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Betsy Hiel

Nearly 28 years after Chernobyl disaster, life goes on in ‘exclusion zone’

By Betsy Hiel
CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — Misha Tefflenko’s family of eight fled the village of Fabrykivka in 1993, when radiation levels rose too high. They and 300 other …

Activists fearful to speak up for a united Ukraine

By Betsy Hiel
VOLNOVAKHA, Ukraine — Dimitri Lubinets recalls how Ukrainian military vehicles passed through town more than a week ago, headed to the border with Russia. “We …

Ukraine fault line on joining Russia runs through Pittsburgh sister city

By Betsy Hiel
DONETSK, Ukraine — Where Pushkin and Shevchenko boulevards converge, about 5,000 pro-Russia separatists massed on Saturday outside the regional governor’s office. Chanting and waving blue, …

Crimeans vote to join Russian Federation, exit polls show

By Betsy Hiel
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine – “I voted for Russia. It is close to our spirit.” Alexi Koval, 29, an electrical engineer in the capital of Ukraine’s secession-minded …

Crimeans put trust in referendum on joining Russia

By Betsy Hiel
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Cossacks surround the Crimean parliament building, a large Russian flag hanging behind them. “The Motherland is calling. Vote yes,” read fliers passed …

Crimea’s Tatars recall suffering under Soviets, to boycott referendum

By Betsy Hiel
KRASNOGVARDEYSKOYE, Ukraine — Muniver Umerova was just 6 when she was deported from Crimea, along with two sisters and her mother. She vividly recalls the …

Crimeans given 2 options in referendum, neither is status quo

By Betsy Hiel
YALTA, Ukraine — Along the promenade of this historic Black Sea resort, billboards tout Sunday’s referendum on Crimea’s future. “Join with Russia,” urges one with …

Frustrated, frightened Ukrainians debate what U.S. must do

By Betsy Hiel
KIEV, Ukraine — In the Contemporary Art Center, 3-foot-tall pages of sheet music are set in barbed wire. Bullet holes form the notes for Mozart’s …

Ukrainians steel to resist Russian aggression

By Betsy Hiel
KIEV, Ukraine — In and around the Maidan, or Independence Square, scents of smoke and fresh flowers mix. People wind through a barricade of sandbags, …

Trib’s Hiel honored for reporting on Coptic Christians

By Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review foreign correspondent Betsy Hiel won a national award for religion coverage, the Religion Communicators Council announced on Wednesday. Hiel won one of 25 Wilbur Awards for excellence by individuals in secular media in communicating religious issues, positive values and …

Bus bomb targets Egypt tourists

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — An explosion ripped through a tourist bus on Sunday in Egypt’s South Sinai near the Israeli border, killing three South Koreans and the …

General’s promotion pushes him closer to leading Egypt — as president

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Egypt appears closer to having a new military general as president, as its top officer was promoted in rank and as a candidate. …

Egypt vote bellwether on military

By Betsy Hiel
A strong turnout for a constitutional referendum could persuade Egypt’s top general to seek the presidency. Egyptians will vote Tuesday and Wednesday to replace an …

Coptic Christian history lost to thieves in Egypt

By Betsy Hiel
DEIR ABU HANAS, Egypt — Coptic Christian women slowly trudge up many steps to the caves carved into a limestone mountain. Although winded by the …

Egypt strikes a perilous repose

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Five turbulent months after millions of Egyptians demanded the removal of their Islamist ruler, the world’s most populous Arab nation is uneasily calm. …

Morsy decries ‘treason’ at trial

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy and other Muslim Brotherhood defendants denounced their trial on criminal charges during a brief appearance on Monday. Judge …

In place of wedding for Coptic Christians, a funeral

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Thousands of Egyptians attended funerals on Monday for victims of a Sunday night drive-by shooting at a Coptic Christian wedding here. The four …

American found hanged in Egyptian jail

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — An American man who was arrested in North Sinai for violating curfew and detained for more than a month was found hanged in his jail cell, Egypt’s interior ministry said on Sunday. James Lunn was found “hanging on …

Cutting U.S. aid to Egypt called ‘lose-lose’

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Experts here and in the United States say Washington’s decision to slash aid to Egypt will do little beyond damaging a critical alliance …

Pro-Morsy rallies buckle under Egyptian military’s weight

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — A “Friday of martyrs” protest in support of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsy drew far fewer numbers than previous rallies. Twenty-eight marches were …

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