World features

Special Report: Why Ukraine's revolution remains unfinished

23 Oct 2014
(The story contains language readers may find offensive in paragraph 12 of section headed '21 February: The downfall'.)   In the afternoon of 20 February, after the morning’s dead had been cleared away, Volodymyr...

Palestinians downbeat on promised rebuilding of ruined Gaza Strip

A Palestinian boy plays near the ruins of his family's house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the east of Gaza City, 21 October 2014.
21 Oct 2014
The first torrential downpour of an approaching winter has already soaked the Gaza Strip, compounding the misery of thousands of Palestinians who scrambled to patch homes wrecked by the summer war with Israel.   While Palestinian...

Half-mumbled prayers and friction at Jerusalem's holiest site

Palestinian women pray in front of the Dome of the Rock at the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as The Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City during the holy month of Ramadan, 28 July 2012.
19 Oct 2014
 Israeli and Palestinian police kept a tight watch over the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday amid high tension between Muslims and Jewish visitors to the holy site and calls from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to defend it by...

Saudi Arabia's clerics condemn IS but preach intolerance

10 Sep 2014
When Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh described Islamic State and al Qaeda as "kharijites" last month, he was casting them as the ultimate heretics of Muslim history, a sect that caused the faith's...

Hamas popularity surges as Palestinian rivalry flares

A handout picture released by the Hamas Press Office shows Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (R) shaking hands with Palestinian leader Ismail Haniya (L) during a meeting, Cairo, February 23, 2012, to implement the terms of a reconciliation deal they signed in the Egyptian capital in last May, which called for an interim government and general elections in a year.
02 Sep 2014
Militant group Hamas would sweep Palestinian elections if they were held today after its support soared during seven weeks of war with Israel in Gaza, an opinion poll published on Tuesday found.   The Palestinian Center for Policy and...

After setbacks, Obama seeks to regain momentum

Barack Obama
29 Jan 2014
President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to bypass a divided Congress and take action on his own to bolster America's middle class in a State of the Union address that he used to try to breathe new life into his second term after a...

Christians increasingly under threat

25 Dec 2013
 Thousands of Christians are killed every year because of their faith and the persecution is becoming more widespread, Catholic observers said as Christmas celebrations are increasingly marred by attacks in at-risk countries. Pope...

Special Report: Why Ukraine spurned the EU and embraced Russia

Ukraine protesters press government on EU trade deal
19 Dec 2013
On 4 September, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich called a meeting of his political party for the first time in three years, summoning members to an old Soviet-era cinema called Zoryany in Kiev. For three hours Yanukovich cajoled...

Analysis: Saudis have few options as they push tougher foreign policy

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal speaks during a joint news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry (not pictured) in Riyadh 4 November 2013.
02 Dec 2013
Saudi Arabia seems to have few viable options for pursuing a more independent and forthright foreign policy, despite its deep unease about the West’s tentative rapprochement with Iran.   Upset with the United States, senior...

Last Jew in Afghanistan faces ruin as kebabs fail to sell

Zabulon Simantov, an Afghan Jew, prays at a Jewish cemetery in Kabul 5 November 2013. 
14 Nov 2013
Zabulon Simintov always removes his kippah, the skullcap worn by Jewish men, before entering his cafe in a dilapidated building that also houses Afghanistan’s last synagogue.   “Let me take off my cap, otherwise people...