In Trump: The World Sees 'Ugly American'

USA160101aa001BERLIN — Donald Trump's raw campaign rhetoric has been criticized in the United States as xenophobic, racist, vulgar, spreading falsehoods and for inciting violence at his political rallies. And while the Republican Party presidential front-runner has dismissed such criticism, around the world words appear to matter.

Trump's rhetoric has drawn condemnation from all corners of the world, including – remarkably – from some of the United States' most stalwart of allies. 

Read more at US News and World Report

Small Greek village copes with thousands of migrants unable to leave

GRC131025AA001 IDOMENI, Greece — Walking past his village's main square, Antonis Zois stares at the Syrian refugee families filling their water bottles at the public fountain.

“The camp is not a place for a human being to live,” said Zois, 85, waving at a young girl in a red polka-dot jacket. “We always had migrants passing through, but I've never seen a situation like this.”

Read more at USA Today

Angela Merkel: Open-Door policy for migrants faces test in Germany state elections

DEU121121AA001BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't face voters until October 2017, but her decadelong dominance of the German political scene will be sorely tested in three key state elections this weekend.

Ms. Merkel's open-door policy on migrants is turning off many of her longtime supporters, and an anti-immigrant right-wing party could make big gains.

Read more at The Washington Times

American pizza and espresso want to invade Italy

ITA130315AA004 ROME — Italy has long resisted the temptations of U.S. food chains inspired by this country’s storied culinary traditions. Yet, that has begun to change with American pizza and coffee companies aiming to set up shop here.

ROME — Italy has long resisted the temptations of U.S. food chains inspired by this country’s storied culinary traditions. Yet, that has begun to change with American pizza and coffee companies aiming to set up shop here.

Read more at USA Today

Tensions mount at migrant bottleneck in Greece

GRC130215AA001 IDOMENI, Greece — Zakhir Nair and his wife sit outside their two-person tent, their 14-month-old son between them, trying to take his first steps.

The Afghan family of five, with another child on the way, have been on the road nearly three weeks: walking through Iranian mountains, busing through Turkey, crossing the Aegean Sea on an inflatable boat to Greece, then taking trains and expensive taxis to this remote border post, en route to the promised land — Germany.

Read more at USA Today

Chaos, riots as France dismantles Calais migrant camp

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA14231aa001.jpeg CALAIS, France — Rahmanjan Safy scrambled to salvage anything valuable from the demolished tents and makeshift shelters at this Calais migrant camp Wednesday, even as riot police and bulldozers destroyed the site.

Food, clothing, spoons — he picked up everything he could find.

Read more at USA Today

Russia and Turkey fight for control in Bulgaria

BUL121106AA001 Sofia, Bulgaria—Russia and Turkey are fighting for control over an obscure but powerful ethnic-Turkish political party in Bulgaria – a country that was once the Soviet Union’s closest foreign ally and has since periodically had to fend off allegations that it is a Russian “Trojan horse” in NATO – in a proxy battle in their wider conflict.

The fight threatens to destabilize further the European Union’s southern border.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

Chaos in Kosovo as opposition pushes more Serbian power

KOS-160503AA001PRISTINA, Kosovo — In the gravest political crisis of Kosovo’s brief life as an independent nation, opposition politicians have set up tent cities in the heart of the capital, organized mass rallies and even set off tear gas canisters to shut down parliamentary floor debates to protest a government plan that they say would give more power to the local Serbian minority and encourage Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

“We’ve asked the government to withdraw from the agreements, and we’ve asked them to resign,” said Boiken Abazi, secretary of external relations for Vetevendosje, or the Self-Determination Movement, one of three political parties that have been spearheading the anti-government efforts. “If they don’t, the united opposition of Kosovo will continue to call protests.”

Read more at The Washington Times

Ankara bombing underscores border fears as Turkey pushes for buffer zone

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607AA006.jpegTurkey’s push to create a 10 kilometre-wide buffer zone on the Syrian side of its southern border, backed by Saudi Arabia and Germany in the face of Russian threats that this could ignite “World War III,” is expected to confront an important test Thursday when EU leaders gather in Brussels to try to hammer out a common stand on refugees.

Yet a powerful bomb attack in Ankara Wednesday evening, which claimed at least 28 lives with more than 60 wounded, according to media reports, came as a deadly reminder of the risks such an operation would incur. In recent days, as both Syrian government forces and a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia keep edging closer toward the Turkish border with the help of Russian air strikes, Ankara’s international isolation has grown, making such a move less likely and more dangerous, experts say.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

Pope administers: ‘Kindness therapy’ at Mexican children’s hospital

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130401AA001.jpegMEXICO CITY (RNS) After ruffling feathers in Mexico’s religious and political establishment, Pope Francis visited a children’s hospital and preached what he called “kindness therapy.”

“It’s important to feel loved and cared for, and I say ‘Thank you’ to all the people who look for better ways to take care of us,” the pope said on Sunday (Feb. 14) as he visited the Federico Gomez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City’s poor and crime-ravaged Doctores neighborhood.

Read more at Religion News Service

Disillusioned Mexicans: Await Pope Francis’ visit

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130401AA001.jpegMEXICO CITY (RNS) On a recent morning outside the Church of San Agustin in the middle-class neighborhood of Narvarte, two students sell bric-a-brac and blast the Beatles’ “Let It Be” through a smartphone hooked up to speakers.

When asked what Pope Francis’ first visit to the country as pontiff on Friday (Feb. 12) means to them, they shrug.

Read more at Religion News Service

Moscow kiosk: Crackdown at odds with Putin’s public support for small businesses

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140804AA001.jpegMOSCOW — They are ubiquitous in Russia and many East European capitals: small islands of capitalism where residents can purchase an apple, a newspaper, some nylons or a new cellphone cover. And now they’re under assault here in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

In a move that has sparked an uproar, city authorities here have sent in bulldozers to tear down kiosks housing bakeries, florists, cellphone dealers and other shops in a frenzy of destruction that came just months after Mr. Putin ironically stressed the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurship for the country’s battered economy.

Read more at The Washington Times

Little Norway: Spends big on Syrian refugee crisis

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_SYR130326AA001.jpegOSLO — While Germany has grabbed most of the attention for its response to Europe's migrant crisis, little fjord-filled Norway has quietly emerged as one of the largest contributors of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

The oil-rich Scandinavian country of 5 million has pledged $1.2 billion over the next four years for people who have fled Syria's nearly 5-year-old civil war.

Read more at USA Today

Months after: Paris attack, new surveillance regime emerges in Europe

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU131128aa001.jpegBERLIN — The man who allegedly masterminded the Paris terror attacks is at large even though he was questioned by French police a day after the Nov. 13 rampage.

French authorities apprehended and released Salah Abdeslam three times in one day. They freed him because they didn't know Belgian authorities suspected him to be an Islamic State fighter nor that his brother was one of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks.

Read more at Christian Science Monitor 

Dispute over: Belgian nuclear reactors exposes EU’s conflicting energy agendas

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU151212aa001.jpegBRUSSELS — A dispute among Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, centered on a pair of 40-year-old Belgian nuclear reactors roughly an hour’s drive from large cities across the border, is laying bare a growing European rift over nuclear energy.

The nations are clashing amid deeply conflicting attitudes on a continent where carbon-free nuclear energy has fallen out of favor among some countries while others are doubling down on it. The split has paralyzed bureaucrats in the European Union and complicated efforts to forge a coherent long-term energy policy.

Read more at The Washington Times

No way: Paris cemetery on moving Morrison grave

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU150401aa003.jpegPARIS — A Florida politician's proposal to move the grave of The Doors' lead singer, Jim Morrison, to Florida’s Space Coast from the 210-year-old Père Lachaise Cemetery is getting a thumbs down from the representative of the iconic musician's estate, the cemetery and fans of the '60s rock star.

“This is just a bunch of silliness,” said Jeff Jampol, a Los Angeles-based music executive who manages The Doors brand as well as Morrison’s estate on behalf of the singer’s heirs.

Read more at USA Today

Donald Trump: Proving a primary concern around the world

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_USA160101aa001.jpegAs he has surged to the top of the polls in the Republican presidential primary race, Donald Trump has targeted Muslims, Mexicans and Asians as threats to national security and the economy.

Around the world, they don’t always appreciate it.

Read more at The Washington Times

Apple's new iOS center in Naples raises eyebrows

ITA26022013AA001 ROME — Apple has announced the founding of its first European center for the development of iOS software in the southern city of Naples, a move seen in Italy as a new front in its war against a wave of European tax probes.

Apple CEO Tim Cook personally announced the plan Friday in Rome, saying the company was "thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success."

Read more at USA Today

Iranian President tours Europe to sign big trade deals

ITA150420aa001 ROME — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched a European visit this week to return his country to the international community and sign lucrative business deals now that international sanctions on Iran have been lifted.

Rouhani's first stop is Italy, where he met with Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and signed trade deals worth at least $18 billion. It is the first visit between a pope and an Iranian leader in 16 years.

Read more at USA Today

Voices: Cologne struggles to rebound from mass attacks

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU130402AA1.jpegCOLOGNE, Germany — For nearly a millennium, Cologne has been associated with its Cathedral, its twin spires featured prominently on every imaginable thing – including the ubiquitous tall glasses serving the revered local beer, Kolsch. In the 20th century, the city became known for its easy-going, fun-loving nature, a city of warmth, hospitality and tolerance – and its wild Carnival.

Now, this ancient city on the Rhine is famous around the world as a place where gangs of drunk "foreign" men sexually assaulted hundreds of young women and terrorized them while police, outnumbered and unable to intervene, turned the victims away – sending them back to the very men who were victimizing them.

Read more at USA Today

Russian truckers: Protest road tax as Putin’s base defects amid economic woes

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140804AA001.jpegMOSCOW — Svetlana Titova, a 29-year-old real estate agent from Moscow, used to consider herself one of the success stories of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long rule.

But as Russia’s economy buckles under the combined weight of Western sanctions and tumbling global prices for oil, the linchpin of the country’s economy, Ms. Titova and millions of Russians like her who once strongly backed Mr. Putin are feeling the strain.

Read more at The Washington Times

Cologne assaults: Challenge the German sense of order

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU130906aa002.jpegBERLIN - It was a shocking start to the year: New Year’s Eve fireworks, bubbly, toasts and more than 500 incidents of robbery and assault on women in Germany in a single night.

So instead of slowly easing into 2016, the new year set off a scramble: police searched for the perpetrators, leaders sought to contain the political fallout and prevent more violence from protestors on the right and the left.

Read more at The Washington Times

Suicide blast: A blow to Istanbul’s tourist district

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130614aa004.jpegISTANBUL - The blast shortly after 10 in the morning reverberated for miles across the neighbouring districts and the Bosphorus Strait, all the way to the Asian side of Istanbul, a picturesque 20-minute ferry ride away.

It shook the ground under the feet of Mehmet, a local chestnut seller in his early 20s, who had left home in high spirits that morning. The warm, sunny weather, he hoped, would draw in the tourists and help him make a little extra money before a predicted snowfall later in the week.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

German police: Investigate New Year's Eve sexual assaults

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU130614aa001.jpegBERLIN — German police searched Tuesday for dozens of men suspected of sexually assaulting at least 90 women in Cologne during a New Year's Eve outdoor gathering. The incident sparked controversy over whether recent migrants to Germany were among the attackers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the assaults Tuesday, vowing in a statement "to find the perpetrators as quickly as possible and to punish them without regard to their background."

Read more at USA Today

Voices: A year of terrorism has changed Paris

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA151119AA001.jpegPARIS — It's a new year in Paris, and the streets seem different. They are emptier, maybe a tad more somber than they were before Jan, 7, 2015, when a terror attack against editors of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo kicked off a year that none of us will ever forget.

For weeks, I had been feeling the change. I began to pay more attention to the general mood in the city in the run-up to the toasts for 2016, trying to define what's different.

Read more at USA Today

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