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Sanctions underway, but will they work?

So it looks like the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have finally closed ranks in recognizing that the game Iran is playing is just too dangerous to let it continue any longer. The entire Security Council — including Russia and China, plus Germany — have drafted a resolution setting out a new sanctions package designed to impose international pressure on Iran to curtail its nuclear program.

NATO contemplates a broader mission

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Eleven years ago, few people other than south-Asia watchers had any idea what the Taliban was, much less could have imagined why more than 100,000 soldiers would be needed to fight it. At that time, the world’s premier military alliance, NATO, had never fought a ground war, operated outside of Europe, or invoked its Article 5 collective-defense clause.  But Sept. 11, 2001 changed everything for the alliance. Well, almost everything.

Greece gets unexpected helping hand

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Greece, embroiled in its worst economic crisis in living memory, has received an offer of support from an unexpected source. While the headlines are filled with strikes and violent riots in Athens, as the country staggers under $400 billion in debt, increasingly expensive repayments and a junk status credit rating, Turkey is reaching out diplomatically and — the Greeks hope — soon financially. Turkey's rise as a powerful regional actor stands in contrast to the trajectory of its age-old rival across the Aegean.

On the agenda: Calderon in Washington

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — As Mexican President Felipe Calderon touches down in the city on a hill on Tuesday, he and U.S. President Barack Obama will have to cool a cross-border temperature that has heated up in recent months.

Opinion: How to approach North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea may soon release the findings of an investigation into the sinking of the ROKS Ch’onan, a 1,200-tonne coastal patrol ship, which on March 26 was blown in half by an external explosion. Many people have already blamed North Korea for the attack that killed 46 people near the disputed inter-Korean maritime boundary. They are probably right.

Corruption in Taiwan: The French connection

TAIPEI, Taiwan — His body was found bobbing in the surf off Taiwan's east coast in 1993. To this day, no one is sure exactly how or why Navy Captain Yin Ching-feng died. But many here have long suspected he was murdered because he was about to blow the whistle on massive corruption in a $2.8-billion deal that sold six Lafayette-class French frigates to Taiwan.

Opinion: New UN human rights council, not improved

Greek debt crisis: The revolt begins?

BOSTON — Things are turning ugly in Greece. Three people were reportedly killed in Athens Wednesday, after protesters set a bank ablaze — the first fatalities of the widespread unrest now gripping the unhappy Greek capital. Tens of thousands of Greeks are irate at their government's response to the country's growing debt crisis, particularly its plans to slash 30 billion euros ($38 billion) from its budget over the next two years and to raise taxes.

Bangkok: First the protest. Now the hangover.

BANGKOK, Thailand — At long last, Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and protesters sworn to end his rule are nearing a pact: he cuts his term short to deliver new elections, they abandon a rugged encampment choking off central Bangkok. The truce could end an eight-weeks running struggle that has left 27 dead, roughly 900 injured and the economy sapped of more than $2 billion. It could also return normalcy to a city on edge. The stability, however, may not last.

Uganda hails new King Oyo

FORT PORTAL, Uganda — When a lanky Ugandan teenager recently took charge of one of his country’s oldest tribal kingdoms it was difficult to tell how the young monarch felt about the job he’d inherited. Eighteen-year-old Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV technically became the king of western Uganda’s Tooro kingdom at age 3, when his father died suddenly of a heart attack. But Tooro custom dictates that a king cannot fully assume the duties of office until adulthood.
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