World Cup festivities showing a side of Russia not usually seen in Western media

For soccer’s World Cup, Moscow is a city transformed. Colourful crowds of chanting fans pile into the Nikolskaya Street pedestrian mall near the Kremlin day after day, while nearby churches and monasteries are draped in banners of South American countries and foreign visitors splash in fountains near the famous Bolshoi Theatre. Others explore the attractions […]

Rare Eid al-Fitr ceasefire in Afghanistan offers a chance to reconnect

The reports were scattered at first. On June 15, the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, pictures began surfacing on social media of Taliban fighters embracing Afghan security forces during the first ceasefire in the nearly 17 years of recent conflict. A week earlier, in response to an edict by about 3,000 religious scholars, Afghan President […]

Trump to get another Supreme Court pick as judge announces retirement

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, giving U.S. President Donald Trump a golden opportunity to cement conservative control of the nation’s highest court. The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such […]

U.S., Russia strike deal to hold Putin-Trump summit

Moscow and Washington have struck a deal to hold a summit soon between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Wednesday. Ushakov, speaking after Putin held talks with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton in the Kremlin, said the summit would take place in a mutually convenient […]

Man charged with hate crimes in Charlottesville rally death

The man charged with killing a counter-protester during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year has also been charged by federal authorities with hate crimes, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday. The rally gained international attention when James Alex Fields Jr. plowed into a group of people protesting the Unite the […]

Health officials to inspect shelters housing migrant children

The U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general’s office says it’s launching a wide-ranging review of conditions at shelters for migrant children. The HHS said Wednesday it will focus on safety and health-related concerns, as well as the training and qualifications of federal contractors who are supposed to ensure the well-being of children temporarily in […]

‘Germany’s Texas’ claims to be easygoing, but its politics pose a serious challenge for Merkel

There is no great difficulty in distinguishing the German state of Bavaria’s distinct culture from the rest of the country. When you are in Bavaria, you tend to know you are in Bavaria. A neighbourhood fete is not complete without traditional Bavarian folk dancers wearing lederhosen and dirndl, its alpine villages are dotted with fairytale castles peeking […]