Havana, Cuba—You see them on stage, on passenger flights, and at trade fairs: Americans in Cuba legally, and hoping to travel here more often. The American Ballet Theater has just performed here for the first time in 50 years. It was a wildly popular performance, featuring two Cuban-American dancers—Jose Manuel Carreno and Xiomara Reyes, who was in Cuba for the first time since fleeing the country with her family 18 years ago. “The willingness to share something makes a difference. Why wouldn’t it make a difference?” Reyes told me.
TEHRAN -- It’s a rare upbeat story to cover in Iran: the release of Iranian-American businessman Reza Taghavi from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after two and a half years behind bars. The only reporters allowed into the country for the event, we were the first to greet the 71-year-old from Orange County, as he walked free. He gave us a rare account of conditions inside the prison. Taghavi described living with 33 fellow inmates in a cell with only 16 beds, and enduring repeated broken promises that he’d be released.
The tight cluster of canvas tents filled a dusty field just off the highway that cuts through the city of Nowshera, the largest city in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, about a 90-minute drive from the capital Islamabad. Doctors in white coats tested children’s temperatures and blood pressures, looking for the signs of water-borne diseases, from acute diarrhea to potentially deadly cholera. Their mothers sat nearby, batting away the flies.
LONDON—Glimmers of hope, rumored concessions, and anticipated de-escalations of rhetoric are the almost daily fare of those of us who cover Iran and its tense relations with the West. But in the year since Iran's disputed election—and the brutal crackdown that has followed—those brief shining moments have almost always faded away.
The long, hot Greek summer just got hotter. A strike by fuel tanker drivers has paralyzed the country, stranding tourists, causing food shortages, and leaving 70 percent of gas stations without any gas to pump. In the simplest terms, this is about new austerity measures, in this case, higher fees for truck licenses. But more broadly, it is about the government’s assault on a lifestyle Greeks, rich and poor, have come to take for granted. As one Greek businessman put it to me, "the party’s over." Greece is broke. The signs are big and small.