Keeping Yemen in the Dark Ages

SANA'A, Yemen — Mohammad Said Ali spends the money he makes repairing electronics during the day on his family's dinner at night. He has no extra savings, no rainy day fund, so when daily power outages shut down his one-man repair shop — the entirety of which could fit snuggly in the backseat of the average American sedan — for an hour, or sometimes four or five hours at a time, he and his family are in trouble.

US lends firepower to Yemen fight

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni policemen sprinted up a rocky dirt road, firing AK-47s, lobbing grenades and detonating explosives at a cinderblock house, a supposed Al Qaeda hideout.

The scenario was fake, but the firepower very real, as U.S. and U.K. military trainers put local counterterrorism forces through their paces northeast of the capital one morning recently.

The 200-person counterterrorism police force is trained daily by the foreign commandos, according to a Yemeni soldier who addressed a small crowd of journalists invited to watch the training.

The View from Outside Iran... Almost Like Being There

For a foreign correspondent, private life always seems to take a back seat to work. Though I have conveniently solved the problem by effectively abolishing my own private life, these Christmas holidays have been a particularly trying time as Iran's crisis — a story I have covered since its first stages in June — reaches melting point.

How Iranians Celebrate Ashura Across the Country

The mourning ceremonies of Ashura are some of the most spectacular traditions surviving Iran's Islamic antiquity. Although I am a Greek Orthodox Christian, the commemoration ceremonies marking the killing of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's grandson in 680 AD are as reminiscent of Easter as they are alien and otherworldly.

Festival Turns Deadly in Iran

Iran saw its deadliest day of protests in six months on Sunday as hundreds of thousands of people clashed with security forces on the streets of major cities at the climax of a Shiite religious festival.

At least four people were reportedly killed in incidents where regime forces shot live gunfire into crowds, according to those identifying with reformist groups.

Grave of Iran Protester is Desecrated

The grave of Neda Soltan, the Iranian demonstrator whose murder, captured on a cellphone video, became an international symbol for resistance to the Ahmadinejad regime, has been desecrated, according to eyewitnesses in Tehran.

Neda Agha Soltan was killed at the height of the anti-government protests that rocked Iran during the post-election unrest in June. Within hours of her death on the streets of central Tehran, a shocking video of her death went viral, making her the most iconic victim of the Iranian conflict.

Child Sex Boom Fueled by Poverty

BANGKOK, Thailand — Narisaraporn Asipong, a matronly social worker at the "Mercy Center" shelter met 8-year-old Niran (a pseudonym) five years ago in Klong Toey, Bangkok's largest concentration of slum communities.

"His step-father was beating him so he was scared to go home," says Asipong, who has worked with street children for the last seven years. "He came with me to Mercy Center and I enrolled him in school." A year later, Niran returned home because he missed his mother. "One day, I saw him on the streets again," she says. "He looked very skinny and unhealthy."

Full Frame: Africa's new narcostate

West Africa, a region that has barely begun to heal from a decade of civil wars, is once again under attack. The new threat grows silently, like a cancer, and the international community appears powerless to respond.

Jamaica's Gays Worship In the Closet

It takes just 15 minutes to set up an underground church.

Two boxes and a white sheet make up the pulpit. The altar is a card table. Folding chairs constitute the pews. Then Rev. Robert Griffin, a solidly built gay American minister in his mid-40s, unpacks a battered cardboard box; inside is a wooden chalice, two candle holders, a communion plate and a dog-eared copy of the King James Bible. Add a pianist warming up on an electric keyboard and suddenly an empty meeting room is transformed into the Kingston branch of the Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica's only gay church.

Latvia a model of economic malaise

More than 400 protesters blocked two bridges last week to oppose the closing of the only hospital in Bauska, a rural city (population 50,000) about an hour away from the capital Riga.

"Bauska's hospital has been here since the 19th century. It lived through both wars, all regime changes ... I don't understand, why we have to close it," Bauska's City Council chairman, Valdis Veips, was quoted as saying by the Latvian newspaper Diena.