A new political storm is brewing in Egypt. It's over a law that bans unauthorized protest. Egyptian officials are taking to the airwaves to defend the law, in the face of fierce opposition from secular political activists. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
In Pakistan, the army chief is considered the most powerful man in the land. Now, there's a new one. General Raheel Sharif was appointed today. He has the tough task of responding to an Islamist insurgency that's cost thousands of lives. That involves taking on Pakistan's Taliban militants. And they also have a new leader, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Audie Cornish.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called his counterpart in Japan today to discuss new tensions with China. China has declared a new air defense zone over the East China Sea. Japan has refused to recognize it and has continued commercial flights through the area. And yesterday, the U.S. dispatched two unarmed B52 bombers through the zone.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most prominent critics of the U.S. deal with Iran. While President Obama calls the agreement a breakthrough, Netanyahu calls it a "historic mistake." It's far from the first time the Israeli and American leaders have clashed.
Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu took charge of their countries within a few months of each other. They were hardly a matched pair.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:24 pm
China's announcement of a new air defense zone highlights its ambitions as a military power in a region where it has competing territorial claims with neighbors including Japan and the Philippines. It also comes at a time when the U.S. is upgrading its emphasis on the region and appears willing to challenge the Chinese claim.
Amanda Maia was visiting Rio de Janeiro for the weekend earlier this month with her mother. It was a sunny day and so they went to Ipanema beach to catch some rays. She says she noticed a few groups of kids.
"There were lots of gangs, about 10, 15 children each; they were about 10 or 12 years old," Maia recalls.
At first, she says, they were just roaming the streets, checking people out. The ones she saw were smoking marijuana, too.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:29 am
The collapse of a supermarket roof and the more than 50 deaths it caused last week has led Latvia's prime minister to announce he's stepping down.
"Latvia needs to have a government that will supported by the Saeima [parliament] majority and deal with the current situation in the nation," Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday, according to The Baltic Times.
China says it tracked U.S. B-52 bombers that flew over its "air defense identification zone."
Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Wednesday the U.S. aircraft flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea air defense identification zone from 11 a.m. to 1:22 p.m. Tuesday, about 120 miles east of the disputed islands that Japan calls Senkaku and China Diaoyu.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:44 am
We told you earlier this week about the massive anti-government protests in Thailand in which demonstrators took over parts of the Finance and Foreign ministries and called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. On Wednesday, the fourth day of demonstrations, protesters forced the evacuation of the country's top crime-fighting agency.
China announced over the weekend that it had expanded an air-defense zone to cover islands that are claimed by both it and Japan. The U.S., Japan and others said they wouldn't recognize that new zone. The U.S. has since flown two bomber jets through the space without notifying China.
Editor's Note: One out of three Africans paid a bribe in the past year to obtain a government document, get medical care, place kids in school or settle an issue with police, according to a recent survey. Police consistently attracted the highest ratings of corruption, including those in Kenya. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at the impact it has on the country.
The crime, poverty and unemployment rates have increased in Honduras under outgoing President Porfirio Lobo of the conservative National Party. But voters have chosen to keep the party in power by electing Juan Orlando-Hernandez. Linda Wertheimer talks to Tracy Wilkinson, the Mexico bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, about the election.
There's an old joke that if Moses had turned right when he led Jewish tribes out of Egypt, Israel might be where Saudi Arabia is today — and be rich from oil. Consultant Amit Mor of Eco Energy says that joke is out of date.
"Israel has more oil than Saudi Arabia," he claims. "And it's not a joke."
But that oil will be difficult to reach, if it can be recovered at all. The oil he's talking about is not yet liquid but is trapped in rocks underground.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:53 pm
Dozens of Haitians have died in a desperate attempt to reach the Bahamas, after their crowded 40-foot sloop capsized. Deployed from Florida, Coast Guard crews scrambled to work with Bahamian forces to rescue more than 100 survivors Tuesday. The Coast Guard says the craft ran aground in the Bahamas' Exuma Cays.
World powers are scrambling to get a hold of a crisis in Central African Republic that U.N. officials have warned could lead to genocide. The nation slipped into bloody anarchy after rebels ousted the president in March.
The United States military flew two B-52 bombers into air space that China recently designated as an air defense identification zone. The showdown is part of a larger dispute involving China and Japan and territorial rights in the East China Sea.
The six-month agreement struck between Iran and Western nations last weekend lays out a detailed plan of inspection for Iran's nuclear facilities. The White House calls it "unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring." So how will that work? Melissa Block speaks with Dr. David A. Kay, former U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector, to find out.
Much of the criticism of the interim nuclear deal reached with Iran Sunday has focused on the sanctions relief Iran will receive over the next six months if it follows through on restricting its nuclear program. Although the only irreversible relief being offered is a gradual release of $4.2 billion in frozen Iranian revenue, critics warn that the "architecture of the sanctions regime has been undermined." Analysts say all the important sanctions hampering Iran's economy remain in place, but the announcement of the deal itself is having a psychological impact on markets.
After admitting to one of the most surprising art thefts in recent history, two men have been sentenced to 6 years and 8 months in prison. They are part of a Romanian gang that stole seven works by masters including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin from a Rotterdam museum last autumn.
Back in 2001, the U.S. strongly backed Hamid Karzai as the best man to rebuild Afghanistan after the Taliban had been driven out of power.
Karzai had a solid base among the dominant Pashtun ethnic group. With his fluent English, he seemed at ease with U.S. and other Western leaders. And he appeared reasonable and moderate, in stark contrast to the Taliban's extremism.
Yet today, the Afghan president is a source of endless frustration for the Americans.
Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:21 pm
Congratulations. The October lottery is complete. Your name was pulled. For immediate placement, report to the Ministry of Admission at Grestin Border Checkpoint. An apartment will be provided for you and your family in East Grestin. Expect a Class-8 dwelling.