World

The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WATCH: A Death-Defying Climb To The Top Of Shanghai Tower

Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov scale Shanghai Tower.
YouTube

A pair of daredevils, a Russian and a Ukrainian, scales the as-yet-unfinished Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building.

As Russia Today writes:

"Donning army camos, black hoodies and face masks, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov evoke a Black Bloc aesthetic and an even more nonchalant attitude when readying themselves to scrape the sky with their own fingers."

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Parallels
1:37 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

At Iranian Colleges, Some See Brighter Future In Another Country

Iranian high school students sit for their university entrance examination in Tehran in 2009. Iran's economy has been struggling in recent years, and many graduates feel they have few career options.
Mona Hoobehfekr AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:59 pm

President Hassan Rouhani appeals to Iranian college students when he talks about creating more opportunities for the young. But the clock is ticking. Many of those born long after the 1979 Islamic Revolution see limited prospects at home and envision a better future abroad.

Outside Tehran University, Iran's largest, you can find earnest young students like Fazle Mahmoudian, 21, a math major who says he knows job prospects are grim, though he's not looking to leave.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Delhi's Crusading Chief Minister Resigns, Slams Main Parties

Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters in New Delhi, India, on Friday after announcing his resignation as chief minister of Delhi.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:51 pm

He said he represented the common man, and he caused a political earthquake in India when his party's election performance catapulted him to the chief minister's office in Delhi. On Friday — less than two months later — Arvind Kejriwal announced he was resigning after his effort to pass an anti-corruption bill was blocked by lawmakers in the state assembly.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Massive Volcanic Eruption In Indonesia Blankets Region In Ash

A residential area is covered with ash from the Mount Kelud volcano, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday.
Bimo Satrio EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:06 pm

The second major volcanic eruption in as many weeks in Indonesia has killed at least three people and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands on the island of Java, as Mount Kelud spewed ash and debris 12 miles into the sky.

Thursday night's eruption of the volcano, located 50 miles southwest of the country's second-largest city of Surabaya, could be heard up to 125 miles away, Indonesia's disaster agency says, according to The Associated Press.

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Latin America
5:15 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Venezuela's Crime And Shortages Fuel Anti-Government Protests

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Venezuela's deep political divisions turned deadly this week. Three demonstrators were killed in clashes between government supporters and opponents. Cars burned, windows were smashed and the government of President Nicolas Maduro ordered the arrest of a leading opposition figure.

The Wall Street Journal's South American bureau chief Juan Forero is reporting on this story. And he says the immediately cause for the latest demonstrations is a little vague.

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Middle East
5:03 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Syria Peace Talks Appear Near Collapse

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:38 pm

The Syrian peace talks in Geneva are in deep trouble. Representatives of the opposition met a delegation from Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime several times this week. But the two sides can't agree on an agenda.

Parallels
3:44 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Iran's Hope Is Sanctions Relief, But Reality Is Struggling Economy

Low-income Iranians line up to receive food supplies in south Tehran. Iran remains an economy of subsidies, although some direct cash payments have been replaced by food baskets for the poor.
Davoud Ghahrdar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 11:07 am

Iran's economy may be struggling, but that doesn't mean everyone is suffering.

In a downtown Tehran restaurant, a well-dressed young man who asks to be identified only as Ahmad sits with a friend enjoying a water pipe of flavored tobacco.

Ahmad is a bit vague about what he does — first he says he's in the petrochemical business, then describes himself as an independent trader. He shares the general consensus that President Hassan Rouhani has brought a better atmosphere to the country but no real economic changes.

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World
7:07 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:05 pm

The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right?

But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. envoy to that European country, struggled to answer that simple question during her recent confirmation hearing.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

No-Confidence Vote Ushers In Italy's Youngest-Ever Premier

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi of Italy's Democratic Party is next in line to be the country's prime minister. Enrico Letta is stepping down after a vote of no confidence.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta will step down after his own party launched a no-confidence vote against him, paving the way for the young and popular mayor of Florence to assume the post.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

U.K. Warns Scotland: Vote To Secede, Lose Common Currency

A display of T-shirts are seen for sale in a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Jan. 13, 2012. Scotland votes in September on independence, but the U.K. government has warned that freedom will come at a cost: Scotland will lose the pound.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:06 pm

Scotland, as we've told you previously, is voting later this year on breaking away from the U.K.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond had said that the new country would retain the pound as its currency and take on a portion of the U.K.'s debt. Britain's message today [Thursday]: Not so fast.

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