Unprecedented security protecting jurors, others at El Chapo trial

As the long-awaited, much-anticipated trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán – once the most wanted man in the world and the accused leader of the most notorious drug syndicate in history – gets underway in New York, staunch security measures have been put in place and are only increasing.

North Korean defector on Kim Jong Un’s “lies,” surviving torture, and supporting Trump policy

Concerns are increasing that North Korea is deceptively surging ahead with its ballistic missile program – despite historic diplomacy negotiations with the United States – according to satellite imagery released last week, which purports to show sixteen covert bases. For one of North Korea’s most outspoken activists, there is only one solution to his homeland’s problem.

Trump could designate Iran-backed Yemen rebels as terror group, report says

The Trump administration is reported to be contemplating designating Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia a terrorist organization, igniting the debate or whether or not such a label will bring the protracted to war to close faster.

Burma doubles down on claims to justify treatment of Rohingya minority

Repatriation efforts for Rohingya Muslims who have fled from Burma to Bangladesh in the face of alleged ethnic cleansing – even genocide – at the hands of the Buddhist-majority Burmese military are slated to begin this month. However, much of the international community and human rights groups have expressed grave concern that a return is only a recipe for further persecution. Yet even as allegations of widespread abuse pile up, the government of Burma – officially now known as Myanmar – and its permanent representative to the United Nations are doubling-down with the narrative that they are merely attempting to stop violent Islamic “extremism” from spreading.

Iranian women defy ‘terrorist’ label, continue their opposition to regime

As the full slate of US-imposed sanctions on Iran kicks back into effect on Monday – as a consequence of the Trump administration pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal in May – civil unrest is expected to only deepen across the economically embattled nation. But from the vantage point of several Iranian women long opposed to the reigning religious regime, such unrest and protest is the only way to bring about change; even if it means life on the run as a labeled “terrorist.”

Almost 60,000 migrants deemed dead or missing on dangerous journeys since 2014, study finds

While global migration levels are currently at an unprecedented high – characterized by graphic images of refugees on the run in the Middle East, caravans traversing Central America and flimsy boats from Africa capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea – far less confronting is the silent toll of those who never make it a border, those who die or disappear on often-dangerous expeditions.

Foiled Iranian plots in Europe raise concern in U.S., spotlight Israeli intelligence sharing

On the heels of explosive revelations that Iranian operatives – allegedly under direct orders from Tehran – plotted to carry out deadly attacks on dissidents across Europe, has US intelligence on heightened alert of similar Iran-orchestrated operations, numerous analysts and insiders say.

Why I left ISIS: Former Baghdadi ‘friend’ and aide, others speak out

Sheikh Hussam Naji, born in Baghdad in 1980, thought his wildest dreams had come true when ISIS and its so-called “caliphate” captured swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014. Only for Naji – who was personally appointed by Baghdadi to be his assistant – the dream quickly morphed into a nightmare.

International Red Cross fears for city in Syria it can’t reach with aid

Leading humanitarian organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has called for access to the civilian population inside Syria’s conflict-riddled Afrin – asserting that they have not been allowed in to help the civilian population in the aftermath of Turkey’s military operation to seize control of the city.

China, Russia could stand to learn crucial info by intercepting Trump’s personal calls, analysts say

President Donald Trump refuted reports on Thursday that – despite warnings from the intelligence community – his continued use of a personal cell phone has enabled foreign spies to listen. Yet leading experts in the security and the intel arena concurred that such breaches are highly plausible and far more wide-reaching than what meets the eye, or the ear.

Saudi attorney general heads to Turkey, questions arise of U.S. diplomatic response and fallout

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general is scheduled to have touched down in Turkey on Sunday to further discuss the ongoing investigation into the murder of Saudi opinion writer and a staunch critic of the royal family, Jamal Khashoggi, in the Kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on October 2. Although Saudi officials are yet to formally announce the visit of their top prosecutor, Saud al-Mojeb, it comes just days after CIA director Gina Haspel met with investigators to review evidence and alleged audio tapes of the killing.

Questions arise over politics, motivation of caravan organizers

As more than seven thousand continue to surge forward from Central America through Mexico and bound for the United States border in what has become known as the “migrant caravan,” scores of questions continue to be raised over how the mass migration effort was brought together, who is behind it and what prompted the movement even despite President Trump’s outspoken and controversial stance against illegal immigration.

Colombian mothers challenge ‘bad luck’ taboos, take the lead emerald mining

Deep inside the lush and remote mountainous ranges of Colombia’s Boyacá region, villagers disappear into dark tunnels wreathed with shades of red and brown, slushing and sifting through nature’s timeworn treasure chest. The profession of emerald mining in Colombia has a long and bloodied history, but for the first time now its local mothers are at the forefront – determined not only to push back against the bygone law that they are “bad luck” – but also to provide for their families, serve as beacons of security for the historically war-torn region and to peel away stigmas of destruction and narco financing that has gripped Colombia’s rural regions for half a century.

Turkey vows crackdown over Khashoggi as critics call Erdogan regime ‘world’s worst jailer’ of journalists

As horrid accounts of Jamal Khashoggi’s death inside Istanbul’s Saudi Arabia consulate continue to unfold, Turkey’s top brass – led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – has received praise from around the globe for its strong stance in investigating the silencing of a member of the media.