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6 things you need to know about Bangkok’s uprising

BANGKOK — The protesters embrace phrasing such as 'democracy' and 'anti-corruption,' values welcomed by pretty much anyone who isn’t a dictator or a mobster. But this crusade really translates into a war against one of Thailand’s most powerful and popular political families: the Shinawatras. This fabulously wealthy Thai-Chinese family controls a political network that has redefined power dynamics that existed even during the absolute reign of kings.

Key players at the Syria peace talks in Montreux (PHOTOS)

The UN-led conference is aimed at finding a political solution to the three-year bloody conflict which has killed more than 130,000 people. 

Big Brother strikes again: Ukraine protesters get creepy text message

In another sign that the machines are taking over, Ukrainians near the site of protester clashes with police received a creepy text message from the government.

Human Rights Watch condemns Syria inaction, US spying in annual report

Human Rights Watch is not happy with the international community and its lack of action in Syria. And it's really not happy with the United States.

Ah, aerial firing, the act of pointing a rifle into the air and shooting at nothing

In spite of my many years in gun-loving Texas, the first time I heard celebratory gunfire was in Karachi in 2009. That was the same year I learned stray bullets kill people.
Pakistan new years 2014 celebrate confetti gunfireEnlarge
Celebrations in Pakistan need more confetti, less gunfire. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
KARACHI — When the clock struck midnight this past New Year's Eve, instead of celebrating, I sat wincing as the air around me resonated with a familiar popping noise. The bullets from aerial firing can kill.
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How the US lost South Sudan

NAIROBI — The US is desperate for peace in South Sudan, but no one there is listening.

21 killed in wave of Baghdad attacks

Attacks across Baghdad, including car bombs at an up-scale shopping mall and near a juvenile detention center, killed 21 people Saturday as rising violence fuels fears of all-out sectarian war. The bombings and a deadly, weeks-long standoff in the western province of Anbar, are part of a nationwide surge in violence that has already killed more than 600 this month, come just months ahead of parliamentary elections.

Egypt approves constitution by 98% as Sisi eyes presidency

Egyptian voters have approved a new constitution by 98.1 percent, the elections chief said Saturday, in what the government declared a popular endorsement of the army's overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The result of the Tuesday-Wednesday vote had never been in doubt, as Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists boycotted it, but the authorities wanted a large turnout in the first democratic test since the ouster in July.

Kabul: The war gets real

Friday nights are usually pretty busy at the Taverna du Liban, Kabul’s first and still most popular Lebanese restaurant. Other eateries featuring hummus and baba ganoush can be found, of course, but the foreigners flock to the Taverna for the atmosphere and company. At least they did until yesterday, when the Taliban stormed the restaurant, killing at least 21 people, 13 of them foreigners. The victims included owner Kamal Hamade, who, according to news reports, had grabbed a gun and gone to battle the attackers. They shot him dead. 

California kids enlist in Mexico militias to rout a drug cartel

NUEVA ITALIA — Moises Verduzco says he learned how to handle himself in a fight from his teen years running with a street gang near Los Angeles. Now back home in western Mexico’s violent Michoacan state, Verduzco and other United States-bred youths are putting those lessons from the barrio to war against the Knights Templar criminal cartel.
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