World

Crime in Mexico, Central America joins war in driving people from their homes

Eleven million men, women, and children – a rate equal to 30,000 each day – fled their homes in 2014 because of conflict and violence, bringing the total of internally displaced people to a record 38 million, a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council found Thursday. | 05/06/15 18:05:09 By - By John Zarocostas

Retired Justice Stevens says some Guantánamo captives may deserve reparations

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens shattered the taboo on talking about reparations for Guantánamo captives this week in a speech that said some of the nearly 800 men and boys held at the Pentagon’s prison camps in Cuba may be entitled to compensation, like Japanese Americans who were interned in World War II. | 05/06/15 16:42:08 By - Carol Rosenberg

Pilots brace for 5-day solar-powered flight from China to Hawaii

It takes a Boeing 747 about 10 hours and 36,000 gallons of fuel to fly from eastern China to Hawaii. As soon as Tuesday, André Borschberg will attempt the same flight in a high-tech, sun-powered aircraft that resembles a dragonfly. He’ll do it over five days, without a drop of fuel. | 05/02/15 15:43:42 By - By Stuart Leavenworth

Ambassador says 1,000 EU nationals unaccounted for in Nepal

Around 1,000 European Union citizens are still unaccounted for in Nepal following last week's earthquake, according to the EU ambassador to Nepal. | 05/01/15 15:45:18 By -

Aging adventurer runs and runs – to show he still can

The television crew follows him from bivouac to blister station to the bathroom scale, where he weighs in at 176 pounds. While Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 71, munches on mixed nuts, the BBC videographer grabs him. | 05/01/15 12:24:58 By - By Ben Bartenstein

U.N. warns Yemen campaign’s civilian toll violates laws of war

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that Saudi Arabian air strikes and combat between Yemen’s warring sides that target civilian and United Nations facilities are having a devastating impact on humanitarian aid efforts and are in violation of the laws of war. | 04/30/15 19:47:10 By - By John Zarocostas

Benghazi committee receives 4,000 new State Dept documents

Score one for the Republicans. | 04/30/15 18:58:32 By - By Anita Kumar

Navy begins providing extra security for U.S. ships in Strait of Hormuz

The new U.S. military operation escalated a maritime cat-and-mouse game between the United States and Iran that began April 20 when the U.S. ships began shadowing a 9-ship Iranian convoy the Pentagon feared might be carrying weapons to Yemen. | 04/30/15 19:50:58 By - By James Rosen

Venezuela cuts office hours in effort to save electricity

Venezuela, which boasts the world’s largest oil reserves, is having trouble keeping the lights on. On Tuesday, the government announced it was cutting public-sector work hours and requiring energy hogs to produce their own electricity during peak hours. | 04/30/15 15:46:43 By - Jim Wyss

Nigeria rescue of nearly 300 does not include most or all Chibok girls

A Nigerian official dashed hopes Wednesday that the army's rescue of nearly 300 Nigerian girls and women from a militant group's forest camps had freed most or all of the missing schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok town last year. | 04/29/15 17:56:13 By - By ROBYN DIXON

White House says Sen. Blunt’s amendment would undermine Iran deal, threatens veto

The White House on Wednesday warned that President Barack Obama would veto any legislation that made a nuclear deal with Iran contingent on the release of American prisoners. | 04/29/15 17:31:44 By - By Lindsay Wise and Lesley Clark

When U.S. strikes go wrong, not all civilian lives are equal

The unusual announcement by President Barack Obama last week that a U.S. strike on an al Qaida compound in Pakistan inadvertently had killed two hostages – one a U.S. citizen, the other Italian – came with an apology and the speedy pledge of monetary compensation for the families. | 04/28/15 18:24:30 By - By Hannah Allam

Sen. Blunt wants release of U.S. prisoners as condition of Iran deal

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri is pushing an amendment that would require Iran to release U.S. prisoners as a condition of any nuclear deal. | 04/28/15 18:22:36 By - By Lindsay Wise

U.S. sends destroyer to monitor Iran’s seizure of cargo ship

A U.S. Navy destroyer and naval aircraft scrambled closer to Iran on Tuesday after five Iranian coast guard vessels intercepted and detained a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz. | 04/28/15 18:17:08 By - By James Rosen

Nepal earthquake: What you need to know and how you can help

A 7.8 earthquake that hit near Kathmandu, Nepal, on Saturday has killed thousands of people and left the region devastated. Here's the latest on what happened and the situation on the ground: | 04/27/15 18:19:44 By - By CHRISTINE MAI-DUC

Obama, Japan’s Abe visit Lincoln Memorial

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spent a few moments at the Lincoln Memorial today, ahead of the pomp and circumstance that starts tomorrow with an official visit and state dinner. | 04/27/15 18:19:05 By - By Lesley Clark

Terrorist attacks Bosnian Serb police station, kills policeman

An apparent Islamic extremist attacked a police station Monday in the Serb part of Bosnia, killing one and wounding two officers before he too was killed in what the authorities branded a terrorist attack. | 04/27/15 18:18:35 By - By BORIS BABIC

Rights groups criticize Burr after report he’d called for killing U.S. citizen

Civil liberties groups raised concerns Monday about reports that U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, had called in 2013 for the CIA to hunt down and kill an American citizen who’d become a top al Qaida operative, rather than capturing him for trial. | 04/27/15 18:18:08 By - By Franco Ordoñez

On social media, survivors described terror of quake-generated avalanches

There were at least 1,200 people at Mount Everest base camp on Saturday when the earthquake hit Nepal, triggering avalanches. Reaching their social media accounts, those who survived blasted out almost immediate, gripping accounts of the confusion and fear. | 04/26/15 10:23:55 By - By SARAH PARVINI AND CAROL J. WILLIAMS

Death toll surpasses 1000 in Nepal quake as thousands prepare to sleep outdoors

A powerful earthquake struck Nepal at around midday Saturday, toppling historic buildings and sending avalanches down the world’s tallest mountains. | 04/25/15 10:02:30 By -

Ash from Chilean volcano covers Andean towns

An ash cloud from the Chilean volcano Calbuco on Thursday covered several towns in Chile and across the Andes in neighboring Argentina. | 04/23/15 15:46:31 By -

Honduran migrant provides peek into dark world of human smuggling

Marlon Marquez, a Honduran who lives in Miami, appears to be a typical undocumented immigrant from Central America. | 04/23/15 15:45:08 By - By ALFONSO CHARDY

White House confirms it won’t call Armenian expulsion ‘genocide’

White House officials on Tuesday told representatives of Armenian advocacy groups that the Obama administration once again will avoid the word “genocide” to describe the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians when they were forcibly deported from what is now Turkey during World War I. | 04/22/15 18:26:07 By - By Mark Seibel

Venezuela's Maduro's first two years hard. Next one likely harder

Say what you will about Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, but one thing is certain: the man was denied a honeymoon. During his first two years atop Latin America’s fifth-largest economy, Maduro seemed to face a lifetime of troubles: widespread social protests, tanking oil prices, rampant crime, and (according to him) dozens of coup and assassination attempts. | 04/22/15 18:23:22 By - By Jim Wyss

Obama’s fast-track trade plan forced to slow start by liberals

Things got off to a slow start Wednesday for President Barack Obama’s fast-track trade plan, which has emerged as one of the most divisive issues facing Democrats in the new Congress. | 04/22/15 18:13:37 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Libya detention center is flip side of Europe’s immigration crisis

In the heat of a Libyan afternoon, in a makeshift detention center outside the coastal town of Misrata, a young woman lay on the ground, suffering from severe dehydration. | 04/22/15 18:32:50 By - By Rebecca Murray

Guantanamo's 9-year hunger striker asks to go home

A man held captive as a suspected Osama bin Laden bodyguard since the day the prison opened at Guantánamo went before a multi-agency parole board Tuesday seeking release to his native Saudi Arabia to marry, finish college and join his brothers in business. | 04/21/15 16:57:30 By - Carol Rosenberg

For first time,Turkey will let Armenians hold memorial for 1915 victims

For the first time ever, Turkey will permit Armenians to hold a religious service this week to commemorate the massacres and deportations of a century ago, Turkish officials said Monday. Turkey will even send a senior government official to attend. | 04/20/15 19:39:01 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. fails to stem flow of illegal firearms to Mexico

The U.S. government has pledged to combat the illegal flow of firearms across the border, but new data reveal that the United States remains by far the largest source of weapons seized in Mexico. | 04/16/15 19:19:14 By - By Tim Johnson

Obama drops Cuba from terror list, readies for showdown with Congress

President Barack Obama told Congress on Tuesday that he is removing Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, the latest action in his drive to normalize relations with the island but one that paves the way for a showdown with Congress. | 04/14/15 19:41:07 By - By Lesley Clark, Tim Johnson and Mimi Whitefield

Historic meeting: Obama, Cuba’s Castro vow to ‘turn page’ on bitter history

“Deep and significant differences” still exist between the two countries, Obama said, but “it’s time to turn the page.” For his part, Raúl Castro declared Obama “an honest man” and absolved him of responsibility for U.S. actions against Cuba. | 04/12/15 18:25:34 By - By Tim Johnson

Guantánamo judge orders MRI of USS Cole defendant’s brain, abates trial

A military judge has ordered the Pentagon to conduct a brain scan on a Saudi captive accused of orchestrating al-Qaida’s USS Cole bombing — something currently impossible because a $1.65 million mobile MRI meant for the war-on-terror captives went to Georgia instead of Guantánamo. | 04/10/15 16:34:20 By - Carol Rosenberg

Castro, Obama shake hands in Panama, set meeting for Saturday

The thaw in the lengthy diplomatic freeze between the United States and Cuba quickened Friday, with President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro shaking hands at an evening reception ahead of a more substantive face-to-face meeting set for Saturday. | 04/10/15 23:20:44 By - By Tim Johnson

Obama says decision nears on Cuba terror designation

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the State Department has made its long-awaited recommendation on whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, but he gave no hint of what had been recommended or on when a decision would be made. He said the recommendation was still subject to an inter-agency review. | 04/10/15 00:06:26 By - By Tim Johnson

U.S. wants Salvadoran ex-colonel to face murder charges in ’89 deaths

Inocente Orlando Montano Morales went from elite military training in Georgia and a high-ranking position in El Salvador to a lowly prison cell in North Carolina. | 04/08/15 18:33:55 By - By Michael Doyle

Obama nearly twice as popular in Cuba, as in U.S.

President Barack Obama -- who has pledged to restore long-frayed ties with Cuba -- is far more popular on the island nation as he is at home, a new poll finds. | 04/08/15 18:31:58 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama’s Latin America policies likely to smooth path at Panama summit

President Barack Obama will find himself in perhaps the strongest diplomatic position in years for a U.S. leader when he travels to Jamaica and Panama this week, the result of broad, more intense American engagement in a region that’s long seen itself as neglected. | 04/07/15 17:04:39 By - By Tim Johnson and Vinod Sreeharsha

Brazil’s Rousseff navigates troubles at home as she ponders a U.S. visit

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is expected to meet President Barack Obama next week when the Western Hemisphere’s leaders gather for the Summit of the Americas in Panama, in what will be Rousseff’s highest-profile encounter with Obama since revelations in 2013 that the National Security Agency had spied on her. | 04/07/15 17:19:57 By - By Vinod Sreeharsha

Arab nations’ donations to Clinton Foundation: Curing world’s ills or currying favor?

Four oil-rich Arab nations, all with histories of philanthropy to United Nations and Middle Eastern causes, have donated vastly more money to the Clinton Foundation than they have to most other large private charities involved in the kinds of global work championed by the Clinton family. | 04/06/15 18:02:35 By - By Greg Gordon

Sen. McCaskill pivotal, but so far noncommittal, on Iran deal

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri could cast a pivotal vote on a bill that the White House has said violates President Barack Obama’s right to conduct foreign policy, and could effectively kill the nuclear deal with Iran. | 04/06/15 18:01:25 By - By Lindsay Wise

US restores military aid to Egypt

The White House is restoring some of the military aid to Egypt that it had cut off in 2013 following a lethal crackdown on supporters of the country’s deposed president. | 03/31/15 16:02:29 By - By Lesley Clark

With combat over, lawyers for Afghan captives ask Obama to let them go

With U.S. combat operations officially ended in Afghanistan, some U.S. lawyers for five Afghan detainees at Guantánamo wrote the Obama administration Monday asking that the captives be freed. | 03/31/15 14:13:40 By - Carol Rosenberg

With Iran deadline looming, progress difficult to assess in years of nuclear talks

One day before the latest in a long line of deadlines in the negotiations over an Iranian nuclear deal, what passed for positive news was that while one of the primary negotiators announced he was leaving, he also said he was willing to return Tuesday, deadline day. | 03/30/15 17:16:22 By - By Matthew Schofield

U.N. pulls out of Yemen, ending hopes of brokered peace

With Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in its third day, the United Nations on Saturday evacuated its remaining personnel from Yemen’s capital, dashing whatever hopes remained that the fighting would be suspended and U.N.-sponsored peace talks resumed. | 03/29/15 14:32:39 By - By Farea Al-Muslimi

Pentagon envisions up to 7 more Guantánamo trials

Pentagon officials envision prosecuting at most seven more Guantánamo captives, the most notorious among them an Indonesian man known as Hambali who was once considered the CIA’s most wanted terrorist in Southeast Asia, according to just released documents. | 03/26/15 18:51:06 By - Carol Rosenberg

Walker as president would ‘absolutely’ reject Obama Iran deal ‘on Day One’

Scott Walker would reject “on Day One” of his presidency any Obama administration deal with Iran on nuclear weapons if it permitted Iran to continue to enrich uranium. | 03/26/15 17:13:07 By - By David Lightman

WH won’t say Yemen has failed as a counter terrorism model

Yemen’s president is reportedly on the run amid rebel advances, but the White House insisted Wednesday that the country continues to be a model for its counter terrorism initiatives and that the U.S. continues to have extremists there “in the cross hairs.” | 03/25/15 17:47:28 By - By Lesley Clark

Obama says the U.S. will slow troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States will slow down the withdrawal of troops from war-torn Afghanistan. | 03/24/15 18:14:22 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

Paul calls on Clinton to return foreign money, says Saudi Arabia has a “war on women”

Rand Paul, campaigning in New Hampshire Friday, is calling on Hillary Clinton to return money her foundation received from Saudi Arabia, saying there’s a “war on women” in the kingdom. | 03/23/15 20:24:09 By - By Sean Cockerham

Russia’s return to Nicaragua worrying many in Central America

Russia is rekindling its once-strong ties to Nicaragua, possibly including providing the Central American nation with jet fighters, stoking unease as far away as the Andes in South America. | 03/23/15 16:10:05 By - By Tim Johnson

U.S. again leads in patent applications; University of California most among schools

Spurred by the rebound of the economy and strong research results by universities, the United States remained the world’s top inventive country in 2014, accounting for 28.6 percent of all international patent applications, up from 27.9 percent a year earlier, according to a report by a specialized U.N. agency. | 03/21/15 16:43:46 By - By John Zarocostas

Charles, British king in waiting, aims to cure planet’s environmental ills

The Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, have had a jam-packed U.S. visit, which concludes Friday in Louisville, Ky., after three days in Washington. | 03/20/15 18:22:43 By - By Maria Recio

Guantánamo war court overseer quits

A retired Marine general — whose attempt to move military judges to Guantánamo slowed rather than quickened the Pentagon’s war crimes tribunals — is resigning his job as overseer of the war court, a military spokesman said Wednesday. | 03/18/15 16:27:05 By - Carol Rosenberg

Venezuela's Maduro wins right to rule by decree in backlash against U.S. sanctions

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday was given the right to rule by decree for nine months, as he continued to capitalize on the backlash created by recent U.S. sanctions. | 03/16/15 07:29:09 By - By Jim Wyss

No laughing matter -- being a cartoonist in Latin America

Xavier Bonilla, a cartoonist for Ecuador's El Universo, drew a threat for a cartoon that depicted Islamic State members destroying ancient statues for representing “infidel culture,” then complaining that their Internet connection was too slow to upload the video. | 03/14/15 11:28:08 By - By Jim Wyss

Chilean accused of murder, torture taught 13 years for Pentagon

A member of late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s brutal secret police taught at the Pentagon’s National Defense University despite repeated complaints about his past. | 03/13/15 16:23:51 By - By Marisa Taylor and Kevin G. Hall

U.S., Cuba set new round of talks on restoring relations

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson will travel to Cuba on Sunday. The talks are expected to last till mid-week. | 03/13/15 16:16:57 By - Mimi Whitefield

Where’s Putin? Don’t ask the White House

The White House said it couldn't help reporters trying to sort our rumors of where Russian President Vladimir Putin has been for the past several days. | 03/13/15 15:35:43 By - By Lesley Clark

People still dying from Ebola as WHO expert warns of declining world interest

Despite the optimistic reports about the slowing of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, people are still dying from the disease and new cases are still being reported. | 03/12/15 18:42:40 By - By John Zarocostas

Iran to GOP: US laws do not apply

Iran’s government is telling the U.S. Senate it has no say in negotiations over its nuclear program and that any deal will be governed by international law, not U.S. law. | 03/10/15 16:21:31 By - By Steve Thomma

Amid deteriorating relations, Washington turns screws on Venezuela

President Barack Obama on Monday slapped sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials, including the heads of military intelligence and the police, and said the situation in the South American country posed an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” | 03/10/15 10:02:14 By - Jim Wyss and Chris Adams

Photos of celebrity visits offer a peek inside Fidel Castro's living room

Until the day when the Kardashian sisters take over a country, Fidel Castro will be universally regarded as the most blabby leader in world history. “My job is to talk,” he once said, which was really a nicer way of saying he could not be shut up. He has given a 12-hour speech. He has given a speech on cow udders. He once granted an interview to Boys Life Magazine. | 03/05/15 18:00:47 By - By Glenn Garvin

Navy judge named in discrimination complaint lifts Guantánamo female guard no-touch order

A military judge has lifted his restraining order and is once again allowing female prison guards to touch an alleged war criminal while moving him between Guantánamo’s most clandestine prison and legal appointments. | 03/01/15 14:59:42 By - Carol Rosenberg

Pentagon scraps judges’ Guantánamo move order; 9/11 case unfrozen

In an abrupt retreat Friday, the Pentagon revoked an order to war court judges to drop their other military duties and take up residence at this remote base until their cases are over. | 02/27/15 11:23:28 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S.-Cuba talks head to Washington

The second round of U.S.-Cuba talks, which will be held Friday at the massive limestone Department of State building in a wintery Washington D.C., is expected to be a nuts-and-bolts negotiating session to restore diplomatic ties between the two nations. | 02/26/15 05:46:39 By - Mimi Whitefield

9/11 judge halts proceedings over Pentagon’s Guantánamo move-in order

The 9/11 case judge on Wednesday froze pretrial hearings in the death-penalty case over a controversial Pentagon order requiring the judges to move permanently to this remote outpost until their cases are over. | 02/25/15 13:07:42 By - Carol Rosenberg

Legal experts say jailed Caracas mayor will have hard time in Venezuela's courts

Antonio Ledezma, the imprisoned mayor of Venezuela’s capital, will ask the courts this week to drop charges that he was part of an alleged criminal network that planned to kill President Nicolás Maduro. | 02/24/15 09:02:31 By - By Jim Wyss

Prosecutor's suicide reveals divisions in Argentina's Jewish community

On the same day that hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who spent a decade trying to unravel the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center that left 85 dead, Jacobo Furman was far away from the crowds, lighting a candle for one of the victims of that attack — his son. | 02/21/15 14:02:06 By - Jim Wyss

Caracas mayor detained in new crackdown on Venezuelan opposition

The mayor of Venezuela’s’ capital — and one of the highest-profile opposition figures in the country — was hauled out of his office Thursday on conspiracy allegations, ratcheting up the pressure on the embattled opponents of President Nicolás Maduro. | 02/20/15 14:30:36 By - By Jim Wyss

Haiti cancels carnival after at least 16 die in float tragedy

Carnival festivities throughout Haiti were canceled Tuesday after at least 16 people were killed in an accident earlier in the day on the Champ de Mars near downtown Port-au-Prince. | 02/17/15 15:29:52 By - Jacqueline Charles

9/11 defendant still suffering from ‘black site’ injuries, lawyer says at Guantánamo

A defense lawyer for an alleged 9/11 plotter said Thursday that his Saudi captive client was rectally abused in CIA custody — and continues to bleed now, at least eight years later. | 02/12/15 14:53:32 By - Carol Rosenberg

A skeptical Panama pays heed to possible rival Nicaraguan canal

When it comes to interoceanic canals, Panamanians speak with a century of experience. So as nearby Nicaragua moves ahead with a plan to build what it claims would be a bigger, better canal, some Panamanians look on with interest and puzzlement. | 02/10/15 11:18:28 By - By Tim Johnson

New U.S. security strategy touting unity with Europe is tested instantly

Even as President Barack Obama released his administration’s new National Security Strategy on Friday, noting the threat of “Russian aggression” and the need to work with European allies, two of the U.S.’s most important partners were in Moscow, hoping to hash out a new cease-fire with Russian President Vladimir Putin without American input. | 02/06/15 18:01:04 By - By Matthew Schofield

Family of journalist missing in Syria campaigns anew for his return

With blindfolds to symbolize the plight of captives, the parents of missing journalist Austin Tice on Thursday launched a campaign to raise awareness of his ordeal and to push for reforms to U.S. hostage policies. | 02/05/15 23:01:05 By - By Mark Seibel and Hannah Allam

Panama’s ex-president trots globe, one step ahead of corruption probe at home

Panama has long been a haven for dictators and foreign ne’er-do-wells, but now its citizens are watching the curious spectacle of their own former president trotting the globe in a private jet, perhaps looking for refuge himself. | 02/02/15 15:47:49 By - By Tim Johnson

Prosecutor: Guantánamo’s female-guard dispute is al-Qaida conspiracy

A war court prosecutor Thursday cast an Iraqi captive’s request to not be touched by female guards as part of a wider al-Qaida conspiracy — and asked a military judge facing a discrimination complaint to rule for the women. | 01/29/15 18:06:59 By - Carol Rosenberg

Panama’s ex-president’s hunger for gossip at center of wiretap probe

When the United States rejected former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli’s request for spying equipment to eavesdrop, U.S. diplomats feared, on his political enemies, the former supermarket baron turned to another source: Israel. | 01/28/15 15:52:14 By - By Tim Johnson

Libya oil production plummets as tribes fight to control field in south

The Sharara oil field, a partnership between Libya’s national oil company and the Spanish company Repsol, has been offline since November. The road to it is blocked by snipers and only a skeleton crew operates the facilities, with supplies flown into its small airfield. | 01/23/15 14:28:28 By - By Rebecca Murray

Another U.S.-Cuba first: Women lead both sides in normalization talks

The first steps toward normalization between the United States and Cuba are likely to be taken in heels. | 01/21/15 16:59:34 By - By Hannah Allam

U.S.-Cuba diplomatic thaw puts Mariel port back in spotlight

The deepwater port of Mariel, once the site of a massive exodus of refugees to the United States, may soon be the stage for a new chapter in Cuba’s history, one that flirts gently with global trade and free markets. | 01/21/15 13:20:44 By - By Tim Johnson

Olympic host Brazil dominates list of world’s 50 most dangerous cities

Forty-three of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world are in Latin America, according to a survey released Tuesday, including 19 in Brazil, which will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. | 01/20/15 17:55:57 By - By Tim Johnson

U.S. lead negotiator with Cuba is known for breaking barriers

The leader of the U.S. delegation to this week’s talks on normalizing relations with Cuba has a reputation for determination and expertise at the State Department, where she flouted custom with an unlikely rise from rank-and-file civil servant to a role that’s been described as “horse trader of the Americas.” | 01/20/15 14:51:32 By - By Hannah Allam

Don’t expect to order that Starbucks latte in Havana just yet

Despite the Obama administration’s easing of some restrictions on travel and commerce with Cuba, don’t expect Starbucks to soon dot every Havana street corner or Marriott to start building a beachfront hotel. | 01/16/15 14:43:36 By - By Kevin G. Hall and Lesley Clark

Obama moves will open Cuba to more travel, commerce

The Obama administration announced new rules Thursday that will greatly expand the leeway American travelers have to travel to Cuba, allow more trade between the former adversaries and make it easier to do business with Cuba. | 01/15/15 18:52:37 By - By Mimi Whitefield, Lesley Clark and Kevin G. Hall

Defense lawyers cry foul over rule change requiring war court judges to move to Guantánamo

Lawyers for the alleged planner of the USS Cole bombing filed a motion Tuesday accusing senior Pentagon officials of unlawfully meddling in the Saudi prisoner’s coming death-penalty tribunal by ordering the judge to move to Guantánamo until the trial is over. They asked the judge to throw out the case. | 01/14/15 12:34:05 By - Carol Rosenberg

Cuba’s latest revolutionary trend: Fine dining

Private restaurants in Havana are exploding in number and soaring in quality, providing a treat for visitors and a surprising bright spot in a nation better known for monotonous food and spotty service. | 01/13/15 14:25:14 By - By Tim Johnson

No Internet in Cuba? For some, offline link to world arrives weekly

The vast majority of Cubans have no access to the Internet or cable television, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of touch with the wider world. Many stay connected through an offline system that operates in the legal shadows. | 01/09/15 12:08:14 By - By Tim Johnson

Wife of freed Cuban spy gives birth after artificial insemination

The seeds of U.S.-Cuba diplomacy have born fruit. | 01/07/15 10:31:58 By - By Tim Johnson

Obama asks Mexico’s help to keep some people out of U.S.

President Barack Obama recently took action to address the flow of immigrants coming into the United States illegally. Now he’s looking for help from his Mexican counterpart. | 01/06/15 18:28:43 By - By Anita Kumar and Tim Johnson

Kazakhstan took in 5 Guantánamo captives as asylum seekers

The government of Kazakhstan said it accepted five cleared Guantánamo detainees from the Obama administration last month as asylum seekers. | 01/05/15 15:31:56 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S. sends 5 detainees to Kazakhstan — a day late after aborted journey

The Pentagon freed five Guantánamo prisoners to resettlement in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, a day after they left on a U.S. Air Force cargo plane that had to circle back to the base in Cuba with a mechanical problem. | 12/31/14 15:08:39 By - Carol Rosenberg

Broadway show 'Rent' opens in Cuba led by a Miami director

Broadway returned to Havana on Wednesday night for the first time in a half-century with a three-hour, invitation-only opening of the Tony Award winning musical Rent. | 12/26/14 11:46:14 By - Carol Rosenberg

Diplomaculate conception? U.S. let Cuban spy give sperm to impregnate wife

When longtime Cuban spy Gerardo Hernández went free last week from a U.S. prison and flew to Havana for the first time in 16 years, he was unfazed to find his wife – gasp! – very pregnant. | 12/22/14 19:12:22 By - By Tim Johnson and Greg Gordon

Cuban dissidents fear thaw with U.S. ‘beneficial to the tyranny’

The weekly demonstration of a Cuban dissident group called the Ladies in White went on as usual in a Havana suburb this weekend, with women clutching pink gladioli and standing in protest under the watchful eye of the island nation’s security apparatus. | 12/22/14 17:13:03 By - By Tim Johnson

Many Cubans optimistic - and cautious - about new U.S. ties

HAVANA - Francisco Gavez, a barber, shoved a newspaper into a visitor’s hands. | 12/22/14 11:50:40 By - By Tim Johnson

4 Afghans returned home from Guantánamo

U.S. troops repatriated to Afghanistan on Saturday four Guantánamo captives — whose release was specifically sought by President Ashraf Ghani — in the Obama administration’s surging bid to empty the detention center. | 12/20/14 17:32:37 By - Carol Rosenberg

Cuban president praises pact with U.S, but predicts ‘long and difficult struggle’

Cuban President Raul Castro said Saturday that Cuba would not renounce its core socialist ideals as part of a deal he struck this week with President Barack Obama to renew diplomatic relations after more than five decades. | 12/20/14 17:28:41 By - By Tim Johnson

Turkish court issues arrest warrant for cleric now in U.S.

A Turkish criminal court issued an arrest warrant Friday for Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish religious scholar who lives in self-exile in Pennsylvania and has become public enemy number one of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s increasingly autocratic president. | 12/19/14 19:05:15 By - By Roy Gutman

Family: We’ve heard nothing of man hailed as superspy for U.S. in Cuba

The family of a Cuban man believed to be Washington’s superspy in Havana says he has disappeared from prison without a trace — and if he was really flown to the United States as part of Wednesday’s historic rapprochement between Washington and Havana, they wish somebody would pick up a phone and let them know. | 12/19/14 09:45:06 By - Nora Gamez Torres and Glenn Garvin

For Cuban prisoner Alan Gross, release brings relief, joy – and popcorn

As his plane finally cleared Cuban airspace and his pilot announced he was back in the United States, Alan Gross stood up and took a deep breath. | 12/17/14 18:35:13 By - By Chris Adams

As world homicide rate declines, killings rise in Latin America, Caribbean

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the homicide rate worldwide has dropped by double digits, except in the Caribbean and Latin America, where it’s more than four times above the global average, a new U.N. report shows. | 12/15/14 16:42:34 By - By John Zarocostas

Turkey’s Erdogan moves against perceived enemies, arresting dozens of media figures

Two days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to “overthrow” what he called a “network of treason,” Turkey’s counter-terrorism police on Sunday arrested more than two dozen prominent media and government figures, including the editor of the country’s largest newspaper and the general manager of a major broadcasting group. | 12/14/14 18:49:24 By - By Roy Gutman

Obama’s high-tech deal with China in trouble as WTO talks break down

A China-U.S. agreement to scrap tariffs on high-tech items that was hailed as a major achievement of President Barack Obama’s November visit to Beijing fell apart Friday during negotiations in Geneva because of differences between China and South Korea, diplomats here said. | 12/12/14 18:14:32 By - By John Zarocostas

No torture report violence; Europe bemoans delay in detailing CIA program

President Barack Obama’s administration sought Tuesday to reassure its allies around the globe that the United States no longer engages in the brutal interrogation tactics outlined in a scathing Senate committee report. | 12/10/14 07:10:49 By - By Matthew Schofield and Anita Kumar

UN makes new appeal for humanitarian aid, citing wars in Syria, Iraq, Africa

The United Nations on Monday called on its members to provide $16.4 billion in 2015 for refugee assistance, 27 percent more than it requested in its initial appeal for 2014. | 12/08/14 19:59:36 By - By John Zarocostas

U.S. sends 6 Guantánamo captives to new lives in Uruguay

The U.S. military dropped off six long-ago cleared Guantánamo captives in Uruguay on Sunday — culminating a complex, on-again, off-again year-long deal to resettle the men in the nation of President José Mujica, himself a long-held political prisoner. | 12/07/14 10:07:33 By - Carol Rosenberg

Pentagon fears blowback from ‘humane’ Guantánamo video release

A Pentagon official is invoking the revulsion of Muslims worldwide over images of U.S. Marines urinating on corpses to predict the global backlash at seeing videos of Guantánamo troops hauling a captive to force-feedings. | 12/03/14 18:29:34 By - Carol Rosenberg

WH calls on Cuba to release Alan Gross, remove ‘impediment’ to normalizing relations

The White House marked the fifth anniversary of U.S. contractor Alan Gross’s captivity in Cuba by calling for his release, saying it “would remove an impediment to more constructive relations between the United States and Cuba.” | 12/03/14 09:58:24 By - By Lesley Clark

In fighting Ebola, Canadian credited with energizing WHO response

After months of regularly delivering bad news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Dr. Bruce Aylward allowed himself a broad smile Monday. | 12/01/14 19:43:05 By - By John Zarocostas

U.S. shootings by police, prison conditions trouble U.N.

A U.N. anti-torture panel that’s investigating the United States said Friday that it was deeply concerned by what it described as the high incidence of police brutality and shootings _ especially against African-Americans _ in the U.S., was troubled by what it called harsh conditions in many prisons and was worried about the interrogation methods used on detainees. | 12/01/14 16:57:12 By - By John Zarocostas

Fence-mending in Turkey, Biden commits to 'transition' in Syria

Vice President Joe Biden assured Turkey Saturday that the U.S. plans to strengthen Syrian rebels and ensure a political transition “away from the Assad regime,” but he stopped short of committing to regime change in Damascus demanded by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. | 11/22/14 17:19:57 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. sends 5 Guantánamo detainees to European resettlement

The Pentagon sent five long-held Arab detainees to resettlement in Europe on Thursday, three to Georgia and two to Slovakia. | 11/20/14 17:11:47 By - Carol Rosenberg

Cuban doctor sick with Ebola to be flown to Geneva for treatment

A Cuban doctor who was infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone is being flown to Switzerland for treatment, diplomats and World Health Organization officials said Wednesday. | 11/19/14 18:57:10 By - By John Zarocostas

A look at who loses as oil prices keep plunging

The rapid plunge in oil and gasoline prices means huge savings for American consumers, but the steep downward swing may ultimately prove dangerously disruptive to energy-producing countries and companies. | 11/19/14 17:22:21 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Top nursing group backs Navy nurse who wouldn’t force-feed at Guantánamo

One of America’s leading nursing organizations is trying to save the U.S. Navy career of an officer, a nurse like them, who refused to force-feed hunger strikers this summer. | 11/19/14 12:40:01 By - Carol Rosenberg

Detention at Guantánamo grinds on: 13 years and counting, 148 captives remain

It’s the first Tuesday in November, just another day as Guantánamo grinds on toward the detention center’s 14th year as the most expensive prison on earth with no end in sight. | 11/17/14 12:49:21 By - Carol Rosenberg

Pakistan denies Pentagon charge it's soft on terrorism

A senior Pakistan military official Friday rejected recent claims by the Pentagon and civilian or defense leaders of other nations that it coddles Islamic militants who have launched numerous attacks on neighboring India and Afghanistan from Pakistani territory. | 11/14/14 18:38:53 By - By James Rosen

As Ebola fight grows, some countries are noticeably absent

Despite the United States’ diplomatic arm-twisting, international health experts are warning that the international response to the deadly Ebola outbreak remains dangerously inadequate to meet the needs on the ground. | 11/14/14 16:49:35 By - By Hannah Allam

U.S. tells UN torture treaty applies to everyone, everywhere

The Obama administration moved forcefully Thursday to distance itself from Bush administration policies, telling a United Nations panel that the ban on torture enshrined in a 1984 treaty that the U.S. signed applies worldwide and covers all people and places, including detention facilities abroad. | 11/13/14 19:22:07 By - By John Zarocostas

Pentagon cuts planned Africa Ebola deployment by 25 percent

The U.S. military said Wednesday it would deploy 25 percent fewer U.S. troops to fight Ebola in West Africa than originally projected, but said the cut wasn’t evidence that the crisis was under control. | 11/12/14 18:39:07 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Judge upholds Guantánamo’s treatment of hunger-striker waiting to go

A federal judge has refused to intervene in the forced-feeding of a hunger-striking prisoner awaiting his transfer from the war-on-terror prison, declaring that U.S. military medical staff do not show deliberate indifference to the health and welfare of long-held captive Abu Wa’el Dhiab. | 11/08/14 09:55:29 By - Carol Rosenberg

Al Qaida’s Nusra Front captures more towns, villages in northern Syria

One day after U.S. warplanes struck bases belonging to the Nusra Front in northern Syria, the al Qaida-affiliated group on Friday pressed forward with its campaign against U.S.-backed rebels, storming four rebel-held villages and seizing a town where they ordered rebel fighters to disband and hand over their weapons. | 11/07/14 19:26:13 By - By Mousab Alhamadee and Roy Gutman

Guantánamo’s incommunicado captives may soon video chat with family

Former CIA captives who were held in a secret prison overseas network after the Sept. 11 attacks will for the first time be able to have video chats with their families, it was disclosed at the war court Thursday. | 11/06/14 19:01:13 By - Carol Rosenberg

Obama writes to Iran’s leader

President Barack Obama wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last month, describing a “shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria,” the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people briefed on the correspondence. | 11/06/14 17:33:12 By - By Lesley Clark

US-backed forces in Syria suffer big setback

Al Qaida-backed militants Saturday stormed the base of the most prominent civilian commander in the U.S.-backed Syrian rebel force, forcing him and his fighters to flee into hiding in the Jebal al Zawiya mountains of northern Syria. | 11/01/14 22:13:09 By - By Mousab Alhamadee and Roy Gutman

WHO official is cautiously optimistic on world response to Ebola

The World Health Organization has detected slowing in the number of reported new cases of Ebola infections in Liberia in recent days, leading its top official in charge of combating the outbreak to express cautious optimism Wednesday that health workers may be gaining a modicum of control over the disease. | 10/29/14 18:19:28 By - By John Zarocostas

Rousseff narrowly wins 2nd term as Brazil’s leader

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday won a second term as the leader of the world’s fourth largest democracy in the closest presidential elections in this country in more than two decades. | 10/26/14 20:48:30 By - By Vinod Sreeharsha

‘Twilight’s’ Kristen Stewart captures soul-numbing work of Guantánamo guards in ‘Camp X-Ray’

Earlier this year, the U.S. Marine general who opened Camp X-Ray at Guantánamo Bay Navy base in 2002 called guarding detainees there a “soul-numbing experience.” | 10/24/14 18:33:38 By - Carol Rosenberg

Drug manufacturers, U.N. officials meet in Geneva on ways to speed Ebola vaccine

Chief executives from leading vaccine manufacturing companies, along with top officials from key governments, including the United States, China and Russia, met Thursday with the chief of the World Health Organization in an effort to spur the search for an Ebola vaccine. | 10/23/14 20:49:02 By - By John Zarocostas

El Salvador’s fight against gold mine will be decided in D.C.

Somewhere trapped in the earth below Francisco Pineda’s feet are an estimated 1.4 million ounces of gold, and he wants the ore to remain there. | 10/21/14 11:49:50 By - By Tim Johnson

Guantánamo board says Saudi captive can go home

A U.S. national security panel has approved for release from Guantánamo a long-held prisoner whose advocates argued was less of a risk at-large than the five Taliban captives sent to Qatar in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May. | 10/21/14 07:45:30 By - Carol Rosenberg

Cuba pledges more doctors, nurses to fight Ebola in Africa

The announcement Monday by Cuba that it will send an additional 91 medical staff to help contain the Ebola virus outbreak surging across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea brings the island nation’s contribution of people fighting the epidemic to 256 – or more than one-third of all foreign medical staff in the three hardest-hit West African countries. | 10/20/14 18:47:44 By - By John Zarocostas

Obama’s decision to aid Kobani puts him squarely at odds with Turkey’s Erdogan

Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now are in flat disagreement over the fate of the Kurdish enclave. Turkey is willing to let it fall to the Islamic State. Washington clearly isn’t. | 10/20/14 03:08:18 By - By Roy Gutman

Iraq fills out unity government, now ready to take on ISIS?

Iraq’s parliament has approved a series of key ministers after a month of wrangling, completing the formation of a unity government as the country’s military and security forces struggle to push back the Islamic State. | 10/18/14 19:10:49 By - By Susannah George

In setback for Ebola vaccine, company says work will take longer than hoped

The Ebola crisis took new twists Friday, with another somber update from the World Health Organization on the outbreak in West Africa and a bleak warning from a major drug manufacturer that a safe vaccine likely won’t be ready before the current epidemic has passed. | 10/18/14 16:09:27 By - By John Zarocostas

Obama administration to allow thousands of Haitians to legally enter United States

Thousands of Haitians who have been waiting to reunite with U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident family members in the United States will now have a chance to do so – up to two years before their immigrant visa for a green card may be issued. | 10/17/14 12:24:10 By - Jaqueline Charles

UN official warns some anti-Ebola measures might violate human rights

The international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa took on new complexity Thursday, with the World Health Organization dispatching experts to prepare nations near the epidemic’s epicenter to battle the disease even as a key U.N. official warned that some anti-Ebola measures could violate human rights and drive ill people underground. | 10/16/14 18:03:29 By - By John Zarocostas

Experts fear Ebola will become a permanent scourge in West Africa

As the number of Ebola patients continues to climb in West Africa, concern is growing among medical and development experts that the scourge could become as serious as the one posed by HIV a decade ago – and could be far more difficult to control. | 10/15/14 19:26:04 By - By John Zarocostas

Estonia agrees to resettle a Guantanamo detainee

The Baltic nation of Estonia said Thursday it had agreed to resettle one of Guantánamo’s 79 pre-cleared captives — a day after Uruguay’s president linked his commitment to take in six prisoners to a dialogue with his successor. | 10/09/14 17:21:40 By - Carol Rosenberg

Judge sets Oct. 17 deadline for U.S. to redact Guantánamo force-feeding videos

A federal judge Thursday gave the Obama administration an Oct. 17 deadline to comply with her order to redact for release dozens of videos of a Guantánamo captive being tackled, shackled and forced-fed at the prison camps in Cuba. | 10/09/14 17:06:10 By - Carol Rosenberg

Guantánamo ‘experiment’ doesn’t break hunger strike but gets judge’s attention

Six Guantánamo captives who’ve been on hunger strike since 2007 got comfy seats this year, communal forced-feedings and television distraction as a way to get them to stop their food protest at the Pentagon prison, it was revealed at federal court Wednesday. | 10/08/14 20:39:47 By - Carol Rosenberg

No good news from West Africa on Ebola, WHO says in latest report

Conditions are continuing to deteriorate in the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic, the World Health Organization reported Wednesday. | 10/08/14 20:26:58 By - By John Zarocostas

Scientist who identified Ebola virus says epidemic will be long

The scientist who’s widely credited with discovering the Ebola virus said Tuesday that the world finally was “waking up” to the epidemic sweeping West Africa but that the situation remained dire and was nowhere near being contained. | 10/07/14 19:52:17 By - By John Zarocostas

Pope Francis works at reconciling decades-old divisions among Latin American Catholics

It’s been dubbed the “Francis effect.” | 10/02/14 15:51:22 By - By Tim Johnson

Turkish Parliament authorizes military action in Syria and Iraq, but no sign it’ll come soon

Turkish lawmakers Thursday overwhelmingly approved a possible deployment of Turkish ground forces in Syria and opened the door to basing foreign troops in Turkey. | 10/02/14 16:26:16 By - By Roy Gutman

Hong Kong’s harshest crackdown yet on democracy marchers fails to blunt protests

Hong Kong police used tear gas and pepper spray against pro-democracy protesters Sunday in the city’s harshest crackdown on free assembly since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. | 09/28/14 15:39:23 By - By Stuart Leavenworth

West Africa pleads for faster help to fight Ebola virus

The presidents of three West African nations pleaded Thursday for much faster help from the world in battling a deadly Ebola outbreak that’s killed nearly 3,000 people and might infect more than a million others in the coming months as the virus continues to spread. | 09/25/14 17:12:59 By - By Anita Kumar

Islamic State prisoners to Guantánamo? White House says no

So far the U.S. military’s aerial offensive in Iraq and Syria has killed, not captured suspected insurgents. But if a regional ally were to turn over Islamic State or Khorasan fighters to the United States, the White House has no intention of holding them at Guantánamo Bay, the prison the president keeps promising to close. | 09/24/14 19:49:05 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S. Clean Air Act cited as big first step in emissions control

World leaders met in New York on Tuesday to discuss how to tackle the risks posed by climate change, but there was little discussion of one increasingly obvious observation: The planet might be in better shape today if more countries had followed the lead of the Richard Nixon administration when it and Congress enacted the pioneering Clean Air Act in 1970. | 09/23/14 17:57:12 By - By John Zarocostas

Due to retire, Guantánamo prosecutor gets 3 more years on job

The Pentagon has extended the career of the chief war crimes prosecutor into the first year of the next president of the United States, a move designed to instill stability and confidence in the on-again, off-again war crimes trials at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. | 09/22/14 12:45:42 By - Carol Rosenberg

Young and old, Scots head to vote

Today, Scottish voters had to the polling places to vote on a referendum whether they’ll stay in the United Kingdom or become an independent country. Photographer Claudia Himmelreich tells their story. | 09/18/14 14:35:28 By -

U.S. troops dispatched to fight Ebola will find an epidemic out of control, UN says

The World Health Organization warned Tuesday that the agency now expects tens of thousands of people will be infected with the Ebola virus before the current epidemic is contained, and it called for nations to commit far more resources to combating the outbreak, which is ravaging the poor African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. | 09/17/14 20:07:37 By - By John Zarocostas

Death rate for children under 5 has plunged, UN reports

In a break from the recent slate of doom-and-gloom reports of catastrophes, wars and destruction, a United Nations report released Tuesday says the number of children under 5 who die each year fell by 49 percent between 1990 and 2013, from 12.7 million to 6.3 million, saving 17,000 lives every day. | 09/16/14 19:12:20 By - By John Zarocostas

No court martial for nurse who refused to give forced-feeding at Guantánamo

A Navy commander has chosen not to court-martial a nurse who refused to conduct forced-feedings of hunger strikers this summer and has instead asked a board to determine whether the nurse should be allowed to stay in the U.S. Navy. | 09/15/14 13:03:13 By - Carol Rosenberg

UN: Doctors, nurses play role in both treating, spreading Ebola

The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm that it has too few doctors and nurses willing to work in Africa to respond effectively to the continent’s outbreak of Ebola. | 09/12/14 14:48:23 By - By John Zarocostas

US tightens sanctions on Russia

Making good on promises to further isolate Russia from the global financial system because of its conflict with neighboring Ukraine, the Obama administration on Friday issued tough new sanctions on top state-owned Russian banks, energy firms and the defense sector. | 09/12/14 11:51:24 By - By Kevin G. Hall

On Lake Nicaragua’s adventure isle, twin volcanoes play host

Gaze eastward from the shores of huge Lake Nicaragua, and they seem almost like a mirage: Twin volcanoes thrusting out of the water, one of them a towering cone of cinder and ash, the other jacketed in verdant jungle. | 09/09/14 18:05:36 By - By Tim Johnson

Americans dropping their citizenship to pay more as State Department hikes its processing fee by nearly five-fold

Are you a frustrated American living abroad and want to ditch your U.S. citizenship? Be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets. | 09/03/14 07:16:34 By - William Douglas

Video depicts beheading of second American journalist

Ignoring his mother’s plea for mercy, the Islamic State posted a video Tuesday showing the beheading of Steven Joel Sotloff, the second American journalist executed in two weeks by the radical extremist group in reprisal for U.S. airstrikes against its fighters in northern Iraq. | 09/02/14 18:52:59 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Russia appears to invade Ukraine, opening 2nd front

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Thursday of invading his nation, at about the same time that a separatist rebel leader admitted his forces are made up of Russian fighters, including active and retired Russian troops. | 08/28/14 18:43:05 By - By Matthew Schofield

Provoking quandary for US, embattled Syrian government asks for help fighting Islamic State

One day after losing a major airbase to Islamic extremists, Syria said Monday it was willing to work with other countries to fight terror groups in Syria provided they show respect for the Syrian regime and operate only with its permission. | 08/25/14 13:29:48 By - By Roy Gutman

American writer held by Syrian militants freed after nearly two years captive

Al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate on Sunday unexpectedly freed an American writer from nearly two years captivity after secret international negotiations for his release that were apparently led by Qatar. | 08/24/14 19:20:05 By - By Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay

Islamic extremists seize Syrian military base then behead captured Assad soldiers

Islamic extremists captured a major government military airport in Raqqa, eastern Syria, on Sunday, completing their takeover of the entire province and dealing a humiliating blow to President Bashar Assad. | 08/24/14 16:35:14 By - By Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee

In Kurdish Irbil, first car bomb raises fears of onslaught by Islamic State militants

The car bomb that exploded along a busy Irbil thoroughfare Saturday evening was the first attack on the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region since the Islamic State took control of much of adjacent Iraqi Arab territory in mid June, and immediately shocked the city, which has long been considered an oasis of stability and security in northern Iraq. | 08/24/14 15:35:04 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Iraq’s Shia militias that once fought US, confront extremists, sow fear among Sunnis

Hatem Abu Hazal lives between two frightening forces in northeast Iraq. | 08/23/14 14:08:29 By - BY ADAM ASHTON

UN: Four countries face humanitarian crises, worst since WWII

With the crisis in Iraq, four countries are now experiencing severe humanitarian emergencies involving the displacement of millions of people, something experts and relief groups say hasn’t been seen in decades. | 08/22/14 19:08:58 By - By Alejandro Davila Fragoso

Nicaragua’s latest revolution: Becoming a green energy powerhouse

How quickly can a nation wean itself from fossil fuels and move toward reliance on renewable energy? In the case of Nicaragua, it can move very, very fast. | 08/22/14 15:31:32 By - By Tim Johnson

Sectarian killings in Iraq leave at least 70 dead at Sunni mosque

Gunmen allegedly associated with a pro-government Shiite militia slaughtered more than 70 worshippers at a Sunni mosque in Diyala province Friday, heightening Iraq’s sectarian divide in a volatile part of the country where government forces and their militia allies are battling militants from the Islamic State. | 08/22/14 15:46:24 By - By Mitchell Prothero and Adam Ashton

Fate of South Florida journalist Steven Sotloff now on world stage

A grisly recording of Islamic jihadists decapitating an American journalist that was posted on the Internet Tuesday revealed more than just the group’s pitiless, homicidal soul. It also uncorked one of the Middle East’s dirty little secrets: that a Pinecrest man has been held hostage in Syria for a year by militants who now threaten to kill him. | 08/21/14 07:01:21 By - Glenn Garvin

U.S. attempted Foley rescue in Syria

A team of several dozen U.S. Special Forces operators entered Syria earlier this summer in a failed bid to rescue “several” American captives, including journalist James Foley, only to discover once on the ground that the hostages had been moved, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday. | 08/20/14 18:35:04 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Nicaraguans, safe at home, feel little reason to flee to U.S.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and, like its Central American neighbors, a transhipment point for cocaine headed to the United States. | 08/18/14 14:23:47 By - By Tim Johnson

Rest of Iraq asks: where’s the U.S.?

As U.S. warplanes tilt the battlefield against Islamic militants in Kurdish-controlled territories, Iraqis in the rest of the country are growing resentful that the U.S. so far is not intervening more forcefully to protect Arabs who have been fighting extremists for months. | 08/17/14 14:16:56 By - BY ADAM ASHTON

Reports: Islamic State massacres dozens who refuse to convert

Fighters in the Islamic State reportedly massacred dozens of Yazidi men who refused to convert to Islam in a northern Iraq village Friday, according to Iraqi government and Kurdish officials. | 08/16/14 14:00:05 By - By Adam Ashton

Germans say they accidentally tapped Clinton, Kerry calls

The German Foreign Intelligence Agency has admitted tapping “at least one” phone call each by current Secretary of State John Kerry and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while they were aboard United States government jets, according to German media reports. | 08/16/14 12:26:54 By - By Matthew Schofield

Guantánamo judge bows to prosecution, reinstates joint 5-man 9/11 trial

The military judge in charge of the 9/11 terrorism trial bowed to a Pentagon prosecution protest Wednesday and agreed to go forward with a single, five-man Sept. 11 death-penalty tribunal. | 08/13/14 18:23:38 By - Carol Rosenberg

New Guantánamo judge throws out Limburg charges in USS Cole case

The new judge in the USS Cole case Monday dismissed collateral charges related to al-Qaida’s 2002 attack on a French oil tanker, according to two defense attorneys who read the ruling. | 08/11/14 12:57:08 By - Carol Rosenberg

Navy nurse who refused to force-feed still working at Guantánamo

A Navy nurse who refused to tube feed hunger striking prisoners is still assigned to the detention center here but is carrying out “administrative duties,” the new prison commander said Friday. | 08/08/14 18:52:14 By - Carol Rosenberg

Cease-fire ends in Gaza and fighting resumes, but at slower pace

Egypt urged Israel and Hamas to halt hostilities in the Gaza Strip after fighting resumed there on Friday as a 72-hour cease-fire expired without agreement on extending the lull. | 08/08/14 18:41:47 By - By Joel Greenberg

U.S. export: Central America’s gang problem began in Los Angeles

Andy Romero remembers when a tattooed man showed up in his neighborhood with baggy pants, T-shirts with rock band logos and sneakers like none he’d seen before. | 08/05/14 14:19:42 By - By Tim Johnson

Obama: We have a moral obligation to support Africa’s progress

Here’s a quick quiz. Which statement describes Africa today? | 08/05/14 06:00:00 By - By Barack Obama

Deadly quake caused war-like devastation in China; hundreds killed

A strong earthquake has killed at least 367 people and injured more than 1,800 people in southern China’s most deadly temblor since 2008. | 08/03/14 21:16:04 By - By Stuart Leavenworth

As Israeli forces pull back, another UN shelter hit in “a criminal act;” investigation sought

Israel pulled back most of its troops in the Gaza Strip closer to the Israeli border and withdrew some units from the territory, redeploying its forces in what it said would be an ongoing offensive against Hamas. | 08/03/14 21:14:44 By - By Joel Greenberg

Israelis gather to bury Hadar Goldin, once thought Hamas captive

Israelis surged through quaint tree-lined streets and crowded among the graves of a military cemetery here Sunday to bury Hadar Goldin, the soldier briefly thought to be captured by Hamas. Thousands of his countrymen listened to instructions about taking cover from rockets and wept along with rows of soldiers in the purple berets of Goldin's Givati Brigade. | 08/03/14 21:07:20 By - By Daniella Cheslow

Islamic State threatens major Iraqi dam, takes fight into Lebanon

The Islamic State pursued aggressive offensives on two new fronts Sunday as its militants defeated Kurdish troops along a key front protecting a major dam, while in Lebanon its fighters attacked a series of army posts along the border with Syria sparking the worst spill over of fighting into Lebanon since the start of the civil war in neighboring Syria. | 08/03/14 17:22:42 By - By Mitch Prothero

‘Kidnapped’ Israeli soldier actually was killed in action, military says

The Israeli army said early Sunday morning local time that an Israeli soldier believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas militants in fighting in the Gaza Strip was in fact killed in action, reversing its earlier reports that he had apparently been seized | 08/03/14 08:26:13 By - By Joel Greenberg

Lawmakers: U.S. restrictions on Venezuelan officials too little

The U.S. State Department rolled out travel and visa restrictions on Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations. But South Florida lawmakers say the sanctions don’t go far enough.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/30/4262612/us-imposes-travel-sanctions-on.html#storylink=cpy | 07/31/14 09:45:56 By - Jim Wyss and Chris Adams

U.N. accuses Israel of violating international law in Gaza school shelling

Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians who’d sought shelter from fighting in a UN school and 17 more died in an airstrike on a street market on Wednesday, the Gaza health ministry said, in a day of bloodshed that prompted criticism from the White House and expressions of outrage from the United Nations. | 07/30/14 19:11:08 By - By Joel Greenberg

Argentina scrambles to avoid default as Wednesday midnight deadline looms

Argentina officials met Tuesday with a mediator in New York in a last-ditch move to resolve a dispute with American creditors that has the South American nation on the brink of default, a development that would have dire consequences for the already struggling Argentine economy. | 07/29/14 19:49:59 By - By Patrick Gillespie

Argentine default: Billions on the line

Argentina and a group of American hedge funds that own Argentine bonds were negotiating Tuesday seeking an agreement on repayment of Argentina’s debt. If no agreement is reached and Argentina doesn’t repay the bondholders by Wednesday, it will default on its debt for the second time in 13 years. | 07/29/14 19:48:59 By - By Patrick Gillespie

Guantánamo filmed guards searching Qurans for contraband, but you can’t see it

The U.S. military filmed troops searching captives’ Qurans inside Guantánamo’s prison building for cooperative captives — an episode blamed for sparking the prison’s long-running hunger strike, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. | 07/28/14 19:38:05 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S. sales to Russia have only risen since sanctions imposed

In the months since the United States imposed sanctions on Russian businesses and close associates of President Vladimir Putin’s, an odd thing has happened: U.S. exports to Russia have risen. | 07/28/14 17:23:07 By - By John Moritz

100 years ago, World War I, the Great War, unleashed chaos that still reverberates

Disaster struck the world 100 years ago this week, leading to millions of deaths, wrecking cities, ripping old nations apart and creating new ones, overturning empires and the monarchs that led them, sweeping away traditional customs and values, and changing the world in ways that still affect us today. But why should we care about something that happened a century ago? | 07/28/14 12:42:22 By - Jim Warren

Two more Ukrainian fighter jets downed over eastern Ukraine

Russian separatists downed two Ukrainian fighter jets Wednesday, not far from where last week they are thought to have downed a passenger jet with 298 people on board. | 07/23/14 11:43:10 By - By Matthew Schofield

Wife of imprisoned Venezuelan activist pleads for his release

The wife of a Venezuelan opposition leader made a public plea to U.S. and international leaders Monday, saying her husband had been jailed on trumped-up charges by what she called the weak and frightened regime of President Nicolas Maduro. | 07/21/14 16:28:15 By - By Chris Adams

Financing still a mystery as Nicaragua unveils details of giant canal

The Chinese tycoon behind a plan to build a mammoth inter-oceanic waterway to compete with the Panama Canal whisked into Nicaragua this week and, in several appearances, including one with President Daniel Ortega, affirmed that “the biggest construction project in the history of mankind” has a green light. | 07/09/14 16:17:48 By - By Tim Johnson

Iraq Watch: Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide bombings, parliament agrees to meet Sunday

The Islamic State claimed responsibility Tuesday for two suicide bombings that killed 12 people in Shiite areas of Baghdad in recent days. | 07/08/14 11:36:14 By - By Lindsay Wise

2 street gangs divide up El Salvador’s capital, bringing chaos to all

El Salvador’s capital _ and nearly the entire country _ is a checkerboard in which gang territories circumscribe the movement of those in the lower economic rungs of society, and especially young men. | 07/07/14 15:21:48 By - By Tim Johnson

Economic minister: Argentina wants to avoid default

Argentina wants to negotiate with holdout creditors and avoid a default, said the country’s economic minister, Axel Kicillof, during a speech in Washington Thursday. Whether any talks between the government and a small group of creditors occurred Thursday remains unclear. | 07/04/14 08:04:09 By - Patrick Gillespie

Iraq Watch: Islamic State demands oath of allegiance from rival Sunni militias

The Islamic State has ordered rival Sunni militant groups in Iraq to lay down their arms and swear allegiance. | 07/02/14 14:39:13 By - By Lindsay Wise and Mousab Alhamadee

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Mexico Unmasked

Written by Tim Johnson, McClatchy's bureau chief in Mexico City.

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Inside South America

Written by Jim Wyss, McClatchy's bureau chief in Bogota.

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China Rises

Written by Tom Lasseter, McClatchy's Beijing bureau chief.

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