World

Mexico captures kingpin of dreaded Los Zetas crime gang

Mexican marines captured the leader of the nation’s most feared drug trafficking group, Los Zetas, along the northern border with Texas, marking a major blow to a crime gang with tentacles deep within the United States, authorities said Monday night. | 07/15/13 22:52:49 By - By Tim Johnson

In Egypt, only military-imposed government will meet with U.S. envoy

The Obama administration tried Monday to step up its diplomacy in Egypt, dispatching Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to this tumultuous capital, only to discover that some of the major players won’t meet with a representative of the United States. | 07/15/13 19:58:51 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Lebanese officials say CIA warned them of imminent al Qaida attack on Hezbollah

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency warned Lebanese officials last week that al Qaida-linked groups are planning a campaign of bombings that will target Beirut’s Hezbollah-dominated southern suburbs as well as other political targets associated with the group or its allies in Syria, Lebanese officials said Monday. | 07/15/13 19:18:49 By - By Mitchell Prothero

France’s foreign minister, in Mexico to bury hatchet, says U.S. no longer dictates world events

France’s foreign minister called Monday for far-reaching collaboration with Mexico, officially burying a diplomatic squabble that roiled relations between the two nations for years. | 07/15/13 17:10:51 By - By Tim Johnson

American Muslim chaplain finds new role in ministering to Afghan troops

In many ways, the war in Afghanistan is one of ideas, of narrative, of whose story is credible, says U.S. Army Major Dawud Agbere. | 07/15/13 16:50:03 By - By Jay Price

Despite censorship in China, social media thrives

On Nanjing Road, the home of flagship stores like Apple and Coach, it’s hard to miss the giant Nike billboard that covers the façade of an entire building. | 07/15/13 15:21:05 By -

A month after U.S. pledged more help, Syrian rebels in worse shape

A month after the Obama administration pledged stepped-up support for Syria’s armed opposition, the government of President Bashar Assad’s position has improved, with U.S. assistance to the rebels apparently stalled and deadly rifts opening among the forces battling to topple the Assad regime. | 07/12/13 20:38:19 By - By Hannah Allam

Hundreds of thousands rally for Morsi in latest battle of street protests

Supporters of Mohammed Morsi rallied on behalf of the ousted president Friday in their biggest demonstrations since he was removed from office, part of a strategy to get him reinstated by using the same means that forced his removal: mass protests. | 07/12/13 19:08:29 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

Edward Snowden reportedly vows no more leaks as he seeks asylum in Russia

Acknowledging that he’s trapped in a Moscow airport by the ability of the United States and its European allies to force to the ground nearly any aircraft he boards, fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden asked Russia on Friday to grant him temporary asylum, promising, apparently, that he was finished leaking information about U.S. government programs. | 07/12/13 18:20:35 By - By Matthew Schofield

Egypt’s military blames Mohammed Morsi’s supporters for violence

In a battle over the narrative of what’s happened here during the past eight dramatic days, the new Egyptian government accused former President Mohammed Morsi on Thursday of being obstinate in his final days, claimed that his supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood had killed some of their own to frame the military and asserted that its decision to oust Morsi may have saved the nation from “possible civil war.” | 07/11/13 17:41:41 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Latin American complaints over U.S. spying ignore their own wiretap programs

Several Latin American presidents have complained bitterly following recent revelations about U.S. electronic surveillance, but there’s a bit of hypocrisy in some of their griping. | 07/11/13 17:23:47 By - By Tim Johnson

Trapped: An air escape from Moscow unlikely for NSA leaker Snowden

Beginning a third week holed up in a Moscow airport’s transit zone, Edward Snowden finds himself far enough away to evade U.S. authorities, but also too far from any of the sympathetic nations willing to shelter him. | 07/10/13 19:52:53 By - By Hannah Allam and Matt Schofield

Offices burned and leaders jailed, Muslim Brotherhood struggles to respond to Morsi ouster

One week after Egypt’s military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, his followers in the Muslim Brotherhood are under siege and struggling with no clear strategy to find a way back into the political arena. | 07/10/13 20:30:06 By - By Roy Gutman

New Egyptian coalition splits over granting interim president broad powers

The broad political coalition that backed last week’s military takeover in Egypt began to fracture Tuesday over a military-approved timetable for the return to democratic rule, with two factions calling the newly announced constitutional declaration “dictatorial” and demanding a more representative transitional government. | 07/09/13 20:04:43 By - By Roy Gutman

Bomb in heavily secured Beirut neighborhood may be retaliation for Hezbollah’s role in Syria

A car bomb exploded in a crowded parking lot in Beirut’s southern suburbs on Tuesday, killing no one, but wounding about 50 people in what was a rare attack inside one of Hezbollah’s most secure areas. | 07/09/13 19:13:31 By - By Mitchell Prothero

With Mohammed Morsi gone, Egypt seems to be returning to 2011

The Egypt that’s emerged in the week since President Mohammed Morsi was toppled from power looks much as it did in the period just after the uprising in 2011 that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Appointees in the new government are nearly all proponents of military intervention. The new prime minister served as the minister of finance in the first military government after Mubarak’s fall. The Muslim Brotherhood, the secretive organization that helped Morsi ascend to power, is isolated from the political process, just as it was under Mubarak and in the first months after his ouster. And old problems are back. | 07/09/13 18:24:18 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

In talking about Egypt, Obama officials won’t even mention the word ‘coup’

U.S. officials went to great lengths Monday to avoid calling Egypt’s abrupt regime change a coup, a label that could force a suspension of aid to the stalwart Arab ally at a time when the U.S. appears to be losing leverage in conflicts across the Middle East. | 07/08/13 19:23:50 By - By Hannah Allam and Lesley Clark

Morsi’s ouster a ‘nightmare’ for Hamas rulers in Gaza Strip

For the Islamist Hamas rulers controlling the Gaza Strip, the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement is a “nightmare” situation. | 07/08/13 17:40:07 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Bashar Assad’s forces chip away at Syria rebels’ control of Homs

Syrian government forces made significant progress Monday in recapturing Homs from the rebel forces that have held the country’s third largest city for more than a year, according to rebel commanders and military officials in neighboring Lebanon. | 07/08/13 17:40:16 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Cambodian refugees deported for crimes in U.S. long for only home they know

Sitting in a dingy bar down a small back alley in the Cambodian capital, Ros Choun struggled to explain how he ended up here. | 07/08/13 17:37:13 By - By Kit Gillet

Grim ritual of death unfolds in Cairo morgue filled to capacity

The grim accounting of death took on a ceremony of its own at the Cairo morgue where the victims of Monday’s clash between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood were taken for the official tally. | 07/08/13 16:42:54 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

As China’s respect for elderly fades, they can sue kids who don’t visit

For generations, elderly Chinese could count on having a place in multi-generational households, where their children could treat them in infirmity. But this ancient social contract is giving way as the Chinese economy booms, prying apart families with job opportunities in distant cities or abroad. Nongovernmental organizations, nursing homes and provincial governments are picking up the slack. China’s government has taken notice, and a new, broad law allows parents to take their children to court for not visiting them “often.” | 07/08/13 15:23:13 By - By Mike Hricik

Visa-fraud prosecutions across U.S. increase

On June 7, Luis Barrera arrived at Miami International Airport aboard a flight from Caracas. He was arrested soon after presenting to Customs and Border Protection officers a Venezuelan passport containing a U.S. visa obtained at a U.S. consulate in Venezuela. Barrera was charged with visa fraud, not because his visa was fake — but because he had used it again after illegally overstaying his allotted time twice before. | 07/08/13 12:54:37 By - Alfonso Chardy

PAN’s victory in Baja California vote keeps hope of oil industry reform alive

The National Action Party held on to the governorship of Baja California in state and local elections, returns showed Monday, breathing life into the sputtering center-right party but failing to clarify the outlook for pending changes in Mexican oil industry law. | 07/08/13 15:54:34 By - By Tim Johnson McClatchy Foreign Staff

At least 51 dead in Cairo violence; top cleric warns of civil war

Egypt’s fragile political condition sank toward critical Monday after the military opened fire and killed dozens of Islamists who were demanding the return to office of deposed President Mohammed Morsi. It was the worst political violence in the country since the demonstrations two and a half years ago that led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. | 07/08/13 19:04:36 By - By Amina Ismail and Nancy A. Youssef

New Egypt appointments so far going to advocates of military rule

Transitional Egyptian President Adly Mansour, named by the Egyptian military to lead the country after it ousted Mohammed Morsi from office, announced several key appointments Sunday, all of whom were members of the military or supporters of a nation guided by the armed forces. | 07/07/13 17:37:28 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Election of new head of Syrian opposition seen as victory for US, Saudi Arabia

..The election of new leadership by the umbrella coalition of Syrian opposition figures reflects an internal policy shift toward the influence of the United States and Saudi Arabia, according to insiders and policy analysts. | 07/07/13 16:13:43 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Radical Islamists see Egypt as proof that violence is only way to power

Whatever signal the Egyptian military wished to send with its reboot of the 2011 revolution, the decision to remove President Mohammed Morsi from power and the subsequent arrest of many of his party officials is resounding throughout the world of political Islam. The lesson these Islamist groups appear to be drawing is that democratic engagement with opponents is pointless. And that doesn’t bode well for countries with strong Islamist movements as they push, and often fight, to end autocratic rule by elites in favor of more representative governance. | 07/05/13 19:24:03 By - By Mitchell Prothero

How the hunt for Edward Snowden, and bad information, stranded Bolivian president

The diplomatic row between the U.S. and Bolivia began before Friday, when Bolivian President Evo Morales started talking about kicking out the U.S. Embassy. It began before airspace was closed to Morales’ jet, forcing him to spend 13 hours in Vienna during a trip home from Moscow. According to Russian news reports, it began when a U.S. official failed to notice that the target of the hunt – former NSA contractor Edward Snowden – was at one airport and the Bolivian presidential jet was taking off from another, about 35 miles away. | 07/05/13 21:09:24 By - By Matthew Schofield

Morsi’s long fall began when he was sworn in as Egyptian president

How did Egypt’s first democratically elected president go from a famed beneficiary of a popular uprising to being ousted in a popularly celebrated military coup just one year later? | 07/05/13 18:21:56 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Clashes, gunfire in Cairo as Mohammed Morsi’s supporters take to streets

Armed supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi fought pitched battles Friday near Tahrir Square with crowds that had favored Morsi’s overthrow, in a worrisome sign of open conflict between the two sides. | 07/05/13 20:46:33 By - By Nancy A. Youssef, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Amina Ismail

Arab Spring leaves region unsettled, two years later

Egypt’s turmoil is a reminder that the revolution cycle in the Middle East and North Africa region is far from over and far from resolving the hopes stirred more than two years ago by the Arab Spring. | 07/05/13 15:39:24 By - Ali Watkins

Egyptians defend military as Morsi remains in custody, top Brotherhood officer seized

Egypt on Thursday had a new president, its former president sat in military custody, the top official of the Muslim Brotherhood was under arrest, and at least four television stations had been shut down – all seemingly undemocratic steps barely a year after the nation’s first free and fair presidential elections. | 07/04/13 16:44:25 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

McCain, Graham, in Afghanistan, voice worry about delay in talks on U.S. troop presence

Quickly rebooting stalled negotiations with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a long-term agreement for a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is crucial to maintaining stability in the war-torn country, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Thursday during an unannounced visit to the Afghan capital . | 07/04/13 14:31:59 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Denial of European airspace for Bolivian president’s flight causes turbulence

The assertion by Bolivia’s president that his plane was denied rights to fly across four European nations because of suspicions that fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden might be on board set off a bitter diplomatic battle Wednesday that did little to illuminate what actually had happened. | 07/03/13 19:14:37 By - By Matthew Schofield

Drone strike in Pakistan kills 17 at Haqqani network compound

A U.S. drone leveled the home of an Afghan militant commander late Tuesday in the northwest Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, killing 17 people in the year’s deadliest strike to date. | 07/03/13 16:21:48 By - By Tom Hussain

Baja California candidate’s brother, a former Tijuana police chief, accused of taking cartel payoffs

Just days before state and local elections that will send a third of Mexicans to the polls, the ruling party candidate for governor in Baja California faces allegations that his brother is tied to a drug cartel. | 07/03/13 18:49:50 By - By Tim Johnson

Egyptian military overthrows Morsi, targets Muslim Brotherhood

In a somber announcement on national television, the country’s defense minister, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, announced that the military had taken the action because President Mohammed Morsi had shown himself unwilling to meet the demands of a fractured opposition that had wanted him to step down. | 07/03/13 20:45:29 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

Snowden in legal limbo, his flight blocked by legal, political obstacles

Edward Snowden broadened his search for sanctuary Tuesday, but finding an escape from his current state of limbo in the Moscow airport would take a combination of political will and legal savvy that immigration experts said may be hard to come by. | 07/02/13 20:18:03 By - By Hannah Allam

Pentagon civilian workers in Germany get raises while those in U.S. get cuts

American civilian employees of the Defense Department have put up with pay freezes and are going on furloughs starting next week, but German civilian workers at U.S. military bases in Germany are getting a pay increase. | 07/02/13 19:16:12 By - By Renee Schoof

European anger growing over extent of alleged U.S. electronic surveillance

In the pages the German tabloid Bild, President Barack Obama on Tuesday had been renamed OHRbama (Ohr is the German word for ear). He was pictured leaning over to listen to German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a grossly oversized ear. | 07/02/13 18:15:32 By - By Matthew Schofield

Sunni cleric warns Christians over Lebanese army’s cooperation with Hezbollah

A Sunni Muslim cleric in Lebanon’s second largest city accused the Lebanese army Tuesday of failing to maintain its neutrality in the country’s sectarian rivalries amid widespread reports that it had fought alongside Hezbollah’s military wing in a battle against a rogue Sunni cleric last week. Using language that for the first time directly criticized Lebanon’s prominent Christian minority, Sheikh Salem al Rafehi told a collection of Sunni clerics in Tripoli that the Lebanese Armed Forces are working with Hezbollah and its militia allies in Tripoli against Lebanon’s increasingly bitter Sunni population. | 07/02/13 17:08:20 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Fatal Fashion: movement seeks way to change global clothing production

Fatal fashion. That's the derogatory new label dangling over the U.S. clothing industry following a deadly fire and a building collapse that killed more than 1,200 garment factory workers in Bangladesh in recent months. | 07/02/13 13:04:55 By - Claudia Buck

Truck bomb kills 7 in Kabul in latest ‘Taliban Tuesday’ attack

For the fourth consecutive week, suicide attackers picked Tuesday to strike in the Afghan capital, this time hitting a logistics company compound on the east side of Kabul with a truck bomb so big that it shattered windows a quarter of a mile away. Five security guards and two truck drivers who were waiting to enter the compound were killed. | 07/02/13 12:55:21 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

As military deadline nears in Egypt, Morsi vows fight to death

With millions of Egyptians in the streets for a third straight day demanding his resignation, a defiant President Mohammed Morsi took to Egypt’s airwaves early Wednesday morning and vowed to fight to remain in office, even if “the price is my blood.” | 07/02/13 19:37:55 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

Obama to Egypt: All sides should step back

His options limited, President Barack Obama on Monday called on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to work with his opposition to resolve unrest in Egypt, warning that U.S. aid to the country is tied to its commitment to democracy. | 07/01/13 18:21:57 By - By Lesley Clark

Muslim Brotherhood calls supporters to streets after military sets 48-hour deadline

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces gave the government and the opposition 48 hours to resolve their differences or face intervention, but it did not say what would constitute a proper “roadmap” to reconciliation between President Mohammed Morsi and his opponents. Would talks among the president, his Muslim Brotherhood-backed supporters and the fractured opposition suffice? Or would it require a referendum or early presidential election? The Muslim Brotherhood made it clear early Tuesday that resignation was not in the offing. | 07/01/13 20:14:52 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

Cuba’s danzon musical form dies at home but endures in Mexico

Every Saturday of the year, hundreds of couples converge on a shady park in this capital to embrace one another in the slow-moving, genteel dance known as the danzon. | 07/01/13 15:17:11 By - By Tim Johnson

China’s underground churches thrive despite government disapproval

In a trendy coffee shop in Shanghai’s glittering financial district, five people cram into a tiny, dimly lit back room with two tables. By day, these five are white-collar workers, eagerly climbing the corporate ladder as China’s economy booms. By night, once a week, they’re huddled over their Bibles. They elect to worship in what’s widely known as the “underground church,” a place for Chinese Christians to practice in smaller settings and without fear of government influence on what’s being preached. It comes with a different fear, though: Being an unregistered Christian is illegal. | 07/01/13 13:14:24 By - By Anna Orso

China’s young adults: Directionless, unhappy, but unlikely to rebel

Rocky, who’s had nearly a dozen jobs since he graduated from college a decade ago, is part of a generation in China known as the post-’80s. They’ve seen rapid change as China moved from a Maoist state to a market-oriented economy characterized by rampant consumerism and unprecedented inequality. They’re the first generation to grow up with the Internet, and in turn, have more access to information – and perhaps greater exposure to censorship. They’re also vastly different from their parents. Chinese society has long been worried about the post-’80s, calling them spoiled, irresponsible, materialistic, lazy and confused. | 07/01/13 00:00:00 By - By Lara Farrar

Huge crowds turn out in Egypt in largely peaceful protests against Morsi

CAIRO In highly anticipated protests to mark the first anniversary of President Mohammed Morsi’s inauguration, millions of Egyptians took to the streets across the country in unprecedented numbers Sunday to demand his removal from office, three years before his term expires. | 06/30/13 18:21:47 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

U.S. casualties hit 5-year low in Afghanistan as troops’ role turns to advising

The shift to Afghan security forces leading in combat and the ongoing reduction of U.S. troops here have driven American casualties during the first half of 2013 to the lowest level in five years. | 06/30/13 14:00:21 By - By Jay Price

American reported stabbed to death in Egypt during protests

A U.S. citizen, reportedly employed by an American school in Alexandria, was fatally stabbed Friday in that city after being caught in clashes between supporters and opponents of embattled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. | 06/28/13 19:08:19 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy

American dies in Egypt protests as country begins days of unrest over Morsi’s rule

An American citizen and at least three other people died Friday in demonstrations in Egypt that ushered in what was expected to be days of civil conflict over the rule of President Mohammed Morsi. | 06/28/13 20:44:44 By - By Nancy A. Youssef, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Amina Ismail

Lebanese army threatens media that depict Hezbollah in Sidon battle

Amid a brewing controversy over the participation of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in a Lebanese army operation against a radical Sunni cleric, army officials said Friday that they were considering filing judicial charges against news outlets that broadcast footage that appeared to confirm the group’s role. | 06/28/13 17:56:59 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Europe likely to stay on sidelines when U.S. ships arms to Syria rebels

When the Obama administration begins arming Syrian rebels through the CIA, something news reports say will happen within the next month, it probably it will be acting without help from its European allies. Despite the end of the European Union’s embargo on supplying weapons to the rebels, which expired May 30, experts see little will or appetite among European nations for adding more weapons to the bloody Syrian civil war. Not even the British, who were pressing just weeks ago for arming the rebels, are likely to do so. | 06/28/13 16:51:53 By - By Matthew Schofield

Obama praises Mandela on Africa trip

President Barack Obama praised the legacy of the ailing Nelson Mandela Friday but could not say whether he would try to visit the iconic figure during a pre-planned visit to South Africa. | 06/28/13 10:33:09 By - By Kate Irby and Anita Kumar

U.S. action on Bangladesh trade not likely to hurt that country’s apparel industry

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will suspend Bangladesh’s preferential trade status following the devastating collapse of a clothing factory there that killed more than 1,100 workers. | 06/27/13 19:06:36 By - By Ali Watkins

In Africa, Obama plays catchup with China

President Barack Obama opened a weeklong trek to Africa Thursday with a sales pitch, stressing the urgent need for U.S. companies to invest everything and anything they can in the up-and-coming economies in Africa. | 06/27/13 19:05:48 By - By Anita Kumar

Scenes of destruction: Syrian mosques leveled after months of combat

The civil war in Syria has taken its toll on mosques, with most of the damage coming from regime bombing, according to Dr. Cheikhmous Ali, the head of the Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology, who’s based in Strasbourg, France, and has advised the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights. Here are some examples. | 06/27/13 16:26:16 By - By Roy Gutman

Syria’s pro-Assad forces accused of targeting mosques in civil war

Ma’arat Hurmah is a little-known town close to a front in Syria’s civil war that reporters rarely visit, but Syrian warplanes pounded it for five days last October, according to videos posted at the time on YouTube. Townspeople say they think the town’s Hossein mosque was a major target. Rebel military forces were nowhere near when the mosque was bombed, they say, so there was no obvious military purpose. Instead, they think the mosque was targeted to prevent its use in organizing opposition to the regime. | 06/27/13 17:25:58 By - By Roy Gutman and Paul Raymond

Kerry back in Middle East amid predictions of possible concessions in Israel-Palestine talks

Secretary of State John Kerry will return to Jerusalem Thursday for his fifth visit in less than three months, amid reports of a possible breakthrough in peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. | 06/26/13 17:11:47 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Sharif drops plan to prosecute Musharraf for 1999 Pakistan coup in apparent nod to military

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his first confrontation with the country’s military, may have just blinked. | 06/26/13 16:25:55 By - By Tom Hussain

Morsi pleads for more time to solve Egypt’s problems

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi pleaded Wednesday night with his countrymen to give him more time to solve his country’s many ills, arguing in what many believe was the most important speech of his political life that Egypt cannot change leaders every year. | 06/26/13 19:43:33 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Memories of Stasi color Germans’ view of U.S. surveillance programs

Wolfgang Schmidt was seated in Berlin’s 1,200-foot-high TV tower, one of the few remaining landmarks left from the former East Germany. Peering out over the city that lived in fear when the communist party ruled it, he pondered the magnitude of domestic spying in the United States under the Obama administration. A smile spread across his face. “You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police, the Stasi. In those days, his department was limited to tapping 40 phones at a time, he recalled. | 06/26/13 15:08:54 By - By Matthew Schofield

GAO slams USAID’s Haiti rebuilding efforts

U.S. efforts to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake have been plagued by poor planning, delays and mistaken cost estimates that have forced many projects to be scaled back, the Government Accountability Office has concluded in a report released this month. | 06/25/13 19:59:22 By - By Ali Watkins

Al Qaida-linked Nusra Front rebels blamed for bloody fight against Lebanese army in Sidon

The worst fighting in Lebanon in years, which wracked this coastal city one hour south of Beirut this week, was touched off by an influx of foreign fighters from Syria, Palestinian camps and other Arab countries into the compound of a radical Sunni cleric, according to knowledgeable people on both sides of the conflict. | 06/25/13 18:41:18 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Once ebullient, a now-disappointed Africa awaits Obama’s visit

Barack Obama shares his family roots and the color of his skin with much of the African continent. The result: Africans had enormous expectations when Obama was first elected. Yet he’s never expressed much of an interest in African policy. | 06/25/13 17:25:38 By - By Anita Kumar

Musharraf faces 4th death-penalty case as Pakistan names him in Bhutto’s murder

Pakistani investigators Tuesday named former military dictator Pervez Musharraf as the prime suspect in the December 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, raising the tally of capital charges leveled against the once all-powerful army chief over the last week to four. | 06/25/13 17:23:54 By - By Tom Hussain

Taliban attack CIA compound in latest Afghanistan violence

Insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the Kabul offices of the CIA early Tuesday in a coordinated attack in one of the capital’s most heavily fortified neighborhoods, which is also home to Afghanistan’s presidential place and the main headquarters for the U.S.-led international military coalition. | 06/25/13 15:23:45 By - By Rezwan Natiq and Jay Price

Gun battle near U.S. Embassy in Kabul after suspected Taliban found with fake NATO IDs

Afghan soldiers, presidential guards and members of a CIA security force fought a pitched battle with a small group of insurgents near the presidential palace, the U.S. Embassy and the main NATO headquarters Tuesday morning. | 06/25/13 01:44:21 By - By Rezwan Natiq and Jay Price

U.S. ambassador says fate of Afghan peace talks unclear

A week after U.S. officials announced the possibility of new peace negotiations with the Taliban, only to see progress collapse almost instantly into acrimony, it’s unclear what the next step might be, said the man who likely would be the top negotiator for the United States. | 06/25/13 15:26:18 By - By Jay Price

Anger at U.S. complicates efforts to capture Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive American contractor who revealed details of the U.S. government’s extensive spying network, so far has evaded capture by hop-scotching around the world with the help of nations that have their own beefs with the United States. | 06/24/13 19:39:37 By - By Hannah Allam and Tim Johnson

In 3 weeks, Snowden’s revelations have roiled the globe

Edward Snowden, the former defense-contractor-turned-classified-document-leaker, has received most attention in the United States for revealing wide-ranging government snooping into phone and Internet records. But the activities Snowden has exposed are not limited to inside the United States. His leaks also have made waves in Hong Kong, China and Great Britain. Here’s a look at what he’s alleged. | 06/24/13 19:09:17 By - By Ali Watkins

Hezbollah fighters report killing Syrians in fierce battle in Lebanon’s Sidon

Fighters from the militant Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah joined forces with commandos from the Lebanese army Monday to battle followers of an extremist Sunni Muslim cleric in a day of urban warfare that offered worrisome evidence that Syria’s civil war had spilled across Lebanon’s borders. | 06/24/13 18:57:55 By - By Mitchell Prothero

In Egypt, does ‘will of the people’ mean keeping or ousting Morsi?

The demonstrations scheduled for later this week to mark the first anniversary of Mohammed Morsi’s ascension to Egypt’s presidency revolve around a single question: Which defines the will of the people, what happened at the ballot boxes a year ago or the growing anger today at what many think has been Morsi’s politically corrupt and incompetent leadership? | 06/24/13 19:37:18 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

Musharraf may face death penalty as Pakistan’s Sharif vows treason trial

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced Monday that his government would prosecute former military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf on a charge of high treason, which, if he’s convicted, carries an automatic death sentence. | 06/24/13 15:51:48 By - By Tom Hussain

Chinese migrants see cities as key to better education, lives for kids

Li Jian sat in a cool, dim kindergarten principal’s office and grinned as he shelled out a thick wad of colorful bills from his worn leather wallet. Principal Jin Taohong smiled back as she punched numbers on her calculator and collected 2,200 yuan – $360 – three months’ tuition for Li’s 5-year-old daughter. | 06/24/13 13:57:40 By - By Christina Gallagher

WikiLeaks' Assange says NSA leaker Snowden is 'in a safe place'

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange told reporters Monday that his organization has been in contact with NSA leaker Edward Snowden since he touched down in Moscow on Sunday, and knows his current location. | 06/24/13 13:40:42 By - Ali Watkins

With electricity and water in short supply, Egyptians grow tense

The towering luxury office buildings that hover over the impoverished neighborhood of Ramlet Boulak used to blatantly symbolize the divisions between Cairo’s wealthy and its poor. Now the scene captures the closing gap between rich and poor, at least as it applies to the persistent shortages of electricity, water and gas that have swept across Egypt. | 06/24/13 00:00:00 By - By Amina Ismail

Whistleblower Snowden asks for asylum in Ecuador, may be headed to the nation

U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden is reportedly being hustled across the Atlantic, perhaps through Cuba, as he tries to make his way to Ecuador where he hopes to fight extradition to the United States on espionage charges. | 06/23/13 21:23:52 By - Jim Wyss

Egypt’s defense chief warns of military intervention if Morsi, opponents don’t reconcile

Egypt’s top ranking defense official warned Sunday that the military was “ready to intervene to stop the violence” ahead of scheduled mass protests to mark the one-year anniversary this week of Mohammed Morsi’s inauguration as Egypt’s first democratically elected president. | 06/23/13 20:14:10 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

At least 6 killed in Lebanon battle

Lebanese soldiers were killed Sunday in a fierce clash with followers of a radical Sunni Muslim cleric in the southern city of Sidon. | 06/23/13 16:09:42 By - Mitchell Prothero

9 tourists murdered in Pakistan hotel

Nine tourists preparing to climb a Himalayan peak in an idyllic region of Pakistan bordering China were murdered at their hotel overnight in the country's worst attack on foreigners in five years. | 06/23/13 13:46:12 By - Tom Hussain

U.S. to leave 700 troops in Jordan in sign of deepening involvement in Syrian crisis

In a sign of deepening U.S. involvement in the Syrian crisis, the United States is leaving 700 combat-equipped American military personnel in Jordan following the end of a joint U.S.-Jordanian training exercise, President Barack Obama told Congress Friday. | 06/21/13 19:57:53 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart defends satire on Egyptian TV show whose host faces charges

Amid growing tension at the approach of the June 30 anniversary of Mohammed Morsi’s assumption of Egypt’s presidency, Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” appeared on Egyptian TV Friday night, drawing laughs in a funny yet very serious tribute to the importance of satire in a free state. | 06/21/13 19:38:31 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Libya’s Ansar al Shariah, expelled after Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death, is back in Benghazi

The September death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was supposed to mark the end of Ansar al Shariah, the extremist militia suspected of being behind the attack and that had controlled the streets of this city for months beforehand, demanding that an Islamist country emerge from the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. | 06/21/13 16:44:47 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Boy’s death highlights anger some Yemenis feel over U.S. drone strikes

If an apparent U.S. drone strike this month in the village of Mahashama had killed only its intended targets – an al Qaida chief and some of his men – locals might’ve grumbled about a violation of Yemen’s national sovereignty and gone on with their lives. | 06/20/13 19:36:35 By - By Adam Baron McClatchy Foreign Staff

Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari to escape charges court sought to have reinstated

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari apparently has outlasted a pile of defaming corruption cases instigated against him in the 1990s and will be able to leave office later this year without fear that he’ll face criminal prosecution. | 06/20/13 17:06:10 By - By Tom Hussain

U.S. Afghanistan auditor tells of free-for-all as subcontractors demand money they’re owed

The U.S. government’s primary auditing agency for Afghanistan has found that subcontractors on U.S.-funded projects in that country frequently aren’t paid, resulting in a litany of problems that include delayed and unfinished jobs, death threats to company workers and allegations of corruption among Afghan police and judicial officials. | 06/20/13 16:42:06 By - By Jay Price

Iran’s president-elect may shift country’s policies toward Persian Gulf, Israel

To understand the changes likely to occur under Iran’s new president, Hasan Rowhani, consider this summation of the outgoing regime by a veteran foreign policy analyst. | 06/20/13 19:38:26 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. slow to deliver promised aid to Syrian rebels

While State Department officials are fond of saying they’re providing hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to the Syrian opposition, only a fraction of the promised funds has arrived, and none has gone to the political body the U.S. looks to as an alternative to President Bashar Assad’s regime. | 06/19/13 17:14:10 By - By Hannah Allam

Opponents protest Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s appointments

The decision by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to name 17 new provincial governors, including several who belong to his former party, triggered another round of violence here and the reported resignation of a top minister. The events stoked fears that Egypt’s first democratically elected leader was increasing Islamists’ control over the nation. | 06/19/13 16:07:01 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Kerry calls Karzai after Afghans bow out of talks with Taliban, U.S.

Less than a day after the Taliban opened a new political office in Qatar, the prospects for peace talks that it represented for war-weary Afghanistan faltered. | 06/19/13 17:45:30 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Afghan peace process in disarray as U.S. prepares to meet with Taliban

U.S. officials will meet with the Taliban on Thursday in a major breakthrough aimed at opening peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan, as the U.S. prepares for the end of its combat involvement. | 06/18/13 19:38:16 By - By Lesley Clark

Sunni-Shiite violence hits Lebanese city of Sidon

The Lebanese city of Sidon exploded into widespread street violence Tuesday afternoon as supporters and opponents of the militant group Hezbollah traded artillery and small arms fire in response to an attack on a prominent Sunni Muslim opponent of the Shiite Muslim group, according to senior security officials and witnesses. At least one person was killed and nearly a dozen wounded, according to Lebanese security officials. | 06/18/13 16:49:55 By - By Mitchell Prothero

Afghan forces take over, doubts loom

Afghan security forces are now officially in charge of protecting their country from the insurgents whom the U.S.-led coalition of foreign troops has been fighting here for more than 11 years, President Hamid Karzai announced during a ceremony Tuesday, even as news broke that the Taliban were opening a long-discussed political office in Qatar, clearing a potential path to peace talks. | 06/18/13 15:52:54 By - By Jay Price

In Libya, chaos is taking a toll on freedom of press, speech

Shortly after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011, a 31-year-old activist had a tattoo put on his arm with the date marking the start of the uprising and rebranded himself a journalist. | 06/18/13 16:14:11 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Groundwork for arming Syrian rebels began before Obama’s announcement

The U.S. military began laying the groundwork to arm and support Syrian rebels more than a week ago, using a military exercise currently being held in Jordan as a cover for bringing in personnel and equipment. | 06/17/13 17:34:50 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Inspired by prayer, Virginia politician starts errant bedsheet drive for troops in Afghanistan

This spring, a local political candidate in Roanoke, Va., started an appeal for bedsheets to help U.S. MASH units in Afghanistan, which had run short and been forced to put wounded troops on ripped, bloodstained linen, she said. | 06/17/13 16:20:38 By - By Jay Price

Transparency laws give citizens tool against Mexican corruption

One day this year, citizen activist Jose Manuel Arias Rodriguez was told by the state of Tabasco that his request under the state’s sunshine-in-government law had been granted. | 06/17/13 15:22:56 By - By Tim Johnson

Erdogan defends crackdown as his ‘duty’ as clashes with protesters spread

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan staged a massive political rally Sunday to demonstrate that his popular strength will succeed Turkey’s political crisis, even as clashes spread to new parts of Istanbul between police firing teargas and water cannon and youthful protesters throwing stones and erecting barricades. | 06/16/13 20:10:54 By - By Roy Gutman

Gunmen attack Libyan posts in Benghazi

Gunman attacked the city’s Special Forces headquarters and other security buildings in this increasingly restive city Saturday in what some residents suspected was a retaliatory response to an assault a week ago that killed 32 and shut down the nation’s largest militia. | 06/15/13 16:48:34 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Iran elects centrist to replace contentious Ahmadinejad

Centrist Hasan Rowhani won an absolute majority in Iran’s presidential elections, a surprise outcome that could help raise spirits in a population fed up by the economic distress and international isolation that marked the era of outgoing leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. | 06/15/13 17:57:18 By - By Roy Gutman

Reformist Hasan Rowhani said to win Iranian presidency in surprisingly heavy voting

Hasan Rowhani, the candidate favored by Iranian reformists, won the Iranian presidential elections in a landslide, a source with close connections to the Iranian government said Saturday. | 06/15/13 02:04:16 By - By Roy Gutman

Chemical weapons experts still skeptical about U.S. claim that Syria used sarin

Chemical weapons experts voiced skepticism Friday about U.S. claims that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad had used the nerve agent sarin against rebels on at least four occasions this spring, saying that while the use of such a weapon is always possible, they’ve yet to see the telltale signs of a sarin gas attack, despite months of scrutiny. | 06/14/13 20:00:45 By - By Matthew Schofield

Analysts: Obama is gambling on uncertain allies in new Syria push

After concluding that President Bashar Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons against rebel forces, the White House pledged Friday to send more military and financial aid to Syrian opposition groups to make them “as strong as possible.” But whether they’ll ever be strong enough to topple Assad or assert themselves to govern a post-Assad Syria are unanswered questions. | 06/14/13 18:06:23 By - By Hannah Allam

State Department foresees few refugees from Syria this year

Despite the rising violence in Syria, the United States does not expect an influx of refugees from that country, State Department officials said Thursday. | 06/13/13 19:44:45 By - By Ali Watkins

Big question as Iran picks a president: Will reformists turn out to vote?

Iranians vote Friday for a new president to succeed the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but many voters question the value of their ballot, convinced that no elected government can solve Iran’s economic woes and end its diplomatic isolation. | 06/13/13 18:39:21 By - By Roy Gutman

Without support, UN reports civilians hit hardest in Syrian rebellion

The United Nations on Thursday reported that at least 92,901 people have been killed in Syria’s civil war, according to a new study of casualty reports compiled by eight Syrian organizations. | 06/13/13 17:02:00 By - By Mark Seibel

An election rally, Iran style

An Iranian election rally for a popular candidate is not for the faint-of-heart, or those in a hurry. | 06/12/13 18:11:05 By - Roy Gutman

Diplomats predict Assad will soon launch campaign to retake Aleppo

Diplomatic observers in Jordan say they believe Syria is preparing to launch a military offensive to recapture the city of Aleppo, perhaps by as soon as this weekend. | 06/12/13 17:58:38 By - By Sheera Frenkel

No money in Pakistan budget for Iranian gas pipeline U.S. opposed

Pakistan’s newly elected government Wednesday unveiled its first budget, which gave the go-ahead for buying two new nuclear power plants from China but made no allocation for a long-proposed natural gas pipeline from Iran that had sparked complaints from the United States. | 06/12/13 17:08:37 By - By Tom Hussain

Holt's 'The Abomination' leaves you hungry for more

Don’t be deceived by the title, “The Abomination.” There’s nothing unreal about Jonathan Holt’s excellent first mystery. The “Abomination” is the washed-up body of a woman dressed in the robes of a Catholic priest — something that is viewed as desecration by the church. Don’t get distracted by this murder; there’s much more to come. | 06/12/13 13:30:36 By - Tish Wells

Israel hasn’t given up on persuading Russia not to send air defense system to Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to warn that should Russia deliver the S-300 missile system to Syria, it “is likely to draw us into a response, and could send the region deteriorating into war.” But Israeli officials also say they haven’t given up hope that a diplomatic solution will persuade Russia not to go forward with a contract to provide the missiles. | 06/12/13 15:30:56 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Some in Congress question aid to Egypt over NGO prison sentences

An Egyptian court’s decision to convict 43 democracy proponents – along with a proposed Egyptian law that would restrict how nongovernmental organizations here operate – has spurred a chorus of concern from European leaders, members of the U.S. Congress and even the United Nations that Egypt’s first democratically elected government is attacking basic human rights. | 06/11/13 18:43:05 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Pakistani army makes key gains against Taliban militants

Pakistan’s military operations against Taliban insurgents in the country’s northwest tribal areas have reached a turning point with the imminent retaking of a militant stronghold near the legendary Khyber Pass. | 06/11/13 15:38:00 By - By Tom Hussain

2nd Taliban attack in Kabul in 2 days kills 17 outside Afghanistan Supreme Court

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car outside a gate at the Afghan Supreme Court during the afternoon rush hour Tuesday, killing 17 people and wounding 38, all of them civilians, Afghan officials said. | 06/11/13 16:53:14 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

1 reformist bows out of Iran presidential race in hopes of helping another

The most outspoken reformist in the Iranian presidential race withdrew Tuesday in a move intended to boost the prospects of another reformist, Hasan Rowhani, an experienced government hand who once managed Iran’s nuclear negotiations and is the sole cleric in Friday’s voting. | 06/11/13 14:33:23 By - By Roy Gutman

Mexico opens telecom market to foreigners in move to break up monopolies

Mexico’s president signed into law a monopoly-busting telecommunications law Monday that’s expected to drive down telephone prices for consumers and cost the country’s richest man billions of dollars. | 06/10/13 18:16:38 By - By Tim Johnson

Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif declares end to secret approval of U.S. drone strikes

In office for less than a week, Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, vented his anger Monday at two recent U.S. drone strikes, all but accusing his country’s overbearing military of lying to Pakistanis about its cooperation with the CIA to eliminate terrorism suspects in northwest tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. | 06/10/13 16:25:08 By - By Tom Hussain

In quiet Kabul neighborhood, Taliban attack began with mugging at mosque

A suicide attack that paralyzed a key NATO headquarters at Kabul’s international airport early Monday began, as it turns out, with a mugging outside a mosque. | 06/10/13 15:26:09 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Taliban lay siege to NATO air base in Kabul in early morning assault

Taliban fighters firing from atop an unfinished mansion attacked the military side of Kabul’s international airport early Monday, triggering a gun battle with Afghan security forces that lasted more than four hours before the attackers were killed. | 06/10/13 00:19:15 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Turkish PM changes park plans, Istanbul protests likely to continue

Turkey’s combative prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Friday abandoned his plan to build a new shopping mall on one of the few green patches in central Istanbul, but he insisted on razing the park nevertheless, a mixed signal that could prolong week-long protests here and in other cities. | 06/07/13 19:58:03 By - By Roy Gutman

Analysts: Foreign militant Islamists streaming into Syria to face Hezbollah

Foreign Islamist extremists are streaming into Syria, apparently in response to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah’s more visible backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a development that analysts say is likely to lead to a major power struggle between foreign jihadists and Syrian rebels should the Assad regime collapse. | 06/07/13 19:37:58 By - By Hannah Allam

Pentagon: Israel approved document that revealed details of missile base

U.S. officials deny that they inadvertently revealed secret details about a proposed Israeli missile base when they put the $25 million project up for bid. | 06/06/13 18:39:47 By - By Matthew Schofield and Sheera Frenkel

After Assad victory over rebels in Qusayr, what’s next for Hezbollah?

The Syrian government claimed control of the strategic city of Qusayr in central Syria on Wednesday after a nearly three-week-long fight with rebels who’d held the city for a year, a victory for President Bashar Assad that raised questions about what’s next for the Hezbollah fighters considered key to the outcome. | 06/05/13 18:21:39 By - By David Enders

Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has no shortage of problems

Nawaz Sharif was named Pakistan’s prime minister for a record third time Wednesday, and he immediately got down to the nitty-gritty of what arguably is the most daunting job in the democratic world. | 06/05/13 17:50:31 By - By Tom Hussain

China’s Xi splashes cash, deals on leisurely trip to woo Mexico

China’s leader is a guest who brings lots of gifts and lingers. President Xi Jinping, on the second day of an unhurried three-day visit to Mexico, spoke to the nation’s Senate Wednesday afternoon, then left for City Hall and prepared to visit the nation’s most renowned Mayan pyramid before heading on to California later in the week. | 06/05/13 17:01:36 By - By Tim Johnson

Syria, like Iraq and Lebanon, is on path toward sectarian split

The men from the last Alawite family in the northern Syrian town of Darkush have been kidnapped twice. The Saleh men were fortunate both times: They were released by rebels who’d suspected them of being agents for the government of President Bashar Assad. | 06/05/13 15:41:03 By - By David Enders

Pro-Assad forces retake strategic city of Qusayr in major setback for rebels

Syrian government forces took control of the city of Qusayr early Wednesday in a major setback for rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad. | 06/05/13 07:22:44 By - By David Enders

With Recep Tayyip Erdogan away, Turkey’s acting prime minister apologizes

With the country’s combative prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, out of the country, Turkey’s acting prime minister apologized to the country Tuesday for what he cited as a heavy-handed use of force against youthful protesters in Istanbul, which led to four days of clashes across the country. | 06/04/13 18:55:49 By - By Roy Gutman

U.N.: Nusra Front in Syria gains recruits after announcing tie to al Qaida

The rebel Nusra Front in Syria appears to have gained recruits and equipment since pledging allegiance to al Qaida, according to a U.N. report released Tuesday that depicts a widening and increasingly sectarian conflict. | 06/04/13 18:10:03 By - By Hannah Allam

Syrian rebels still battling to hold on to Qusayr; Red Crescent denied entry

The Syrian government has told the Syrian Arab Red Crescent that it cannot yet enter the city of Qusayr, a sign that the 3-week-old government offensive to retake the city from rebels has yet to achieve its objectives. | 06/04/13 16:57:35 By - By David Enders

In Golan Heights, Druze villagers are preparing for war

For the last month, shopkeeper Salah Abu Saleh has found himself having the same conversation again and again: When the war between Israel and Syria begins, what single foodstuff would he not tire of eating? | 06/04/13 15:37:51 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Egypt court sentences NGO workers; U.S. denounces verdict

An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced 43 democracy promotion workers, including 16 Americans and a German, to as many as five years in prison for working for unlicensed civil-society organizations in an internationally watched case that renewed fears of a growing crackdown on democracy-promotion efforts here. | 06/04/13 15:15:39 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

In Afghanistan, women denied their inheritance now have a champion

A modest campaign sponsored by the U.S. government has begun tackling one of the most basic problems on the long list that women face here: being robbed of property that they have rightfully inherited. | 06/04/13 15:58:13 By - By Jay Price

Nationwide strike call in Turkey likely to inflame anti-Erdogan protests

Police clashed with anti-government protesters in major cities around Turkey for a fourth day Monday as one of the country’s biggest public service unions threatened a nationwide strike Tuesday to show its discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. | 06/03/13 19:13:08 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret

Israel’s military fumed Monday over the discovery that the U.S. government had revealed details of a top-secret Israeli military installation in published bid requests. | 06/03/13 18:05:30 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Assad backers reportedly make up 43 percent of dead in Syria

A new count of the dead in Syria by the group that’s considered the most authoritative tracker of violence there has concluded that more than 40 percent were government soldiers and pro-government militia members. | 06/03/13 16:08:57 By - By David Enders

In Mohammed Morsi’s Egypt, insulting president still leads to charges

Amir Salem is all too familiar with Egypt’s long-standing laws against insulting the government, blasphemy and plotting to overthrow the government. A lawyer with four decades of political activism behind him, he faced those charges under the presidencies of Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. But now, as he contemplates new charges under Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, it feels more personal, he said. | 06/03/13 15:30:45 By -

Blight sweeping Central American coffee plantations puts thousands out of work

Across Central America, even as rains arrive, many coffee plantations contain only spindly, nearly defoliated bushes, the result of a blight known as coffee leaf rust whose devastation, so far, has yet to affect the prices of premium highland coffee that baristas serve around the developed word. | 06/03/13 00:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

Turkey protests over plan to build on Istanbul park reveal deep anger at Erdogan

Tens of thousands of protesters called for the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and fought police firing tear gas in central Istanbul for the second day Saturday. A defiant Erdogan declared he would not back down from a controversial construction project that set off the protests, but then called off the police. | 06/01/13 17:23:05 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. withholds millions pledged to help Syrian opposition

The United States is withholding $63 million that it had pledged to the main Syrian opposition organization because the Obama administration is frustrated with the group’s disarray and is searching for more credible partners to support in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, knowledgeable officials said Friday. | 05/31/13 19:32:38 By - By Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman

Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye blames Obama for his continued imprisonment

From the moment Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye was sentenced to five years in prison in 2011 for allegedly supporting al Qaida’s Yemen-based affiliate, his punishment has been controversial – and not just because it represented the jailing of a respected writer and the trial was widely condemned as a sham by groups such as Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists. What irks many Yemenis, and free press advocates around the world, is that they believe Shaye remains in jail solely because of pressure from the administration of President Barack Obama. | 05/31/13 18:42:28 By - By Adam Baron

Iraqis, Lebanese blame unrest on internal issues, not Syria’s war

Despite the presence of thousands of non-Syrians fighting on both sides of that country’s civil war – and increasing rhetoric about a regional conflagration – the now contiguous conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon each arise from specific local grievances. | 05/31/13 15:09:21 By - By David Enders

Rights advocates urge caution on lifting sanctions after violence in Myanmar

Human rights groups are growing increasingly concerned over escalating violence in Myanmar after Buddhist mobs, including monks, took to the streets this week, burning mosques and schools and killing a Muslim man before finally being disbanded by authorities. | 05/30/13 19:05:53 By - By Ali Watkins

China’s moves in Western Hemisphere have U.S. stepping up its game

China’s courting of Latin America and the Caribbean – signaled anew this week by a visit by its president – is prodding the United States to step up its outreach to the rapidly emerging economies, which are showing greater global clout. | 05/30/13 18:49:05 By - By Lesley Clark

Syria’s Assad pledges to attend proposed peace talks, says his side is winning war

Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed in an interview broadcast Thursday that his government is winning the country’s civil war and pledged that he would personally attend proposed peace talks in Geneva tentatively set for later this summer. | 05/30/13 18:37:45 By - By David Enders

Pakistani Taliban says it’ll seek revenge for CIA drone killing of their No. 2

The Pakistani Taliban confirmed Thursday that its deputy chief had been killed by a drone strike and vowed revenge against the government for allegedly providing the terrorist chief’s coordinates to the CIA. | 05/30/13 17:17:56 By - By Tom Hussain

America’s Syria policy appears to have hit a dead end

With Russia pledging missiles to Syrian President Bashar Assad, the civilian opposition unable to agree on much of anything, and regime loyalists pushing rebels out of strategic areas, the United States finds itself with no clear policy path to its oft-stated goal of Assad’s ouster. | 05/29/13 19:04:56 By - By Hannah Allam

Drone strike kills Pakistani linked to ’09 blast at CIA Afghan base

Missiles from a CIA drone killed a Pakistani Taliban leader Wednesday who was carrying a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, Pakistani security officials said, an indication that the Obama administration and the Pakistani military still are cooperating on the top-secret U.S. targeted killing program. | 05/29/13 18:50:56 By - By Tom Hussain and Jonathan S. Landay

Hezbollah said to control most of Qusayr in major setback for Syria rebels

Hezbollah and Syrian government forces have seized most of the strategically important town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border, fighters on both sides of the conflict said Wednesday, in what would be a huge setback for the rebels fighting to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. | 05/29/13 17:53:42 By - By David Enders

New subpoena issued for State Department documents in House probe of Benghazi attacks

The Republican lawmaker leading a congressional probe into the 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday subpoenaed documents from 10 current and former State Department officials related to the preparation of discredited talking points on the genesis of the assault. | 05/28/13 19:23:56 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Russia pledges missiles to Assad as Britain, France threaten to send arms to Syria rebels

Russia on Tuesday confirmed that it would ship advanced anti-aircraft missiles to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, provoking Israel to threaten military action if the new weapons are delivered and drawing condemnation from the United States. | 05/28/13 19:36:43 By - By Roy Gutman and Sheera Frenkel

Proposed Egyptian law on nonprofits seen as echo of Mubarak era

A draft Egyptian law regulating so-called nongovernmental organizations would limit the private, nonprofit groups in many of the same ways that the government of President Hosni Mubarak sought to control their operations – a sign, analysts here say, that President Mohammed Morsi fears that the groups could be used to oppose his government in the same way Mubarak supporters felt they’d helped topple his. | 05/28/13 17:07:30 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Europe sets stage for possible arming of anti-Assad fighters as McCain visits Syrian rebel leader

After a contentious debate over policy towards Syria, the European Union agreed Monday to let its embargo on arms shipments to Syrian rebels – and the Syrian government – expire at the end of the month, possibly the best news that the beleaguered forces battling to topple President Bashar Assad have had since their uprising began 26 months ago.. | 05/27/13 19:48:43 By - By Roy Gutman

Syria says it will attend peace talks as anti-Assad opposition debates next steps

For a fourth day, Syria’s fractured opposition spent Sunday haggling over how to expand their coalition, even as Syrian President Bashar Assad unveiled two new initiatives – accepting an invitation to send representatives to a peace conference to end the 26-month uprising and announcing that Syria would open its borders to “tourists” from Iraq, a move analysts said was intended to allow Shiite Muslim fighters to join Assad’s military defense. | 05/26/13 19:14:54 By - By Roy Gutman

Reversal of Rios Montt verdict in Guatemala sparks criticism of genocide charge

The overturning this week of former military dictator Gen. Efrain Rios Montt’s conviction on charges stemming from Guatemala’s brutal civil war has created a surprising consensus among critics on both the left and the right: Prosecutors badly overreached when they tried to pin accusations of genocide on the 86-year-old former president. | 05/24/13 18:17:15 By - By Tim Johnson

Israel, in reassessment, thinks Syria’s Bashar Assad will last awhile

Israel has reversed its assessment about the staying power of Syrian President Bashar Assad and now thinks he’ll remain in control of at least part of his country for some time to come – a conclusion that makes it likely, a growing number of officials think, that an escalation of violence between the two countries may be inevitable. | 05/24/13 14:23:05 By - By Sheera Frenkel

Despite word of split over al Qaida, Nusra Front still key in Syria fighting

Jabhat al Nusra, the al Qaida-allied Syrian rebel group that’s also known as the Nusra Front, remains integral to efforts to topple the government of President Bashar Assad despite reported rifts within the group over its terrorist ties and claims by other rebels that Nusra’s assassinated rebel leaders in eastern Syria to consolidate its hold on oil fields and other strategic infrastructure there. | 05/24/13 14:03:25 By - By David Enders

Syria’s exile opposition opens conference in Turkey amid anger, confusion

Syria’s political opposition met Thursday in Istanbul to elect new leadership, choose a government-in-exile and deliberate on a negotiating stance for peace talks, but it hit a controversy when the immediate past president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, a Muslim cleric who no longer holds any post in the group, presided over the opening session and released a surprise peace initiative without consulting the group. | 05/23/13 18:49:05 By - By Roy Gutman

Asif Ali Zardari likely will lose Pakistan’s presidency – and immunity from prosecution

Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, will certainly lose his job in September – and like his predecessor, retired Gen. Pervez Musharraf, he’s likely to face criminal charges under the government of newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. | 05/23/13 16:19:59 By - By Tom Hussain

Syrian refugee exodus to Jordan has slowed to trickle, U.N. says

The flow of refugees crossing from Syria into Jordan has all but stopped in the last six days amid heavy fighting in the area and claims by Syrians that Jordanian border guards are preventing them from entering. | 05/23/13 14:33:44 By - By David Enders

At last, we get Tolkien’s take on King Arthur

Unpublished until now, the poem “The Fall of Arthur” was Tolkien’s take on the legendary leader and aftermath of the fall of Camelot. | 05/23/13 09:41:43 By - Tish Wells

U.S. for first time acknowledges role in deaths of Americans in drone strikes

The Obama administration confirmed for the first time on Wednesday that four Americans have died in U.S. drone strikes since 2009, but it sought to justify the killing of only one – a senior leader of al Qaida’s Yemen-based affiliate – and said nothing about the other three except to acknowledge indirectly that they’d been killed by accident. | 05/22/13 22:26:00 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Egyptian soldiers kidnapped in Sinai released after talks

Seven soldiers kidnapped last week by suspected Islamist militants in the restive Sinai were freed after a six-hour negotiation between local tribesmen and the kidnappers, the Egyptian government announcement Wednesday. | 05/22/13 17:41:00 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Pickering agrees to be questioned over State Department’s Benghazi probe

The retired U.S. diplomat who co-chaired an internal State Department review of the 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on Wednesday ended his refusal to submit to a closed-door interview with a Republican-led House committee that is investigating the assault. | 05/22/13 17:10:43 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

U.S., U.N. urge Gulf states to donate more for Syrian refugees

With its neat rows of carpeted cabins, security monitors and on-site hospital and school, the Mrigb al Fuhud camp in Jordan is opulent compared with the squalid tent cities that house other Syrian refugees. | 05/22/13 17:10:49 By - By Hannah Allam

Delay in mine project shadows hopes for Afghan economy

The giant copper mine that the Afghan government has made the centerpiece of its plans for building an economy nearly from scratch is at least five years behind schedule and the state-owned Chinese company that won the bidding has missed key deadlines in its still-secret contract with the Afghan government and is trying to renegotiate the deal, according to several officials and observers inside and outside the Mining Ministry. | 05/21/13 22:44:01 By - By Jay Price

Egyptians don’t like Morsi’s presidency, but opposition flounders anyway

As Egypt’s first democratically elected president nears the completion of his first year in office, there is growing resentment among Egyptians about his tenure. The dismal economy has grown worse, sectarian tensions are greater, and government services have declined – something many people thought would have been impossible. | 05/20/13 16:28:06 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Egypt’s Morsi dispatches army to Sinai after suspected Islamists snatch soldiers

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi ordered army reinforcements to the restive Sinai on Monday amid rising tensions there over the kidnapping of seven soldiers by suspected Islamist militants. | 05/20/13 15:35:10 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Issa subpoenas Pickering over Benghazi probe, demands closed-door testimony

The congressman leading the Republican investigation into last year’s terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on Friday ordered retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering to submit to questioning behind closed doors next week over an internal State Department review Pickering helped lead into the attacks. | 05/17/13 19:29:20 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Syrian opposition considers sacking its U.S.-backed interim leader

The fractured Syrian opposition movement is considering ditching its prime minister at a meeting next week, action that would complicate the State Department’s push for peace talks and once again leave the international community without a clear idea of who would take charge should Bashar Assad fall. | 05/17/13 18:55:21 By - By Hannah Allam

Mexico’s Pena Nieto, seeking wide reforms, wants to limit power of governors

Barely a quarter-century ago, Mexico’s all-powerful presidents could run any of the nation’s 31 governors out of office at will. Then the pendulum began to swing. In the last decade, the power of governors grew to such levels that they became known by the moniker “little viceroys.” | 05/17/13 17:20:55 By - By Tim Johnson

VIDEO: In Mexico, journalists operate in danger

In Mexico, where 53 journalists have been slain in six years, some outlying regions have become “zones of silence,” where news of beheadings and other atrocities barely filter out. Fear has grown so pervasive that gangsters can mute the news media in some states without killing a single journalist, and a handful of newspapers have openly surrendered, telling readers they no longer will cover crime. | 05/16/13 18:08:00 By -

Pickering, Mullen reject request to testify on Benghazi in private

The two retired senior U.S. officials who oversaw an internal State Department review of last year’s attacks on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday rejected as “an inappropriate precondition” a Republican request that they submit to a closed-door interview before testifying in public. | 05/16/13 17:52:34 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Refugees fleeing besieged Qusayr say Syrian rebels dug in, preparing for government onslaught

The Syrian city of Qusayr lies just 10 miles over the border from Aarsal in northern Lebanon. But the Syrians now crowding into Aarsal said the trip to get here from Qusayr required walking for days. | 05/16/13 16:13:32 By - By David Enders

U.S. commander offers security assurances after Kabul suicide bombing

Two U.S. soldiers and four American civilian security contractors died Thursday when a suicide bomber in a Toyota Corolla rammed into a military convoy in Afghanistan’s capital, security officials said. | 05/16/13 15:53:42 By - By Rezwan Natiq

Few convictions for Mexico’s special prosecutor for crimes against journalists

Complacent. Ineffective. Bungling. Inept. | 05/16/13 14:59:08 By - By Tim Johnson

Murder of Mexican reporter in Veracruz spotlights official hostility toward press

The story of Regina Martinez’s murder opens a window on a different facet of the violence afflicting journalists in Mexico, one in which gangsters play a lesser role than government officials, who routinely bully journalists and foster an environment in which impunity is nearly assured when journalists are the victims. Even when they are murdered. | 05/16/13 13:29:25 By - By Tim Johnson

On the crime beat in Mexico, danger lies in knowing too much

It is a sultry morning in this crime-ridden resort, and little movement occurs at the main police headquarters. Francisco Robles, a freelance news photographer, glances down at an incoming text message on his phone. | 05/16/13 13:28:26 By - By Tim Johnson

In Mexico, fears for democracy as threatened journalists curtail coverage

Quitze Fernandez, a columnist for the El Guardian newspaper in this capital of Coahuila state abutting Texas, picked up the phone in his newsroom one day. | 05/16/13 13:26:45 By - By Tim Johnson

Ambassador Stevens twice said no to military offers of more security, U.S. officials say

In the month before attackers stormed U.S. facilities in Benghazi and killed four Americans, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens twice turned down offers of security assistance made by the senior U.S. military official in the region in response to concerns that Stevens had raised in a still secret memorandum, two government officials told McClatchy. | 05/14/13 19:38:33 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

In Cairo, desperate Egyptian men search in vain for Syrian brides

On the outskirts of the vast Egyptian capital, Egypt ends and the latest Syria enclave begins. Women tie their headscarves in a distinctly Syrian way. They buy Syrian spices and trinkets from vendors whose shops are now tables lined along the streets. There is a constant murmur of stories about the desperate circumstances that forced the residents to flee places such as Homs and Damascus in the past year. | 05/14/13 14:53:50 By - By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail

Obama lashes out over Benghazi ‘sideshow,’ GOP uncowed

President Barack Obama lashed out Monday at the Republican investigation of last year’s terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, denouncing questions about administration talking points as a “sideshow” and accusing Republicans of using the “political circus” to raise cash. | 05/13/13 21:12:15 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Lesley Clark

In talking points controversy, an unanswered question: Why did CIA say a protest preceded Benghazi attack?

Lost in the controversy over who requested revisions of CIA-written talking points on September’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans is one key fact: In every iteration of the document, the CIA asserted that a video protest preceded the assaults, and no official reviewing the talking points suggested that that was in error. | 05/13/13 21:01:12 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Weapons, ammunition shipments slowing to Syria’s moderate rebel factions

Disagreements among the countries backing the rebels in Syria have led to a drop in weapons shipments, leaving rebels vulnerable to a government military offensive. | 05/13/13 18:40:44 By - By David Enders

Turkey’s journalists say press freedom has declined under Erdogan’s rule

Veteran journalist Hasan Cemalwas forced out of his job in March for defending his newspaper’s decision to publish secret protocols that embarrassed Turkey’s ruling party. | 05/13/13 16:04:48 By - By Roy Gutman

Nawaz Sharif’s victory in Pakistan elections likely to change nature of U.S. relationship

The victory of Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections will usher in a new period in Pakistan’s relationship with the United States, with Secretary of State John Kerry likely to assume the lead role in relations long dominated by the Pentagon. | 05/13/13 14:29:14 By - By Tom Hussain

Bombs in Turkish border town kill dozens, intensify Turkish-Syrian tensions

A pair of car bombs killed at least 40 people and raised tensions between Turks and Syrians in this city on the Syrian-Turkish border that is a hub for refugees fleeing the fighting and rebels who use the area to resupply fighters inside Syria. | 05/11/13 14:40:56 By - By David Enders

Guatemala court gives 80-year term to ex-dictator Rios Montt

A three-judge panel Friday convicted former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt of genocide, saying his military regime used “extreme terror” in an effort to wipe out a Mayan minority ethnic group in the early 1980s. | 05/10/13 20:33:13 By - By Tim Johnson

In Mexico, ‘juniors’ and ‘ladies’ find scorn in social networks

Those who resent the powerful ruling class of this country have coined colorful slang phrases for the rich and entitled. The sons of the elite are called “juniors,” or worse “papaloys,” a Spanish language contraction of the words “papa” and “lords.” | 05/10/13 16:44:01 By - By Tim Johnson

Answers to key questions about Guantanamo detention center

Candidate Barack Obama pledged that he’d close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Easier said than done. As president, Obama has failed to shut down the facility he calls “expensive,” and “inefficient” and a “recruitment tool for terrorists.” | 05/09/13 18:05:01 By - By Michael Doyle and Carol Rosenberg

Yemeni minister, expecting high-level Guantanamo talks, leaves Washington in a huff

Yemen’s human rights minister breezed into Washington this week expecting the opportunity to lobby U.S. officials for the release from Guantanamo of Yemeni detainees, who make up more than half the population at the controversial U.S.-run prison that President Barack Obama has pledged to close. | 05/09/13 17:50:48 By - By Hannah Allam

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s likely next prime minister, pledges to curb attacks on India

With Pakistanis heading to the polls Saturday, the man who’s expected to be the country’s next prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has signaled his determination to seize control of policy toward longtime foe India from Pakistan’s overbearing military and prevent militants from staging attacks on India from Pakistani soil. | 05/09/13 15:18:31 By - By Tom Hussain

Son of ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani kidnapped in bid to disrupt elections

Suspected militant extremists kidnapped the youngest son of Pakistan’s former prime minister Thursday in the central city of Multan, the latest in a series of attacks aimed at disrupting the campaign for the country’s general election Saturday. | 05/09/13 13:52:10 By - By Tom Hussain

Mexico, to attract U.S. retirees, may ease limits on landownership

Mexican legislators may soon lift a major impediment for foreigners who want to own a piece of Mexico’s Pacific or Caribbean coasts. For the first time in nearly a century, lawmakers are moving to allow non-Mexicans to buy coastal real estate and hold the deeds to it, without having to set up bank trusts or find silent Mexican partners. | 05/09/13 13:06:02 By - By Tim Johnson

Reputation remake: Tilt-rotor Osprey wins fans in Afghanistan

Almost four years after the MV-22 Osprey arrived in Afghanistan, trailing a reputation as dangerous and hard to maintain, the U.S. Marines Corps finally has had an opportunity to test the controversial hybrid aircraft in real war conditions. The reviews are startlingly positive. | 05/09/13 12:19:26 By - By Jay Price

In hearing on Benghazi attack, new facts are few but politics plentiful

A much anticipated congressional hearing Wednesday on the September 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya, produced no major revelations but plenty of partisan fireworks as Republicans renewed charges that the Obama administration had covered up details of what took place while Democrats retorted that politics is driving the GOP-run investigation. | 05/08/13 19:49:29 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

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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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