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Updated: 3 hours 9 min ago

Readers write: Valuable college experience and tech opportunities

January 19, 2019 - 4:00am

Regarding the Nov. 26 Heart of the News article “A conservative Christian university where Muslims feel welcome”: My experience at Brigham Young University was inspirational on so many levels. Through the prayer part in every class, I was given the opportunity to be connected to my faith and practice my Muslim prayer, share and explain, and be accepted. As a Muslim woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community, I have an everlasting educational experience.

Global Newsstand: Thailand should not impede those who are seeking asylum, and more

January 19, 2019 - 4:00am

“The fate of a Saudi woman on her way to Australia, where she has a visa and seeks to obtain asylum, teetered in the balance in Bangkok [on Jan. 7]...,” states an editorial. “Amid Thailand’s apparent willingness to deport [Rahaf al-Qunun] back to Saudi Arabia, rights lawyers representing her failed to get a Bangkok court to accept an injunction against her repatriation, which could have spelled her doom. “It is still unclear whether U.S. citizen Paul Whelan was indeed, as the Russian authorities allege, a spy, or whether he is the victim of mistaken identity...,” writes Mark Galeotti.

Low on gas, high on hope, many Mexicans back leader’s war on fuel thieves

January 18, 2019 - 1:38pm

Vittoria Romero and her daughter Celia were celebrating with high-fives and big smiles on a bright but chilly morning this week: They’d successfully filled their compact car’s gas tank after less than 30 minutes in line. Across Mexico, people like the Romeros have been contending with hours-long bumper-to-bumper waits at the pumps, reduced bus transportation, and other daily inconveniences for the past two weeks. The fuel distribution problems began after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered the closure of key pipelines in late December in an effort to curtail rampant fuel theft.

Employees ‘taken hostage’: the ethics of the US government shutdown

January 18, 2019 - 1:36pm

Hector Dias, one of some 400,000 federal employees who are being asked to work without pay, has a blunt message about the government’s partial shutdown. “We should not be taken hostage of the political atmosphere,” says Mr. Dias, a Department of Transportation worker in Washington, echoing the concerns of legions of employees deemed too essential to be furloughed.

What really happens behind bars? Insiders make videos to show you

January 18, 2019 - 8:06am

Lt. Sam Robinson of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) watches over them, because they must be under the supervision, or “coverage,” of a corrections officer at all times. The men, members of a filmmaking program called FirstWatch, are incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. “Film [is] what’s out there right now,” says FirstWatch participant Adnan Khan.

Macron’s turn at G7 helm: Can he offer Trump anything to keep him in?

January 17, 2019 - 2:32pm

With France taking its turn this year as head of the Group of Seven most-advanced industrialized countries, President Emmanuel Macron is identifying climate change and cooperative efforts to soften the economic downsides of globalization as his priorities. In other words, how does a group of the world’s most powerful and influential Western nations keep the most powerful and influential among them – President Trump’s United States – as part of the fold, even as it pursues progress on issues that have already raised the hackles of the anti-multilateralist president? For France the answer seems to be, at least in part, to meet Mr. Trump halfway.

Emergency alert: Declaration could end shutdown – and create new challenges

January 17, 2019 - 1:27pm

President Trump says he is not rushing to declare a national emergency as a means to build his border wall. “I’m not looking to call a national emergency. This is so simple you shouldn’t have to do it,” he told reporters this week.

For Europe, a push against the violence of hate

January 17, 2019 - 12:28pm

Poland just gave a tender lesson to the rest of Europe on how to deal with hate speech – and its consequences. On Jan. 14, the mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, was assassinated at an annual charity event aimed at bringing Poles together. The killer’s motives, according to most commentators, could easily be attributed to the country’s toxic political climate.

Sharp Dressed Man gives tailored suits to those in need

January 17, 2019 - 4:00am

On a frigid December afternoon, Tyler Freburger is standing in front of a set of mirrors wearing a suit picked out for him by a tailor. Since 2011, the organization has been helping men improve their lives by equipping them for job interviews and other occasions with well-fitting suits and accessories. “It’s a blessing that they are here,” says Freburger, who notes that the organization has treated him well and has been working to supply what he needs – something he is not accustomed to in his daily life.

Meanwhile in … Japan, an enormous rare-earth mineral deposit has been found

January 17, 2019 - 4:00am

On Minamitori Island, Japan, an enormous rare-earth mineral deposit has been found. Elements like yttrium, dysprosium, europium, and terbium are used in products such as smartphone batteries and electric cars. There are few other deposits of ­rare-earth minerals that are economically viable for mining, meaning Japan will be a major player in the market.

For Turkey's strongman Erdoğan, trouble seeing eye to eye with Trump

January 16, 2019 - 2:27pm

It was a jubilant moment of victory for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In a mid-December telephone call, he appeared to persuade President Trump to upend years of American policy in Syria by stepping away from US-backed Kurdish militias that Turkey calls terrorists and handing the reins to America’s NATO ally. It’s yours,” Mr. Trump reportedly said of Syria.

In Indonesia, honesty has been a good catch

January 16, 2019 - 12:53pm

Soon after becoming president of Indonesia more than four years ago, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo asked people in the world’s fourth most populous nation to undergo a “mental revolution,” aimed mainly at curbing corruption. On many counts, Jokowi has landed his revolution. Fish stocks in Indonesian waters have more than doubled since 2013.

Dijana Pavlovic works to give the Roma a more political voice

January 16, 2019 - 4:00am

“Now and forever resist!” she yells, finishing an impassioned reading of Erri De Luca’s poem “La notte degli zingari” or “The Night of the Gypsies.” The poem is a poignant retelling of the genocide of the Roma people during World War II, when about 3,000 died in a single night at Auschwitz in 1944. The audience gives fierce applause to Ms. Pavlovic, a theater actress-turned-activist who is one of the most visible members of Italy’s Roma community. “The Roma movement in Italy and all Europe is growing up.

For young Native Americans, running is a lesson in their own history

January 15, 2019 - 7:53pm

Mr. Martin, a Navajo from Gallup, N.M., is executive director of Wings of America, a nonprofit based in Santa Fe, N.M. It encourages Native American youth to embrace running, both as a cultural tradition and as a personal hobby, while simultaneously helping to dispel negative stereotypes associated with their peoples. “Everyone else in Indian country, unfortunately, for the last 30 years, has had to build a program on the premise or idea that something was deficient: ‘We’re preventing substance abuse, preventing domestic violence, we are trying to mitigate poverty rate.... We’re fixing you somehow,’” says Martin. To be sure, Native American youth confront many statistics that back up these stereotypes.

With May’s monumental defeat, no end in sight for Brexit

January 15, 2019 - 3:17pm

The result of Tuesday’s vote in Parliament on Prime Minister Theresa May’s terms of departure from the European Union was ultimately not a surprise. The opposition Labour Party immediately filed a no-confidence motion that will be voted on Wednesday. Whatever happens next, the deadline for Britain’s departure – March 29 at midnight – is now certain to be extended or even shelved as members of Parliament seek to corral May into exploring alternatives to her deal, including a possible second referendum.

Shunned by colleagues on the Hill. But at home, support for King runs deep

January 15, 2019 - 2:43pm

On a Sunday in early December, the Rev. Cary Gordon delivers his weekly sermon to a congregation that fills row after row of plush red pews. For worshipers here at Cornerstone World Outreach, as for many others in this northwest Iowa district, life is anchored on a Christian morality that demands strict obedience to God’s law and the law of the land. Last week, the congressman drew fire for wondering aloud in a New York Times interview why the terms “white nationalism” and “white supremacy” are considered offensive.

Iran's Syria war blockbuster: cinema in the service of politics

January 15, 2019 - 7:04am

The Iranian film “Damascus Time” is an action-packed story of heroes and villains filled, Hollywood-blockbuster-style, with dramatic surprises and explosions. It’s also loaded with a not-so-subtle political message that steps deeply into Iran’s debate about its military role in Syria. The movie tells the tale of two pilots with Iranian forces fighting Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in Syria and “defending” Shiite shrines.

As Brexit racks Parliament, British democracy feels the strain

January 14, 2019 - 3:00pm

Britain’s decision to exit the European Union has divided the country and its political parties. In the high-stakes battle over Brexit, a sense of restraint has given way to a bare-knuckles contest in which conventions are flouted and rules reinterpreted in ways that could unsettle future democratic governance. “I think Brexit is pushing the rules of what is normal behavior ever further because it’s such an extraordinary situation,” says Catherine Haddon, a historian and senior fellow at the Institute for Government in London.

Trump pick for ‘top cop’ on hot seat: Is Mueller criticism disqualifying?

January 14, 2019 - 2:42pm

On Tuesday, former Attorney General William Barr will begin two days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine his fitness to serve in the Trump administration as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. What makes the nomination especially controversial is that as attorney general, Mr. Barr would have the authority to assume full supervision of the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation.

The global suicide rate has seen a net decline. What caused it?

January 14, 2019 - 1:00pm

By some accounts, 2018 was a difficult year – conflicts raged in the Middle East, migrants swung between the difficulties of lives left behind and uncertain futures, and rising populist anger threatened to reshape political landscapes. Yet amid the doom and gloom shone one significant point of progress: The global suicide rate hit its lowest point in two decades.