This evening, after a three-year hiatus, Secretary of State John Kerry is re-launching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Kerry has tapped a longtime expert on the region, Martin Indyk of The Brookings Institution, to be the day-to-day point person on negotiations. Many are skeptical that this renewed effort will work. But as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, Secretary Kerry has made it a top priority.
We're catching up with a harrowing story out of Syria about a Polish photographer who was kidnapped last week and is possibly being held for ransom. NPR's Rima Marrouch sent this report.
Photographer Marcin Suder was staying at a media center in the rebel-held town of Saraqeb in Idlib province when a group of masked men reportedly stormed in Wednesday morning. They beat a Syrian media activist, stole equipment and abducted Suder.
Gay people should be integrated into society instead of ostracized, Pope Francis told journalists after his weeklong trip to Brazil. Answering a question about reports of homosexuals in the clergy, the pope answered, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"
In what's being called an unusually broad and candid news conference, Francis took questions from reporters for more than an hour as he flew from Brazil to the Vatican; his plane landed Monday.
There's been concern about working conditions at factories run by Apple's foreign suppliers since the story last year about Foxconn. At the time, the tech giant moved to address those concerns to show that it took them seriously. But more allegations surfaced Monday centering on Apple's effort to build a cheaper iPhone.
Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:10 am
Investigators in southern Italy are examining the scene a day after a bus carrying nearly 50 people plummeted off a highway and into a ravine east of Naples. Italian news agencies say at least 38 people died Sunday night after the bus crashed through a guardrail and fell nearly 100 feet to the rough terrain below.
The crash injured at least 10 people, including people who were in cars the bus hit before it left the roadway. Several children are believed to be among the wounded.
More than a dozen car bombs exploded in Iraq early Monday, killing more than 50 people in Baghdad and other areas. At least 10 explosions were reported in the Iraqi capital during the morning rush hour.
Monday's bombings wounded more than 100 people, the BBC reports.
"Police and medical sources said the attacks, which appeared to be coordinated, were concentrated on towns and cities in Iraq's predominantly Shi'ite south," Reuters reports, "and districts of the capital where Shi'ites reside."
Israeli and the Palestinian negotiators will sit down to peace talks in Washington on Monday, picking up from where they left off five years ago, the State Department says.
Secretary of State John Kerry has personally extended an invitation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to send senior negotiating teams to the U.S. capital "to formally resume direct final status negotiations," spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
A jewelry exhibit at the posh Carlton Hotel in Cannes was held up on Sunday and an estimated $53 million worth of goods was swiped. It was the third such heist in the French Riviera resort in as many months.
A police spokesman, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, says one or more thieves took the jewels around noon on Sunday, but it wasn't immediately clear if they were armed.
Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 11:34 am
This post last updated at 11:30 a.m. EDT
Millions of faithful thronged Brazil's Copacabana Beach to hear Pope Francis deliver Sunday Mass, the culmination of the Latin American pontiff's first papal trip abroad.
Francis, speaking from a massive stage erected on the beach, urged those gathered for World Youth Day's concluding Mass to spread the Gospel "to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent."
You think getting a passport or renewing your driver's license in the U.S. is a headache? Well, welcome to Afghan bureaucracy. On July 7, Kabul correspondent Sean Carberry asked producer Sultan Faizy to begin the process of renewing Sean's six-month resident visa. Here's Sultan's log of what happened:
July 7: I took the application letter along with the copies of Sean's work permit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Security wouldn't let me in with my press ID. After more than 30 minutes of calling the media department, I was able to drop off the letter.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg.
Egypt's Health Ministry reports more than 70 people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters that took place on a major road in Cairo. Most of them were supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails.
Reaction to the fighting in Egypt is rather muted at the moment. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, a growing number of Egyptians are concerned over what the government is planning next.
A French court says former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn will stand trial on charges of being part of an organized prostitution ring. The once-powerful French politician was considered a step away from the French presidency when he was accused of sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid in May 2011. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, his fall from grace isn't over yet.
Cities sitting nervously on the edge of wars have a tendency to change very quickly. Take Pakistan's capital, for example. But some things never change, like an unexpectedly delicious Chinese restaurant.
Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:41 am
As the ailing Nelson Mandela turned 95 this month, the international community celebrated his legacy and rooted for his recovery.
Just to the north in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, 89, is running for re-election this week. He's looking to extend his 33 years in power, which have been marked by authoritarian rule, economic collapse and international isolation.
The Quinta de Boa Vista park is far away from the celebrations in Copacabana Beach, where three million people gathered Saturday to hear Pope Francis speak. But the park is attracting a crowd of young people.
Kiosks for religious orders like the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Legion of Mary line the park. It looks like a job fair, and in a way, it is.
Nuns from the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes dance around in front of their stand, to the banging of drums and the strumming of guitars.
In Egypt, protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi turned deadly Saturday, after Egyptian security forces launched the most violent crackdown yet on those demonstrators.
The Egyptian Health Ministry says around 80 people were killed — most of them in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which the deposed president hails, put the death toll at nearly twice that number. Hundreds more were injured.
More than 1,000 inmates, many convicted of serious crimes, have escaped from a prison in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, the country's prime minister confirmed.
According to The Associated Press, it wasn't immediately clear if the jailbreak at Koyfiya prison was part of a larger series of protests taking place across the country on Saturday in response to the assassination on Friday of prominent political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, who was an outspoken opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Spain's Interior Minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, announced Saturday that the driver of a high-speed train that derailed this week, killing at about 80 people near the town Santiago de Compostela, has been detained on suspicion of negligent homicide.
Diaz said Francisco Jose Garzon Amo has been discharged from the hospital and taken to a police station, The Associated Press reports.
The top of this post was last updated at 9:45 p.m. ET:
About 80 people have been killed and hundreds injured in bloody clashes overnight in and around Cairo after protests escalated into violence, with supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi saying police shot at demonstrators.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that Egypt's Ministry of Health has updated the number of dead to 80, with 792 injured.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Cairo overnight, Egyptian police fired on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds more.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (chanting in foreign language)
Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he doesn't want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to harm relations between Russia and the United States.
But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
A Putin spokesman said Friday that the issue is being discussed by the Russian federal security service — the FSB — and the FBI, but it may be that Snowden has become a problem that can only be solved at the top of the two governments.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. The Church of England's top bishop is in a little hot water. The archbishop of Canterbury is embroiled in a controversy about ethical investment. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, it involves a company called Wonga.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Let us greet our newly installed archbishop with great gladness.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Four months have elapsed since Justin Welby was enthroned as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
In Egypt, the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, has been formally detained, pending an investigation into a string of charges. They include murder, arson and conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Also today, rival groups of protesters filled Egypt's streets.
Three weeks after a deadly train crash in eastern Canada, officials have yet to file any charges. Forty-seven people were killed when an unmanned tanker train full of oil derailed and exploded in the heart of a small town. Now, investigators are trying to figure out who or what is to blame. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann has the story.