U.S., Russia impose dueling travel bans; Obama opens door to Russian energy sanctions

The Obama administration on Thursday sanctioned several top Russian politicians and key business oligarchs with ties to Vladimir Putin, raising the stakes in a blossoming international crisis and opening the door for targeting Russia’s vital energy sector. | 03/21/14 09:44:33 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Guantánamo prosecutors: How did KSM 'propaganda' document get out?

The war court prosecutor has asked the Sept. 11 judge to investigate how Huffington Post and a British television station got a copy of some commentary by the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. | 03/19/14 21:08:52 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S. now calls Guantánamo hunger strike ‘long term non-religious fasting’

he Guantánamo Bay prison has adopted a new forced-feeding policy that rhetorically recasts the year-long hunger strike in the remote prison camps as “long term non-religious fasting.” | 03/12/14 12:10:19 By - Carol Rosenberg

Kerry won't visit Russia until Moscow shows 'seriousness' on Ukraine

The State Department fired back Monday at Russian claims that Secretary of State John Kerry had declined an invitation to visit Moscow to discuss the Ukraine crisis. | 03/10/14 15:58:05 By - by Hannah Allam

OAS to convene nations on Venezuelan crisis

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States is set to talk Thursday about the crisis in Venezuela at a meeting requested by Panama and coming amid calls by U.S. lawmakers for action against the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. | 03/05/14 17:40:00 By - By Chris Adams

Guantánamo judge pushes USS Cole trial to Dec. 4

A military judge has pushed to Dec. 4 the trial date of a Saudi man accused of orchestrating al-Qaida’s USS Cole bombing in 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors, according to military sources. | 03/04/14 16:27:07 By - Carol Rosenberg

Sanctions against Russia likely but they’re no easy task

As Russia tightened its grip Monday on the Crimean peninsula, the Obama administration scrambled to find meaningful ways to sanction a nation that does relatively little U.S. business and exports primarily energy products that allies in Europe badly need. | 03/03/14 16:54:15 By - Kevin G. Hall

Secretary of State Kerry to head to Ukraine

The Obama administration said Sunday that Russian forces have "complete operational control" of the Crimean peninsula and that Secretary of State John Kerry will head to Kiev on Tuesday to meet with senior representatives of Ukraine’s new government. | 03/03/14 05:45:24 By - Lesley Clark

Obama talks tough to Russia about Ukraine and Crimea; events unclear

President Barack Obama said Friday that he is “deeply concerned” by reports Russia had sent troops into Ukraine’s Crimea region and warned that “there will be costs” for any such military intervention. | 02/28/14 20:03:01 By - By Anita Kumar

Republicans push for tougher Iran sanctions despite nuclear talks

WASHINGTON --  Senate Republicans are attempting to resurrect a bill to tighten sanctions on Iran in spite of the president saying it would threaten negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program. | 02/27/14 05:05:11 By - By Sean Cockerham

Some in GOP think George W. Bush should mediate South Sudan conflict

Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan, spent decades in the bush of Central Africa outfitted in dusty army fatigues and an army beret. Since becoming president in 2011, however, the rebel leader-turned politician is rarely seen without his black cowboy hat. It signals his ascent to statesmanship. But more importantly, it’s a cherished gift from an old friend – George W. Bush. | 02/26/14 19:51:32 By - By Sam Sturgis

Court hearing on Guatemala’s attorney general draws hundreds

Hundreds of supporters of Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz rallied outside Guatemala’s highest court Wednesday as the justices inside heard final arguments on whether the human rights champion should be allowed to stay in office until December or be forced to step down in May. | 02/26/14 19:25:17 By - By Benjamin Reeves

Guatemala may be about to oust Rios Montt prosecutor

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz is a small, soft-spoken woman with the quiet mannerisms of an academic, which she is. But she also displays a dogged perseverance that has made her a champion of human rights and the rule of law. And that may put her out of a job soon. | 02/25/14 17:26:18 By - By Benjamin Reeves

After 13-year hunt, Mexico arrests ‘Chapo’ Guzman, reputedly world’s No. 1 crime lord

Authorities on Saturday captured Mexico’s most wanted accused drug lord, Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, in a stunning development likely to deal a fateful blow to a drug syndicate with vast tentacles around the globe. | 02/22/14 16:40:35 By - By Tim Johnson

Film reveals ancient city of Jerusalem to wider audience

The old city of Jerusalem is the star of a visually stunning 3D Imax film that’s bringing new attention to a non-Hollywood type of movie: short films that play in museums and science centers. | 02/21/14 06:53:02 By - By Maria Recio

Saudi pleads guilty to terror charges, could get out of Guantánamo in 2017

A long-held Saudi captive pleaded guilty Thursday to terror charges for serving as a personal shopper and facilitator for al-Qaida militants plotting suicide bombings of ships in the Arabian Sea. | 02/20/14 12:49:46 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S. slaps travel restrictions on 20 Ukraine officials over violence but experts expect little impact

The Obama administration slapped visa restrictions on 20 senior Ukrainian officials Wednesday to punish “the full chain of command” behind the bloody crackdown on a protest camp in Kiev, where at least 25 people died in street violence this week. | 02/19/14 22:12:15 By - By Sam Sturgis and Hannah Allam

What's happening in Kiev?

Violence continues to escalate. | 02/19/14 10:45:20 By - By Ali Watkins and Julie Moos

Some Guantánamo captives may get family visits

With the prison camps now in their 13th year, the U.S. military is willing to allow some war-on-terror captives to have family visits — if the International Red Cross can find a Caribbean country to host the prisoners’ relatives between day trips to this remote U.S. Navy base. | 02/18/14 18:10:15 By - Carol Rosenberg

Cuban spies received secret messages by old-time short-wave

Sixteen years after the arrests in Miami of five Cuban spies who got their secret orders by short wave transmissions, Havana is still using a system that fell out of favor in the cloak-and-dagger world with the end of the Cold War. | 02/18/14 12:48:13 By - Juan O. Tamayo

Close Uganda ties may limit what U.S. does on anti-gay law

The Obama administration faces a crucial diplomatic test in Central Africa, where its strategic ally Uganda is drawing criticism for its military presence in South Sudan and its official hostility toward gays and lesbians. | 02/17/14 17:49:17 By - By Sam Sturgis

Venezuela gives three U.S. diplomats 48 hours to leave country

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elías Jaua gave three U.S. diplomats 48 hours to leave the country as he accused them of fanning the flames of student protests that have rattled the country for more than a week. | 02/17/14 15:35:22 By - Jim Wyss

Guatemalan ex-commando loses U.S. citizenship, gets jail term for massacre

A federal judge in California on Monday revoked the U.S. citizenship of a former Guatemalan special forces officer and sentenced him to a maximum 10-year prison term for deceiving U.S. immigration officials and covering up his role in a 1982 massacre of 250 villagers in Guatemala, one of the worst atrocities in modern times in Latin America. | 02/10/14 19:34:50 By - By Tim Johnson

Ready or not, Russia welcomes world to Winter Games

Despite all the anxiety over terrorism threats and criticism for anti-gay laws, poisoned stray dogs, and unfinished media hotels, the sun shined brightly Thursday on this temperate resort town, known as the “Russian Riviera,’’ sandwiched between the snowy peaks of the Caucasus Mountains and the pebble beaches kissing the Black Sea coastline. | 02/06/14 16:46:48 By - By Michelle Kaufman

Brazil’s social development minister describes how country cut poverty

Brazil is confronting numerous challenges this year, from international investors fleeing developing nations to the slowing economy in China – a major trade partner – to local protests over Brazil’s preparations to host the World Cup in June. | 02/06/14 16:40:20 By - By Kevin G. Hall

White House implicates Russia in leaked call between US diplomats

Vice President Joe Biden has talked several times by phone with Ukrainian officials in hopes of resolving the current crisis there -- but it's a leaked private telephone call between two top U.S. diplomats that's causing a stir. | 02/06/14 13:58:22 By - Lesley Clark

U.N. panel urges Vatican to turn over sex abusers to authorities

An independent United Nations panel on children’s rights accused the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday of shielding priests who’ve sexually abused tens of thousands of children worldwide and called on the Vatican to dismiss the perpetrators and refer them to civil authorities for prosecution. | 02/05/14 17:14:58 By - By John Zarocostas

Numbers tell the depth of Olympics terror threat

The terror threat at the Sochi Games can be measured in numbers. | 02/04/14 15:11:40 By - By Matthew Schofield

Clinton: The U.S. should give diplomacy with Iran a chance

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and possible 2016 presidential candidate, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that she supports the Obama administration's move to push negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programs and that Congress should not pass new economic sanctions. | 02/04/14 06:22:24 By - Anita Kumar

Olympics controversies mount, from terrorist fears to stray dogs

Amid concerns about terrorism, complaints of unfinished hotels rooms, controversy over Russia’s law targeting gays and reports of a last-minute roundup and killing of stray dogs, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Monday proclaimed the 2014 Winter Olympics ready for competition. | 02/03/14 15:44:00 By - By William Douglas

Obama to visit Saudi Arabia in March

President Obama will travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in March to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in a visit the White House billed as "part of regular consultations between our two countries." | 02/03/14 15:08:04 By - Lesley Clark

Obama to Congress: We need to close Guantánamo prison

President Barack Obama used the occasion of his State of the Union address to remind the world of his quest to close the prison camps at Guantánamo — in as much a vow as a plea to the members of Congress. | 01/29/14 17:25:47 By - Carol Rosenberg

Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Two members of the Norwegian Parliament say the former NSA employee's leaks about U.S. surveillance programs have fostered international security. | 01/29/14 15:12:21 By - James Rosen

Lime attack incapacitates Guatemala’s vice president

A strange act of protest last week in which two women tossed white powder into the face of Guatemala’s vice president has underscored the political tensions in the Central American nation. | 01/22/14 16:12:02 By - By Benjamin Patrick Reeves

Nicaragua forges ahead on canal that would remake world trade

Fisherman Pedro Luis Gutierrez gazed from his porch on the Pacific Ocean and conjured up a vision: Some day, mammoth oceangoing vessels will sail in from afar and vanish into a canal piercing the jungle. | 01/17/14 06:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

A young Mexican governor takes heat over nationwide publicity campaign

It’s become known as the Pena Nieto model of political ascent, after the current Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto: Drape a comely television star on the arm of a telegenic governor. Get attention from a major television network. Then turn on a spigot of cash for publicity. | 01/16/14 16:29:25 By - By Tim Johnson

In Nicaragua, fears of dynastic power as Ortegas jointly wield power

Nearly everywhere that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega goes, first lady Rosario Murillo hovers at his side, bedecked in strands of necklaces, each finger bearing a ring or two, sometimes sporting multiple bangles and watches on her wrists. | 01/09/14 06:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

Beauty queen murder shines light on Venezuelan violence

Venezuela got a tragic New Year reminder of one of its most pressing problems: violence. Mónica Spear, 29, a former beauty queen and a popular soap opera star who was raised in Orlando, was killed Monday night during a presumed highway robbery. | 01/08/14 14:17:08 By - Jim Wyss

Last three Uighers leave Guantanamo

The Obama administration sent three ethnic Uighur Muslim captives from Guantánamo to Slovakia on Monday, ending one of the saddest and longest-running chapters of unlawful detention at the U.S. prison camps in Cuba. | 12/31/13 07:50:24 By - Carol Rosenberg

In 2013, big issues came at us from all sides

The world got a new pope. Gay marriage prevailed. The Arab Spring faded. Guns and terrorism brought more heartache. It all happened in 2013, a year that featured big headlines and big issues. | 12/27/13 06:00:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen

U.S. sends 2 Saudis home from Guantánamo

The United States sent two long-ago cleared Guantánamo detainees to Saudi Arabia over the weekend, the latest move in renewed efforts to empty the prison camps that President Barack Obama ordered closed in 2009. | 12/16/13 13:02:51 By - Carol Rosenberg

Obama is urged to include gays, lesbians in official Olympics delegation

An American human rights group is urging President Barack Obama to appoint lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community leaders to the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to show displeasure with a recently passed Russian anti-propaganda law that’s widely viewed as anti-gay. | 12/13/13 18:18:25 By - By William Douglas

World Health Organization sees cancer risk rising around the world

Women, minorities, and migrants in the United States face a growing risk from cancers of the lung, breast and thyroid, the World Health Organization predicted Thursday and that illness and deaths from cancer will increase by more than 25 percent over the next decade. | 12/12/13 17:56:44 By - By John Zarocostas

UN officials lament Guantánamo repatriation

Two top United Nations officials said Tuesday they were concerned about the welfare of a Guantánamo captive the U.S. repatriated to Algeria last week after a decade in the detention center in southeast Cuba. | 12/10/13 18:00:48 By - Carol Rosenberg

In Ronald Reagan era, Mandela was branded a terrorist

The outpouring of acclaim for Nelson Mandela from across the American ideological spectrum contrasts with the history of an earlier era, when many politicians and others derided the late South African anti-apartheid crusader as a communist and a terrorist. | 12/06/13 20:04:49 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Mandela’s vision touched both the public and the personal

Nelson Mandela’s death Thursday at age 95 has stirred international sorrow, with many commentators describing him as the world’s last great noble man. What accounts for the nearly universal outpouring of grief and adoration? | 12/06/13 18:07:54 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Biden effort to ease Japan-China tension renews push for Asia ‘pivot’

China’s announcement of a new air defense zone has turned Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia this week into a damage-control mission, underscoring how quickly the United States can get sucked into territorial disputes as it struggles for a clear policy response to an increasingly assertive China. | 12/06/13 17:49:25 By - By Hannah Allam

Statement by the President on the Death of Nelson Mandela

Statement by the President on the Death of Nelson Mandela | 12/05/13 19:56:59 By -

Obama, U.S. laud Mandela

Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela are forever linked in history as the first black presidents of each of their countries, inspiring millions in the United States and South Africa. | 12/05/13 20:46:28 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

Democrats in Congress remind Obama they’ll have final say on Pacific trade deal

As part of his visit to Asia this week, Vice President Joe Biden is driving home a message: After three years of talks, it’s time to wrap up the largest trade deal in U.S. history. | 12/05/13 15:55:18 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Marking 4 years, family urges release of Cuba captive Alan Gross

On the anniversary of Gross’ arrest, supporters held a vigil across from the White House to urge President Obama to personally intervene to secure his return. A Cuban court sentenced Gross to 15 years after deciding that the work he’d been sent to do there on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development constituted an attempt to undermine the Cuban government. | 12/03/13 18:01:20 By - By Sarah Sexton

Guantánamo judge lets lawyers take secret photos of scars of accused Sept. 11 ‘mastermind’

A military judge has ordered the prison at Guantánamo to let defense attorneys photograph scars on the ankles and wrists of the waterboarded, alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, to preserve evidence in his death-penalty case. | 12/02/13 13:38:47 By - Carol Rosenberg

Rise of ‘Saudi America’ will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role

For the past 40 years, U.S. presidents have launched distant wars, allied with autocratic sheikhs and dispatched naval fleets to protect sea lanes, all for the imperative of keeping foreign oil spigots flowing. | 11/28/13 09:30:49 By - By Tim Johnson

Technology giving new nations a shot as energy producers

New technologies to unlock energy below the earth’s surface could transform the global energy picture, allowing a handful of nations not ordinarily thought of as energy producers to emerge. | 11/28/13 00:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

Hagel: U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty covers islands China also claims

The United States on Wednesday reaffirmed its military alliance with Japan and pledged to back Tokyo in a mounting dispute with China over a chain of small islands and the airspace over them. | 11/27/13 19:01:22 By - By James Rosen

U.S. reassures Japan over dispute with China

U.S., Japanese defense chiefs confer on China's recent expansion of its vital airspace to include the skies over disputed islands claimed by both Asian nations. | 11/27/13 18:00:46 By - James Rosen

U.S. sends military planes over disputed islands in challenge to China

Three days after China announced that it had extended its vital airspace to include a disputed portion of the East China Sea, the United States sent two military planes into the area, the Pentagon said Tuesday. | 11/26/13 22:51:49 By - By James Rosen

Iran nuclear deal includes item for tuition for Iranian foreign students

The deal between Iran and world powers over the weekend to curb Iran's nuclear program has a provision that would establish a financial channel for some of Iran's oil revenues held abroad. One use specified would be direct tuition assistance for Iranian students studying abroad. | 11/26/13 07:00:00 By - Renee Schoof

Permanent Iran nuclear deal would revolutionize oil market

Iran’s nuclear deal with the West could allow more Iranian oil on the world market in the coming months, but it remains to be seen whether sanctions will be lifted enough to allow the pariah nation to return to its former position as an energy power. | 11/25/13 18:36:22 By - By Sean Cockerham

Turmoil as 2 candidates in Honduras claim election victory

Honduras, a nation on a years-long quest to overcome political instability, found only new turmoil Sunday when two presidential candidates both declared themselves winners of the day’s election. | 11/24/13 23:13:03 By - By Tim Johnson

How to rein in violent crime is key issue as Honduras picks a new president

Juan Orlando Hernandez hasn’t even been elected, but his campaign promise of a “soldier on every corner” is already taking shape in some of the worst neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ two largest cities. | 11/22/13 16:12:01 By - By Kevin Lees

Kerry gets credit for moving ball on thorny foreign-policy issues

With U.S. negotiators in Geneva this week in hopes of putting the finishing touches on an agreement in which Iran trades nuclear transparency for sanctions relief, foreign policy analysts are giving Secretary of State John Kerry credit for new signs of life on long-stagnant international debates, though they caution that the revivals could prove short-lived if they aren’t managed delicately. | 11/20/13 17:35:09 By - By Hannah Allam

Next round of Iran nuclear talks expected to focus on ‘right’ to enrich uranium

Iran’s assertion that it has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes is expected to be a key focus of high-level international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program that resume this week. | 11/18/13 19:04:20 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Guantánamo’s forever captives to make pitch for freedom in secret

The Pentagon has begun notifying would-be observers that it plans to hold the first session of the long-awaited parole-style boards at Guantánamo in secret. | 11/15/13 17:34:06 By - Carol Rosenberg

U.S. expected soon to be crowned world’s oil king

The United States will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer in 2015, the International Energy Agency forecasts. | 11/13/13 11:32:35 By - By Sean Cockerham

State Dept. Muslim cleric confronts questions of loyalty, identity

With his trim beard, crisply ironed clothes and genteel demeanor, Mohamad Bashar Arafat hardly cuts a controversial figure. Yet his public appearances draw visceral reactions – from hearty welcomes to sneering disdain – depending on how the audience views a Muslim cleric who for a decade has worked with the U.S. State Department as a quiet, informal envoy to the Islamic world. | 11/13/13 06:00:00 By - By Hannah Allam

Herald reporter Jim Wyss returns to Miami following 48-hour detention in Venezuela

Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss arrived at Miami International Airport Sunday into the arms of his girlfriend and awaiting well-wishers and media. The Herald’s Andean Bureau chief arrived in Miami on an American Airlines flight from Caracas following nearly 48 hours of detention by Venezuelan authorities. He was released Saturday to U.S. Embassy officials. | 11/10/13 18:02:53 By - Nancy San Martin

Experts: Benefits outweigh risks in emerging Iran nuclear deal

An emerging deal that would curtail Iran’s nuclear program and expand inspections in exchange for relief from some economic sanctions will upset U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia but is likely to lessen the chance of a conflict or a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, foreign policy analysts said Friday. | 11/08/13 18:56:12 By - By Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay

Canadian appeals his Guantánamo ‘child soldier’ conviction

Omar Khadr, the Canadian “child soldier” who pleaded guilty to hurling a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan, is appealing his Guantánamo war crimes conviction. | 11/08/13 18:16:35 By - Carol Rosenberg

Venezuelan authorities detain Miami Herald reporter

Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald’s Andean bureau chief, was detained by Venezuelan authorities Thursday while reporting on the country’s chronic shortages and looming municipal elections. Wyss remained in custody Friday afternoon. | 11/08/13 16:55:49 By - Andrew Rosati

Rios Montt genocide plaintiffs seek international help after Guatemala court delays trial to 2015

Representatives of Guatemala’s indigenous Ixil Maya have filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights in Washington accusing the Guatemalan government of failing in its legal obligation to investigate and prosecute genocide. | 11/07/13 16:40:07 By - By Benjamin Reeves

Foreign Service officer pleads guilty in visa fraud-bribery scandal

A Foreign Service official accused of selling hundreds of visas to residents of Vietnam pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. | 11/06/13 17:07:16 By - By Vera Bergengruen

UN envoy blames Syrian opposition for delay in talks toward ending war

U.S.-Russian plans for a long-delayed summit on Syria appeared to collapse Tuesday, with the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria suggesting that the opposition’s perpetual disarray was to blame for the failure to begin negotiations on a political settlement to the conflict. | 11/05/13 18:27:05 By - By Hannah Allam

Brazil watching warily for fallout from Latin America’s biggest bankruptcy

Eike Batista was once the symbol of Brazil’s surging prosperity – declared in 2010 the world’s eighth richest person by Forbes, lionized in stories and interviews by “60 Minutes” and Charlie Rose, and a key backer of Brazil’s winning bids to host soccer’s 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. | 11/01/13 18:21:59 By - By Vinod Sreeharsha

Long dreamed of rail link between Europe and Asia opens in Istanbul

After a century and a half of discussion and eight years of construction, Turkey on Tuesday opened the first rail tunnel under the Bosporus Strait, establishing a direct link between Europe and Asia and opening the possibility of train travel between London and Beijing. | 10/29/13 19:41:24 By - By Roy Gutman

Amid European uproar over phone monitoring, White House sees need for constraints

Under mounting pressure from new revelations that the United States collected the telephone data of tens of millions of Europeans, the Obama administration on Monday said that there is a need for new constraints on U.S. intelligence-gathering operations and a top senator announced that the spying on U.S. allies would stop. | 10/29/13 06:41:51 By - By Lesley Clark, Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay

Peace and politics clash as Colombia gears up for presidential race

Ever since President Juan Manuel Santos announced last year his intention to pursue peace talks with the country’s largest guerrilla group, he’s been under attack from his predecessor and former boss Alvaro Uribe. Over the weekend, Uribe unveiled his latest weapon in the war: a candidate to face Santos in the April 25 presidential race. | 10/28/13 19:04:06 By - Jim Wyss

Fight to save Kenya’s wildlife uses the tools of the drug war

Every day, 96 elephants are gunned down in Africa. Every 11 hours, a rhino is slaughtered. And every few years, Kenya loses a wildlife park ranger at the hands of a poacher. | 10/27/13 17:59:06 By - By Jacqueline Charles

U.S. use of extradition to nab Russian suspects draws Moscow’s anger

A little known extradition case in Costa Rica is shedding light on Russia’s practice of vigorously defending its citizens arrested overseas and threatened with extradition to the United States on organized crime charges. | 10/25/13 17:38:41 By - By Tim Johnson

New court ruling another obstacle in genocide prosecution of Guatemala’s Rios Montt

The human rights prosecution of former Guatemalan dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt, whose brutal rule in the early 1980s saw the deaths of tens of thousands of the country’s indigenous people, has hit another obstacle, with one of the country’s two high courts saying the retired general may be entitled to amnesty. | 10/25/13 17:15:07 By - By Benjamin Reeves

Iran could make enough HEU for warhead in as little as 1 month: report

New assessment says Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment capability and can produce enough highly enriched uranium for one nuclear warhead in 1-1.6 months. | 10/24/13 13:55:09 By - Jonathan S. Landay

China’s Peking University fires professor who criticized government

The move against Xia Yeliang appears to reflect a crackdown on liberal academics that’s become more severe since President Xi Jinping came to power in March. Several well-known universities – including the London School of Economics, Yale and Cornell – have partnerships with Peking, though few have taken up Xia’s cause. | 10/18/13 15:53:31 By - By Lara Farrar

Europeans agog at Americans’ inability to compromise, aghast at likely long-term impact

A German newspaper columnist this week asked why people here were shocked by the American government stalemate that led to the recent shutdown. | 10/18/13 06:11:08 By - By Matthew Schofield

Iran’s hour-long PowerPoint plan to defuse nuclear dispute gets cautious U.S., EU welcome

U.S. and European officials Tuesday cautiously welcomed an Iranian proposal to end the decade-long standoff of its nuclear program, under which Iran would prove it’s not seeking to build a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions. | 10/15/13 18:24:21 By - By Roy Gutman

Dormice, Slovenian hunters square off, fueled by alcohol

Despite this country’s prolonged economic gloom, tiny Slovenia has one thing to celebrate this October: a bumper crop of dormice, the small tree-loving rodents that for some reason are the traditional quarry of hundreds of hunters in the nation’s south. | 10/14/13 18:42:06 By - By Phil Cain

Latin America’s ‘bad boy’ leaders enjoy high support, survey finds

A compilation of polls across Latin America found that the four leaders Washington considers the “bad boys” of the region remain among its most popular presidents, even wildly so. In contrast, the pro-U.S. leaders of three countries that have more open democracies have seen their public support fall in the past six months. | 10/14/13 15:04:49 By - By Tim Johnson

Debate surrounds use of gene-altered mosquitoes to curb dengue fever

They’ve been called “suicide mosquitoes,” dead-end bugs and even Frankenskeeters. They’re gene-altered mosquitoes, and Panama is among a growing list of countries that are testing to see whether they have a place in the public health arsenal in the war against mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever. | 10/14/13 06:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

Cuban weapons aboard N. Korean ship part of ‘major deal,’ Panama says

Two Cuban MiG-21 jet fighters found aboard a seized North Korean cargo ship three months ago were in good repair, had been recently flown and were accompanied by “brand-new” jet engines, Panamanian officials say. | 10/10/13 16:07:45 By - By Tim Johnson

U.S. cuts in Egypt military aid not likely to hurt relations, analysts say

The United States is withholding $260 million in cash and hundreds of millions in military hardware such as tanks and fighter jets to send a message to longtime ally Egypt that it must return to a democratic path after a military ouster of the elected Islamist president and a brutal crackdown on his supporters, Obama administration officials said Wednesday. | 10/09/13 19:29:15 By - By Hannah Allam

U.S. reviewing cases of dozens of Guantánamo prisoners

The Obama administration has begun a formal process of reviewing for the possibility of release the case files of dozens of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay without charges as part of renewed effort to close the prison, the Pentagon said Wednesday. | 10/09/13 17:43:40 By - Carol Rosenberg

Chemical weapons inspectors give upbeat report on Syria despite bulky gear, security worries

The members of the international team determining the exact size and contents of Syria’s deadly chemical arsenal – and then overseeing its destruction – must, while they try to work, wear both bulky hazmat suits, to protect them from the materials they’re destroying, and full sets of body armor, to protect them from the civil war raging around them. | 10/09/13 16:41:50 By - By Matthew Schofield

Panama hopes U.S. will clean up chemical weapons it left on island

As the U.S. presses for the rapid destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, a dispute lingers over chemical munitions that American soldiers left on a Panamanian island more than 60 years ago. Panama has pressed the U.S. for decades to remove them, and now it’s optimistic that the Obama administration has agreed. But the administration is less definitive about whether an agreement has been struck. | 10/09/13 13:35:53 By - By Tim Johnson

Pentagon identifies target of failed Somalia raid but reasons for assault remain murky

Pentagon officials Monday identified the target of a weekend raid in Somalia by U.S. special forces as a Somali-born Kenyan they said had close ties with two al Qaida militants linked to the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. | 10/08/13 06:38:32 By - By James Rosen

El Salvador prison overcrowding creates horrific conditions in police station holding cells

El Salvador’s prisons are wretched, overcrowded hellholes, among the worst in Latin America, but for William Romero Cartagena a trip to prison would be a step up in life. | 10/04/13 12:44:18 By - By Tim Johnson

Latin America becoming fertile ground for online university courses

Roosemberth Palacios sports braces on his teeth and a curly mop of hair. At 16, he finds high school boring. | 10/02/13 13:21:51 By - By Tim Johnson

Pakistani Taliban accept government offer of peace talks, propose cease-fire

The Pakistani Taliban announced Tuesday that they have accepted a government offer to hold unconditional talks about ending a six-year insurgency, but the move comes amid national public revulsion at a two-week wave of bombing attacks that has killed 300 people. | 10/01/13 16:20:49 By - By Tom Hussain

Efforts to teach Afghanistan troops to read may be NATO’s lasting legacy

As it prepares to start its fifth and final year, the NATO-led $200 million literacy program for the Afghan national security forces quietly has created what is likely to be one of the most important legacies that the international military coalition will leave behind: tens of thousands of previously illiterate Afghans who can now read. | 10/01/13 14:00:00 By - By Jay Price

What do you think?

We'd like your feedback on the new | 10/01/13 05:27:46 By -

UN resolution on Syria seen as breakthrough

The Obama administration leaves the U.N. General Assembly this week with progress on two fronts of the Syrian conflict – a binding deal to seize chemical weapons and revived talk of a peace summit – though both developments come with serious caveats and won’t bring an end to hostilities anytime soon. | 09/27/13 20:32:16 By - By Hannah Allam

U.S., Russia reach UN deal on Syria chemical arms that doesn’t include military force

The United States and Russia reached an agreement Thursday on a plan to seize Syria’s chemical weapons in a move the Obama administration deemed a diplomatic breakthrough, even though the resolution stops short of triggering military action should Syria fail to comply. | 09/26/13 20:11:32 By - By Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay

2 former Guantanamo detainees have left El Salvador

Two former prisoners from Guantanamo who were transferred to El Salvador 17 months ago have quietly slipped out of this Central American nation. | 09/26/13 17:46:50 By - By Tim Johnson

US Syria plans face setback as key rebels break from coalition

Some of Syria’s most effective rebel forces, including at least three that previously were aligned with the U.S.-backed rebel command, have formed a new alliance with an al Qaida affiliate, a development that undermines Obama administration efforts to build up Syria’s moderate opposition and to plan negotiations for an end to the civil war. | 09/25/13 20:34:12 By - By Hannah Allam, Jonathan S. Landay and Mitchell Prothero

Military commanders investigated for mishandling Army’s ‘lost’ Medal of Honor nomination

A Pentagon investigation into how a Medal of Honor nomination was “lost” – possibly because of an improper effort to kill the award – is focused on its mishandling by members of the chain of command that included retired Army Gen. David Petraeus and other senior U.S. commanders. | 09/25/13 17:16:31 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Obama, Iran’s Rouhani signal willingness to ease tensions

They may not have announced any breakthroughs, and there was no historic meeting. But the presidents of the United States and Iran made it clear on Tuesday that they’re ready for serious talks on a settlement to the feud over Iran’s nuclear program that could begin easing more than 30 years of hostility and estrangement. | 09/24/13 20:46:28 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Kenya says it’s captured 11 of alleged al Shabab shopping mall terrorists

The capture alive of 11 of the suspected attackers should go a long way toward helping authorities learn their identities. Al Qaida’s affiliate in Somalia, al Shabab, has claimed responsibility for the attack, but rumors have been flying that at least some of the assailants grew up in the United States. | 09/24/13 18:41:47 By - By Alan Boswell

On Iran, Obama says he wants to see action, not just 'conciliatory words'

They may not have announced any breakthroughs, and there was no historic meeting. But the presidents of the United States and Iran made it clear on Tuesday that they’re ready for serious talks on a settlement to the feud over Iran’s nuclear program that could begin easing more than 30 years of hostility and estrangement. | 09/24/13 13:52:00 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Obama tells U.N. U.S. committed to Middle East 'for long haul'

President Barack Obama told the United Nations on Tuesday that his priorities in the region are resolving Iran’s contested nuclear program, pursuing a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and encouraging democratic transitions in Syria and other tumultuous Arab states. | 09/24/13 12:05:29 By - By Hannah Allam

Nairobi shopping mall still a battleground as Shabab militants hold on

Kenya's shopping mall nightmare apparently is not over, despite Kenyan government claims that its forces were in control. The sounds of gunfire still emanated Tuesday from the Westgate shopping mall where terrorists believed to be members of al Qaida's affiliate in Somalia killed dozens of shoppers. | 09/24/13 09:26:29 By - By Alan Boswell

Kerry to meet Iran’s foreign minister at UN in first face-to-face talks since 1979

In a diplomatic milestone, Secretary of State of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet here Thursday for talks that analysts say could pave the way for warmer U.S.-Iranian relations after a decades-long freeze. | 09/23/13 22:05:10 By - By Hannah Allam

Lebanese army takes over for Hezbollah at checkpoints in southern Beirut

Lebanese security forces replaced Hezbollah fighters Monday at checkpoints in Beirut’s southern suburbs in response to criticism that the group’s recently enacted security measures proved that it maintains its own mini-state in southern Lebanon. | 09/23/13 18:20:16 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Kenya declares end to Nairobi terror attack after seized mall burns

Kenyan government Twitter accounts claimed early Tuesday that authorities had taken control of all the floors of a Nairobi shopping complex that terrorists had seized Saturday. | 09/23/13 19:06:57 By - By Alan Boswell

After Pakistani church bombing, Sharif gives up on Taliban peace talks

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called off plans for unconditional peace talks with militant insurgents after a series of deadly terrorist attacks that culminated in Sunday’s suicide bombing of a church, which killed 83 people. | 09/23/13 16:41:13 By - By Tom Hussain

China, too, worries that boys are being left behind

Zhang Mei Lian is worried about her 16-year-old son. Worried that he’s falling behind his female classmates in school. Worried that he isn’t athletic enough, that he doesn’t know how to repair things, such as computers or a broken light. Worried that, in short, he doesn’t know how to be a man. | 09/23/13 14:59:12 By - By Lara Farrar

With Kenya mall attack unresolved, terrorists’ Twitter accounts are targeted

Soon after gunmen stormed a Kenyan shopping mall on Saturday, killing dozens in a spray of bullets and grenades, triumphant tweets swept the Internet. | 09/22/13 17:53:24 By - By Alan Boswell

Bombers hit church in Pakistan at end of Sunday service; at least 78 killed

Twin suicide bombers attacked a Christian congregation in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar at the end of Sunday worship services, killing at least 78 worshippers, including 34 women and seven children, and critically wounding 120 others. | 09/22/13 14:32:48 By - By Tom Hussain

Suicide bombers kill at least 78 Christians at a church service in Pakistan

The attackers struck at the conclusion of Sunday mass at All Saints Church in Peshawar. One terrorist attacked the entrance of the church, firing a pistol at police guards, killing one, then detonated his suicide vest. A second attacker was already inside and, 30 seconds later, detonated his suicide jacket in the midst of the terrified congregation. | 09/22/13 09:55:50 By - Tom Hussain

Kenya shopping mall siege enters second day; death toll now 59

A horrific siege at a popular Nairobi shopping mall stretched into a second day Sunday as Kenyan security forces searched the complex for the gunmen who Saturday stormed the center, shooting wildly, throwing hand grenades and executing shoppers. | 09/21/13 17:05:12 By - By Alan Boswell

AP freelancer says report of rebel chemical weapons use not hers

A freelance contributor to the Associated Press whose byline appeared on a controversial story that alleged Syrian rebels had gassed themselves in an accident told McClatchy on Saturday that she did not write the article and has been seeking to have her name removed from it since it was published by a small Minnesota-based website. | 09/21/13 17:24:00 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Syria turns over list of chemical arsenal in 1st step of disarmament

Syria met the first deadline of its pledge to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal on Friday, delivering its initial disclosure to the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, Netherlands, by the time limit that Russia and the United States had set last weekend. | 09/20/13 18:23:33 By - By Matthew Schofield

Cease-fire called in Syria between Islamic group, U.S.-backed rebels

A tense cease-fire appeared Friday to have halted fighting between key factions of the rebel movement that’s battling to topple Syria’s President Bashar Assad, but questions remained over whether the arrangement could salvage the relationship between the al Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Sham and the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, ties that have been crucial to rebel military victories. | 09/20/13 17:57:55 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Pakistan releasing key Taliban, hoping to spur peace talks

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Afghan Taliban’s second in command, who’s been in Pakistani custody since 2010, will be released Saturday. Pakistani officials hope the Afghan Taliban will press their Pakistani Taliban allies to begin peace talks with the government. | 09/20/13 16:02:23 By - By Tom Hussain

Islamists’ rise in Syria undercuts Kerry’s claim they play minor role

This week’s takeover of Syrian rebel posts by al Qaida-linked fighters undercuts Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion to Congress earlier this month that moderates make up the bulk of the guerrilla movement against President Bashar Assad’s regime and are growing stronger. | 09/19/13 18:24:30 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Egyptian police raid town south of Cairo, arresting at least 70

Egyptian security forces on Thursday stormed Kerdasa – a purported stronghold for ousted President Mohammed Morsi – exchanged fire with residents in an hours-long street battle and arrested dozens of suspected militants in the latest government crackdown on cities suspected of serving as redoubts for armed Islamists. | 09/19/13 16:00:50 By - By Amina Ismail and Nancy A. Youssef

Syria chemical weapons plan renews talk of whether Israel also has them

A U.S.-Russian plan to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons has prompted Syria and Iran to point to Israel’s reputed chemical stockpile, but Israeli officials have dismissed suggestions that they give an accounting of their country’s capabilities. | 09/19/13 15:08:22 By - By Joel Greenberg

U.S.-backed Syrian rebels being shoved aside by radical Islamists

There’s hardly a more sensitive topic in Syria’s eastern provinces than the standoff between the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and the Islamist militants who run much of the region, so it was no surprise that the commander of the Free Syrian Army unit in eastern Syria’s biggest town understated the state of play when he was asked earlier this summer. | 09/19/13 15:07:59 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. ready to begin major drawdown of troops, equipment from Afghanistan

As the United States begins the major phase of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, military officials say equipment and vehicles are moving out of the country briskly but that planning the final details has been complicated because negotiations with the Afghan government have stalled over how many American troops might remain. | 09/19/13 12:34:12 By - By Jay Price

Syria’s Assad says his agreement to give up chemical arsenal is unconditional

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday that he is committed to relinquishing Syria’s chemical arsenal without conditions and as quickly as possible in a Fox News Channel interview that is the latest installment in a charm offensive intended to counter portrayals of him as a bloodthirsty dictator. | 09/18/13 21:05:38 By - By Hannah Allam

Egypt’s crackdown on Morsi supporters called worse than Mubarak era

In the two months since Egyptian authorities started rounding up supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a repressive regime has emerged here that appears to be far worse than the one political activists thought they’d ended when they pushed Hosni Mubarak from office two and a half years ago. | 09/18/13 19:21:19 By - By Amina Ismail and Nancy A. Youssef

Lebanon charges 5 Syrians in spread of war across border

Lebanese prosecutors charged five Syrians this week in attacks earlier this year on targets related to the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah. Although the two cases – a bombing and a rocket attack – remain legally unconnected, they suggest that Lebanese authorities are reaching conclusions about who’s responsible for violence in the country related to the civil war in Syria. | 09/18/13 16:35:22 By - By Mitch Prothero

In sign of energy dilemma, Mexico runs low on natural gas

Prices for natural gas over the border in Texas are at historic lows, so what happened earlier this month at the Gulf of Mexico port of Altamira, Mexico, might seem to defy market logic: Tankers arrived from Yemen and Nigeria to offload liquefied natural gas at a price four times the market rate in the U.S. It’s a sign of Mexico’s enormous energy crisis, even as oil remains the mainstay of the country’s economy. Mexico has huge natural gas reserves, yet those reserves remain largely untapped, and the country is a net importer of the fuel. | 09/18/13 13:55:48 By - By Tim Johnson

Even before Syria deal, Egypt was renewing its relationship with Russia

Whether a proposed Russian deal to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons as an alternative to a U.S. missile strike actually works or not, Russia already has emerged as a winner among many Egyptians. | 09/18/13 16:52:17 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

U.N. calculations of poison rockets’ paths implicate Syrian guard unit

A U.N. report detailing the scientific evidence behind the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria carefully avoided laying blame for the incident. But the report’s details, particularly its calculations of the trajectories of the rockets that delivered poison gas to two Damascus suburbs, point directly at President Bashar Assad’s regime, experts concluded Tuesday after a day spent studying the U.N. findings. | 09/17/13 18:35:42 By - By Matthew Schofield

Multi-nation military base offers Afghans a lesson on getting along

The very nature of the exotically multinational force at Camp Marmal in northern Afghanistan seems to mock the notion that war makes any sense. | 09/17/13 17:47:53 By - By Jay Price

UN has allegations of 14 other gas attacks in Syria by both regime and rebels

U.N. inspectors, who Monday confirmed the use of chemical weapons against a rebel-held area in the Damascus suburbs, were in Syria by coincidence, intending to investigate other gas attacks where the national government claims the rebels are responsible. | 09/16/13 20:38:27 By - By Roy Gutman

U.N. team confirms sarin attack; Assad military implicated

A United Nations report released Monday confirmed that poison gas was used against Syrian civilians in a deadly attack last month that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the most significant use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of villagers in 1988. | 09/16/13 19:56:07 By - By Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman

UN team confirms sarin gas used against civilians in Syria

A United Nations report released Monday confirmed that poison gas was used against Syrian civilians in a deadly attack last month that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the most significant use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of villagers in 1988. | 09/16/13 12:29:45 By - By Hannah Allam

Syrian official calls U.S.-Russia chemical weapons deal a victory for Assad

A U.S.-Russian agreement for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons stockpiles and avoid American air strikes is a ‘victory’ for President Bashar Assad, the Syrian official in charge of reaching out to the government’s opponents declared Sunday. | 09/15/13 17:19:16 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Israelis cautious about U.S.-Russia deal on Syria’s chemical weapons

Israel reacted cautiously Sunday to a U.S.-Russian accord to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by mid- 2014, with some Israeli officials questioning whether the deal could be carried out while analysts said the result was preferable to a limited military strike that would have left Syria’s chemical arsenal largely intact. | 09/15/13 17:22:16 By - By Joel Greenberg

Syrian opposition stands to lose in U.S-Russian deal to disarm Assad

The U.S.-Russian deal to seize Syria’s chemical weapons is likely to keep Bashar Assad in office for at least many months to come in a major setback for Syrian opposition figures who now face the prospect of negotiating with what they fear will be an emboldened regime with its superior military intact. | 09/14/13 18:25:53 By - By Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman

U.S., Russia give Assad till Friday to reveal details of Syria’s chemical weapons

The United States and Russia on Saturday reached agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, giving President Bashar Assad one week to reveal what kind of weapons his country has and where they are being kept. | 09/14/13 15:38:47 By - By Matthew Schofield

Riot police sweep striking teachers from Mexico City’s main plaza

Squads of riot police backed by water cannon Friday swept into the historic heart of Mexico’s capital, scurrying between bonfires to flush out striking teachers, some of whom swung pipes and threw rocks at security forces. | 09/13/13 19:53:01 By - By Tim Johnson

Rare Leonardo da Vinci codex on exhibit at National Air and Space Museum

A rare avian landed Friday at the National Air and Space Museum. “Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds” will be on display until Oct. 22. | 09/13/13 12:08:17 By - Tish Wells

U.S. troops join Afghans to repulse attack on consulate in Herat

Insurgents detonated a pair of vehicle bombs at a gate of the U.S. consulate in the western city of Herat early Friday, then opened fire with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades before being killed, Afghan and U.S. officials said. | 09/13/13 08:09:35 By - Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Syria sends UN pledge to give up chemical weapons as U.S., Russia begin tense talks

Syrian President Bashar Assad formally agreed Thursday to surrender his chemical weapons arsenal, marking the first concrete step in a diplomatic process aimed at heading off a potential U.S. military strike against his regime. | 09/12/13 19:52:35 By - By Matthew Schofield and Hannah Allam

With pullout looming, NATO forces now disassembling larger bases in Afghanistan

Coalition troops at the German base and an adjacent U.S. camp are packing up and shipping out equipment, trying to decide what to destroy, what to sell and what to give to the local Afghan security forces, trying to orchestrate a safe, orderly final withdrawal even as they dodge the occasional incoming rocket and respond to intelligence reports of bombs along the roads they’re using to truck equipment and people out. | 09/12/13 18:06:11 By - By Jay Price

Egyptian Museum and its ancient artifacts feel the nation’s ills

Yasmin el Shazly last gave a VIP tour through Cairo’s Egyptian Museum two years ago, before the uprising just outside the museum doors in Tahrir Square led to the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak. Before that, el Shazly once lectured Paris Hilton and Charlize Theron about the world’s greatest collection of Egyptian artifacts. Now the museum is an empty monument to a nation shunned by tourists and unwilling, or perhaps unable, to preserve its history, both recent and ancient. | 09/12/13 16:58:23 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Egypt’s government extends state of emergency for two months

Amid increased violence in the restive Sinai, a month-long curfew and an increasingly fervent government crackdown on supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, Egyptian authorities on Thursday extended a state of emergency for another two months, giving the government broad powers to arrest dissidents. | 09/12/13 16:41:15 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Syrian oil fields, now in rebel hands, still play crucial role in nation’s economy

With colorful bandannas covering their faces to protect against the noxious smoke, displaced Syrians have been flocking to the country’s oil-producing east to scratch out a living by operating primitive refineries in a setting that seems straight out of purgatory. | 09/12/13 15:57:59 By - By Roy Gutman

National soccer team’s dismal showing adds to Mexico’s sour mood

Barely a year ago, the national soccer team showered Mexico in glory by bringing home a gold medal from the Summer Olympics, arguably the most important sports honor the nation has ever won. | 09/12/13 15:01:16 By - By Tim Johnson

U.S., Russia begin talks on how to seize Syria’s chemical arsenal

The United States and Russia on Wednesday began swapping ideas on how to contain and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons in preparation for high-level talks slated to begin Thursday in Geneva, in the latest whirlwind of diplomacy to stave off U.S. missile strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. | 09/11/13 18:52:14 By - By Hannah Allam and Anita Kumar

Syria chemical weapons deal puts Russia back at center of international influence

In one day, with one simply stated proposal, Russian President Vladimir Putin turned a losing position into a winning one. | 09/11/13 15:38:48 By - By Matthew Schofield

Nusra Front militia’s control of Syrian city gives it economic clout

At the edge of a vast desert in Syria’s gas and oil production region, Ash Shaddadi, a city of 70,000, has become the nightmare that many fear if radical Islamist forces triumph in the country’s civil war. Since February, the city has been under the control of the militia known as the Nusra Front, which has pledged allegiance to al Qaida. The spoils of conquest include much of eastern Syria’s petroleum resources. | 09/11/13 15:11:40 By - By Roy Gutman

Surreal Afghanistan boardwalk fading into memory as U.S. troops withdraw

There is nothing quite like coming off a patrol, your body-armor-shaped sweat stains still drying and ears ringing from grenades, only to have the hostess at T.G.I. Friday’s tell you to wait a few. Sorry, sergeant, we’ve got to clear a table. | 09/11/13 21:20:48 By - By Jay Price

A year after Benghazi, State Department hopes to expand security training

The Diplomatic Security Training Center trains all diplomatic security agents, as well as foreign service officers heading to high-threat posts. But the facility is only an interim one, built in 2007 to augment previous training sites that the Government Accountability Office called “inadequate” and said posed a “critical challenge” to training. Today, the State Department says the temporary center decreases productivity, interrupts scheduling and increases costs. That’s why the department hopes the site won’t be its permanent home. | 09/11/13 07:17:54 By - By Ben Kamisar

Child killed by dogs in Bucharest leads to tough new law on strays

The mauling to death of a 4-year-old boy in the Romanian capital has reignited a countrywide debate over what to do about the packs of stray dogs that roam Bucharest. | 09/10/13 18:08:23 By - By Kit Gillet

Obama puts off war vote in Congress to explore Russian-brokered deal with Syria

President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday to postpone a vote on airstrikes against Syria to allow time to explore a Russian proposal to get Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international control. | 09/10/13 22:05:39 By - By Anita Kumar, William Douglas and Matthew Schofield

Syria accepts Russia's chemical weapons plan; talks to start at U.N.

Hours after Syria announced that it had accepted a Russian plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons, the White House said President Obama had agreed Tuesday to "explore seriously" the Russian proposal and that talks with Russia and China would being Tuesday at the U.N. | 09/10/13 09:41:25 By - By Matthew Schofield and Anita Kumar

Mexico, beset by obesity and diabetes, to consider a tax on soft drinks

Mexico’s president, taking aim at sugary drinks as a public health issue, is asking Congress to impose a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. | 09/09/13 15:51:37 By - By Tim Johnson

In Mexico, beer sales are latest battlefield against country’s giant monopolies

Pablo Flores has big dreams for his tiny craft brewery, which produces smooth golden and brown ales in bottles with dandy labels. | 09/09/13 15:30:03 By - By Tim Johnson

Anniversary of Chilean coup brings renewed calls for justice

The Chilean military officer put a pistol to folksinger Victor Jara’s head in a game of Russian roulette, twirled the chamber and shot him point blank. Then he ordered a group of conscripts to fire into his corpse. Now, four decades after Jara’s death, a civil lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Jacksonville, claiming that Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez — a man now living in Florida — is responsible for those events as well as the torture of Jara in the days after the democratically elected Marxist President Salvador Allende was toppled and a military dictatorship installed. | 09/09/13 13:49:26 By - Mimi Whitefield

Al Qaida fighters among rebels who seize Christian village in Syria

A coalition of Syrian rebel groups that includes members of al Qaida took control of one of the oldest Christian villages in the world on Sunday, raising concern about the potential destruction of ancient shrines and churches. | 09/08/13 14:57:44 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Syrians, once welcomed in Cairo, now finding Egypt is hostile

In the months that Alaa lived in Cairo after fleeing her war-torn Syrian homeland, she had grown accustomed to Egyptian men asking for her hand in marriage, believing that Syrian women are prettier, better cooks and cheaper. She could handle the lack of jobs and families sharing one-room apartments to survive on the bare minimum. But the toppling of President Mohammed Morsi July 3 – and the response that has provoked among Egyptians, civilians and soldiers alike – was just too much. | 09/07/13 12:20:52 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

U.S. pulls staff from outposts in Lebanon, Turkey

Citing increased threats to American citizens as the United States debates military action in Syria, the Obama administration on Friday ordered nonessential personnel out of its embassy in neighboring Lebanon. The State Department said it also would allow nonessential staff and their families to leave a diplomatic outpost in Turkey. | 09/06/13 18:01:24 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Joint Statement on Syria

The Leaders and Representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America made the following statement on the margins of the Group of 20 Nations Leader’s Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia: The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal. The use of chemical weapons anywhere diminishes the security of people everywhere. Left unchallenged, it increases the risk of further use and proliferation of these weapons. | 09/06/13 11:32:22 By -

Putin and Obama meet on Syria, reach little common ground

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today he and President Barack Obama talked Syria today at an unexpected encounter, but that neither side blinked: "We stuck to our guns," Putin told reporters Friday at a closing press conference, describing the meeting, nevertheless as "very friendly." | 09/06/13 10:02:10 By - Lesley Clark

Yemen al Qaida group appears to think globally, act locally

In the words of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, it was a plot that aimed to change history. Intercepted communications appeared to indicate an impending terrorist operation of mammoth proportions. European nations shuttered their embassies; the U.S. and the United Kingdom airlifted staff from the Yemeni capital. The apparent plot seemed a manifestation of the U.S. government’s greatest fears regarding al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which former CIA director David Petraeus once dubbed the “most dangerous node in the global jihad.” | 09/05/13 15:19:24 By - By Adam Baron

Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack

Russia says a deadly March sarin attack in an Aleppo suburb was carried out by Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, and it has delivered a 100-page report laying out its evidence to the United Nations. | 09/05/13 09:59:53 By - By Matthew Schofield

Intercepted call bolsters Syrian chemical-weapons charge, Germans say

German intelligence intercepted a phone call between a Hezbollah commander and an unidentified official at an Iranian embassy that provided evidence that the Syrian government was behind the alleged Aug. 21 chemical-weapons attack, a German newsmagazine has reported. | 09/04/13 19:09:39 By - By Matthew Schofield

France won’t attack Syria if U.S. doesn’t, prime minister tells his Senate

French leaders warned Wednesday that failing to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would send a dangerous signal to the dictators of the world. | 09/04/13 13:37:40 By - By Matthew Schofield

NSA leak might lead to cancellation of Brazil state visit

Revelations of a U.S. spy program that allegedly allows digital surveillance of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico have drawn cries of indignation and anger in both nations, but the fallout may be strongest for U.S.-Brazil relations. | 09/03/13 19:02:58 By - By Tim Johnson and Vinod Sreeharsha

Many in Middle East struggling to understand Obama’s Syria policy

Ahmad Nemah, a midlevel Syrian rebel commander, is certain there’s sound military logic behind President Barack Obama’s decision to delay U.S. missile strikes against the Syrian regime, but he’s having a hard time persuading his subordinates. | 09/03/13 18:29:26 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Younger Muslim Brotherhood hoping to revive the Egyptian group

With the unprecedented arrests of the top and mid-levels of the Muslim Brotherhood, the secretive organization through which Mohammed Morsi ascended to the presidency before he was ousted this summer, the group’s younger members are forming splinter groups that they promise will revive the embattled organization. | 09/03/13 18:10:18 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

As Syrian refugees flood Lebanon, security worries grow

With more than 700,000 Syrian refugees jammed into a country of fewer than 4 million that already was hosting an estimated 500,000 Syrian guest workers, tensions are rising in Lebanon, which was deeply divided even before civil war broke out in its neighbor to the east. | 09/03/13 16:19:31 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Don’t wobble on reforms, Mexican leader tells nation

President Enrique Pena Nieto, facing a sudden downturn in his political fortunes, vowed Monday to forge ahead with a sweeping restructuring of the state despite a slumping economy, promising that “the great transformation of Mexico is possible.” | 09/02/13 14:37:41 By - By Tim Johnson

In Syrian refugee camp, anger at Obama

As President Barack Obama’s announcement that he was postponing U.S. missile strikes against the Syrian regime hit the Zaatari refugee camp, so did anger and fear. | 09/02/13 10:27:24 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Mexico sets ‘crusade’ to ease rural poverty, but will it work?

Maria Suarez Bonilla dwells in a thatched-roof hut with a dirt floor and no running water. She hopes one day to have a few pesos to build an outhouse. | 09/02/13 00:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

Have questions?

Find answers in the FAQs about our new website. | 09/01/13 05:27:35 By -

Mexican call centers provide jobs, network for deported teens

Years of record-breaking deportations in the United States are helping to fuel a developing industry in Mexico: call centers to serve American customers. | 09/01/13 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

After father is deported, teen makes his own way in U.S.

As Armando Cruz and his friends in Charlotte, N.C., watched U.S. senators vote on a massive immigration overhaul in June, his mind drifted 1,600 miles away to this dusty Mexican town where his little sister was on a 30-minute trek to the closest Internet cafe. | 09/01/13 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Young Mexican immigrant returns to nation she barely knows

In a corner of her room is a pink drawer. It’s almost hidden by the 3-foot pile of clothes. But when Alejandra Pinzon clears a path and pulls open the plastic drawer, she can touch her most cherished possessions: a jumble of mementos that connect her to a life that’s slipping from her grasp. | 09/01/13 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama risks embarrassing loss in Congress

President Barack Obama is taking a risk by asking Congress to approve airstrikes against Syria. | 08/31/13 18:52:03 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

Yemeni Prime Minister escapes assassination attempt

Yemen’s Prime Minister, Mohamed Salim Basindowa, narrowly escaped an apparent assassination attempt Saturday evening, as his armored car came under gunfire en route to his home in an upscale neighborhood in the Yemeni capital. | 08/31/13 18:35:20 By - By Adam Baron

Chemical weapons experts weigh in on Syria intelligence report

International chemical weapons experts generally agree that the evidence presented Friday in an unclassified U.S. report about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria seems stronger than the faulty intelligence employed to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq. | 08/30/13 19:21:40 By - By Lindsay Wise and Anita Kumar

In Egypt, the press turns yellow as it takes on opponents of military takeover

Readers of Egypt’s main state-run newspaper this week were treated to a startling expose. Splashed atop al Ahram’s front page was trumpeted how security forces smashed a plot by the Muslim Brotherhood, the United States and Palestinian Islamists to foment the secession of northern Egypt. | 08/30/13 17:34:56 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

A war-weary public leery of another Middle East entanglement

The American public doesn’t have much appetite for a military strike in Syria. | 08/30/13 15:35:11 By - By David Lightman

With Britain out, U.S. ready to go it alone in Syria

U.S. intervention in Syria won’t have the support of key ally Britain after a historic vote by Parliament on Thursday to reject any military action to deter the use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad’s regime. | 08/29/13 21:00:25 By - By Lindsay Wise, Anita Kumar and Hannah Allam

Missing in Syria debate: Weighing the ethics of war

As the Obama administration continues to weigh its options in Syria after last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack, the conversation has stayed away from one of the murkier issues of war: its moral implications. | 08/29/13 18:35:15 By - By Ali Watkins

Obama blames Syrian regime for chemical weapons deaths; undecided on whether to attack

In his first direct comments about the Syrian crisis, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that his government has concluded Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is responsible for a large-scale chemical weapons attack that killed civilians but that he’s not yet decided how to respond to a breach he said demands “international consequences.” | 08/28/13 20:02:38 By - By Lindsay Wise and Lesley Clark

Attacking Syria raises thorny questions as well as risks

The Obama administration’s preparations on Syria this week raise many thorny questions about the risks associated with launching a punitive strike against Bashar Assad’s regime over the alleged use of chemical weapons. | 08/28/13 19:27:25 By - By Hannah Allam

Military experts cautious about effectiveness of a U.S. attack on Syria

Now, with the United States appearing close to launching a retaliatory attack for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of nerve gas last week, defense and diplomatic analysts are cautioning that the expected “surgical” strike will likely be symbolic and fall far short of eliminating Syria’s chemical capabilities. | 08/28/13 20:18:26 By - By James Rosen

Fearing U.S. missiles, Syrians flood neighboring Lebanon

Lebanese media outlets – which tend to employ hyperbole on refugee matters – said tens of thousands of Syrians had used the Masnaa border crossing in the past 48 hours to flee the more than 2-year-old rebellion that has killed more than 100,000 people and threatens to enter a new phase of Western involvement. Lebanese security sources put the numbers substantially lower but said they were believed to be in the thousands. | 08/28/13 18:33:02 By - By Mitchell Prothero

ARCHIVED CHAT: What will happen in Syria?

Foreign Affairs correspondent Hannah Allam and Middle East expert Leila Hilal answer your questions about what's next in Syria. | 08/28/13 15:53:29 By - By Hannah Allam

UN council clears path for action in Syria

Israel prepares for retaliation as Russians flee Syria. | 08/28/13 07:39:37 By - By Matthew Schofield

U.S. wins Arab League backing as plans emerge for strike against Syria

The Arab League on Tuesday declared the Syrian regime “fully responsible” for an alleged chemical weapons attack, giving the Obama administration symbolic regional cover to proceed with a punitive offensive that could begin within days. | 08/27/13 18:48:21 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Hannah Allam

In foreign policy, the moral high ground is only an occasional destination

The United States helped protect the last Middle Eastern tyrant thought to use chemical weapons. | 08/27/13 17:34:03 By - By Michael Doyle

In Bulgaria, protesters’ constant cry hopes to unseat unpopular government

Surrounded by fellow protesters, Ivan Diadovski shakes his fist angrily at the upper-floor window of a nearby government building. Tired of the corruption he believes is endemic among his country’s political class, the 73-year-old ecologist has taken to the streets to join his countrymen in protest. | 08/27/13 15:25:33 By - By Kit Gillet

Surging protests heighten stakes in Mexico battle over revisions

For a week now, striking teachers have brought much of Mexico’s capital to a crawl with traffic-snarling protests, and the unrest looks likely to expand in coming days to capture discontent far beyond mandatory teacher evaluations. | 08/27/13 15:15:24 By - By Tim Johnson

Arab leaders blame Syria for using chemical weapons

With a U.S. military strike potentially imminent, Arab leaders on Tuesday provided a qualified endorsement should President Barack Obama decide to retaliate against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people. | 08/27/13 14:58:44 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Kerry says Syrian use of chemical weapons ‘undeniable;’ U.N. investigates

A U.N. team began inspecting the site of a possible chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Monday as the United States used its strongest language yet to condemn the Syria government for purportedly using deadly nerve gas to kill hundreds of its own people in an escalating and bloody civil war. | 08/26/13 19:28:22 By - By Anita Kumar, Mitchell Prothero and Matthew Schofield

Why the US won't declare war on Syria

While a U.S.-led attack appears increasingly likely, the legal underpinnings for lethal action remain ambiguous. | 08/26/13 17:42:17 By - By Michael Doyle

Recent Homepage Headlines



Mexico Unmasked

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


Inside South America

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


China Rises

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

Stay Connected

Sign up for email newsletters RSS
Follow us on your iPhone Follow us on your Android device
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us using Google Currents