Fatal drug overdoses hit record high in US, government figures show

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports drug overdoses in the US rose in 2014, driven by surges in deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers. Photograph: SIMON RAWLEY / Deaths from drug overdoses have surged across the US to record levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, overdose deaths last year exceeded 47,000, more ... Read More »

South China Sea: US bomber angers Beijing with Spratly islands flypast

A US B-52 bomber flew near the Spratly archipelago, an area claimed by China. Photograph: AFP China has accused the US of “serious military provocation” after a B-52 bomber mistakenly flew within two nautical miles of Chinese-claimed territory in theSouth China Sea last week. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the incident involving the B-52 bomber took ... Read More »

UN security council adopts resolution on Syrian peace process

The security council votes at the United Nations. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews The UN security council has unanimously agreed a resolution endorsing an international roadmap for a peace process in Syria, a rare show of unity among major powers on a conflict that has claimed more than 250,000 lives. “This council is sending a clear message to all concerned that the ... Read More »

Yemen govt forces capture northwestern city as peace talks go on

Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi sits during a meeting with government officials in the country’s southern port city of Aden, December 1, 2015. Yemeni troops loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi gained control of an important northwestern city on Friday, residents and tribal sources said, as a supposed ceasefire appeared close to collapse. The one-week truce was declared to aid ... Read More »

Spain gears up for most uncertain election in 40 years

Supporters of Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez, one of the four leading candidates for Spain’s national election, hold signs that read, ‘Pedro president’, during an election campaign rally in Torremolinos, southern Spain, December 17, 2015. Spain faces its most uncertain national election in 40 years on Sunday with newcomer parties poised for big gains against the traditionally dominant ... Read More »

After California shootings, Muslim American families struggle with identity

Mirvette Judeh poses for a photo with her children, Ayah Maaytah (L-R), 7, Salma Maaytah, 3, and Rakan Maaytah, 9, at their home in Buena Park, California December 17, 2015. Mirvette Judeh began covering her hijab with a hoodie two weeks ago while in the car with her two young children. Someone might want to hurt their mother, she explained ... Read More »

Sanders campaign accused of accessing Clinton data

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Communication Workers of America (CWA) office in Washington December 17, 2015. The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was accused of breaching voter data from rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign, adding intrigue to a debate featuring the two this weekend. The breach of Democratic National Committee files led to the firing of a ... Read More »

Back to reality for Merkel as Europe stalls on refugees BRUSSELS

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts during a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 18, 2015. Only two of the 11 refugee reception “hotpots” Europe hoped to get up and running this year are working. Less than one percent of the 160,000 migrants it agreed to relocate have been. And a recent drop in arrivals ... Read More »

Syrian negotiator says opposition wants transition without Assad

Former Syrian premier Riad Hijab chairs the first official meeting of the Free National Gathering’s general assembly in Doha March 8, 2013. Syria’s opposition wants a political transition without President Bashar al-Assad, said Riad Hijab, who was chosen by Syrian opposition groups as coordinator of a negotiating body to lead future peace talks. The United States, Russia along with Iran, ... Read More »

Iran’s military chief attacks idea of council to replace supreme leader

People walk under a painting of Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (R) and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) in Tehran December 6, 2015 The head of Iran’s armed forces on Friday strongly attacked suggestions that Iran’s supreme leader could be succeeded by a council, and warned of “plots” against the country’s unity. Registration opened on Thursday for ... Read More »