PARIS/BRUSSELS - At first sight, the European Union's new leadership team looks like a missed opportunity. Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Federica Mogherini seem a less than ideal crew to tackle the EU's biggest challenges - dynamising a stagnant economy, standing up to Russia over Ukraine and preventing Britain from drifting away from Europe.
LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron on Sept. 1 proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having traveled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.
PRISTINA - Pranvera Abazi thought that her husband, Arben, and 8-year-old son, Erion, were going on a weekend trip to Rugova, a popular gorge in Kosovo. But three days after they left the family's house in Pristina on July 7, she received an alarming text message.
WASHINGTON - As Ukrainian leaders warned on Sept. 1 of "a great war" with Russia, NATO leaders meeting in Wales this week were expected to endorse their most concrete response yet to increased Russian military intervention in Ukraine: establishing a rapid-reaction force capable of deploying quickly to Eastern Europe, officials of the alliance said.
SEOUL/WASHINGTON - Three American citizens detained in North Korea appealed to the U.S government on Sept. 1 for help returning home, speaking in rare interviews with U.S. media that were set up by the North Korean government and may signal an attempt by Pyongyang to reopen a long-stalled dialogue.
NATO members meeting this week in Wales are expected to create "a very high-readiness force" to deal with Russian aggression in Ukraine and other international conflicts, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Sept. 1.
BERLIN - In an indication of Germany’s growing role on the world stage, the country’s top politicians on Aug. 31 approved the delivery of thousands of machine guns and hand grenades, as well as hundreds of antitank missiles, to Kurdish forces battling Islamic militants in Iraq.
BRUSSELS — European Union leaders meeting in Brussels this weekend, amid world war anniversaries, did not want for reminders of the continental conflicts that the bloc's founders meant to consign to history.
Initially reluctant to leave national politics, Donald Tusk, Poland’s prime minister was persuaded by his wife Malgorzata for the “prestige, better money and less problems at work” that come with a top Brussels job at the top of EU officialdom renowned for its “gravy train” pay and perks.
Short of world war, it's rare that a chief executive goes through a foreign policy month like President Obama's August.
JERUSALEM - An international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years under current levels of restrictions to rebuild the Gaza Strip's battered and neglected housing stock following the war between Hamas and Israel.
Beatles star Paul McCartney became the latest high profile figure to sign a letter calling on Scottish voters to choose to remain part of the United Kingdom in a vote on independence next month.
LONDON - Britain raised the country's terror threat level from substantial to severe on Aug. 29, meaning that a terrorist attack is considered.
BERLIN - Ordinary Germans are spooked about the future. Businesses are starting to see black clouds on the horizon. And an economy that has been the envy of Europe is showing cracks, shrinking unexpectedly last quarter amid the conflict in Ukraine.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of an overhaul announced on Aug. 29 to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters.
WASHINGTON - President Obama confronted a pair of volatile international crises with restraint on Aug. 28 as he said he was not close to authorizing airstrikes against Islamic extremists in Syria and played down the latest escalation of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.
As originally billed, the summit looked likely to be a humdrum affair. But a meeting of the NATO alliance in Newport in south Wales on September 4th and 5th, intended to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, now looks likely to be one of the most important gatherings in the organisation’s 65-year history. From the moment in March when Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, sent his troops into Crimea, thus beginning the first forcible annexation of territory in Europe since the second world war, it has been clear that NATO is back in the business it was created for: collective territorial defence.
PRAGUE - The Czech Republic will host an international air force exercise with other NATO countries starting next week focused on training pilots and target spotters, the general staff said on Aug. 28.
BEIRUT - Islamic State fighters executed scores of Syrian soldiers captures when the militants seized an airbase in the province of Raqqa at the weekend, according to a video posted on You Tube on Aug. 28.