World News

As many as 2,000 dead in Nigeria attack

Survivors of an assault by Islamist militants that killed a large number of civilians in Nigeria have described days of relentless violence in which, one witness said, some people were slaughtered “like insects.” The accounts were given by villagers who fled the carnage in and around Baga, a town in Borno state that lies in the northeastern corner of Nigeria ...

Hurdles abound for Guantanamo closure, 13 years later

Thirteen years after terror suspects first arrived in Guantanamo, the United States is sending inmates out at a faster rate than ever before — but hurdles remain in the effort to shutter it entirely. In 2014, 28 detainees were freed in “the largest single-year reduction in detainee population” since 2009, said Paul Lewis, the US official charged with closing the ...

Huge anti-terrorism rally turns Paris into ‘capital of the world

Masses of people joined with world leaders to fill Paris streets Sunday in a rally for unity that officials said was the largest demonstration in French history. Hundreds of thousands more marched in cities around the country and the world to repudiate a three-day terror spree around the French capital that killed 17 people and left the three gunmen dead.Their ...

Indonesia asks U.S. to help find missing AirAsia jet

Indonesia has formally asked the U.S. for help in locating the AirAsia jet carrying 162 people that went missing Sunday, the State Department said Monday. “Today we received a request for assistance locating the airplane, and we are reviewing that request to find out how best we can meet Indonesia’s request for assistance,” State Department spokesmanJeff Rathke told a regular ...

AirAsia QZ8501: Search resumes for missing flight after anxious relatives spend night in crisis centre

The search resumed at dawn for an AirAsia flight that went missing while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore yesterday with 162 people on board. Indonesian officials remained hopeful of locating the Airbus 320-200 quickly but said it was too early to detect any of the electronic “pings” from the jet’s black box recorder. “We have resumed the search ...

Turkish foreign relations harmed by Erdogan’s domestic moves

Controversial moves at home could harm Turkey’s relations with the West, especially its neighbours in the European Union. Before ending up as the victor of last August’s presidential race, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to increase the powers of the Turkish head of state. But the borderline between boosting authorities and maintaining an authoritarian leadership style is not fully clear. Erdogan ...

The art (and pitfalls) of diplomatic gift-giving

Christmas shoppers who struggled to buy something for the man who has everything should spare a thought for those whose daily job is finding the right gift for the world’s most powerful leaders. Forget Santa’s workshop in the North Pole — year round the elves of the State Department’s busy protocol office have to select and wrap thoughtful gifts as ...

Russia hopes to host Syria talks in January

Russia plans to host delegations from the Syrian opposition in late January, possibly followed by a visit by regime representatives that could bring the two sides together for talks, the foreign ministry said Thursday. Members of the Syrian opposition are expected in Moscow “after January 20th,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters. “We expect this group to include ...

Faithful flock to Bethlehem for Christmas

Several thousand Christian pilgrims on Wednesday flocked to the biblical town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, lifting spirits after a year of conflict and failed peace efforts. The central Manger Square was decked out in white and yellow lights and a towering Christmas tree. On a cool, clear night, there was a carnival atmosphere: Vendors hawked corn, ...

Historic shift as Obama ends isolation of Cuba

President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba Wednesday and declared an end to America’s “outdated approach” to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity. “These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,” Obama said from the White House. “It’s time for a new approach.” As ...