In Pakistan, a new government started work this month. It faces a country awash in conflict. To get a sense of just how complicated it is to govern Pakistan, NPR's Philip Reeves focused on one 48-hour period. He chose this past weekend.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: For many Pakistanis, this was supposed to be a fun weekend. Their national cricket team was playing the old enemy, India.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. We begin this hour with the annual Group of 8 summit in Northern Ireland. Today, President Obama and the other G8 leaders huddled at a resort there. Among the many topics, the bloody civil war in Syria. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down to talk about Syria, acknowledging that they have, as Mr. Obama said, differing perspectives.
Iran's newly elected president, Hasan Rowhani, gave a news conference in the capital Tehran on Monday. He said he would pursue a path of moderation.
Credit Ebrahim Noroozi / AP
Hasan Rowhani's victory in Iran's presidential election produced street celebrations in Tehran on Saturday, in sharp contrast to the weeks of violent protests that followed a disputed election four years ago. Rowhani is being hailed as a moderate, though hard-line clerics are still seen as the most powerful force in the country.
Ever since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, the U.S. has been in search of moderate Iranian leaders who could steer the country away from its hostile standoff with America.
To cite one famous example, President Ronald Reagan's administration secretly sold weapons to Iran in the mid-1980s in the belief it could work with the country's "moderate" elements even as Iran remained under the control of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
In Tehran today, the first news conference of Iran's president-elect ended abruptly when a man in the audience jumped up to protest the absence of the man many believe was elected president four years ago, Mir-Hossein Mousavi has been held under house arrest since 2011. And after the interruption, President-elect Hasan Rouhani left the stage and state television pulled the plug on the live broadcast.
<em>The Deserters</em> is Charles Glass' second book relating to World War II. His last book, <em>Americans in Paris,</em> told the story of the U.S. citizens who remained in the French capital after the 1940 German invasion.
Credit Penguin Press
John Bain, shown above in 1940, is one of the men Glass profiles in <em>The Deserters</em>.
Credit Penguin Press
Bain, show above at 85 in 2007, deserted from the Gordon Highlanders.
Few citizens are more honored than military veterans, and there's particular reverence for those who defeated the Nazis in World War II. Like any war, however, World War II was complicated and traumatic for those on the ground, and not a few deserted from the front lines.
A 2013 Accord is ready to come off the line at the Honda automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 2012. Accords built at the 4,400-employee plant are shipped to South Korea — an example of the importance of trade to manufacturing jobs.
Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:13 am
If economists were cheerleaders, their favorite shout-out might be: "What do we want? Growth! When do we want it? Now!"
They won't actually shout those words, but they may be thinking them as global leaders meet this week for a G-8 summit. Economists are hoping that at the gathering in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight major economies will discuss expanding global trade and investment to spur job creation.
This is Morning Edition from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. After weeks of protest, security forces in Turkey carried out a violent crackdown yesterday, arresting hundreds of people in Istanbul and other cities around the country. Riot police tear gassed protesters who were trying to return to Istanbul's Taksim Square Sunday.
Syria's Arab neighbors are increasingly being drawn into that country's conflict. Over the weekend, the Egyptian president cut all diplomatic ties with Syria and called for a no-fly zone to protect rebels there.
In Jordan - right next door to Syria - King Abdullah told graduates at the country's military academy that he would defend against any spillover from the fighting. That followed a Pentagon decision to base Patriot missiles and a squadron of F-16 fighter planes in the country.
And let's stay in this part of the world. Over the weekend, Iran overwhelmingly elected a new president, a man seen by many as a reformer. More than half the voters in that country opted for this change.
The relatively moderate cleric, Hassan Rouhani, replaces Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who's been in power since 2005. Rouhani campaigned on a message of ending Iran's international isolation.
For reaction from Tehran, we're joined by The New York Times bureau chief there, Thomas Erdbrink.
Calling it an era of wisdom and moderation, Iran's new president, Hasan Rowhani, vowed to integrate the country back into the international community and asked Western nations to adopt a more "respectful rhetoric" toward Iran.
His triumph Saturday with 18 million votes, slightly over half of the cast ballots, surprised many Iranians who had suspected that the leadership would repeat the controversial elections of 2009 that led to the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. By accepting Rowhani's victory, the regime may be taking a step to restore some of its lost legitimacy.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday defended his order to forcibly evict thousands of anti-government protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square, saying he had simply carried out his "duty" as the nation's leader.
In a speech to hundreds of thousands of supporters, Erdogan also railed against foreign media coverage and social media amid criticism of his government's handling of the protests, The Associated Press reports.
Pakistani security personnel inspect a burned-out bus on Sunday, a day after it was destroyed by a bomb attack in Quetta. The bus was carrying students from the region's only university for women. Fourteen women died.
Credit Banaras Khan / AFP/Getty Images
In a pre-dawn attack southeast of Quetta on Saturday, millitants destroyed the building where Pakistan's founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, spent his final days.
Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 11:36 am
There is no more graphic example of the daunting challenges facing Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, than the bloody events playing out in the west of his nation.
Just over a week after Sharif was sworn in for a third term, at least 24 people were killed in a day of violence that underscored the threat presented by violent militancy to the fabric of the Pakistani state.
Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 10:41 am
Jordan's King Abdullah says his country stands ready to respond to any threat from a spillover of the civil war in neighboring Syria, a day after the U.S. announced it would leave fighter jets and Patriot missiles in his country after joint military exercises end this week.
"If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," Abdullah said, speaking to graduating military cadets.
Hasan Rowhani's stunning presidential election victory in Iran has opened the door for improved relations with the West, but the U.S. and Israel remain cautious about making progress on their key demand — dismantling Iran's nuclear program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the international community "must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program."
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
President Obama leaves tonight on a quick trip to Europe. He'll attend a G8 summit of industrialized nations in Northern Ireland. He'll also pay a visit to Germany, where his plans include a public speech at the historic Brandenburg Gate.
NPR's Scott Horsley will be traveling with the president. He joins us now. Hi, Scott.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.
Ambassador Crocker is watching what's happening in Iraq with a careful eye. So are the many Iraqis who fled the country several years ago, when sectarian tensions there escalated to something close to civil war. Haider al-Jumaili was one of them. He is a mechanical engineer but he lost his job after the U.S. invasion and found work as an interpreter for U.S. organizations. Eventually, the sectarian violence started to overwhelm him.
HAIDER AL-JUMAILI: I left my country because of these two words: The Sunnis and the Shias.
Amid the protests and clashes in Istanbul's Taksim Square, a pianist has been hauling in his instrument at night to entertain the crowds. Each time he does, the raucous crowd stills itself while he plays. In between tunes, chants rise up and he stands on his piano bench to conduct the crowd.
The White House is taking its first tentative steps toward arming Syrian rebels. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about the U.S.' ongoing struggle to determine when is the right time to intercede. They also discuss moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani's victory in the Iranian presidential election.
Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.
The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.
Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.
Syrian rebels take part in a battle Thursday in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan. The U.S. says it will begin providing arms to the rebels, who have been losing ground recently to the Syrian army.
Credit Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP/Getty Images
Salim Idris, the head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, says his forces badly need additional weapons and would not share them with extremist Islamist factions.
Now that President Obama's administration says it's prepared to arm Syria's rebels, this raises a question relatively few people can answer: Who exactly are these guys?
The rebels have been fighting President Bashar Assad's regime for about two years, and more than 90,000 people have died in Syria's civil war. But in the U.S. and elsewhere, the rebels have not established a clear identity.
Here are five things worth knowing about the rebels:
Turkish riot police backed by armored vehicles sealed off Istanbul's Taksim Square, firing tear gas and water cannons to dislodge protesters after two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.
The police moved into the square hours after an ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that security forces "know how to clear" the area. Erdogan had given the demonstrators until Sunday, but police made their move late Saturday.
A bomb ripped through a bus in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 students from a women's university in Quetta. Shortly afterward, militants burst into a nearby hospital that was treating the injured. Pakistani security forces stormed the hospital and regained control after a five-hour standoff.
Our original post continues:
A bomb on a bus in Pakistan has killed at least 11 female university students and teachers, and hurt 20 others. Militants later attacked the hospital where the victims were taken.
Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.