"Why did our peshmerga die in the fight against Daesh?" asks Hawre Ali, who stands by while protesters pose for pictures with yellow sad-faced smileys. Outside the United Nations compound in Iraqi Kurdistan's capital Irbil, peace protesters gather. They mourn for the territories the Iraqi army has taken back from the Kurds over the last few days, some of which peshmerga fighters had recaptured from the "Islamic State" terror group, or Daesh, with the loss of Kurdish lives. "What did we fight for?" Ali wonders. For three years, the peshmerga fought IS — mainly in the so-called "disputed" territories that both the Kurds and Baghdad claim for themselves — with air support from the US-led international coalition against IS. They lost almost 2,000 peshmerga troops in battle, with another 18,000 wounded. Read more: Kirkuk — What you need to know about the Kurdish-Iraqi dispute "The fight was not even our responsibility," says Ali, who is angry with the international … [Read more...] about Kurds blame outside world for loss of territories to Iraq
A picture is worth a thousand words - or so the expression goes. But what happens when an image becomes more than just another picture, when it captures the zeitgeist of a particular paradigm or eternalizes a single moment like no other photograph can? Images of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off the Turkish coast earlier this week, have trended heavily on social media in recent days, reigniting the debate on the future direction of Europe's refugee crisis. But will these pictures make a difference? The power of images Art historian Felix Hoffmann believes images can become great tools to galvanize change - if they stand the test of time. He is well recognized in Germany for curating a daring exhibit on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In an interview with DW, Hoffmann spoke of the power of iconography behind such images and said that in such instances, photography serves as a means to humanize events which are otherwise difficult for many people … [Read more...] about The power of iconography: How Aylan Kurdi’s picture moved the world
More has been written about him, it's often said, than about anyone else in history apart from Jesus Christ and Napoleon Bonaparte. Two hundred years after his birth, Richard Wagner is a much-discussed subject. Some see him as the genius who created the "total work of art." Others reject him for his anti-Semitic writings. In any event, his operas are performed today more often than ever before. He came from a middle-class family. The father, Carl Friedrich Wagner, was a police actuary; his mother, Johanna Rosine Pätz-Wagner, a baker's daughter. The boy, baptized Wilhelm Richard Wagner, was interested in theater from early childhood. Music of the future Initially he wanted to be a poet and playwright. But seeing Beethoven's opera "Fidelio" at age 16 resulted in a change of career plans: He decided to be a composer. As early as 1831, as a student of music, he planned his first opera, for which he penned the text himself - an approach he was to take for the rest of his life. By … [Read more...] about Two hundred years after his birth, Wagner still fascinates the world.
The Houston Astros rocketed to the top of the baseball atmosphere on Wednesday after the franchise secured its first World Series win in its 55-year history. The Texas team soared past the Los Angeles Dodgers to win 5-1 in Game 7 of the showdown, ending the key annual event involving baseball teams from Canada and the US. Astros center fielder George Springer was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series. He became the first player ever to hit five home runs in the World Series, the last of which came in the second inning and set the pace for the rest of the game. "We're coming home a champion, Houston," said Springer after accepting the award named after the legendary center fielder Willie Mays. The win was a welcome spot of joy for the Texas city, which is still reeling from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey in August. "We did this for them," Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said of the team's fans in Houston. 'It's supposed to hurt' The Dodgers … [Read more...] about Houston Astros win their first-ever championship in baseball’s World Series
An hour before the kickoff of the first game of the new Ligue 1 season, against SC Amiens, the 45,000 fans who packed the Parc des Princes on Saturday afternoon cheered as if they were witnessing the second coming. The subject of the most expensive football transfer in history greeted his new fans mostly in Portuguese, but also briefly in French. "Paris est magique," he said. "Ici c'est Paris, merci beaucoup!" The Parc now has a new prince. Read more: Neymar's transfer exposes the myths of financial fair play Read more: Neymar unveiled, denies it's about the money An historic deal Neymar has signed on to wear the colors of Paris Saint-Germain for five seasons. This is an historic transfer on more than one level. Never before had a team in France broken the world's transfer record, and never before had a team from Ligue 1 attracted a player of this caliber. "This is very strong, what PSG has just done," said Mickaël, a long-time fan of the … [Read more...] about Neymar to PSG: What the world-record transfer means for France’s Ligue 1
Nine of the 11 players who started for Germany against Azerbaijan on Sunday were part of the Confed Cup squad – the exceptions were Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané. Additionally, all the players who scored in their 5-1 victory in the Fritz Walter Stadium in Kaiserslautern were Germany's Confederations Cup stars. Some of the casual Germany fans may not know many of these players' names yet, but in 2017 they really made a name for themselves. "It's nice to be part of the team. We have a lot of great young players, great old players. We have about 40 or 50 players in the national team,” forward Julian Brandt told DW after the game. "We had a good Confederations Cup and a good qualification." But it's not just the amount of talent Germany has that got the job done, but also the way in which they got on with each other. Emre Can made just his fourth career international start in midfield, and yet he was controlling the play in front of Germany's defense. Bundesliga … [Read more...] about Germany’s Confederations Cup stars take step towards World Cup berth
Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud did the damage for France against Belarus on Tuesday, each netting in a 2-1 win to claim the top spot in Group A. Back-to-back wins against Bulgaria and then Belarus ensured France would not have to endure a nail-biting playoff, as in 2010 and 2014. Portugal, meanwhile, beat Switzerland 2-0 to claim outright victory in Group B. Switzerland will have to contest a playoff to make the summer journey to Russia. An own goal from Johan Djourou set Portugal on the right track before Andre Silva put the hosts two up before the hour mark. The Netherlands, however, could not salvage their disastrous qualifying campaign against Sweden. Needing an unthinkable 7-0 win, the Dutch managed only two, both from Arjen Robben. Robben's first was perhaps the worst chipped "Panenka" penalty you're ever likely to see, but his sorry scuffed strike still found its way into the net. His second, meanwhile, was far crisper; a first-time shot from the edge of … [Read more...] about Portugal, France book World Cup tickets, Netherlands eliminated
With a promise that the two key European partners would maintain their "essential cooperation," French President Emmanuel Macron late on Sunday led the praise for German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she secured a fourth term in office in Sunday's federal election. "I called Angela Merkel to congratulate her. We will continue our essential cooperation with determination for Europe and for our countries," Macron told his followers on Twitter. Read more: Disappointing victory for Angela Merkel as CDU sinks, nationalist AfD surges Uncharted political waters for Angela Merkel Merkel remains anchor of stability for US Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Merkel's re-election would serve to promote "the European integration project." In a telegram sent to the chancellery, Rajoy congratulated Merkel on the "excellent results," after her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) scored a projected 33 percent of the … [Read more...] about German election: World reacts to Merkel victory, AfD rise
Kemal K., who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, was arrested in Ukraine in July after Turkey issued a so-called Red Notice (more on that later) with Interpol. Ankara says he's wanted for his alleged involvement in two murders in Turkey and had requested his extradition from Germany on several occasions. So far German authorities have turned down the request. This follows a similar incident involving German-Turkish author Dogan Akhanli, who was detained during his vacation in southern Spain in August at Turkey's behest. Last week Spanish authorities said they would not extradite him to Turkey. Common to both cases is the involvement of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) — a title that conjures up the image of a dimly-lit street, rain glistening off the cobbles and a man in a long overcoat, collar turned up, taking a furtive look and a last drag of his cigarette before melting into the shadows. Okay, so maybe I've watched too many spy … [Read more...] about Interpol: Who polices the world’s police?
He's sitting in a bar in his hometown of Girona, eating lunch, as if nothing else were going on. A group of basketball players want a photo with him. No problem. Carles Puigdemont briefly steps outside, past cameras and reporters barking questions — "Do you realize you've been deposed?" — poses for the photo, goes back inside and carries on eating. Almost simultaneously, Catalan TV is broadcasting a recorded "institutional speech" by the region's former head of government. In it, Puigdemont rejects his discharge and asks for "patience, endurance and perspective" in order to move ahead with his independence plan. Positioned alongside him in statesmanlike manner are the Catalan and EU flags. Read more: 'Puigdi's' deep political roots After the speech, he appears again on live television, just sitting with neighbors, according to the presenter. It looks like a perfectly normal day for Puigdemont. Nothing seems to perturb him, not even when, a few hours … [Read more...] about Is Carles Puigdemont living in a parallel world?