Washington Post - World News
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31 min ago WorldViews: Iraqis unwilling to give up on a slowly dwindling culture

BAGHDAD — The other night I went to a charity concert at a state auditorium, packed with Iraqi artists, writers and actors.

A group of crisply dressed young men sat on a stage framed by purple and gold velvet curtains, and played in an ensemble of ouds, beautiful stringed instruments from the Arab world, that to me resemble a cross between a guitar and cello. (But I’m no musical expert.)

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31 min ago WorldViews: U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s statement on U.S. citizens detained or missing i

On Friday, the U.S. State Department released the following statement by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, calling on Iranian government to release the detained or missing Americans in Iran.

The Unites States respectfully calls on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Jason Rezaian to their families and work cooperatively with us to find Robert Levinson and bring him home.

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31 min ago WorldViews: Crossword: What in the world, this week

Slow news week, right?

Kidding. The week has seen nothing but major headlines from every continent in the world, and you should have no problem beating the clock on our latest edition of the crossword puzzle.

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4 hours ago The Ebola virus has spread to Senegal as the deadliest outbreak in history gets worse

As the Ebola outbreak worsens — with the death toll spiraling and the World Health Organization warning that 20,000 people could eventually be infected — another West African country has confirmed that the deadly virus has crossed its borders.

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4 hours ago WorldViews: Putin thinks of the past when talking Ukraine — but the Arctic is where he sees Russia’s

Vladimir Putin is a history buff, and he has made all sorts of historical allusions when talking about Ukraine over the past few days.

First, there's the use of the word "Novorossiya," a historical region of the Russia Empire that is now part of Ukraine. The Russian president has referred to Novorossiya in passing before, but the use of it now in official statements seems to be new. Putin also compared Ukraine's offensive to the Siege of Leningrad, a monumental event in Russian history and one that shaped Putin's life personally — his older brother died during the siege, which lasted more than two years and left more than a million dead.

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4 hours ago Five co-authors of a new Ebola study died of the virus before their research was published

Underlining the immense risks taken by those working in West Africa to understand and combat the worsening Ebola outbreak, five co-authors of an important new Ebola study were killed by the virus before their research was published.

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4 hours ago WorldViews: This video of a locust invasion in Madagascar will give you nightmares

Are you okay? Have you cowered under your desk in terror yet? Here's a GIF version, in case you want to torment your Twitter followers:

The images were captured in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo on Thursday, where billions of locusts descended upon the city as part of an outbreak the size of Japan, Agence France Presse reported.

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4 hours ago WorldViews: The strange story of Uzbekistan’s ‘jailed princess’

As the head of an authoritarian regime sometimes likened to North Korea, Islam Karimov is known to be ruthless. The president of Uzbekistan is accused of having his political opponents jailed, exiled or even killed. A particularly delicate case, however, is his daughter Gulnara Karimova, 42, who is believed to now be under house arrest in her own country. Secret recordings, obtained by the BBC and published last Thursday, offer a first-hand account of how Uzbekistan's once-most prominent face has turned into the country's most famous prisoner.

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4 hours ago WorldViews: Iraqis unwilling to give up on a slowly dwindling culture

BAGHDAD — The other night I went to a charity concert at a state auditorium, packed with Iraqi artists, writers and actors.

A group of crisply dressed young men sat on a stage framed by purple and gold velvet curtains, and played in an ensemble of ouds, beautiful stringed instruments from the Arab world, that to me resemble a cross between a guitar and cello. (But I’m no musical expert.)

Read full article >>






6 hours ago Ellis Island in reverse: Where deportees go when they get home to Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY — On the edge of the airport here is a one-story structure, the first stop for tens of thousands of migrants sent back from the United States. It’s like a reverse Ellis Island.

Inside, Guatemalan government officials representing dozens of agencies patiently await planeloads of countrymen. There are two banks to exchange U.S. dollars or Mexican pesos for quetzals, the local currency. A doctor stands ready in a clinic to help migrants with injuries. And on a recent morning, officials set out 115 bagged lunches for each passenger arriving on the first flight of the day. There was a sandwich of black beans smeared on bread, apple juice, cookies and a bag of Tortrix — Guatemalan potato chips, a brand chosen, officials said, to help returning migrants reacclimate to society.

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6 hours ago The Mexican drug lord Chapo Guzman is in prison. But he might live by his own rules.

MEXICO CITY — Lawyers who visit their clients in the Altiplano, Mexico’s highest security prison, say they must leave behind their wallets, pens, tie clips, shoelaces. They complain that guards check inside the men’s underwear and women must take off their bras.

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6 hours ago The Ebola virus has spread to Senegal as the deadliest outbreak in history gets worse

As the Ebola outbreak worsens — with the virus mutating, the death toll spiraling and the World Health Organization warning that 20,000 people could eventually be infected — another West African country has confirmed that the deadly virus has crossed its borders.

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6 hours ago Australian jihadist who tweeted gruesome photo has long history of mental illness

SYDNEY — A few weeks ago a burly, bearded 33-year-old Australian, Khaled Sharrouf, posted a photo on Twitter of a boy, age about 7, holding a severed human head in a Syrian town controlled by the Islamic State extremist group.

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6 hours ago Putin hails Ukraine separatists; Kiev raises prospect of joining NATO

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday hailed pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine as “insurgents” battling an army that he likened to Nazi invaders during World War II, and the Ukrainian government raised the prospect of joining NATO as it seeks help in repelling what it calls an outright Russian military invasion of its territory.

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6 hours ago WorldViews: At least 81 nationalities are fighting in Syria

It's estimated that the three-year conflict in Syria has drawn foreign fighters to its frontlines at a rate faster than any such war in modern memory, including the struggle of the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The group that likely boasts the majority of such combatants is the Islamic State, the powerful terrorist organization that now commands a stretch of territory from central Syria to the environs of Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

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10 hours ago WorldViews: France is asking the world to stop the chaos in Libya. Again.

On Sept. 15, 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy, then the president of France, addressed a crowd in Tripoli, Libya. "France, Great Britain, Europe, will always stand by the side of the Libyan people," he said, to cheers.

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Today Putin calls on pro-Russian separatists to release trapped Ukrainian soldiers

KIEV, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Russian separatists to release trapped Ukrainian soldiers Friday, one day after Russian soldiers, tanks and heavy artillery began rolling into the southeastern part of the country in earnest, according to the Ukrainian government.

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19 hours ago Missing American found dead in Jerusalem area forest, police say

Aharon Sofer, a 23-year-old American missing since Friday in Israel, has been found dead in a forest near Jerusalem, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN on Thursday.

“It is not clear if the disappearance was personal [or a] kidnapping,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s not clear at all.”

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19 hours ago Russian soldier’s mother nearly faints, then demands to know why he was in Ukraine

KOSTROMA, RUSSIA — Olga Garina spits out the time, “one-o-five,” when she got the call telling her that her paratrooper son was one of 10 taken captive this week in Ukraine. That call — from a neighbor, not from the army — set her on course to become a defiant ringleader against stonewalling Russian military officers.

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19 hours ago Obama: U.S. doesn’t ‘have a strategy yet’ to comprehensively respond to Islamic State

Amid conflicting congressional demands, impatient Arab allies, and public concern that he will do too much or too little, President Obama made bluntly clear Thursday why he has not yet implemented a comprehensive U.S. response to the Islamist insurgency that is rapidly spreading across the Middle East.

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22 hours ago After Gaza cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in tough spot at home

JERUSALEM — The contrast was stark.

In Gaza, as Hamas leaders stood in a rubble-filled central square to declare an unequivocal victory, thousands of flag-waving supporters cheered.

In Israel, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a televised news conference alongside his defense minister and army chief to claim a win, he was slammed by the media, the public, the opposition and even members of his own party and coalition.

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22 hours ago Russian armored columns said to capture key Ukrainian towns

KIEV, Ukraine — Russian soldiers, tanks and heavy artillery began rolling into southeastern Ukraine in earnest Thursday, the Ukrainian government said, as well-armed detachments captured key towns, burned buildings and sent the underequipped Ukrainian forces into full retreat — a show of military force that the United States now considers an invasion in all but name.

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22 hours ago A Russian soldier’s mother faints, then demands to know why he was in Ukraine

KOSTROMA, RUSSIA — Olga Garina spits out the time, “One-oh-five,” when she got the call telling her that her paratrooper son was one of 10 taken captive this week in Ukraine. That call — from a neighbor, not from the army — set her on course to become an angry ringleader against stonewalling Russian military officers.

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Yesterday WorldViews: Has Russia invaded Ukraine? Here’s what we know.

After months of tension, Ukraine says it's finally happened: Russia has invaded.

Russia, however, flatly denies it. "This information doesn’t correspond with reality,” a spokesman for Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said Wednesday.

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Yesterday Iraqi Kurds say their fight is against more than just the Islamic State

GWER, Iraq — Kurdish fighters are struggling to hold on to recent gains against Islamic State militants in Iraq in the face of constant shelling and sniper fire. But Kurds say the jihadists have another weapon: local Arab sympathizers.

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Yesterday Afghan election audit will take two more weeks, U.N. says

KABUL — The United Nations said Thursday that a recount of ballots in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election will take about two more weeks, again delaying the inauguration and adding to the political uncertainty gripping the country.

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Yesterday WorldViews: Video Dispatch: In remote Sierra Leone, burying victims of Ebola

Earlier in August, photographer Pete Muller was on assignment in Sierra Leone, following the Ebola story. During his trip, he captured several scenes, a selection of which we have published below, in his own words.

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Yesterday WorldViews: The long, grim history of U.N. peacekeepers caught in the crossfire

43 Fijian peacekeepers serving in the Golan Heights along the Syrian-Israeli border were detained by Syrian rebels Thursday morning, according to the United Nations. Earlier, rebels had gained control of the border crossing between Syria and Israel while government warplanes targeted positions of the militants, who are suspected to be members of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra. An additional 81 peacekeepers were trapped by the fighting, the United Nations said in a statement, but it gave no details about their nationalities. The Associated Press reported that the 81 were from the Philippines, citing Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary general.

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Yesterday WorldViews: Canada joins the stupid Twitter war between Russia and the West

As WorldViews documented Wednesday (and earlier), some of the major regional players in Ukraine's months of crisis have engaged in a longstanding and frankly childish Twitter war on the sidelines of the conflict. There have been hashtags, subtweets and incessant trolling from both sides.

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Yesterday WorldViews: Islamic State beheads Kurdish pesh merga fighter in video

IRBIL — On Thursday, Islamic State militants released another video of the purported beheading of one of their prisoners — this time an Iraqi Kurdish fighter for his government’s alliance with the United States.

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