(GlobalPost) JABAL AL ZAWIYA, Syria -- The pickup truck swerved around the corner as three frantic men stood on the back screaming,"Go! Go!" Bouncing painfully between their legs was a man drenched in blood.
He was one of seven injured in a series of tank blasts last week in the village of Deersonpol, in Syria's northern Idlib province. Four others were killed instantly in the attack by government security forces. Of the seven who took the harrowing route to the nearest "safe" hospital in Deir Alsharky, 12 miles of bad road away, three survived, three died and the whereabouts of the fourth remains unknown.
There were many hospitals much closer to the scene, but these were government run. The risk of execution or arrest, particularly for those arriving with battle wounds, is so high that citizens throughout the area endure these dangerous journeys every day.Continue »
(Global Post) KABUL, Afghanistan -- Sakina's eyes are dark wells of despair that lighten only briefly when the 20-year-old mother looks at her nine-month-old son, Mirwais.
Mother and child are inhabitants of the Badam Bagh women's prison in Kabul, Afghanistan. Here children born to inmates share their mothers' sentences.
But it is not a life behind the walls of the prison that troubles Sakina most. It is the possibility that she may soon be released.Continue »
This post, written by Tracey Shelton, originally appeared on GlobalPost.
TRIPOLI, Libya -- Forces from both sides of the Libyan uprising are guilty of war crimes, breaches of international human rights laws and crimes against humanity, according to a U.N. report obtained by GlobalPost, scheduled for release later this week.
Both Qaddafi regime forces and revolutionary fighters committed murder, torture, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, and indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, the Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya stated. The continuing abuses being carried out by ex-rebel fighters in a "climate of impunity" are deeply concerning, the report added.Continue »
This post, written by Hugh Macleod and Annasofie Flamand, originally appeared on GlobalPost.
BEIRUT -- Homs is now a war zone, a city under siege by the army of Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad. It is a city where rebel soldiers are being joined by jihadis to fight a guerrilla insurgency, and where once mixed communities have begun to split along religious lines as the seeds of a civil war take root.
"We're working by candlelight because there is no electricity and our generator is running out of fuel," a doctor known as Abdel Rizk from Homs' easterly Karm Zeitoun neighborhood told GlobalPost.
This article, by Suzanna Koster, originally appeared on GlobalPost.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Mullahs, militants and retired military men in Pakistan are forming a powerful alliance to promote an anti-US agenda, pressuring the Pakistani government at a time when relations with the United States are dangerously frayed.
Among these men, Hafiz Saeed is the most notorious.
Saeed leads the charity group Jamaat-ud Dawah, which the United Nations says is a front for Lashkar-e-Tayba, a group widely held responsible for killing 166 people in the Mumbai attacks in 2008. In Pakistan, however, a court absolved Saeed of all terrorism charges.
CAIRO - One year into Egypt's unfinished revolution, fateful questions loom here in the most populous nation in the Arab world as it leans forward into a new and uncertain future.
How to square a hope for democracy with a history of autocratic rule? What will be the role of religion in shaping a new constitution and what will the sweeping victory by Islamist parties in recent elections mean for the rights of the Christian minority, women and so many who put so much on the line in this revolution to make Egypt a more democratic country?
But of all the questions casting a shadow across Egypt, there is one that is most sharply in focus right now as the tumult of the 'Arab Awakening' continues to unfold in the region.Continue »
During his often oppressive reign over North Korea, Kim Jong Il cultivated a personal mythology that included some outlandish claims. Global Post compiled 10 bizarre bits of reported fact and propaganda from the life of "Dear Leader."
1. Divine birth
Legend has it that a double rainbow and a glowing new star appeared in the heavens to herald the birth of Kim Jong Il, in 1942, on North Korea's cherished Baekdu Mountain. Soviet records, however, indicate he was born in the Siberian village of Vyatskoye, in 1941. The people of North Korea, many of whom are reportedly battling famine, are apparently told that Kim's birthday is celebrated throughout the world.
More from GlobalPost:Continue »
This story was written by GlobalPost's Noga Tarnopolsky.
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Mitzpeh Hila is a village of just over 525 residents.
Located on a bucolic, breezy hilltop in the Western Galilee, it offers hitchhikers and weekend visitors breathtaking vistas of the Hula Valley, in Israel, and of the southern Lebanese countryside.
Its principal source of income is tourism, especially that of the bed and breakfasts operated by individual families. Weekend after weekend they attract urban dwellers thirsty for a weekend of birdsong, green hills and organic brunches.
In 1988, when their middle child, Gilad, was two years old, Noam and Aviva Shalit moved to this remote outpost like many others who sought a clean, quiet life in tune with nature. They own and run one of these small hostelries.
Gilad, a scholarly boy who graduated high school with honors, was always a little sickly. His medical profile was sufficiently low to enable him to opt out of combat service in the army, but he chose to volunteer and follow his older brother, Yoel, into the armored corps.Continue »
This story was written by GlobalPost's Jodi Hilton.
ISTANBUL - On the walls of buildings and along the back alleys of the trendy Tunel neighborhood here in an old part of the city, graffiti art of a ruggedly handsome man with a beard and gentle eyes first began appearing in 2008.
Three years later the black-and-white image, drawn by a renowned Japanese manga named Gengoroh Tagame and carrying the slogan "Ahmet Yildiz is My Family" has become ubiquitous.
An international community of friends, activists and civil rights supporters have posthumously adopted Ahmet Yildiz as a brother and as a cause, they say, after his father killed him for being gay.
"Ahmet's so-called family killed him," reads a blog established in the wake of his death. "Fortunately, he still has a real one: Us."Continue »
GlobalPost looks at the rise of the drones, which the U.S. has used increasingly over the last few years against terrorist targets. Remotely operated, armed drones have been responsible for the elimination of many of the most wanted terrorists in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan. However, questions of legality, civilian deaths and the development of lethal drones in China and other countries is creating controversy around the "Drone War." This article was written by Peter Gelling.
The Drone Wars are the new black.
The once covert, highly-secretive and little talked about strategy of using unmanned aerial vehicles to target suspected terrorists in Pakistan and elsewhere has gone mainstream. And now everyone is talking about it.Continue »
NIAMEY, Niger -- The defeat of Muammar Gaddafi will lead to a proliferation of arms and fighters in the desert areas of West and Central Africa turning the region into a "powder keg," according to regional experts who met to discuss the growing security threat this week.
"The repercussion of the Libyan crisis on the ... region has become palpable, particularly with the arrival of large amounts of weapons and four-wheel drive vehicles and the return of armed individuals involved in the Libyan crisis," Mohamed Bazoum, the foreign minister of Niger, told a two-day conference in Algiers that ended late on Thursday.
Top of the list of concerns is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a resurgent Islamist militant group, will get its hands on surface-to-air missiles that have disappeared from Libyan stockpiles raising the threat of passenger planes being shot down over the Sahara Desert.
Thousands of shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles were found to have disappeared from looted warehouses in Tripoli this week, according to Human Rights Watch.Continue »
The horrific acts attributed to Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik appear to have been motivated by a hatred of Muslims and distaste for cultural diversity. While Breivik distanced himself from organized politics, his rhetoric has put Europe's growing far-right parties in the spotlight. Below is a roundup of what's happening on the extreme right in some key European countries:Continue »
MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- The story splattered across Mexican newspapers looked painfully familiar -- a government official was found guilty of betraying the trust of the public and moonlighting for the drug cartels that have torn this country apart.
But the official who was on Wednesday sentenced to 17 years in prison had not worked for the Mexican government like so many other policemen, pen-pushers or politicians who have taken narco money.
Luis Enrique Ramirez was an agent for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol or CBP.Continue »
This story originally appeared on Global Post. It was written by Hugh Macleod and a reporter in Syria
DARAA, Syria -- It was the small act of defiance that catapulted Syria to the frontline of the Arab revolution.
And it came not from the organized opposition in Damascus or Aleppo or any other major Syrian city, but from the graffiti cans of school boys in a run-down border town half way to the desert.
"As-Shaab / Yoreed / Eskaat el nizam!": "The people / want / to topple the regime!"
Here on March 6 the slogan of the revolutions in Cairo and Tunis, which the boys had seen played out on their TVs, came flying from their paint cans onto a wall and grain silo in Daraa, the ancient and increasingly arid farming town on Syria's southern border with Jordan.Continue »
(GLOBALPOST) Coffee prices have topped $3 a pound for the first time in more than 34 years.
A drop in supplies of high-grade arabica coffee beans and a growing taste for upmarket coffee among the middle classes of China, Brazil, Indonesia and India are blamed for the sharp rise.
Continuing weakness in the dollar has also kept many commodity markets soaring and encouraged a buy-up of arabica beans.
New York's July arabica contract hit $3.025 a pound on Wednesday, the highest since 1977. According to the Guardian, coffee futures inched lower to $2.94 on Thursday.
Coffee prices have more than doubled in the past seven months. Supplies are running low because heavy rain led to worse than expected harvests in Colombia, the second-largest producer of arabica beans after Brazil and also in Indonesia, Mexico and Vietnam. Colombia's supplies dipped to their lowest level in 33 years.
The London-based International Coffee Organization added that coffee inventories - at their lowest level in 50 years - were unlikely to build up this year, the Financial Times reported.
Price hikes are reportedly being felt in American coffee shops.
JM Smucker, the U.S. company behind the Folgers coffee brand, has raised retail prices three times during the past year. The company has warned it will do so again if wholesale prices do not fall soon, the FT reported.
Tammy Durbin, co-owner of Capitol Roasters in Charlestown, W.Va., told the Charlestown Daily Mail that her coffee prices had jumped by 80 percent since June.
"That's a big jump," she reportedly said, adding that the price of a 12-ounce cup of coffee at Capitol Roasters had gone up 10 cents -- to $1.49 -- in the past few days.
"It's tough," she said. "Everything seems to be going up. It's just hard on our customers in general."
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