Now, a story about table etiquette from our friends at Slate.com. They ask this question. Do you cut and switch? Meaning, do you hold your fork in your left hand and cut with your right and then put down your knife so you can switch your fork to your right hand before you take a bite? Contributing writer Mark Vanhoenacker writes that while the practice has origins in France, they and other Europeans long ago abandoned it.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Most people will agree that the world wants Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation, to be stable. That's not easy in a country where the Taliban and other militants are killing and maiming people every day. But ask Pakistanis what the country's biggest problem is today and they'll likely cite a different issue. Many will tell you it is Pakistan's severe energy crisis.
Newly released audio tapes capture News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch expressing contempt at the investigation that has embroiled his top-selling newspaper in corruption charges in the U.K. Murdoch was recorded saying he probably panicked by cooperating so fully with Scotland Yard — and told reporters at the Sun that paying cops for information has been a practice in the British press for more than a century.
The immediate reaction to the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi reveals how political and religious fault lines have shifted in the region. Saudi Arabia, an Islamist theocracy, quickly praised the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group Riyadh sees as a rival. Also cheering was Syria's Bashar al-Assad, whom the Saudis are trying to help force from power.
The search for six Americans and one British man lost in the seas between New Zealand and Australia was called off Friday after extensive aerial searches failed to turn up any sign of the 85-year-old wooden sailing boat they were traveling on.
Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago.
The findings offer a rare snapshot of a time when humans first started experimenting with farming. They also show that Iran was an important player in the origin of agriculture.
In the fight against drug trafficking, Central America has become a large recipient of U.S. aid, receiving nearly half a billion dollars over the past seven years. The money is being spent on strengthening police and military forces that are outgunned by the narcotics traffickers.
The goal is to repeat the kind of success that took place over time in places like Colombia.
Back in 1922, the Maharaja of Patiala commissioned a new dining set ahead of a visit to India by the Prince of Wales. That silver-gilt set — 1,400 pieces — has sold at auction for $3 million. The prince later became King Edward VIII.
Economic struggles were at the heart of the uprising that resulted in the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. For more on the market reaction to his downfall and the prospects for Egypt's economy, Renee Montagne talks with Farah Halime, an economic journalist and blogger based in Cairo.
Since the military coup on Wednesday that toppled Egypt's first democratically-elected civilian president, the army has been cracking down on his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. There are, however, many in Egypt who continue to support the ousted Islamist government.
South America's leftist leaders rallied on Thursday to support Bolivian President Evo Morales. Earlier in the week, his presidential plane was rerouted amid suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board.
After years of food shortages and drought, in a country that was once the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe's crippled economy is recovering — after adopting the U.S. dollar as its currency. But memories of the violent elections in 2008 are fueling fears about security. The disputed vote ended in a power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and his main opposition rival. The Zimbabwean leader has now proclaimed July 31 as election day.
To talk more about the changes in Egypt, we turn to Michele Dunne. She's director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, a think tank here in Washington. Welcome to the program.
DR. MICHELE DUNNE: Thanks, Audie.
CORNISH: So let's go back to the interim president, Adly Mansour. He was the supreme justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court. Tell us more about him and some of his ties to previous regimes.
Egypt is about to get a new ruler. A caretaker head of state is being ushered into power Thursday following Wednesday's dramatic military coup. President Mohammed Morsi was forced from power just a year after winning the country's first free election. He lost the public's trust amid a failing economy and fears that he was imposing an Islamist agenda.
And the Federal Communications Commission has apparently approved a deal giving the Japanese telecom giant SoftBank a controlling stake in SprintNextel, which is the third-largest wireless operator in the U.S. Experts say SoftBank's industry clout should help Sprint become a more robust competitor. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
On this Fourth of July, we've been following developments in Egypt, where the military has deposed the elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Obama says the U.S. is watching with, as he put it, deep concern. And he urged the generals to transition to an elected civilian government as quickly as possible.
NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about what role, if any, America plays in this situation. Good morning.
We are following the events unfolding in Egypt this morning following yesterday's military coup that removed the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power. With Egypt holding a leading role in Middle Eastern affairs, we wanted to get a sense of how this leadership change might reverberate through the region.
And to do that, we're joined by Shadi Hamid. He's with the Brookings Doha Center. And Shadi, welcome back to the program. Thanks for coming on.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And on this Independence Day, I'm Renee Montagne.
Egypt has a new president, a longtime judge who took the oath of office this morning. That official change in power came after several days of protests saw millions of Egyptians pour into the streets, demanding Mohamed Morsi step down. His refusal led to his ouster yesterday by Egypt's military. It was a stunning turnaround for the country's first democratically elected president.
Egypt is divided after Wednesday's military coup forced out President Mohamed Morsi. Cairo-based journalist Ashraf Khalil, an Egyptian-American and a contributor to Time magazine, tells Renee Montagne that the Muslim Brotherhood party has threatened violence and that the threat is very real.
This report is part of "Those Who Serve," an occasional series that looks at those who wear the military uniform during a time of war.
It's early afternoon at a small outpost in eastern Afghanistan, and U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Cunningham, with the 10th Mountain Division, heads into a long, dusty tent to teach Afghan soldiers the basics of map reading.
After the sun sets, American soldiers help Afghan soldiers outside the wire. They pop artillery shells containing what's called an illumination round.
Bolivian President Evo Morales is scheduled to land in his home country late tonight, a day after his return journey from meetings in Moscow was disrupted when several European nations withdrew permission for his plane to fly through their airspace.
The delay of more than 13 hours reportedly stemmed from suspicions that Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence worker who leaked secret data, might have been aboard the plane.
Egypt's military has played a dominant role in the country since a 1952 coup, and Wednesday's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi showed that the armed forces still feel empowered to intervene when they disapprove of the country's course.
"They are the center of gravity in the Egyptian state," said Jeffrey Martini, a Middle East analyst at the Rand Corp. in Washington, speaking shortly before the coup on Wednesday night. "They are the strongest player in the game."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHANTING)
SIEGEL: In Egypt, the military, backed by millions of protestors, has ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Celebratory fireworks and laser lights are lighting up the crowd in Tahrir Square. Elsewhere in Cairo, crowds are gathered to demonstrate on behalf of Morsi and, they say, mourn the death of democracy.
It's been four weeks since Pakistan's new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the oath of office. In that time, Pakistan has suffered a wave of militant attacks, an economically crippling electricity crisis, and now a deadly drone strike. Many Pakistanis deeply resent U.S. drone attacks against targets in their tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Recently, there's been a lull in these, but overnight a fresh missile strike killed at least 17 people.
Professor Abdul Mawgoud Dardery is the foreign affairs spokesman of President Morsi's party, the Freedom and Justice Party. It's aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, which he is a member. And he joins us now, Dr. Dardery does, from Luxor, Egypt. Welcome to the program once again. And give us your reaction to what's happened today in Egypt.