Joshua Hammer

Wunder Woman

In her nearly six years as chancellor, Angela Merkel has established herself as Europe's strongest and most durable leader. By Joshua Hammer.


The long-running Japan-U.S. alliance--focused by the specter of a rising China--is stronger than ever. Or is it? Though officials in Washington and Tokyo won't admit it publicly, growing tensions at the local level in Japan are putting unprecedented strain on the relationship.

Sunnis Change Course

Ahmed Duraid is ready for a new era. Like almost all of his neighbors in Adhamiya, a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency along the Tigris River in central Baghdad, the 35-year-old clothes vendor boycotted Iraq's National Assembly elections last January on the advice of Sunni fighters and influential political groups such as the Association of Muslim Scholars.

'The Light Of Our Eyes'

It was an unscripted moment rare in Egyptian politics. Last week Hosni Mubarak descended on the hardscrabble town of Assiut, 320 kilometers south of Cairo, one of the last stops in his carefully orchestrated presidential campaign.

The Wars Through Arab Eyes

The images were searing, and strikingly similar. Last Wednesday afternoon, as a thousand unarmed Palestinian protesters marched toward Israeli troops bulldozing houses at the southern end of the Gaza Strip, two Israeli tank shells and a helicopter missile exploded around them, killing eight people, half of them children.

Fallujah: In The Hands Of Insurgents

Fidgeting with a pistol as he sits on a Persian carpet, a young mujahed named Mohammed describes his life as a member of the armed resistance. "I fought for four straight days without sleep," he says, recalling the fierce battle with U.S. Marines in Fallujah early last month. "I was living on bread and Pepsi." Beside Mohammed sits his older brother, a burly man with a scraggly beard who lifts up his striped shirt to reveal a bulky white suicide belt strapped around his waist.

Quietly, Not Peacefully

The outpost of Haroe is booming. During the past year and a half, 14 Jewish families have laid claim to this barren hilltop south of the West Bank city of Nablus, erecting 20 mobile homes, a rudimentary sewage system, a generator, a playground and a synagogue.


As a Reuters correspondent based in Nairobi in the early 1990s, Aidan Hartley was a member of a small clique of nomads who risked their lives reporting from some of the world's most hellish places.

Who's In Charge Here?

An air of somnolence hung over Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace along the Tigris River. In the sweltering streets outside the gates, desperate Iraqis lined up for meager rations of gasoline, armed looters prowled the charred ruins of ministries and banks, and another power outage paralyzed the capital.

Digging Up A Grisly Past

For nearly two decades the military vehicles moved in and out of the camp at Qaryat al-Marrajah in the middle of the night. From their homes in the sandy wastes alongside Habaniya lake, the villagers could hear the gunshots, but none of them dared approach the compound.They knew that the fenced-off complex was a training ground for the National Security College, an institute that produced agents for the feared Iraqi security service known in Arabic as al-Amen. "We felt that it anybody got close...

'Sharon's Government Is Leading Us Nowhere'

Amram Mitzna had his first confrontation with Ariel Sharon exactly 20 years ago. Seething over the massacre that Lebanese Phalangist militias had just committed against Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps under Israel's watch, Mitzna, a former field commander, wrote a damning letter to the Army chief of staff about the man who served as their boss.


Sitting in a cafe on Manger Square in the heart of the deserted city of Bethlehem, the slim, unshaven guerrilla sipped a Turkish coffee and nervously fingered his revolver.

'Another Lebanon'

The newest phase of the Palestinian uprising began last week on a lonely mountain road near the West Bank city of Ramallah. At an Israeli military checkpoint known as Ein Ariq--a concrete hut surrounded by terraced orchards of olive trees--a three-man squad of Fatah guerrillas launched one of the deadliest attacks against the Israeli Army since the height of the guerrilla war in southern Lebanon.

Yasir Arafat Is a Traitor

The Palestinian Leader Finally Persuades Hamas And Islamic Jihad To Call Off Their Suicide Bombers And Stop Shelling Jewish Settlements. But Lasting Peace Seems No Closer. Israel Remains Suspicious, And Palestinian Hard-Liners Battle Their Own Police In The Streets Of Gaza, Angrier Than Ever

'Please Don't Forget Us'

The road to Kabul is pocked by bomb craters and littered with the accumulated debris of two decades of war: burnt-out husks of Soviet tanks; rusting antiaircraft guns; a crushed truck that had swerved out of control when its Taliban passengers, trying to flee Kabul in a panic last week, plunged over a steep mountainside.

Diary From Afghanistan, Part 3

Our eviction was a shock. Despite the squalid conditions in our compound at the town of Spin Boldak, despite the awfulness of war-ravaged Afghanistan, being in the company of the Taliban in the last days of their teetering regime was an experience that no journalist was eager to give up.

Diary From Afghanistan, Part 2: Welcome To 'Camp Taliban'

Last night I thought I'd gotten lucky. Stuck with 100 other journalists inside an abandoned United Nations compound in Spin Boldak in southern Afghanistan, I spent two hours searching in plunging temperatures for a place to bed down for the night.The better prepared had pitched tents across an open field; others had grabbed floor space inside the compound's dilapidated brick buildings.

Diary From Southern Afghanistan, Part 1

It's getting toward evening now in the abandoned United Nations compound in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, and the hum of generators mingles with the prayers of the Taliban guards and officials who are stretched out on mats across the grassy field where I'm now typing.Occasional gunshots ring out in the streets, and dozens of displaced Afghans who fled from the bombed-out cities of Kabul and Kandahar perch atop the compound's high wall, eyeing us with amazement.

Letter From Beit Jala

Nicola Al-Alam peered out the second-floor window of her old stone house in the heart of Beit Jala, a Palestinian town in the West Bank, surveying a street now littered with broken glass and bullet casings.

Middle East: The Making Of A Martyr

In the dusty alleys of Qabatiya Village just outside Jenin, Mohammed Nasser was known as the neighborhood kid who made good. A rising star in the Palestinian Authority's military police, the 28-year-old cop had one of the force's most sensitive jobs: guarding a nest of Islamic radicals who were held in protective custody in a three-story prison on Jenin's outskirts.