The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is flush with cash, and holds as much as $2 billion. Counterterrorism officials say the group knows how to use that money to its advantage. It's showing a kind of professional acumen and discipline that sets it apart from other terrorist organizations. But what kinds of attacks can its money buy?
Back in 2006, when Germany was hosting the World Cup soccer tournament, a terrorist attack was narrowly averted. With bombs hidden in their suitcases, two men in their 20s boarded commuter trains in the city of Cologne.
Myanmar's parliament is now considering a bill that would restrict marriages of people from different religions. Buddhist nationalists hope it will protect their religion from the spread of Islam and claim it's a way to prevent coerced conversions, but critics lambaste the proposed law as targeting the country's Muslim minority.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. When ISIS militants took control of wide swaths of northern Iraq, foreign workers in those areas ended up being trapped. India is working to win the release of some 40 of its citizens abducted in the Iraqi city of Mosul. There are also hundreds more in other locations who are clamoring to leave. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.
Rick Brennan remembers sitting around Baghdad back in 2011 with some fellow U.S. military planners. Talk turned to the Iraqi army of the future. In one scenario, they pictured the Iraqi army falling apart, splintering along ethnic lines.
"We painted a worst-case scenario, a nightmare scenario, that was exactly what we're seeing take place right now," Brennan says.
Pilot misjudgment and an over-reliance on automated systems were the main causes of last year's crash of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco that killed three people, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded Tuesday.
The Boeing 777 with 307 people aboard came in too low and too slow in its landing approach, the NTSB said. It hit a seawall, ripping off the tail and sending the plane's fuselage skidding down the tarmac.
The board said there was confusion over whether the plane was maintaining adequate speed for landing.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We begin today with a story that's making headlines around the world. We're talking about the conviction of three journalists in Egypt in connection with their reporting. On Monday, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were found guilty of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news.
Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:56 am
Lt. Giuseppe Petrosino is the only New York police officer to be killed in the line of duty outside the United States. It happened in March 1909 when Petrosino, one of the most celebrated officers in the department's history, was sent to Italy to investigate the Mafia.
Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:10 am
The most influential man in Iraq has been speaking up again after a period of relative quiet. It's not Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, or the head of the ISIS militants who are taking over much of the west and north of the country. It's an aged cleric, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who can be compared to something like a pope for the country's majority Shiite Muslims.
A British jury has reached verdicts in a trial stemming from a scandal involving hacking by tabloids. Several former editors and executives of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers face charges. Former News of the World editor, Andrew Coulson, was found guilty. Other editors were not. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik has been covering this story. Hi, David.
Secretary of State John Kerry talked to Kurdish leaders in Irbil today, urging them to keep the autonomous region as part of Iraq. Kerry's visit came as the Sunni extremist group ISIS says it has cemented control of Iraq's largest oil refinery, and as sectarian divisions are threatening to pull Iraq apart.
Kerry is now on his way to Brussels, after assuring Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq that there would be "sustained and intense" support to Iraq to help it counter rapid advances by Sunni militants in recent weeks.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. You know, years ago I was talking with a man in Baghdad. It was amid the chaos and the warfare following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. And the Iraqi man said it took us 35 years to get this way and it will take 35 years to change.
Next, let's try to make sense of the warring sides in Iraq. Sunni Muslim extremists have captured much of that country. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was in Baghdad yesterday seeking ways to help the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government.
On this program yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, suggested neither side is much worth helping.
The Mexican town of Tequila in the western state of Jalisco is the heart of a region that produces the legendary spirit. Any bottle of tequila must be made from the Weber Blue species of agave, grown and distilled in this region.
Field after field of agave gives this land a blue hue, defining an economy and its traditions.
The Associated Press today offers "a more sober picture" than it and other news organizations (including NPR) did earlier this month regarding reports of nearly 800 bodies of infants and young children at a former Catholic home for unwed mothers in Ireland.
Over the past several years, I've had the opportunity to be involved in a remarkable project in China. With the publication of a paper in The Lancet today that details the nation's performance in the care of patients with severe heart attacks, a pivot to include quality in addition to access to care in their health care reform has begun.
The leader of Thailand's onetime opposition, who led mass anti-government demonstration in the run-up to last month's military coup, has acknowledged for the first time that he acted as an adviser to the army general who seized power.
Along Iraq's long border to the west with Syria, ISIS fighters have seized control of two key crossings between the two countries. Al Qaim and Al Waleed are now in the insurgents' and hands. Joining me to talk about what that means is Ned Parker, the Baghdad bureau chief for Reuters. And Ned, the first to go was Al Qaim followed very quickly by Al Waleed. Did the Iraqi army put up a fight there?
Tens of thousands of Iraqi men brandishing assorted weapons are responding to a call to arms. They invoke the Mahdi, a figure from Shiite Muslim prophecies, as they march in a recent parade in Sadr City, a Shiite suburb of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.
"We volunteer to protect our dear country," says Hazem al-Shemmari.
When Sunni militants took over parts of Iraq this month, Shiite religious leaders called for volunteers to fight back.
It's a case that's drawn international condemnation. Today, an Egyptian court sentenced two journalists to seven years in jail, and a third to 10 years. They all work for the Al Jazeera English news network and were convicted of being or aiding terrorists and tarnishing Egypt's image. No evidence of their alleged crimes were present - was presented in court. NPR's Leila Fadel has more.
Well, the U.S. couldn't do it until the Iraqi government gave U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution, through what's called a "diplomatic note." If those U.S. soldiers committed any crimes or had any legal troubles while advising Iraqis, the U.S. wanted to handle any prosecutions.
Three journalists who work for the Al-Jazeera news network have been sentenced to prison terms — two lasting seven years and a third lasting 10 — by an Egyptian court. The three were accused of aiding terrorists, a term that in this case applies to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.