Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:07 pm
In China, recent Communist Party show trials have featured cowed defendants acknowledging their crimes and offering apologies. Not this one.
The country's biggest trial in decades kicked off Thursday with the defendant, former politburo member Bo Xilai, denying guilt, claiming his confession was coerced and branding the testimony of one of his accusers — in this case his wife — "laughable."
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:38 am
When Hosni Mubarak was whisked out of prison by helicopter on Thursday, he did not become a free man. The former Egyptian leader, 85, was taken to a military hospital in Cairo, where he's under house arrest and still faces criminal charges.
But to many, the move was highly symbolic, the latest sign that the 2011 revolution is being rolled back and that the country's future is growing messier and more complicated by the day.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:04 am
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from the prison where he's been held while awaiting a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters in 2011. The protesters lost their lives during the demonstrations that led to the topping of Mubarak's three-decade-old regime.
Earlier this week, a court ruled that after being held for two years while on trial and during his appeals, Mubarak could no longer be kept in prison. He's also facing corruption charges.
From the NPR Newscast: The BBC's Nick Bryant reports
Claims by the opposition in Syria that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons during an attack Wednesday near Damascus — killing scores of people, they say — are being followed Thursday by word that:
And we turn now to Charles Duelfer, a long-time U.N. weapons inspector. He was the author of the 2004 Duelfer Report, which confirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the U.S. invaded. Good morning.
CHARLES DUELFER: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Now, looking here at Syria and based on your extensive experience as a weapons inspector, do the scenes that we're seeing in these opposition videos, look to you consistent with what you would expect to see in a chemical attack?
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. And now to some horrific scenes in Syria.
(SOUNDBITE OF SHRIEKING)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking in foreign language)
GREENE: This is the sound from one of the many videos uploaded onto the Internet yesterday showing Syrian civilians, including children, convulsing and gasping for breath in an area outside of Damascus that's a rebel stronghold.
A flamboyant politician in China, once considered a presidential contender, will go on trial in the eastern city of Jinan tomorrow. Bo Xilai is one of the highest ranking Communist Party officials to face trial in decades. Many Chinese believe he's being prosecuted for corruption because he lost an internal power struggle.
But as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Jinan, the root causes of Bo's dramatic downfall are unlikely to come out in court.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
A court has ordered that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak be released from jail, at least temporarily. The news adds another coal to what is already a white-hot fire in Egypt. More than a thousand people have died, most supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in a brutal crackdown by government troops.
The latest reports of chemical weapon attacks in Syria set off a tense debate in the United Nation Security Council. It met this afternoon in an urgent session. The U.N. has long been divided over how to deal with Syria. The United States and its partners are calling for a full investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons, but Russia is casting doubts on the allegations and is defending the Syrian government's position.
Anti-government activists in Syria are accusing President Bashar al-Assad's forces of deploying a chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of the capital, Damascus. The government denied the attack, but the allegations have prompted the United Nations to call an emergency meeting. Melissa Block talks to Washington Post reporter Loveday Morris for more.
"It helps," she grins. "Did you ever try? It puts you together. If you really are nervous you do bright red."
Calderon, 51, is a scholar and teacher of Jewish religious texts. She is also a novice Israeli politician, part of the new Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) party that unexpectedly took 19 seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, last January.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has teamed up with other tech giants to pursue the goal of providing Internet service to five billion people in the developing world. The group, called Internet.org, says data can be used more efficiently and participating partners can work cooperatively to make access to the web affordable in emerging economies. Zuckerberg makes the case on his Facebook page for how a global Internet infrastructure can be created. But the document doesn't have tangible commitments from Facebook or other participating companies.
Digging a trench under the punishing midday sun, Thomas Lokinga stops only when he needs to wipe the sweat from his face. He is determined to find a nugget of gold amid the hard-baked ground in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of South Sudan, the world's newest nation.
Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:45 am
What's a baker to do when all foodies can talk about, on both sides of the Atlantic, is the cronut craze, a croissant-doughnut that NPR reported on earlier this year? Simple: Come up with an equally addictive hybrid dessert.
Hundreds of samples taken from riders in this summer's Tour de France found no signs of doping, officials say. The epic race, which was put on for the hundredth time in 2013, has been at the center of recent doping scandals.
Anti-doping officials say they took 202 blood and urine samples before the race began, and an additional 419 during competition. Nearly 200 of those samples were taken with the goal of creating a "biological passport" for riders, to establish a baseline of their body chemistry.
Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:57 am
An Egyptian court has ordered that former President Hosni Mubarak be released from custody while he awaits a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters during the 2011 protests that led to the toppling of his government, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Cairo.
Peter adds that even though that case and others related to corruption charges are still active, Mubarak's release would "likely spark anxiety that the military-backed government now in charge is returning Egypt to the authoritarian state it was in before the Arab Spring."
Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:22 pm
Japan's military held large-scale exercises at the foot of Mount Fuji on Tuesday as Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera cited "deepening uncertainties" in the region as justification for expanding the role of Japan's armed forces at home and abroad.
Onodera said Japan's military would increasingly be called upon to participate in international peacekeeping operations and bilateral activities with allies.
"Two Syrian pro-opposition groups are claiming that dozens of people were killed Wednesday in a poisonous gas attack near Damascus," NPR's Jean Cochran reported earlier this morning on our Newscast. The groups are blaming the attack on government forces, she said.
The crisis in Egypt has been devastating for that country's economy, and especially for businesses in Cairo. Shops that usually stay open late into the night are closing early because of a curfew imposed by the military. Many foreign companies have stopped operations altogether. For the time being, economists say that Egypt can avoid collapse with the help of a multi-billion dollar aid package from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.
Audie Cornish talks to Guardian editor in chief Alan Rusbridger. Rusbridger says he agreed to destroy hard drives containing information provided by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to be able to continue to report on the materials rather than surrender them to the courts. He says the newspaper has digital copies outside of the UK.
In Mexico, as students head back to the classroom this week, their teachers will have extra work ahead of them. They're going to have to correct more than a hundred errors found in the free textbooks handed out to millions of students.
During the 2011 uprising in Egypt, police disappeared from the streets and were replaced by neighborhood watch committees. The groups have re-emerged during the violent stand-off between Egypt's military rulers and Islamist supporters of deposed President Morsi and people are reporting incidents of theft and harassment at checkpoints.
Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been charged with murder in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf is back in Pakistan after a self-imposed exile. He denies the charges. Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at The Atlantic Council, speaks with Melissa Block about the implications of the case.