Sun November 16, 2014

In A Back-And-Forth Battle, An Iraqi Town Splits On Ethnic Lines

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 10:25 am

Iraqi Kurdish soldiers, or peshmerga, patrol an area in the recently recaptured town of Zumar, near Mosul in northern Iraq on Oct. 29. When the Islamic State captured the town in August, the Kurds fled. Now that the Kurds are in control, the Arabs are all gone.

The mixed Arab and Kurdish city of Zumar in northern Iraq is a window into the fierce battles for territory between the Kurds and the Sunni extremist group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS.

The mountainous landscape is pockmarked with destruction. ISIS took control of the area in August and held it until late October. Then Kurdish forces, with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes, forced the militants back.

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Sat November 15, 2014

At A Tense Jerusalem Holy Site, Palestinians Stand Watch

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 2:09 pm

Palestinian men shout slogans next to Israeli police as they await permission to enter what Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Nobel Sanctuary, on Nov. 5, in Jerusalem, Israel. On Friday, Israel dropped age restrictions on men attending Friday prayers, a move aimed at lowering tensions around access to the contested shrine.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews call it the Temple Mount. On the contested hilltop that has been the focus of so much of the unrest in Jerusalem, Muslims who see themselves as "defenders" of the sanctuary raise their voices in a call to God whenever Jewish visitors enter.

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Fri November 14, 2014

To Lure Investors And Move Money, China Links Two Stock Markets

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Floor traders study stock prices in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2013.
Kin Cheung AP

Investors in Shanghai's stock market will for the first time on Monday be able to invest directly across the border in Hong Kong's Hang Seng stock exchange and vice versa.

The new system, called the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, will give foreign investors direct access to Shanghai's so-called A shares, including many blue chip, state-owned companies.

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Fri November 14, 2014

China Agrees To Pollution Limits, But Will It Make A Difference?

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 3:58 pm

A jogger goes for a run amid heavy smog in Shanghai on Wednesday. China has for the first time agreed to limit its carbon emissions, but critics are questioning whether the move goes far enough.
AFP/Getty Images

All this week, Beijing residents have had a breath of fresh air. With world leaders in town for a summit meeting, China shut down factories, took many cars off the roads and declared a week-long vacation for many Beijing residents.

If only the skies were always this blue, some residents thought.

But of course no quick fix will solve the problem. China promised for the first time that its emissions will continue to climb until peaking around the year 2030.

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Thu November 13, 2014

Israelis And Palestinians Ask: Is Another Uprising On The Way?

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:31 am

Palestinian members of Hamas' armed wing takes part in a rally Thursday in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. The event was held in memory of Hamas military commanders killed during seven weeks of fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip this summer.
Abed Rahim Khatib APA/Landov

During the first Palestinian uprising, or intifada, in the late 1980s, Palestinians refused to work in Israeli companies. Many threw stones and firebombs at Israeli troops.

During the second intifada, which erupted in 2000, suicide bombers repeatedly blew up public places in Israel, such as cafes, night clubs and buses.

Israeli Charlotte Slopack-Goller didn't ride the bus for a few years then.

"Now I take the buses without thinking," she says.

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