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  • baghdad-traffic-cops-hsmall

    Open Season on Baghdad Traffic Cops

    There are few jobs worse than being a traffic cop in Iraq. The policemen stand on medians in blistering heat—which has been hovering at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit in recent weeks—while sucking up car fumes and praying that the next surly driver isn’t a suicide bomber. Well, the job just got worse. A lot worse.
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    Iran Stoning Woman 'Confesses' on State TV

    A 43-year-old mother of two, granted a reprieve from being stoned to death on dubious adultery charges after an international outcry, has appeared on TV to 'confess' to complicity in murder and denounce the lawyer who previously saved her life.
  • asia-fire-floods-pakistan-man-boat

    How the Pakistani Floods Help the Taliban

    The Pakistani Army’s response to the flood has been swift and competent. But in terms of aid and infrastructure, Islamabad has utterly failed, which means the Taliban can claim to care more about people than the government.
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    Did a Minneapolis Janitor Work for Al-Shabab in the Netherlands?

    Mahamud Said Omar is a middle-aged former janitor who used to work at a mosque in Minneapolis frequented by Somali expatriates. But U.S. authorities describe Omar as a significant—if not key—figure in a major investigation into the activities of the violent Islamist group Al-Shabab.
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    'The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era'

    America today equals huge debt. America today equals huge military. Few have seriously attempted to reconcile the two, and Michael Mandelbaum does here, to provocative result. An authoritative thinker on America’s role in the world, he makes the case that a slimmer U.S. defense budget will leave a vacuum at the top of the global power structure that no other country can fill.
  • david-cameron-reforms-arthead

    David Cameron: In a Hurry to Fulfill His Promises

    Britain’s new prime minister, David Cameron, made a lot of promises on the stump about how he’d transform British society. If the first 100 days are any gauge, he doesn’t plan on waiting.
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    Zimbabwe Begins Selling Alleged Blood Diamonds

    A controversial stash of stones from a mine that could yield up to $2 billion a year, and that human-rights organizations allege were unearthed by virtual slaves threatened with death, goes on sale today in Zimbabwe.
  • tease-naomi-defends-testimony

    Naomi Campbell Defends Her War-Crimes Testimony

    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.
  • private-security-iraq-wide

    Mercenaries in Iraq to Take Over Soldiers' Jobs

    As the U.S. military prepares to draw down its forces in Iraq, the withdrawal will be a boon for the private security industry, whose hired guns will inherit many of the tasks the Army is leaving behind.
  • Legalize Drugs, Says Mexican Ex-President

    Vicente Fox, who has watched a national drug war claim 28,000 lives in less than four years under his successor, Felipe Calderón, says "radical prohibition strategies have never worked" and calls for drugs to be legalized.
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    The Battle for China's Wall Street

    New turf battles have erupted in the rivalry between Hong Kong and Shanghai over which metropolis will be the financial heart of China. The conventional wisdom has long been that Hong Kong would prevail. But Shanghai is keen to grab a bigger piece of the action, and it's on a fast learning curve.
  • Another Witness Refutes Naomi Campbell's Blood-Diamonds Story

    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.
  • Iran Stoning Lawyer Flees as New Client Faces Execution

    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.
  • Ella Pamfilova on Human Rights in Russia

    Between 2004 and the end of July, Ella Pamfilova served as the Russian president’s adviser on human rights. But she left that post to protest a wave of violent attacks against human-rights activists. In the past year three of them have been murdered, and four others have had to flee the country.
  • Why India Is Courting Iran

    Earlier this year, Brazil and Turkey infuriated the Obama administration when they announced just ahead of a critical United Nations vote on sanctions against Iran that they had brokered a deal to reprocess Iran’s low-enriched uranium. Now many are wondering if India will be the next to break ranks on Iran.
  • china-power-OV15-hsmall

    China Is Not Taking Over the World

    The rise of China is, as we all know by now, the definitive economic and political story of our time. Every week a new book title announces an “irresistible” tilt East, the emergence of “Chimerica” and a not-too-distant future when China “rules” the planet. But will it?
  • Generosity_Teaser

    Why Foreign Aid Is Dwindling

    One big obstacle to aid is the politics of spending money on other nations’ problems. President Bush enjoyed a Nixon-goes-to-China credibility with conservatives, who tend to be more skeptical of foreign aid. But Obama’s low popularity among conservative voters makes it nearly impossible for him to sell an aid program to them. Reaching out in this way might feed into American stereotypes that Republicans are tougher on national security while Democrats prefer soft power.
  • war-music-OV20-wide

    Music Promoters Seek Bands From War-Torn Nations

    Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s face is etched with the desert sun. A former member of Mali’s Tuareg rebel movement, the MPA, he has spent his life in the arid southern Sahara. With his band, Tinariwen, formed 30 years ago in a Kaddafi-sponsored rebel training camp in Libya, he still roams the desert, with a Fender Stratocaster on his shoulder where a Kalashnikov once hung.
  • celebrities-international-affairs-wide

    Do Celebrities Help or Hinder When They Hijack Serious Issues?

    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?
  • wyclef-haiti-vision-wide

    Wyclef's Uphill Battle

    The former Fugee touts programs put forward by Bill Clinton in the aftermath of the quake. But the Port-au-Prince–born singer, who is running on the Viv Ansanm party ticket, has an uphill battle to prove to Haiti and the world that he can make the transition from musician to national leader.
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    Can China's Economic Engine Jump-Start the West?

    Economists used to ridicule the idea of “decoupling”—that the economies of China and other emerging powers could move independently of developments in the West. The recession refuted them. Now markets are starting to recouple again—except the other way around: China has turned into a locomotive for Western growth.