When a 78-year-old French aid worker was executed by Al Qaeda's North African offshoot this summer, France declared war on Islamic terror. Further kidnappings and a heightened threat level in Paris, a city already tense over a ban on the Islamic veil for women, have brought the battle home in recent weeks.
Five French citizens were kidnapped in Niger this morning. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a terrorist franchise endorsed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, is suspected. If the group is responsible, it would mark the third time this year that it has taken European citizens hostage.
Just more than a year ago the fledgling president of the United States stood before a capacity crowd at Cairo University in Egypt and promised "a new beginning" for relations between America and the Muslim world. But now controversy over the proposed Muslim center near Ground Zero, the much-publicized flap over Pastor Terry Jones's planned Quran burning, and allegations of atrocities by U.S. troops in Afghanistan seem to have dashed such hopes.
Hillary Clinton has called for the media not to cover a planned Quran burning by a Florida church on Sept. 11 as "an act of patriotism." But can reporters and cameramen turn away from a story they have magnified into one of worldwide significance? And, with bloggers poised to go viral, would it make any difference?
On September 11, pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., will lead a ceremonial burning of Qurans at his church. Amid protests in Kabul, Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has now said that the book burning will endanger troops.
Earlier this month it was reported that right-wing Israeli groups were teaching courses on editing Wikipedia entries to give them a Zionist slant. Now some Palestinians say they'll be watching the online encyclopedia and editing in the other direction.
Sudan, for so long the focus of the world's humanitarian attention, is back in the news. Deaths continue to rise, the country is splitting in two, and foreign workers are kidnapped with alarming regularity. It remains to be seen whether the nation can survive these latest challenges.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame was reelected with 93 percent of the vote in the country's elections earlier this month. But there were widespread reports that journalists and opposition politicians were imprisoned or killed. Now a leaked U.N. report suggests that Rwandan troops may have committed war crimes and massacred tens of thousands in the late 1990s.
An American prisoner, held in a North Korean prison camp since crossing into the country earlier this year, boarded a plane for Boston today after former President Jimmy Carter succesfully negotiated his release. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, meanwhile, is still on a mysterious visit to China.
They have been trapped a mile underground for 20 days, their only lifeline to the surface a bore hole the diameter of a grapefruit. For 33 miners, alive but imprisoned underground after an earthquake in Chile, it will take three months to be rescued. A former NASA official explains how they will survive in dark isolation for so long.
As Jimmy Carter arrived in North Korea to help negotiate the release of an American prisoner, the country's leader and his son Kim Jong-un took a private train into China, according to South Korean officials. Is it a diplomatic snub, a cry for aid from the North's only real ally, or medical emergency for the sickly dictator?
Human-rights groups and opposition parties have condemned the execution of four of President Teodoro Obiang's rivals, found guilty of plotting a coup and killed just an hour later. They allege that the deaths were essentially "political assassinations."
A 30-year-old man from Boston has been serving an eight-year hard-labor sentence in a North Korean prison camp since April of this year. A State Department team failed to secure his release. Now, reports the journal Foreign Policy, former president Jimmy Carter will visit.
Naomi Campbell's PR agency has outlined its methods for getting the supermodel through allegations, in court, that she'd accepted blood diamonds from a dictator. Here, based on the advice, is our handy guide for any supermodels called to appear before war crimes tribunals.
Naomi Campbell has been under fire for telling a war-crimes trial that she did not know whether diamonds given to her at a dinner party were from former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. She's now released a forceful rebuttal, saying she had nothing to gain by lying.
Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, was killed Tuesday in a small-plane crash in Alaska.
Earlier today the actress Mia Farrow disputed Naomi Campbell's claim that she was not sure she had received blood diamonds from former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Now Campbell's former agent has also presented a different version of events than the model's.
An Iranian lawyer who helped orchestrate a campaign to stop one of his clients from being stoned to death in Iran has fled, under threat of arrest, to Norway. It has since emerged that another young man he is defending will likely be executed on dubious charges.
This week former Fugees musician Wyclef Jean declared he would run for the presidency in Haiti, and supermodel Naomi Campbell testified at a war-crimes trial in The Hague. Last month Lindsay Lohan found herself in the middle of a story about the imminent stoning of an Iranian woman. So is it a good thing when celebrities wander into the middle of serious issues?