Writer and editor on the Los Angeles Times foreign desk. Formerly based in Africa and the Middle East.

Voters to decide same-sex marriage in heavily Catholic Ireland

startribune.com — Joe Masterson isn't your typical gay rights activist. A 72-year-old Irish farmer, he grew up in an era when such matters were simply not discussed. But there he was, going door to door this week asking neighbors in the small village of Castlepollard to support a proposal to allow same-sex couples in Ireland to marry.

In heavily Catholic Ireland, voters to decide on same-sex marriage

latimes.com — Joe Masterson isn't your typical gay rights activist. A 72-year-old Irish farmer, he grew up in an era when such matters were simply not discussed. But there he was, going door to door this week asking neighbors in the small village of Castlepollard to support a proposal to allow same-sex couples in Ireland to marry.

Banned from driving, Saudi women turn to ride-sharing apps

startribune.com — When Hala Radwan returned to Saudi Arabia after obtaining a business degree in France, she was eager to put her new skills to use. She found a marketing job for a big international company. There was just one problem: How would she get to and from work in the only country that does not allow women to drive?

Wave of Myanmar and Bangladesh 'boat people' left adrift at sea

latimes.com — Hundreds of desperate migrants clamored for food and water when they were spotted in a wooden fishing boat left adrift in the Andaman Sea between Malaysia and Thailand. Smugglers had disabled the engine and abandoned them six days ago, they told the boatload of journalists who found them Thursday, and no country had been willing to take them in.

An airstrike and clashes strain Yemen's cease-fire

latimes.com — A jet fighter from a Saudi-led coalition targeted a military convoy belonging to Shiite Muslim rebels and their allies in southern Yemen on Wednesday, straining a five-day humanitarian cease-fire that took effect the previous day. Meanwhile, a senior Iranian military official warned the U.S.-backed coalition against blocking a Yemen-bound Iranian aid ship, saying that such a move would "spark a fire" in the region.

Why has Bangladesh become a killing ground for bloggers?

latimes.com — The slaying of a third secular blogger in as many months has set a chilling pattern in Bangladesh, a country long associated with a culture of moderation and free expression. Machete-wielding assailants followed Ananta Bijoy Das on Tuesday morning when he left his house in the northeastern city of Sylhet and hacked him to death, police and friends said.

Rebels in Yemen claim to have shot down missing Moroccan jet

latimes.com — Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed Monday to have shot down a Moroccan warplane participating in a Saudi-led air campaign against them, part of an escalation in fighting that could jeopardize plans for a five-day cease-fire intended to facilitate the delivery of aid to civilians.

Iraq's foreign minister addresses ties with both U.S. and Iran

latimes.com — As Iraq's government attempts to reclaim territory seized by the extremist group Islamic State, it has accepted military aid from two rival powers, the United States and Iran. It is a difficult balancing act. U.S. officials were troubled by the role of prominent Iranian advisors such as Maj. Gen.

Banned from driving, Saudi women flock to ride-share apps

latimes.com — When Hala Radwan returned to Saudi Arabia after obtaining a business degree in France, she was eager to put her new skills to use. She found a job in the marketing department of a big international company. There was just one problem: How would she get to and from work in the only country that does not allow women to drive?

Saudi Arabia Signals A More Muscular Foreign Policy Less Reliant On The US

yaleglobal.yale.edu — Saudi Arabia's new leadership under King Salman has ramped up involvement in regional conflicts. With Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudis have launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen - a response to decreased US mobilization in the Middle East and a way to counter Iran's expanding influence in the region.
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May 29, 2015

RT @CrisisGroup: After the failed coup on 13 May, all is in place for a violent confrontation in Burundi. Read our briefing bit.ly/1AyGRe6

May 29, 2015

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for another bombing targeting Shiites in Saudi Arabia, the second in a week lat.ms/1SH9trd

May 27, 2015

Five days after Tribune Publishing completed its purchase of San Diego Union-Tribune, 178 employees are laid off lat.ms/1LJJcns

May 27, 2015

ICYMI: @amnesty says Hamas tortured and killed Palestinians during last summer's Gaza war lat.ms/1QalfGH

May 27, 2015

Four militants killed in another attack on an Afghan guest house. 'It is not Iraq, we fight back with full force' lat.ms/1J0p2aC

May 26, 2015

RT @HannahAllam: Reporter: "Can I pivot to Asia?" Nope, State spox first had to take several more questions on Middle East. #BriefingImitatesLife

May 26, 2015

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, held in Iran for 10 months, makes first court appearance behind closed doors lat.ms/1JUzcZC

May 26, 2015

A major offensive to recapture Ramadi from Islamic State militants has begun, Iraq's official media reports lat.ms/1FNbigZ

May 26, 2015

Ryan Crocker: 'You don’t end a war by withdrawing from the battlefield. You just give the ground to your enemies' lat.ms/1FNaMQ4

May 22, 2015

RT @LeilaFadel: #Saudi Shiites expected a backlash due to #Saudi's war in #Yemen, a piece I did about that fear. Today it came true. n.pr/1PwQHyz

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