This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The struggle for Syria continued this past week. Since the conflict has now moved beyond the two-year mark, hopes for a political solution have ebbed and flowed with no clear end in sight while tens of thousands of people have died. This week, the violence continued even on the campus of the main University of Damascus when a mortar attack killed at least 10 students at an outdoor cafe.
Pakistan's top female squash player used to have to pretend that she was as boy. Maria Toorpakai is now 22 years old. She was born in Waziristan, that region of the country that's been called one of the most dangerous places on Earth, and home of the Pakistani Taliban. They did not like a girl running around in shorts, playing squash.
For years, U.S. policy toward North Korea has been going on the premise that economic sanctions could deter North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Host Scott Simon talks with David Kang, professor of international relations and business at the University of Southern California, about the state of the North Korean economy.
For the past six years in Somalia, Western countries have been putting up the cash and African nations have been supplying the soldiers, a formula that has pushed back al-Qaida-linked militants and allowed Somalia to elect it's first democratic government in 20 years.
"We can fix our problems in Africa," says Brig. Michael Ondoga, a contingent commander with the African Union Mission in Somalia or AMISOM. "All we need is your support."
It's not at all hard to see why this plan is so agreeable to the American government.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Passover is in full swing and Easter is just days away. And Pati Jinich joins us. She'll tell you how to put a Mexican touch on your holiday feast. But first we turn to Syria. Reports out of the Middle East say rebels have captured a key strategic town near the Jordanian border, but while the fighting continues into its third year, more and more Syrians are trying to flee the country.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:09 am
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suffered only a blow to his dignity when a lawyer hurled a shoe at him Friday as he entered the High Court in the southern city of Karachi.
The shoe missed its target but made its point. Many in Pakistan's legal fraternity still harbor anger toward the former president for a number of actions he took against the judiciary during his military rule from 1999 to 2008.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:08 pm
Russia is urging the U.S. and North Korea to end an escalating cycle of dangerous provocations after Pyongyang put its missile forces on high alert and American stealth bombers flew practice bomb runs over the Korean Peninsula.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Friday in Moscow, said the tit-for-tat moves were becoming a "vicious cycle" that could "simply get out of control," Reuters reports.
On the second day since Cyprus reopened its banks, depositors continue to face restrictions on getting at their money. ATM withdrawals are limited to 300 euros a day, and there are limits on how much cash travelers can take abroad.
In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.
On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.
We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.
Police in Europe are investigating a large-scale cyberattack. Some are even calling it the largest of its kind. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the attack's target is an organization called Spamhaus, but the effects have spilled out into the broader Internet.
Guatemala has seen its share of misery from the 36-year-long armed conflict that killed more than 200,000 people, to the current wave of drug crime. Well, Guatemala is now one of the most violent countries in the world, but there are also signs of progress. One public official is seeking justice for crimes of the present and the past with impressive results.
NPR's Carrie Kahn has this profile of Guatemala's first female attorney general.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:27 pm
One day while he was watching TV, farmer Emmanuel Tshiteta saw a news segment about people digging.
With shovels and picks, they forged deep holes, then packed the rocks they uncovered into plastic mesh bags. They carried the bags to a river to wash away the dirt, revealing handfuls of aqua-colored ore. The next day, they sold the ore for quick cash.
NPR's Susannah George is following the attack from neighboring Lebanon: "State TV footage shows puddles of blood in a colorful school cafeteria, and an awning is torn above where the mortar allegedly landed."
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:00 pm
The U.S. military is making no secret about a training flight by a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers from a base in the American Midwest to the Korean Peninsula — what's being described as an "extended deterrence mission."
The flight of the two radar-evading bombers "demonstrates the United States' ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will," the United States Forces Korea said in a press release Thursday.
Headlines in India's national newspapers tell the story of the state of women in the country. A sampling of what readers in New Delhi encounter makes for sober reading:
"Woman Alleges Gang Rape In Lawyer's Chamber."
"More Shame: Five Rapes In Two Days."
"Woman Resists Molestation, Shot Dead."
India's media have been zealous about exposing the pervasive sexual violence in the country since the gruesome gang rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old woman in December ignited an international outcry.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:53 am
The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – emerging economies that collectively are referred to as BRICS – announced Wednesday the creation of a development bank to fund infrastructure projects in developing nations.
Protected by scores of German police officers, workers removed sections of a key remnant of the Berlin Wall before dawn Wednesday despite earlier protests demanding the concrete artifact of the Cold War be preserved.
The removal came as a shock to residents, just as it did on Aug. 13, 1961, when communists first built the barrier that divided Berlin during the Cold War.
Tour guide Rolf Strobel, 52, was among the scores of people who came to gape at the holes in what had been the longest remaining stretch of the wall — about eight-tenths of a mile.
Robert Siegel talks to Joseph Cotterill, writer for the Financial Times, about what may happen if the European Union's bailout plan for Cyprus succeeds and which country may be poised to take on the role as the next Cayman Islands of Eastern Europe.
One could be forgiven for being confused about the Syrian rebels, who's in charge and what their demands are. At this week's Arab League summit in Doha, the capital of Qatar, opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib sat in Syria's seat. Al-Khatib, formerly an imam at a prestigious mosque in Damascus, recently resigned his post as president of the rebel coalition.