Germany's Cabinet on Thursday approved sending German Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect the NATO member against possible attacks from Syria, in a major step toward possible Western military role in the Syrian conflict.
Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that two batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened.
The decision must be endorsed by the German Parliament, but approval is all but assured.
Mothers and their children sit among their washing in a refugee camp on the border between Syria and Turkey near the northern city of Azaz on Wednesday. The internally displaced faced further misery as heavy rain was followed by a drop in temperatures.
It's early afternoon when the sun is bright, and it's finally warm enough to come outside. This tent camp on a hill overlooking the Turkish border, near the Syrian town of Atma, houses more than 14,000 displaced Syrians.
The water here is trucked in, and it's the only source. Women line up with plastic jugs to haul the daily delivery back to the tents. What is striking are the children — in dirty clothes and summer shoes, faces red and raw from the cold.
A woman walks by the Grand Mosque of Djenne on market day in Djenne, Mali, on Sept. 2. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed town is among the Malian tourist sites suffering from a huge drop in visitors after a coup took place in March and Islamist rebels seized control of the country's north.
Credit CIA World Factbook
Credit Joe Penney / Reuters /Landov
Kadija, a jewelry vendor, stands next to her stall in Djenne on Aug. 31. In previous years, the town had nearly 10,000 annual tourists. But since March, fewer than 20 tourists have come to Djenne, according to the local tourism board.
Tourism, the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in the West African country of Mali, has ground to a halt. Since the coup in March and the subsequent occupation of the north by militants linked to al-Qaida, Mali has virtually become a no-go zone for visitors. The impact on the economy and people's lives is profound.
In the historic city of Segou, about 150 miles north of the capital, Bamako, the effects are obvious.
On a recent day, the engine of the brightly painted pinasse, a wooden boat handcrafted with a swooping wicker canopy, slowly starts up.
As President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers assess the need for spending cuts and tax increases against the risk of triggering a new recession, they might look across the Atlantic for insights from those who have already grappled with those budgetary questions.
The problem of excessive government debt has swamped economies across Europe and forced countries to take severe measures to cut their deficits. The first lesson from their "fiscal consolidation" experiences: It will hurt.
If I asked you to think of a murderer, what's the image that springs to mind?
If you're like most people, you'll probably think of an evil psychopath, or someone bent on revenge. Perhaps you'll see a criminal mastermind, who eliminates rivals on his way to riches. Or a strung-out drug addict, who kills because she needs money to get high.
All of these images have something in common: As a rule, we tend to associate murder with the behavior of individuals who behave in aberrational ways.
Tax increases are only a part of what lies ahead if Congress can't come to an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff by the new year. Massive spending cuts will also kick in — and those cuts will be felt throughout the economy.
The current stalemate got under way two years ago when Congress, locked in a bitter partisan battle over whether to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, passed what was known as the Budget Control Act of 2011.
The president and House Republicans continued to snipe at each other Wednesday over the impending set of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. They traded accusations and blame during another day with plenty of talk, but — until late in the day, at least — no negotiations.
Billions in damages and not enough in the bank account — that's where federal officials find themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The White House says it will send an emergency funding request to Capitol Hill this week — expected to be $50 billion to $60 billion. Top administrators told Congress on Wednesday that they want at least some of that money to go toward preventing the kind of devastation caused by Sandy and other recent storms.