The Lookout
  • South Korea President Park Geun-hye (Reuters)

    Sworn into office on Feb. 25, 2013, South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, took charge during a tense time in relations with North Korea. And things have only gotten worse. Which makes this a good time to take a look at the country's first female elected to that office—no small feat in a country with the largest gender gap in the developed world, according to the BBC.

    In fact, she is the first president of the country to win with an outright majority—52 percent of the vote.

    Here, some more details about the leader facing a major threat from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un:

    1. Park is the daughter of former authoritarian President Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea for nearly two decades. Her father, a general, seized power during a military coup in 1961 and stayed in charge until he was killed by his disgruntled spy chief in 1979.

    2. Views of her father’s legacy have divided the country—some credit the elder Park with bringing prosperity to modern Korea, while others accuse him of human

    Read More »from Who is Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s new leader?
  • Guantanamo

    A Guantanamo Bay prisoner currently on a hunger strike has contributed an op-ed to The New York Times.

    In it, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a 35-year-old from Yemen who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2002, vowed to continue his hunger strike until President Barack Obama addresses what al Hasan Moqbel described as a deteriorating situation at the controversial facility.

    "I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity," he said through an Arabic interpreter to his lawyers in what the Times said was "an unclassified phone call," and which was transcribed and published by the newspaper on Monday.

    According to a military spokesman, 43 of the 166 detainees appear to be participating in the hunger strike. Al Hasan Moqbel said that guards have been force-feeding them:

    There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.

    During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily.

    A month into his hunger strike, he said, "a team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear" burst into his room, tied him down and "forcibly inserted an IV into my hand":

    Read More »from Gitmo detainee on hunger strike pens Times op-ed
  • Hetherington in Afghanistan (courtesy HBO)

    Tim Hetherington is trying to explain why he's drawn to documenting wars.

    “There are all sorts of generalizations made up about [war]. But in going to these extremities, what’s interesting is that you see that—even in these terrible times, in these terrible moments and in these terrible extremities—people are still human. That for me is the redeeming factor of the human experience,” Hetherington says somberly before breaking into laughter. “No,” he adds, aware of how cliché he sounds. “That’s too f------ b-------.”

    The footage, outtakes from a British television interview with Hetherington—who was killed while covering the uprising in Libya in April 2011—kicks off “Which Way Is the Front Line From Here," a posthumous documentary about the photojournalist’s life directed by his friend and colleague Sebastian Junger, author of the blockbuster book "The Perfect Storm."

    When Hetherington was killed, Junger tried to make sense of the tragedy by seeking out and questioning the journalists who had been with him when he died.

    “I had a lot of questions,” Junger told Yahoo News. “All I had known is that he had been killed. I didn’t even know what the wound was. My first impulse was to interview the journalists who had been with him to answer those questions. Very quickly I realized I was making a film.”

    While Hetherington laughed off his answer, the film shows how invested he was in seeking out the "human experience." It quickly shifts to footage Hetherington shot himself while covering the Libyan uprising.

    Sitting inside a car on a dusty road in Misrata, Hetherington slowly pans around the vehicle to film a normal-looking scene with his colleagues—including Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros, who seems to be bobbing his head to the song on the radio: “How Deep Is Your Love?” by the Bee Gees.

    But you soon realize this is no ordinary car ride. Their driver, who calmly smokes a cigarette, sits close to his machine gun as he speeds along a deserted road littered with bombed-out cars and buildings. In a nearby car, two little kids hang out a back window and flash peace signs to the camera.

    “Which way is the front line from here?” Hetherington asks at one point. He doesn’t get an answer, but just hours later, he and Hondros would be dead, killed in a mortar attack on the very front line they'd been looking for.

    Read More »from In new HBO documentary, Sebastian Junger pays tribute to photojournalist killed in Libya


(3,631 Stories)
  • EU warns Russia not to use gas as weapon in Ukraine crisis
    EU warns Russia not to use gas as weapon in Ukraine crisis

    Kiev (AFP) - The European Union warned energy giant Russia on Tuesday not to use gas supplies as a weapon in its standoff with Ukraine over the fate of its neighbour's separatist east.

  • Fire destroys Michael Brown memorial in Ferguson
    Fire destroys Michael Brown memorial in Ferguson

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Anger spilled over Tuesday after fire destroyed one of two memorials on the street where Michael Brown was killed, a site that has become sacred to many in Ferguson and others nationwide focused on interactions between minorities and police.

  • New U.S. tax rules chill 'inversion' deal-making; shares dive
    New U.S. tax rules chill 'inversion' deal-making; shares dive

    By Kevin Drawbaugh and Soyoung Kim WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tough new U.S. government rules on corporate "inversion" deals, aimed at making the tax-avoidance transactions less desirable, undermined share prices in nearly a dozen companies on both sides of the Atlantic on Tuesday. Analysts and tax lawyers were studying the damage to deals currently in the works and the outlook for future such deals, in which U.S. companies escape high taxes at home by shifting their domiciles abroad. ...

  • Afghanistan's Karzai criticizes U.S., Pakistan in farewell speech
    Afghanistan's Karzai criticizes U.S., Pakistan in farewell speech

    By Kay Johnson and Hamid Shalizi KABUL (Reuters) - Outgoing President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday blamed the United States for Afghanistan's long war in a final swipe at the country that helped bring him to power 13 years ago but towards which he has become increasingly bitter. His farewell speech came days ahead of the swearing in of a new president, Ashraf Ghani, after months of turmoil over a disputed election that ended in a power-sharing deal, yet to be tested, with rival Abdullah Abdullah who will fill the role of chief executive. ...

  • British radio DJ convicted of indecent assault
    British radio DJ convicted of indecent assault

    LONDON (AP) — Veteran British radio DJ Dave Lee Travis was convicted Tuesday of indecent assault.

  • US warns Ebola could infect 1.4 million by 2015
    US warns Ebola could infect 1.4 million by 2015

    Washington (AFP) - The number of Ebola infections in Liberia and Sierra Leone could skyrocket to 1.4 million by January 2015, according to a worst-case scenario released by US health authorities Tuesday.

  • Saudi Arabia confirms role in strikes against Islamic State in Syria

    RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's air force participated in U.S.-led bombing strikes against Islamic State insurgents in Syria, its official news agency said on Wednesday, a rare foreign sortie for the kingdom's military. Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, the world's top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam, has funneled cash and arms to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but has also opposed Islamist militants within the anti-Assad insurgency. ...

  • U.S. air strikes hit IS training camps, supplies in Syria

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United States and Arab allies hit Islamic State targets including training camps, headquarters and weapon supplies in northern and eastern Syria in dozens of air and missile strikes on Tuesday, the U.S. military and a monitoring group said. U.S. strikes also hit a separate group of al Qaeda-affiliated militants in northern Syria. The U.S. military said in a statement it had "destroyed or damaged multiple (Islamic State) targets" around the cities of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, Hasakah and the border town of Albu Kamal. ...

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