be clue to missing Malaysia Flight 370

July 30, 2015

BEIJING — The cold case known as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been jolted by a piece of flotsam that washed ashore, and now investigators are scrambling again.Authorities in France plan to examine what appears to be part of a wing that was found on a beach on Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean, to see whether it came from a plane that vanished without a trace 16 months ago.Read full article >>


The U.S. now has an embassy in Cuba. But relations are hardly normal.

July 30, 2015

HAVANA — In nations all over the world where the United States has an embassy, U.S. diplomats promote trade and assist American companies looking to make business contacts.And now, the United States has an embassy in Cuba. But it also has a trade embargo against the island.Read full article >>


Man stabs six at gay pride parade in Jerusalem, critically wounding one

July 30, 2015

JERUSALEM – Israel’s gay community came under attack Thursday evening, after a Jewish extremist stabbed six people during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. Israeli police said the assailant, who was apprehended at the scene, was the same attacker who stabbed three people at one of the first gay pride events in the city 10 years ago. He was identified as Yishai Shlissel. Israeli media reported that Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, had recently been released from prison after serving time for the previous stabbings.Read full article >>


Afghan talks postponed amid fallout from news of Taliban leader’s death

July 30, 2015

KABUL — Taliban officials Thursday confirmed the death of the group’s founder and picked his former deputy as successor even as they put the brakes on peace talks with Afghan leaders.A series of moves — which included strengthening ties with a militant faction that has al-Qaeda links — pointed to possible rifts within the Taliban and a potential major blow to hopes for negotiating an end Afghanistan’s 14-year conflict.Read full article >>


Complete freedom, always just eluding the grasp of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

July 30, 2015

BEIJING — Ai Weiwei is now free to travel, but he is hardly free.Last week, Chinese officials returned his passport, ending a four-year travel ban. On Thursday, the art-world darling and Chinese-government critic boarded a flight to Germany to visit his 6-year-old son.Read full article >>


Omar’s death revelation could divide militants, undermine peace talks

July 30, 2015

KABUL — By the time Mohammad Omar’s death in 2013 was confirmed Wednesday, he had long been the ghost leader of the Taliban. His Afghan acolytes had not seen or heard from him in more than two years, even as they continued to fight and die in the name of the Islamist movement he founded two decades before.Read full article >>


Taliban leader Mohammad Omar is said to have died in 2013

July 30, 2015

Mohammad Omar, the cloaked, one-eyed zealot who led the Taliban, died more than two years ago, the Afghan government said Wednesday, confirming rumors of his demise that had intensified in recent months. The place and cause of his death remained a mystery, as did its impact on the resilient movement he had led since the 1990s and on the nascent peace talks to end the country’s long war.Read full article >>


Former Soviet republic pins its hopes on winning Olympic bid this week

July 29, 2015

MOSCOW — For one young traveler from Kazakhstan, the low point might have been when American acquaintances bet him that his home country was fictional. Other citizens endure blank looks about their home — or, worse, Borat jokes. Now the vast Central Asian nation is gambling that it can launch itself out of obscurity Friday if it wins the bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.Read full article >>


Pro-Assad militants killed in Israeli strike, Hezbollah-allied TV station says

July 29, 2015

BEIRUT — An Israeli airstrike killed at least two pro-government fighters in the volatile border zone in southern Syria on Wednesday, according to a report by a television station affiliated with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.Read full article >>


Saudi-led coalition plans ground attacks in Yemen after taking key city

July 29, 2015

BEIRUT — After four months of setbacks, fighters backed by Saudi Arabia have seized the offensive in Yemen’s war, taking control of a major city and pressing to expand ground operations against rebel forces.Read full article >>


For Chinese investors, a crisis of faith

July 28, 2015

BEIJING — Another day, another stock rout. And the Chinese government can’t seem to stop the slip.Chinese stocks sank again Tuesday, with the Shanghai Composite dropping 1.7 percent, on top of Monday’s 8.5 percent tumble, and the Shenzhen Composite losing 2.2 percent. The volatility ended three weeks of relative stability after authorities stepped in to shore up the market, and it calls into question their ability to control a stock boom gone bust.Read full article >>


Despite economic gains, Obama’s work in Africa is unfinished

July 28, 2015

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — In the end, President Obama may have gotten closer to the bones of ancient mankind than to ordinary Africans on what was probably his last trip to Africa as president. But no one can say he did not try.Read full article >>


WorldViews: Israelis scold Huckabee for saying Iran deal sends them to ‘door of the oven’

July 28, 2015

The fallout over Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s controversial remarks on the Iran nuclear deal has now reached Israel.Over the weekend, Huckabee derided the deal announced in Vienna between six world powers and Iran, saying it would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” The comments, which invoked the Holocaust in criticizing the agreement — it restricts Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — earned swift condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League, comedian Jon Stewart and congressional Democrats, as well as President Obama.Read full article >>


Egypt’s timid press lashes out at harsh measures aimed at media, journalists

July 28, 2015

CAIRO — They’ve cheered for officials at news conferences. They’ve smeared government critics. Egypt’s reporters threw their support behind a 2013 coup, becoming a mouthpiece for the new military-backed regime.Read full article >>


Lawyer urges Iran prison release for Post journalist

July 28, 2015

The lawyer for a Washington Post journalist facing trial in Iran on charges including espionage pressed Tuesday for his immediate release from prison following the nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers, according to Iranian media.Read full article >>


Pakistan turns up heat against powerful party in bid to secure Karachi

July 28, 2015

KARACHI, Pakistan — A two-year-old government effort to restore order in this Pakistani port city has halved the notoriously high murder rate, but security officials’ tactics have intensified confrontation with a powerful political movement that vows it won’t easily be subdued.Read full article >>


Historic bid to become Afghanistan’s first female justice falls 9 votes short

July 28, 2015

KABUL — The day is still etched in the Afghan judge’s mind more than a decade later — when she was in Washington, when she met with Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She recalls feeling awed and barely present, her thoughts instead flittering back to her country. Read full article >>


A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, scientist and former president of India, dies at 83

July 27, 2015

Former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a scientist who was known as the father of the country’s military missile program, died July 27 after collapsing while delivering a lecture. He was 83.Mr. Kalam fell sick while addressing students at the Indian Institute of Management in the Meghalaya state capital, Shillong, said P.B. Warjri, chief secretary of the state. He was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead after doctors could not revive him, Warjri said. India Today reported that the cause was a heart attack.Read full article >>


In Ethiopia, Obama seeks progress on peace, security in East Africa

July 27, 2015

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — President Obama convened a meeting with the leaders of several African nations and the African Union on Monday aimed at ending the fighting in South Sudan, during which the group discussed the possibility of sanctions or military action in the form of “a regional intervention force,” administration officials said.Read full article >>


21 killed in gun battle at wedding in northern Afghanistan

July 27, 2015

KABUL — A gun battle between supporters of two rival warlords killed 21 people at a wedding party in Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan province, police said Monday.The violence occurred overnight in a village in the rugged Andarab district, where warlords hold far more sway than police, Baghlan’s police chief said.Read full article >>


U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria

July 27, 2015

Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against the Islamic State in northern Syria, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.Read full article >>


U.S. planning to press harder against North Korea on human rights

July 27, 2015

After the Obama administration’s groundbreaking nuclear deal with Iran, there have been calls to replicate that pact with North Korea, a rogue state that already has nuclear-weapons capability.From Washington to Beijing, analysts and policymakers have been talking about the agreement as a possible “blueprint” for negotiations with Pyongyang.Read full article >>


Syria’s embattled leader publicly acknowledges battlefield setbacks

July 26, 2015

BEIRUT — In a rare acknowledgment, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday that his forces have lost some territory to rebels because of “manpower” problems.The embattled leader made the admission during a speech in the capital, Damascus, his first public address since a recent string of rebel advances. Assad also said that his forces had to abandon parts of the country to protect other fronts.Read full article >>


Israel wants U.S. to release its spy but not as compensation for Iran deal

July 26, 2015

JERUSALEM — Israel reacted with cautious optimism Sunday to the news that the spy Jonathan Pollard might be released on parole from a U.S. prison in November after serving 30 years of a life sentence. But Israeli leaders stressed that Pollard’s freedom would not derail their plans to vigorously oppose the Iran nuclear deal.Read full article >>


Why England’s women’s soccer team won’t be playing at the 2016 Olympics

July 26, 2015

LONDON — Earlier this month, British Prime Minister David Cameron invited England’s women’s soccer team to Downing Street to congratulate the players on their roaring success at the World Cup. Mingling in the premier’s leafy back yard, several of the players, their bronze medals twinkling in the sunshine, told Cameron they hoped that they would be playing in next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.Read full article >>


Turkey strikes Kurdish militants in Iraq, ends truce of more than 2 years

July 26, 2015

BEIRUT — Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militants in northern Iraq early Saturday, expanding and complicating the air war launched by Turkey against the Islamic State in Syria the day before.The strikes targeted weapons-storage facilities and camps belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, at its Mount Qandil headquarters in the remote mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to a government statement.Read full article >>


He survived famine in North Korea. Can he make it in America?

July 25, 2015

NEW YORK — Joseph Kim is facing a momentous decision that might be familiar to some fortunate young Americans. Should he accept Bard College’s offer of a full ride? Or a lesser scholarship from American University that would require him to come up with $40,000 a year? Maybe Columbia will still come back to him with an offer?Read full article >>


Pakistan’s most famous TV journalist lives like a fugitive on the run

July 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The most famous television journalist in Pakistan lives like a fugitive. Hamid Mir tells no one where he is going, how he will get there or where he will spend the night.At Mir’s office, his curtains are always drawn. He uses at least two cellphones and, until recently, he rotated among three residences to obscure his precise location, even from friends.Read full article >>


Gay rights in Eastern Europe: A new battleground for Russia and the West

July 25, 2015

The first time this tiny Baltic nation held a gay pride march, the minuscule crowd was pelted with rotten eggs and bottles under the copper-green spires of Riga’s medieval old city. The participants — all 40 of them — fled to safety in a church.Read full article >>


World Digest: July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015

ChileSeven charged in ’86 death of U.S. residentA Chilean judge on Friday charged seven former members of the military in the burning death of a U.S. resident who was killed in a 1986 protest against the military dictatorship then in power.Read full article >>


King: How Israel may be damaging the alliance between blacks and Jews

July 24, 2015

“Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak.”— A June 21 tweet by Judy Mozes, wife of Israeli interior minister and vice prime minister Silvan Shalom.Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, a well-known Israeli radio and television personality, deleted the tweet and later apologized after drawing criticism for what she called a “stupid joke.” Read full article >>


Burundi’s President Nkurunziza wins controversial third term

July 24, 2015

BUJUMBURA, Burundi — Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has won a third term in office, an electoral official announced Friday, amid controversy over whether his new term is constitutional.Nkurunziza won 69 percent of the vote, and his closest rival, Agathon Rwasa, got 19 percent, said electoral chief Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye.Read full article >>


A year after the Gaza war, good times are back on Tel Aviv’s beaches

July 24, 2015

For many Israelis, especially those who live beside the Mediterranean Sea, going to the beach is a summer ritual, a time for serious bronzing and endless paddleball — and for escape.Last summer, Israel fought its third war in the Gaza Strip in six years, and for 50 days, Israel’s de facto capital of fun and sun was within range of Hamas rockets.Read full article >>


Turkey strikes Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time

July 24, 2015

BEIRUT — Turkish leaders pledged further action against the Islamic State on Friday after Turkish jets bombed Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time, opening an important front in the war against the militants.Read full article >>


Obama visits a rising Africa, but one still plagued by economic problems

July 24, 2015

NAIROBI — President Obama arrived Friday night in a Kenyan capital transformed since his last visit in 2006 — a city of rising glass towers, new shopping malls and brightly lit offices of multinational corporations.Read full article >>


Turkey agrees to allow U.S. military to use its base to attack Islamic State

July 23, 2015

BEIRUT — Turkey has agreed to let the United States use Turkish soil to launch air attacks against the Islamic State, signaling a major shift in policy on the part of the once-reluctant American ally, U.S. officials said Thursday.Read full article >>


U.S.-trained Iraqi forces prepare for Ramadi offensive against Islamic State

July 23, 2015

BAGHDAD — U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers are preparing for an offensive against the Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, defense officials said Thursday, in a key test of the Obama administration’s strategy for defeating the militant group.Read full article >>


Senate opponents of Iran deal draw hard lines against White House

July 23, 2015

The Obama administration and Senate opponents of its nuclear deal with Iran drew hard lines during an acrimonious opening hearing on the accord Thursday, leaving little apparent room for compromise.Republicans gave long and often scathing speeches denouncing what they described as a fatally flawed agreement and accusing the administration of dangerous naivete. They showed little interest in responses from Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.Read full article >>


European regulators file antitrust claims against 6 major U.S. studios

July 23, 2015

The European Union filed antitrust claims Thursday against a British broadcaster and six major U.S. film studios, including global powerhouse Disney, accusing the companies of unfairly limiting pan-European access to programming on pay-TV services.Read full article >>


In Yemen’s grinding war, if the bombs don’t get you, the water shortages will

July 23, 2015

SANAA, Yemen — For months, citizens of this war-torn country have been terrorized by bomb explosions and mortar attacks. Now another threat is growing, which could be just as deadly.Yemenis are running out of water.Read full article >>


High up on a Pakistani mountain, a success story for moderate Islam

July 23, 2015

KARIMABAD, Pakistan —Visitors to this stunningly beautiful valley, towered over by five snow-capped mountains, sometimes feel as if they are standing at the edge of the earth — or, maybe, at the middle of it. Read full article >>


Carter vows to help Saudi Arabia contain Iran’s regional ambitions

July 22, 2015

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi and U.S. leaders agreed Wednesday to curb Iran’s military reach across the Middle East, amid fears that last week’s nuclear deal with Tehran would encourage it to pursue more aggressive regional ambitions.Read full article >>


WorldViews: Discovery of ‘oldest’ Koran stirs new passions in British city

July 22, 2015

LONDON —  For decades, an ancient relic from the Middle East was unknowingly tucked away in an unlikely place: A library in the British Midlands, thousands of miles from its origins.But when a PhD researcher at the University of Birmingham decided to take a closer look at the pages of parchment, written on sheep or goat skin, it was discovered that they were part of a manuscript of global significance.Read full article >>


WorldViews: Hey, remember the Khorasan group? Its leader is dead.

July 22, 2015

On Tuesday afternoon, the Pentagon confirmed that it had killed a key militant leader in Syria. Muhsin al-Fadhli, 34, was hit by an airstrike on July 8 while traveling in a convoy in Sarmada, a Pentagon statement said.Read full article >>


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