It's not easy to get to Qursaya island, a tiny bit of land in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt's capital. You have to take a boat from the riverbank. There are no cars on the island, and it's only had running water for a few years.
It's a quiet 70-acre patch of agricultural land amid a megacity, where mooing cows provide the soundtrack, and farmers and fishermen have lived for generations.
But not all is as bucolic as it seems: The island is at the heart of a yearslong legal battle between those farmers and the government.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:18 am
When it comes to talking a big game, no one does it better than the North Koreans.
Just this week, Pyongyang vowed to turn Seoul, the capital of archrival South Korea, into a "sea of fire," promised to launch a "pre-emptive strike on the headquarters of the aggressors" (read: the United States) and called on its army to "annihilate the enemy."
Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 12:38 pm
A bomb exploded near the Defense Ministry in Kabul on Saturday morning as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility, calling it a message to the new Pentagon chief.
Update At 10:49 a.m. ET: Hagel Not Surprised
Hagel was nowhere near the attack, but the AP reports he heard the blast:
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There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our shows in Rockford, Illinois at the beautiful Coronado Theater there on April 4th. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
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We want to remind everybody about the upcoming WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! cinema event, happening on May 2nd. You could witness the magic of WAIT WAIT live in a movie theater near you. Finally, an opportunity to enjoy this same radio show among a crowd of strangers, while paying $8 for a box of Milk Duds.
SAGAL: Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Paula, in some alarming news, al Qaeda is now drawing inspiration for their attacks from what?
Arne Duncan is President Obama's secretary of education, and if, while he's on this show, a disaster befalls the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and every other member of the Cabinet except Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, he would be president.
We've invited Duncan to play a game called "Now, don't be fresh ... I just take dictation!" Three questions for the secretary of education about the education of secretaries.
A French mother was in court Wednesday for what she says was a simple birthday celebration but what the government alleges is a clear provocation, an allusion to terrorism.
The BBC reports that Bouchra Bagour, 35, has been charged with "glorifying crime" after she sent her three-year-old son — named Jihad — to school wearing a T-shirt that read "I am a bomb" and "Born on 11 September."
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:12 am
Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurantmagazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.
We live knowing that everything dies. Like the sun, it's a fact of life. And like the sun, we tend not to look right at it. Unless you've experienced a recent death, it's probably not something you discuss. But a new movement is trying to change that, with a serving of tea and cake.
The fear of death haunts us like nothing else. And it makes sense. All other fears — such as public speaking, centipedes and heights — pale in comparison. So we don't really talk about it.
There is an advertising battle going on over the Arabic term jihad. In Chicago, a group has launched a bus and subway ad campaign meant to reclaim the term jihad from another series of ads that presents jihadists as violent.
With all the votes in, Kenya's election commission says Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have won with the slimmest of margins. Kenyatta got 50.03 percent of the vote, the AP reports.
"Kenyatta, who faces international charges of crimes against humanity, secured 6,173,433 votes out of a total of 12,338,667 ballots cast, indicating that he had secured the more than 50 percent of votes needed for a first round win."
The Roman Catholic Church is one small step closer to a new pope today. Church cardinals have picked a date to begin their conclave. That's the gathering behind closed doors to elect the next pope. The cardinals will gather next Tuesday morning for a special mass, and they'll enter the Sistine Chapel in the afternoon, after which point they'll be incommunicado with the outside world until a new pope is elected.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League have done something remarkable. They've gone half of the current season, 24 games, without losing in regulation time. Here to talk about that feat and other hockey news is sportswriter Stephen Fatsis. Hey there, Stephen.
Philadelphia is closing almost two dozen of its public schools. The move prompted outcry in the nation's fifth largest city, but the schools in Philly face declining enrollment, aging infrastructure and massive state budget cuts. And those forces came to a head last night when the city's school reform commission took a vote. Benjamin Herold is covering the emotional decision from member station WHYY.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. 7.7 percent is the latest unemployment rate. That's the number for February, according to the Labor Department's report out this morning. Economists were expecting a ho-hum job survey. Instead, they got a pleasant surprise, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.
Some U.S. Senators are demanding answers after an Air Force commander dismissed a sexual assault conviction against one of his officers. Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson had been sentenced to a year in prison and dismissal from the military for aggravated sexual assault, but he's been reinstated. Senators Jean Shaheen and Barbara Boxer called the decision a travesty of justice. They and Senator Claire McCaskill have written to defense officials about the case.
A week after a sweeping and controversial education bill was adopted by the Alabama Legislature, the measure is on hold, with a circuit judge and the state's supreme court reviewing separate lawsuits filed over it. Democrats say Republicans broke the rules when they inserted school choice language into a bill that was originally meant to give school districts flexibility in meeting standards.
For the first time, the Bulgarian National Assembly is expressing "regret" for deporting more than 11,000 Jews to German death camps.
The declaration passed today is truly bitter sweet, because while it calls the deportations a "criminal act," it also praises Bulgarian citizens and politicians for saving more than 48,000 Jews during the Holocaust.
The February jobs report was just the latest proof that the economy doesn't really care how much it confounds the messaging strategies of Washington's political class.
News that the economy created 236,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in more than four years, caught nearly everyone by surprise after economists forecast perhaps 171,000 new jobs.
As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they'll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.
Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation's biggest cities as proof.
My next guest really needs almost no introduction. He's former vice president of the United States. He's one of the most well-known communicators of the risks of climate change. He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for those efforts. I'm guessing a lot of you have read his book, "An Inconvenient Truth," or you've seen the movie.