Egyptians turned out in record numbers on Sunday to demand the resignation of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The protests marked Morsi's first year in office and appeared to be the largest demonstrations since an uprising forced Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011.
Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State in the 1970s made the term shuttle diplomacy famous in the Middle East. Some of his successors used the same strategy, but it had been a while. Well, now it's John Kerry's turn. He emerged yesterday from long separate sessions with Palestinian and Israeli officials, saying the start of peace negotiations could be within reach. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
NATO troops pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving some Afghans concerned about security. The withdrawal of foreign troops also opens up multiple chances for a successful democracy. A new generation is emerging in Afghanistan that is more educated, more connected with the world and more hopeful about the future than previous generations. Renee Montagne talks to with Shaharzad Akbar, chairperson for Afghanistan 1400; and Haseeb Humayoon, founding partner and director of QARA Consulting.
Earlier today in South Africa where Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition, President Barack Obama arrived and gave a speech at the University of Cape Town, outlining Africa's increasingly prominent role.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Progress is also rippled across the African continent. You know, from Senegal to Cote d'Ivoire to Malawi, democracy has weathered strong challenges. Many of the fastest growing economies in the world are here in Africa where there's a historic shift taking place.
Antonis Samaras became prime minister of Greece a year ago, when the world assumed his country, battered by debt and austerity, would exit the eurozone.
European leaders were openly relieved that Samaras' conservative, pro-bailout New Democracy Party eked out a victory in elections last June over the leftist, anti-bailout Syriza Party.
"Today, the Greek people express their will to stay anchored with the euro, remain an integral part of the eurozone, honor the country's commitments and foster growth," Samaras said that night. "This is a victory for all Europe."
Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.
It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.
I've just returned to Kabul after a month out of the country. In a place where it sometimes feels like nothing changes, a lot has changed.
First, a few oddities. An Afghan businessman on my street apparently bought a lion cub and has been keeping it on his roof. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I have yet to see any of the ubiquitous, dust-caked street dogs in the neighborhood since I returned, but I don't miss them.
"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. President Obama is in Johannesburg, South Africa this morning. It's his second stop on a three-country tour of Africa. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president. He joins us now. Good morning, Ari.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn.
NEARY: The president held a press conference with the current South African president Jacob Zuma this morning. Tell us about that.
President Obama may be in South Africa but his attention is also on Egypt. Mr. Obama said today, he's concerned about political protests and clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi which have left at least three people dead, including one American.
Joining us now is NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson from Cairo. Thanks for joining us, Soraya.
Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student from Chevy Chase, Md., is the American who was killed Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, when violence broke out during a protest against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, the college says. He was one of at least three people who died from injuries they suffered.
Citing U.S. Embassy officials as its source for that news, the Ohio school adds that:
NPR's Kelly McEvers struggled with intense, unexpected emotions during the Arab Spring, when friends were being kidnapped and worse. It made her wonder, why do otherwise intelligent people risk their lives to report on conflicts?
In early 2011, I started seeing things in slow motion. I cried unpredictably. It was the time of the Arab uprisings. Colleagues and friends were getting kidnapped. Some were getting killed.
NEARY: Lance Armstrong says it's impossible to win the Tour de France without drugs and today marks the start of the 100th Tour de France race. A murder charge against former New England Patriots' tight end Aaron Hernandez has rattled football fans. But it's not all crime and punishment in sports. There's also the U.S. Women's Open in golf.
The death toll in Syria's ongoing civil war may now be as high as 100,000. As the violence mounts, another emergency is looming: a public health crisis across the region.
That's the conclusion of a new study published by the British medical journal The Lancet. Syria's health care system is near collapse. Outbreaks of disease are on the rise in the country, and refugees sheltered beyond the border are also at great risk.
President Barack Obama plans to visit privately Saturday with relatives of former South African President Nelson Mandela, but doesn't intend to see the critically ill anti-apartheid activist he has called a "personal hero."
The White House did not disclose any details for Obama's plans to meet the family in a brief statement issued upon Obama's first morning in South Africa during a weeklong tour of the continent. The statement simply said that Obama and his wife would offer their thoughts and prayers at the family's difficult time.
Two people have died in Alexandria, Egypt, where protests against President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been building all week. Egyptian security officials say one of the dead is an American citizen. Dozens of people were wounded in the violence.
Update at 8 p.m. ET: Death Of U.S. Citizen Confirmed
"We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in Alexandria, Egypt," State Department Press Office Director Patrick Ventrell said in a news release Friday evening.
These days, as Nelson Mandela lies in the hospital, there are many remembrances of his great resolve and his insistence as president on reconciliation, not recrimination. There's one feature, though, of Mandela's leadership that may be overlooked because it's about what he did not do: He did not hold on to power as greedily as his popularity might have permitted. In 1999, he stepped down from the presidency.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
President Obama landed in South Africa today, the second stop on a three-country tour. He arrives as Nelson Mandela, now 94 years old, remains in a hospital in Pretoria. Our East Africa correspondent, Gregory Warner, traveled to Pretoria to gauge what kind of welcome the U.S. president might expect.
Brazil wanted this to be their moment in the sun — hosting the World Cup and the Olympics was meant to show the country at its best. Instead, the spotlight is being shone on glaring inequality and a culture that invests in glossy stadiums while displacing its poor.
And now we'd like to tell you about a blog that's been bringing new spice and new information to the continent. "Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women" features short stories, tips on how to shake things up in the bedroom and information on how to stay safe. The women behind the blog say they want to challenge the idea that sex is something that only men can talk about and only men can enjoy.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Summer is the time when many people decide to take that trip they've been putting off to visit distant relatives, introduce the kids and maybe even bring home some business. Presidents are no different. President Obama and his family are in Africa now. It'll be the longest visit to Africa of his presidency and has been much anticipated on the continent, after his barely 24-hour visit to just one country, Ghana, in his first term.