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USA: What Fort Hood Taught Me

The Fort Hood shooting in Texas made me re-think the usual conventions. Namely: A Norwegian social scientist understands me far more than the Muslim guys whom the government officials usually meet.

Between the 2 Koreas, a border fortified by mistrust

BAENGNYEONG ISLAND, South Korea – Just a dozen kilometers from this northernmost island of South Korea, North Korea has massed two army divisions, their artillery and rockets pointed directly at the South.

The way forward

This is how I and thousands have lived and fought against the tyrannic regime the last day. World exclusive text in Arabic from the author and doctor Nawal El Saadawi (79), Cairo, Egypt: الورة المصرية تضع قيما وعقدا اجتماعيا جديدا

Egypt: Nakedness of Women

There is a striking similarity between the hijab and make up.

France aims to take its full place in NATO

MUNICH – President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and top NATO officials will begin a diplomatic effort this month to persuade lawmakers in Paris to accept Sarkozy's plans to return France to full membership in NATO military command structures in time for the alliance's summit meeting in April.

Tibet: Obama's lacking struggle

Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama did not pronounce the word «human rights» correctly in Beijing. But I'm not disappointed. That's exactly what I expected.

Leak about Afghan tactics forces NATO to backtrack

BERLIN – NATO was reeling Friday after the leak of a classified document in which the military alliance's supreme commander of Europe proposed that NATO soldiers serving in Afghanistan shoot drug traffickers without waiting for proof.

The theory and reality of France's EU leadership

PARIS – In a time when world leadership appears in short supply, Nicolas Sarkozy is making a case that he can be a leader of a Europe able to take a greater hand in global decision making.

With budget to stake, Obama is ready to fight

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration began a vigorous new offensive this weekend to sell its economic program, countering Republicans who call the new budget plan "mind-boggling" in its numbers and ambition.

Thai army chief advises prime minister to quit

BANGKOK – The head of Thailand's Army urged the country's prime minister Wednesday to step down and call elections as he appealed to protesters who have paralyzed the country's main international airport for two days to cease their demonstrations and leave the terminal.

Europe and US move towards cooperation with China on product safety

BRUSSELS – The European Union and the United States on Monday sought to bind China to international product safety controls when the three trading partners discussed consumer scares ranging from contaminated Chinese milk to dangerous toys.

Afghan drug fight will follow law's letter, NATO says

BERLIN – NATO will remain within international law when it proceeds with new measures to kill drug traffickers in Afghanistan and bomb drug-processing laboratories to deprive the Taliban of its main financing, the head of the alliance said Wednesday.

Emerging nations are seen as economic lifesavers

BARCELONA – The United States may have plunged the world into a sharp economic downturn, but it will take the combined efforts of China and other emerging nations to lead the global economy out of what is likely to be a long and painful recession.

Russia's peace offensive

President Dmitri Medvedev's speech in Evian, France last week has been portrayed as a broadside against the United States. Indeed, much of the speech amounted to a gratuitous rant reminiscent of his predecessor, now prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

North Korea releases flurry of reports on Kim

SEOUL – North Korea's state-run media has released a flurry of reports of public appearances by the country's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il, in what analysts on Thursday called an effort to demonstrate to his people and the outside world that he is firmly in control despite widespread rumors of ill health.

EU powers favor changes to global financial system

BRUSSELS – Shaken by the financial meltdown and plunging markets, leaders of the world's economic powers said Wednesday that they favored an ambitious campaign to revamp the structures that have governed global finance for more than 60 years.

Media culture grows up in Eastern Europe

BERLIN – Marius Hagger is no stranger to intimidation or threats. Hagger, general manager of Ringier media group in Romania, said his staff has often faced verbal and physical attacks for articles appearing in one of their newspapers or magazines in the country.

Obama takes lead in electoral projections

As the race for the US presidential race enters its final stage after nearly two years of campaigning, a number of analyzes are showing Senator Barack Obama holding more than the number of Electoral College votes necessary for victory if the election were held today, leaving Senator John McCain battled against the clock to win back states that once leaned in his favor.

Google and Europe at odds over privacy

BERLIN – When Google began hiring in Zurich for its new engineering center in 2004, local officials welcomed the US company with open arms. Google's arrival is still bearing fruit for Zurich: 450 employees, about 300 of them engineers, work in Google's seven-story complex in a converted brewery on the outskirts of the placid mountain metropolis.

Muslims seek to build future in Italy

MILAN – On one side of a drab street in working-class Milan, a squat structure houses a conservative mosque linked in the past to suspected Islamic terrorists.

Choosing freedom or having the freedom to choose

Do we live in a free and democratic society?

Sarkozy's Mediterranean plan slow to get moving

BRUSSELS – Once described by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France as his "Mediterranean dream," a plan to bind Europe to its southern neighbors was supported by no fewer than 43 countries at a summit meeting in a glittering Parisian palace in July.

The EU ticks a box

The European Union is holding a seminar on media freedom in Uzbekistan at the beginning of this month. Seems logical enough. Journalists who cross the authoritarian regime in Uzbekistan have been murdered, others have been tortured and still others are being framed by the police right now. A two-day EU seminar was just what was needed to sort that all out.

EU governments agree to overhaul its system of farm subsidies

BRUSSELS – European Union governments agreed Thursday to overhaul the way the bloc distributes tens of billions of euros in subsidies to farmers. But some said the measures did not go far enough and risked skewing markets.

Germany approves mission

BERLIN – Seeking to keep the biggest German peacekeeping mission from becoming an election issue next year, Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government won overwhelming approval from Parliament on Thursday to send an extra 1,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 14 months.