Finland’s top diplomat hints at joining NATO without Sweden

HELSINKI (AP) – Finland’s foreign minister suggested Tuesday that the country may consider joining NATO without neighboring Sweden if Turkey continues to block their joint bid to enter the military alliance. Pekka Haavisto later backpedaled, but his comments were the first time a leading government official in either Nordic country appeared to raise doubts about … Read more

Sweden: Erdogan effigy ‘act of sabotage’ against NATO bid

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Friday denounced a protest by Kurds in central Stockholm, where an effigy of Turkey’s president was hung from a lamppost, as an act of “sabotage” against Sweden’s bid to join NATO.. The protest outside City Hall on Wednesday drew an angry backlash from Turkey, a … Read more

Taliban ban women from working for domestic, foreign NGOs

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban government on Saturday ordered all foreign and domestic non-governmental groups in Afghanistan to suspend employing women, allegedly because some female employees did not wear the Islamic headscarf correctly. They also separately banned women from attending religious classes at the mosques in the capital of Kabul. The bans are the latest … Read more

EXPLAINER: What’s at stake in Turkey’s new Syria escalation

BEIRUT (AP) – After weeks of deadly Turkish airstrikes in northern Syria, Kurdish forces and international players are trying to gauge whether Ankara’s threats of a ground invasion are serious. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly warned of a new country incursion to drive Kurdish groups away from the Turkish-Syrian border, following a deadly … Read more

Russian men join exodus, fearing call-up to fight in Ukraine

ISTANBUL — Military-aged men fled Russia in droves Friday, filling planes and causing traffic jams at border crossings to avoid being rounded up to fight in Ukraine following the Kremlin’s partial military mobilization. Queues stretching for 10 kilometers (6 miles) formed on a road leading to the southern border with Georgia, according to Yandex Maps, … Read more