World Topics

Why the U.S.-Cuba talks had to be kept secret

When reporters needled her for details of delicate Israeli-Syrian talks 15 years ago, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright replied: “Sometimes talks, like mushrooms, do better in the dark.” That homespun axiom proved true again Wednesday with the revelation that a year and a half of secret White House negotiations ...

Cold War fugitives spawn Cuba-U.S. tensions

Dec 24, 2014

Cold War fugitives spawn Cuba-U.S. tensions

For decades some of the most-wanted U.S. fugitives made new lives for themselves in Cuba, marrying, having children and becoming fixtures of their modest Havana neighborhoods as their cases went mostly forgotten at home. Granted political asylum by former President Fidel Castro, they became ...

Dec 24, 2014

Russia and four former Soviet nations finalize new alliance

Russia and four other ex-Soviet nations on Tuesday completed the creation of a new economic alliance intended to bolster their integration, but the ambitious grouping immediately showed signs of fracture as the leader of Belarus sharply criticized Moscow. The Eurasian Economic Union, which includes ...

Dec 23, 2014

Crisis-hit Russia's main allies moving closer to Ukraine

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev followed his Belarusian counterpart to Ukraine on Monday as Moscow’s old allies reassessed their reliance on Russia in the heat of its financial malaise. Both visits were ostensibly made to kickstart stalled peace talks between Kiev and the two Russian-speaking ...

Dec 23, 2014

Going it alone, Obama made big moves in 2014

President Barack Obama rang in 2014 by declaring a “year of action” focusing on fairness, competitiveness and the power of American diplomacy. Since Congress seemed unwilling to help, the president acted alone, issuing more than 80 executive actions and related measures. On immigration, climate ...

Russian indie TV facing wrath of Kremlin

Dec 22, 2014

Russian indie TV facing wrath of Kremlin

Among the five TV journalists interviewing Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the odd one out was easy to spot. Mikhail Zygar’s questions were sharper than those of the others, who headed back to spacious television studios while Zygar broadcast his piece from a Moscow ...

Abbott drops defense minister during Cabinet reshuffle

Dec 21, 2014

Abbott drops defense minister during Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews will replace David Johnston as defense minister as he announced his first changes to the Cabinet. Josh Frydenberg becomes assistant treasurer, replacing Arthur Sinodinos, who stepped down last week. Health Minister Peter Dutton will ...

Dec 21, 2014

Exile groups face choice: adapt or die

by Laura Wides-Munoz

Hours before President Barack Obama announced an end to a half-century of U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba’s communist government, the Cuban American National Foundation opened the doors to its inviting new headquarters, with a modern glass and concrete lobby in the heart of Miami’s ...