Most American soldiers in Iraq want to avoid roadside bombs. Ted Seitz isn't one of them. The powerfully built Navy chief petty officer spends his days and nights deliberately searching for improvised explosive devices, better known by the infamous acronym IEDs, along desert roads and highways in northern Iraq.
For one day at least, soccer took priority over faith in Iraq. Despite an order from one of the country's most revered Islamic clerics against firing weapons in the air, bullets rained down on Baghdad and elsewhere after the Cinderella Iraqi national soccer team won the Asia Cup on Sunday.
Baghdad can be a surprising place even in the best of times. Not to mention amusing. Grumbles and gasps could be heard among the expatriates here during the weekend when word spread that the only remaining restaurant in the Green Zone had begun enforcing a dress code.
It was clearly bad luck. A sand fly buzzing around Amman's international airport on Saturday got trapped on a commercial flight bound for Baghdad. As I sat in seat 1C watching the insect bounce pointlessly against the window as the plane's door closed, I could only shake my head and smile.
Ten years ago, José Ramos-Horta was a painful pebble in Indonesia's shoe. The charismatic East Timorese intellectual earned a Nobel Peace Prize by trolling the halls of power in dozens of capitals around the world, telling anyone who'd listen that the former Portuguese colony was under a savage occupation.
Nepal—home to eight of the world's 14 tallest mountains—may be a favorite destination for climbers and extreme adventurers. But it is also becoming increasingly popular among those who prefer Egyptian cotton sheets and caviar to sleeping bags and protein bars, and whose idea of roughing it means giving up heated towel racks.
Cuisine isn't the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Nepal, unless perhaps it's yak meat on the mountain trails. Nepal is all about the outdoors—mountaineering, trekking, river rafting—where adventurers brave the elements on dried fruit and granola bars.
During his military career, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was known as "the thinking general" for his intellectual approach. One can only wonder what was going through his mind last week, when monsoons caused floods that submerged three quarters of Jakarta, killing 46 people and displacing some 420,000.
Not long ago, rebels like Sofyan Dawood risked a bullet in the head if they appeared in public in the war-torn Indonesian province of Aceh. But then something unexpected happened: the decades-old separatist war that had killed as many as 20,000 was swept away by the tsunami of 2004, which devastated South Asia.
The meeting of the united Malays National Organization, the ruling pro-Muslim party in Malaysia, was a shocking display of divisiveness. Some UMNO delegates at the rally, which ended Nov. 17, gave speeches that, either explicitly or in veiled terms, were racist or called for violence as a means of settling religious or political differences.
Ungrateful" and "gutless." Those are some of the harsh words used by former Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad to describe the government led by his successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. "I have helped many people [into power]," he told reporters, "only for them to stab me in the back." What prompted such wrath?
Sometimes even the starting line is hard to reach in Indonesia. Just ask President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. A few weeks ago fans converging on a speedway outside Jakarta for the city's inaugural A1 Grand Prix turned nearby roads into parking lots, trapping the presidential motorcade.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stormed into office nearly 18 months ago--and has not stopped running since. The former Army general took power at a time when the world's fourth largest nation was threatened by economic stagnation, lawlessness and terrorism.
Last week Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono showed why more than 90 percent of his countrymen rate him a good leader. The retired Army general, who has broad shoulders and a stern gaze, inspected the sites of multiple suicide-terrorist attacks that killed 22 people on the resort island of Bali on Oct. 1.