LIVERPOOL, England — On Wednesday morning, as a new semester began, students eagerly headed into the University of Liverpool’s lecture theaters to begin courses in archaeology, languages and international relations. But in lecture room No. 5 of the university’s concrete Rendall Building, a less traditional program was getting underway: aContinue Reading

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Built on the ashes of 10 years of war in Syria, an illegal drug industry run by powerful associates and relatives of President Bashar al-Assad has grown into a multi-billion-dollar operation, eclipsing Syria’s legal exports and turning the country into the world’s newest narcostate. Its flagship productContinue Reading

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — This week, as Saudi Arabia held its annual investment conference in Riyadh, a boisterous event that attracts business leaders and political officials from around the world, the big mystery was what happened to the host. Yasir al-Rumayyan, the Saudi official who oversees the kingdom’s $450 billionContinue Reading