North Korea just sentenced a U.S. citizen to 15 years of hard labor, creating a diplomatic crisis. Gordon G. Chang on what Obama must do.
When North Korea’s Supreme Court sentenced the American citizen Kenneth Bae to 15 years of hard labor for “hostile acts”—a lesser charge than the capital crime of attempting to overthrow the government which Pyongyang had leveled at him earlier but a harsh punishment nonetheless—it was clear the North Koreans wanted to send a signal.Having declared that it had entered “a state of war” with South Korea at the end of March, North Korea, led by its immature leader Kim Jong-un, is clearly trying to get the world’s attention—this time by parading its hostages to the world.
While the Afghan Taliban are promising a “monumental” offensive, they must cope with the hard fact that many of their targets may be local Afghans. Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau report.
In what has become an annual rite, the Afghan Taliban announced on its website, Voice of Jihad, this past weekend that it was kicking off this year’s “monumental spring” offensive. This time it boasted that the threatened “special military” operations outlined in the communiqué would feature more “insider attackers” by Taliban infiltrators inside Western bases, and stepped up “collective martyrdom operations,” or coordinated suicide attacks, against coalition military facilities and “diplomatic centers” in an effort to “inflict heavy casualties on the foreign aggressors.
The Free Syrian Army has a benefactor in Cairo, a wealthy man helping Syrians living in Egypt get back to their home country to fight. Alastair Beach and Abdulhamid Mallas report.
About a 30-minute drive west of Cairo, hundreds of young Syrians are yearning to go to war.They are living a rootless existence in 6th of October City, the satellite settlement now home to thousands of civil-war refugees. Many of them share the same goal: to return to their homeland and take up arms against Bashar al-Assad.For some, there is only one man who can help: Abu Samer (not his real name), perhaps the most prolific recruiting officer for anti-Assad rebels in Egypt.
Hunger strikers at Guantánamo Bay will have tubes shoved up their noses, down their throats, and into their stomachs. It’s grisly, excruciating, and ethically dubious. By Kent Sepkowitz.
A very complicated ethical debate has arisen from the mess that is the Guantánamo Bay detention camp.About 100 men are in the midst of a life-threatening hunger strike to bring world attention to their plight. In response, the U.S. has sent 40 medical personnel to “force feed” the prisoners sufficient calories to prevent their starving to death—and with the action surely has brought the prisoners a large amount of global attention.Leaving aside for moment the substantial legal, moral, and political issue at hand, some might wonder just how a person can be force fed.
Multiple U.S. officials tell Eli Lake the scary truth: in many cases, we simply don’t know. Plus: irregular militias loyal to Assad have reportedly been training in how to use them.
As the White House mulls whether Syria has crossed President Obama’s red line and used chemical weapons, the U.S. military and intelligence community are quietly acknowledging that the United States does not know where many of those weapons are located.The judgment comes from top U.S. military commanders and is supported by recent intelligence community assessments, according to three U.S. officials who work closely on Syrian intelligence matters.
A group of western climbers were attacked by a large group of Buddhist Sherpas this week. What sparked the unusual bout of violence? By Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan
Against a breathtaking backdrop on Mt. Everest at 24,000 feet, three mountaineers were reportedly attacked by scores of people this week—a violent assault that included being kicked in the gut, punched in the face, threatened with knives, and pelted with rocks. Scuffles occasionally break out on the world’s highest peak, but such violence is rare. More surprising, however, were the identities of the assailants. The large vigilante squad turned out to consist largely of Tibetan Buddhist Sherpas.
Egypt’s sputtering economy and high unemployment pose serious challenges—and are the same issues that led to the revolution against Mubarak in the first place. Mike Giglio reports.
As Egypt lurches from one crisis to the next, it’s the country’s battered economy, analysts say, that may be President Mohamed Morsi’s greatest challenge yet.The 2011 revolution that toppled Morsi’s predecessor, former dictator Hosni Mubarak, was inspired by—in addition to police abuse and suffocating repression—the dire financial straits most Egyptians faced. Alongside Tahrir Square’s famous anti-Mubarak chants, protesters also rallied around a more basic slogan, in which the first demand went to the needs of the dinner table: “Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice.
A massive brawl in Venezuela’s National Assembly left several politicians with broken bones and bruises. Mac Margolis on post-Chávez trouble.
If there was any question about what Venezuelan politics would be like after the death of longtime President Hugo Chávez, last night’s violent session, which turned the National Assembly into a carnival of flying fists, feet, and invective, left little doubt and plenty of foreboding.To call it a dust-up would be risibly misleading. Around 7 p.m. local time, beefy security guards clad in Windbreakers emblazoned with the patented yellow, blue, and red colors of the national flag attacked—there’s no politer word for it—members of the Venezuelan opposition in the wood-paneled assembly hall.
A group of Taliban leaders are challenging those who say they speak for Muhammad Omar, the organization’s absent chief. Ron Moreau reports on the leadership crisis.
Abdul Qayyum Zakir, the Taliban’s abrasive, often brutal, senior military commander, received a summons from the Quetta shura, the insurgency’s ruling council, last December. The shura’s verbal message was brief, blunt, and shocking: Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban’s supreme leader, had decided to remove Zakir from his powerful position and to promote Zakir’s rival and co-equal, Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, to become the insurgency's undisputed number-one military man.
Hundreds of dead, some as young as 11, have washed up in Aleppo, victims of a seemingly unending civil war.
Syrian men don’t usually cry. But for Yasser, the memory of his son, Mohammed, hurt too much. Sitting in the dark inside his shop on a bustling market street in Aleppo, the 63-year-old, hunched over in his chair, kept asking me: “Why did he deserve to die that way?” Yasser’s grief over his son who was apparently executed is shared by far too many Syrians caught up in this grisly war.A clothes seller on one of Aleppo’s market streets, Mohammed had never been involved with the armed opposition, his father told me.
Suicide in France
Historian Kills Himself at Notre Dame
After anti–gay marriage rant.More
Bin Laden Photos Won’t Be Released
In a unanimous ruling.More
COME ON NOW
Gay Marriage Bill Splits Parliament
Cameron faces Tory rebellion.More
North Koreans Seized Chinese Boat
While Pyongyang fires off sixth missile in three days.More
Syrian Troops Take Rebel Stronghold
With the help of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.More
Hot air balloons collided in mid-air over Cappadocia, Turkey on Monday morning, a fatal accident during the common tourist activity. A Brazilian man was killed, and 24 more were injured.
She is a true inspiration. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has released a video statement for the first time since being shot by the Taliban last October. 'God has given me this new life,' Malala says, and in return, she is launching the Malala Fund, created to help educate children all over the world.
Afghans fear U.S.-backed militias—and allegations of sexual violence abound. Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau report.