World news

Deal reached on prison handover in Afghanistan
March 10, 2012
The U.S. military and the Afghan government sealed an agreement Friday on the gradual transfer of control of the main U.S. prison in the country, a last-minute breakthrough that brings the first progress in months in contentious negotiations over a long-term partnership.
Greece secures biggest debt deal in history
March 10, 2012
Greece’s private creditors agreed Friday to take cents on the euro in the biggest debt writedown in history, paving the way for an enormous second bailout for the country to keep Europe’s economy from being dragged further into chaos.
Syrian oil minister defects, calls regime sinking ship
March 9, 2012
Syria’s deputy oil minister appeared tense as he looked at the camera and announced in a video that he has defected from President Bashar Assad’s regime, acknowledging he expects government forces to “burn my home” and “persecute my family.”
Riot police break up anti-Putin protest in Moscow
March 6, 2012
An attempt by Vladimir Putin’s foes to protest his presidential election victory by occupying a Moscow square ended Monday with riot police quickly dispersing and detaining hundreds of demonstrators — a stark reminder of the challenges faced by Russia’s opposition.
Obama, Netanyahu talk unity, underline differences
March 6, 2012
Taking sharply different stands, President Barack Obama on Monday urged pressure and diplomacy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized his nation’s right to a pre-emptive attack. Even in proclaiming unity, neither leader gave ground on how to resolve the crisis.
McCain seeks airstrikes on Syria; U.S. presses Putin
March 6, 2012
Frustrated by a diplomatic logjam and a bloody Syrian offensive, Republican Sen. John McCain on Monday urged the United States to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime to force him out of power — a call for dramatic military intervention that wasn’t supported by the Obama administration or its European or Arab partners.
Syrian rebels withdraw from enclave after siege
March 2, 2012
After a punishing, monthlong military siege, Syrian rebels made what they called a “tactical retreat” Thursday from a key district in Homs, saying they were running low on weapons and the humanitarian conditions were unbearable.
Egypt lifts travel ban on U.S. workers
February 29, 2012
Egypt lifted a travel ban Wednesday on seven Americans charged with fomenting unrest by working for illegally funded pro-democracy groups, signaling an end to the worst crisis in Egypt-U.S. relations in 30 years.
North Korea says it will halt some nuclear activities
Country takes step in exchange for food aid
February 29, 2012
North Korea raised hopes Wednesday for a major easing in nuclear tensions under its youthful new leader, agreeing to suspend uranium enrichment at a major facility and refrain from missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a mountain of critically needed U.S. food aid.
Officials say 3 killed in Canadian train derailment
February 27, 2012
A Canadian Via Rail passenger train derailed west of Toronto on Sunday, killing three railroad employees and injuring dozens of passengers, officials said.
Constitution vote dismissed as ‘farce’
February 27, 2012
The U.S. and its allies dismissed the Syrian regime’s referendum on a new constitution Sunday as a “farce” meant to justify the bloody crackdown on dissent.
‘Friends of Syria’ vow support for opposition
February 24, 2012
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blasted Russia and China as “despicable” for opposing U.N. action aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria, and more than 60 nations began planning a civilian peacekeeping mission to deploy after the Damascus regime halts its crackdown on the opposition.
In battered city, cries of tragic plight
February 24, 2012
Medics stitch wounds with thread used for clothing. Hungry residents risk Syrian government sniper fire or shelling to hunt for dwindling supplies of bread and canned food on the streets of the besieged city of Homs. The opposition stronghold was being destroyed “inch by inch,” by government forces, with collapsed walls and scorched buildings, according to accounts Thursday, while Western and Arab leaders hoped to silence the guns long enough to rush in relief aid.
Seoul holds military drills despite threat
February 21, 2012
South Korea conducted live-fire military drills near its disputed sea boundary with North Korea on Monday despite Pyongyang’s threat to respond with a “merciless” attack.
Forces mass outside rebel stronghold in Syria
February 21, 2012
Syrian tanks and troops massed Monday outside the resistance stronghold of Homs for a possible ground assault that one activist warned could unleash a new round of fierce and bloody urban combat even as the Red Cross tried to broker a cease-fire to allow emergency aid in.