This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Zimbabweans are preparing to vote in national elections at the end of this month. Robert Mugabe is running for a sixth term as president and you wouldn't want to bet against him. He's been Zimbabwe's only president since that became an independent country in 1980.
In Canada, 28 bodies have been located one week after a devastating train explosion in Eastern Quebec. Railcars full of oil sped down a long hill into the heart of a small town before derailing and exploding. The death toll is expected to reach 50. North Country's Public Radio's Brian Mann, has been on the scene throughout the week and says the people are taking the first painful steps towards recovery.
With protests continuing in Egypt, public acceptance of the new military government's rule may rest on its ability to kick-start an economic recovery. Egypt's sputtering economy has brought electricity shortages, long lines of people waiting for diesel fuel and rising unemployment. It's one of the reasons that Egyptians took to the streets and ousted President Mohamed Morsi a couple of weeks ago.
It's the holy month of Ramadan, usually a time of reflection, prayer and solidarity with fellow Muslims. But this Ramadan, Egypt is divided. The ouster of former president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood earlier this month and his current detention by Egyptian security forces, has polarized the country. NPR's Kelly McEvers spent last night in the streets of Cairo as pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi camps broke the fast outdoors and took to the streets in protest.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The train crash last night outside of Paris has killed at least six people and injured many more. This morning, rescue workers were still searching for bodies. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports that state rail officials say a faulty track may be to blame.
Whether it's a boy or a girl, Kate Middleton and Prince William's baby, due to be born Saturday, will become third living heir to the British throne. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Daily Mail columnist Robert Hardman about the royal baby.
Ahmed Assem has become the poster child of what Muslim Brotherhood leader's are calling a massacre — last Monday's assault by security forces on angry Islamist protesters. Assem was a photographer who filmed his own death. An army sniper shot him down. The killing has torn Assem's family apart. His brother is a police officer who blames the Brotherhood for the violence, but the family, like Egypt itself, is now deeply divided and unsure what is to come.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. A few months ago, amid raging civil war in Syria and political turmoil in Turkey, there was another overseas story also making headlines. Bob Garfield, co-host of the program ON THE MEDIA from NPR and WNYC, was intrigued by what he saw. The story came to his attention during a full hour broadcast from ABC News.
Our next story illustrates a variation on an old theme. There's a military procurement officer born every minute. In the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, Adam Higginbotham has an article with the stunning title, "The $38 Million Bomb-Detection Golf Ball Finders." It's about a man named James McCormick, a Briton who managed to make a very good living selling devices that he claimed detected bombs. He sold them in many countries, most notably Iraq, where concealed bombs, so-called improvised explosive devices were epidemic.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. A young Pakistani girl who survived a Taliban attack last year was at the United Nations today, appealing for education for all children. It was the first public speech by Malala Yousafzai since the Taliban tried to kill her near her school in Pakistan's Swat Valley last year. Today also happens to be her 16th birthday, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
A train wreck outside of Paris tonight at the height of rush hour has shocked the nation that relies heavily on passenger rail. An intercity commuter train derailed, at least six people were killed and scores wounded.
As Egypt inches closer to forming an interim government, at the top of the agenda is economic reform. The Egyptian economy today is dismal. Foreign currency reserves have shriveled. Tourism is way down, unemployment way up.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:40 pm
A Boeing 787 caught fire on the tarmac at London's Heathrow Airport on Friday, followed hours later by a technical problem aboard another 'Dreamliner' that forced the plane to turn back from a trans-Atlantic flight. The incidents sent Boeing's stock down more than 7 percent at one point.
The first incident involved an Ethiopian Airlines plane with no passengers aboard. The second occurred aboard a Thomson Airways flight en route from Manchester, England to Sanford, Fla.
A passenger train with several hundred people on board "has derailed in the southern Paris suburb of Brétigny, with authorities reporting 'many casualties,'" France 24 reports. Officials are still sorting through what French media are calling their country's worst rail accident in 25 years.
England's Channel 4 is airing the Muslim call to prayer every morning during the month of Ramadan. It's a decision that's caused controversy among both Muslims and non-Muslims. Host Michel Martin speaks with BBC radio host Sheetal Parmar about the issue.
Social media guru Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy contributing to the web in our small ways, we're building a better, more cooperative world.
The imminent arrival of the future heir to the British throne is spawning gambling, baby products and guessing over names. There's been no official announcement about when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby is due. It's believed to be Saturday, and the kingdom is prepared.
Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.
Soldiers close the gate to the tiny West Bank outpost, right next door to a Jewish settlement, where the HaHod platoon of the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yahuda battalion is stationed.
Credit Emily Harris/NPR
An Israeli soldier in a platoon reserved for the ultra-Orthodox leans on the doorway of the unit's makeshift synagogue. The military accommodates the religious needs of ultra-Orthodox soldiers by allowing time for Torah study and prayers three times daily.
Credit Emily Harris/NPR
A white metal trailer serves as the makeshift synagogue at the West Bank outpost of an all-ultra-Orthodox Israeli military platoon.
Credit Emily Harris/NPR
An Israeli police officer arrests an Ultra-Orthodox Jew during a protest against the draft law in Jerusalem on May 16.
Moshe Haim always wanted to be a soldier. The 20-year-old is now a sergeant, more than halfway through three years of service in the Israeli military.
But when he goes home on leave, he doesn't talk about his military experiences to any of his eight siblings, especially his brothers.
"I know that for my parents and my brothers, the first, best choice is to be in the yeshiva and study there," he says at a small West Bank outpost where he's stationed. "It wasn't good for me, but my brothers are still pure."
The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.
But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.
Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.
The "Giant Tabular Iceberg" floats in Antarctica's Ross Sea in December 2011. Under a proposed new international agreement, large sections of the oceans around Antarctica would become protected as a marine preserve.
Credit Camille Seaman / Barcroft Media/Landov
<strong>The New Zealand-United States Proposal.</strong> This plan would establish an 888,000-square-mile marine protected area in Antarctica's Ross Sea.
Credit New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
<strong>The Australia-France-EU Proposal.</strong> This proposal for new marine protected areas "would conserve representative areas of biodiversity in the high latitudes of the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean," according to the Australian Antarctic Division.
The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights.
There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.
To raise awareness about force-feeding, Yasiin Bey, the musician and actor formerly known as Mos Def, in a video voluntarily underwent the same procedure administered to prisoners who refuse solid food in political protest while they are held in Guantanamo Bay.
Credit Reprieve/Asif Kapadia
This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of the "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it's no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.
In Lac Megantic, Quebec, locals are waiting impatiently for answers following Saturday's train explosion that left 50 people dead. The provincial government in Quebec is blasting the railroad at the center of this disaster for responding too slowly — and requesting more aid from Canada's federal government to help the rural town rebuild.