Sruthi Gottipati

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Indian PM Modi waving in Bijnor
India

A Long-Distance Phone Call, One Nationalist To Another

-Analysis-

It was just a passing reference at Monday's White House briefing: Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned that U.S. President Donald Trump had called to congratulate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his party's recent victory in state assembly elections.

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Queuing for cash in India
India

Long Lines, Black Markets: How India’s Cash Crunch Looks On Street Level

NEW DELHI I am outside the Reserve Bank of India building in New Delhi. It's 8 a.m. The bank opens at 9 a.m. but more than 300 people have already queued up here.

Among them is 60-year-old Mohammad Mustaqeem. He runs a garment shop but hasn't been able to open it for the last three days. "There's no business in the market. The only thing for us to do now is to stand in these queues for money because without it we can't even get food."

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FSA soldier in Aleppo on Aug. 16
Sources

How The U.S. Is Unintentionally Helping Syria’s Assad

The United States intervened militarily in Syria under the premise of the 'war on terror' and the fight against ISIS, but their presence is actually helping the Syrian government.

-Analysis-

BEIRUT — On Sept. 17, U.S., British, Danish and Australian warplanes attacked a Syrian military base in Deir ez-Zor that had been holding out against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) for months. The U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes killed at least 62 Syrian troops before a frantic Russian officer called U.S. officials to tell them they were hitting the Syrian military and not ISIS. The coalition called off the airstrikes; minutes later, ISIS fighters launched an assault and seized the base.

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Black market cigarettes and viagra hauled in by UK customs police.
Germany

A Dirty Path From Smuggled Cigarettes To Terror Attacks

BERLIN — Organized crime syndicates have long smuggled drugs and cigarettes. Their distribution strategy is so effective that police around the world have a hard time tracing the channels that allow their products to reach the black market. But could these crimes also be funding terrorism?

Members of what is believed to be a criminal gang are facing trial in the German city of Potsdam. They are suspected of bribing customs officers with suitcases stuffed with cash at European Union border checkpoints. They are accused of then transferring goods between trucks at night somewhere in the municipality of Paulinenaue. The German government says it has lost taxes worth 60 million euros.

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Uribe says his piece, in a 2015 file photo
Geopolitics

Colombia: The Real Reasons Uribe Sabotaged FARC Deal

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — The Democratic Center, a right-wing political party led by Colombia's former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, was vehemently opposed to the peace deal with the country's largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

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The play Teesri Dhun
LGBTQ Plus

After Killings, Pakistan Play Tackles Transgender Stigma

LAHORE — Over the past few months, the prestigious Al-Hamra Theater in this Pakistani city has been staging a first-of-its-kind play, one that very much pushes cultural boundaries in the conservative Muslim society.

The play, called Teesri Dhun, focuses on the discrimination transgender people endure in Pakistan, where they are often shunned by families, schools and employers. Not only that, but the actors themselves are members of the transgender community.

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Upside-down at an anti-Trump rally in San Diego
eyes on the U.S.

Clinton To Counter Trump's Gloom-And-Doom Message

-OpEd-

The Democratic National Convention will feature plenty of well-earned criticism of Donald Trump's isolationist, revisionist, immoral and self-contradicting foreign policy agenda. But if Hillary Clinton wants to win the argument, she must also convince voters that the world is not in the catastrophic state that Trump would have them believe.

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Millennial apathy
eyes on the U.S.

Clinton Makes History. My Generation, With No Sense of History, Doesn't Care

A millennial explains why her peers aren't excited about the likely first female major-party nominee for U.S. president

-OpEd-

A female presidential candidate has clinched a major-party nomination for the first time in U.S. history. No one seems to care — at least not many people in my millennial generation. Not even women, although they should.

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A still from the footage
Germany

Film Captures "Beautiful" Paradox Of 1945 Berlin Summer

BERLIN — Shortly after World War II ended, American cameramen filmed people living in Berlin. Technicolor, an expensive proposition at the time, showed people on the streets, apparently happy to have survived. The film shows the joyful faces of people, some sunbathing, others swimming in the river. But the footage is telling from what is missing in the shots: men aged between 20 and 45.

About 11 million German men were held as prisoners of war at the time. Death was on every city corner and, yet, was barely visible: mounds of turned earth, sometimes marked with small crosses or steel helmets, was its only sign.

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