Cairo's Tahrir Square was nearly empty as the sun rose Saturday. A few demonstrators camped out overnight after mass protests on Friday condemned controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.
Earlier this week, Morsi gave himself unchecked powers until a constitution is written and passed by a popular referendum — in about two months. He also decreed that neither the body writing the constitution nor the upper house of Parliament could be dissolved by the courts.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.
While President Morsi deals with the fallout from his power-grab at home, the cease-fire that he helped broker in Gaza survives, at least so far. For more on the latest from Israel and Gaza, we're joined by Anthony Kuhn in Jerusalem and Philip Reeves in Gaza City. Gentlemen, thanks very much for being with us.
France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Credit Tardivon Jean-Christophe / Maxppp /Landov
Guests attend a wine tasting in the cellar of Hotel Dieu before the wine auction.
For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.
To escape fighting, thousands of civilians flee the town of Sake in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Rebels captured Sake and made other advances in the area this week. Eastern Congo and the larger region have been the scene of frequent fighting over the past two decades.
Credit Phil Moore / AFP/Getty Images
Congo rebels from the group known as M23 run toward the town of Sake in the eastern part of the country on Thursday. The rebels captured the town as part of their gains this week.
It's a scene that's become wearily repetitive in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo: An uprising drives out poorly trained government troops, creating havoc and sending large numbers of refugees fleeing for their lives.
This time the rebel group is M23, or March 23. Their revolt began this spring, and earlier this week they took Goma, an important town on the country's eastern border, just across Lake Kivu from Rwanda. The rebels then proceeded to take the next town over, Sake.
Rebel gains in northern Syria have forced out President Bashar al-Assad's army. One by one, villages and towns have slipped from government control. And now, Syrians are struggling to transform the country on their own through local councils and committees. NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Jerablus, near the Turkish border.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Egypt today, some in support of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, others condemning what they called a power grab by the president that puts Egypt on the path to one-man rule. It is, in short, a nation visibly divided today. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo.
Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about life in many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.
Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Credit Misha Japaridze / AP
Children play in an orphanage in Moscow. While some Russian officials are critical of foreign adoptions, the U.S. and Russia are finalizing an agreement designed to improve the safety and quality of adoptions of Russian children by American families.
Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.
Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.
Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.
Up next, some food for thought as you chomp your Thanksgiving leftovers. Recycling paper and plastic, as you know, is an effective way to save money and energy. So why not recycle all the uneaten food that goes to waste? And there is an awful lot of it. Forty percent of the food in the U.S. today goes uneaten, which means Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion worth of food each year. But that's not all. Food waste, as it decays in landfills, also produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.
Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:49 pm
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor scientific research that, in the words of Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think." This year's prizes, awarded in late September, include citations for research into mysteriously green hair, potentially explosive colonoscopies, and the creation of equations that model the back-and-forth swing of a ponytail in motion.
Already this year, 105 women in Italy have been killed by husbands or boyfriends –- present or former.
Vanessa Scialfa, 29, was killed by her partner in Sicily. Alessia Francesca Simonetta, 25, was pregnant when she was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Milan. Carmella Petrucci, 17, was stabbed in the throat as she tried to defend her sister from her ex-boyfriend.
Police inspector Francesca Monaldi, who heads the gender crime unit in Rome, says the names and the cities change, but the stories are very similar.
Now let's look more closely at that deal that Morsi helped to broker between Israel and Hamas. Robert Malley analyzes the region for the International Crisis Group and he's in our studios. Welcome back to the program, sir.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The streets of Egyptian cities are flooded with demonstrators today. In Cairo and Alexandria, Portside and Suez, thousands are protesting the president for issuing a decree that gives him immense power over all the branches of government. There are street fights in some places, between opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi. He spoke earlier today, saying he was acting on behalf of god and the nation.
The International Criminal Court has identified another defendant in its prosecution of violence in Ivory Coast. The former president is already awaiting trial in The Hague, accused of crimes against humanity for his effort to stay in power after losing an election. Now the court is calling his wife a co-perpetrator, and issued a warrant for the arrest of Simone Gbagbo. NPR's Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton covered the conflict. She's on the line. Ofeibea, welcome back to the program.
Mahmoud Qurtom, 7, can often be found playing with his brothers and sisters, barefoot in the sand by his home's doorway in Gaza. He speaks only a word or two at a time, but smiles a lot. He explains why his right arm is in a sling.
"I was playing in the doorway," he says, "And then I ran away from the rockets."
Mahmoud's sisters brought him to their father, Osama Qurtom, who looked at him and saw nothing wrong. Then he noticed blood coming from a wound under the boy's arm, where a piece of rocket shrapnel had entered, fractured a rib and then lodged in his lung.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish and Happy Thanksgiving. We begin this hour with calm. The cease fire between Israel and Hamas is holding and now the detailed negotiations to forge a lasting peace can begin. The two sides will not meet face to face, but an Israeli delegation has flown to Cairo. Egyptian officials will convey proposals between the Israeli and Hamas negotiators.
World maps help us make sense of the world around us, and our place in it.
While mapmakers may portray their world maps as accurate, scientific and neutral, every single one describes the world from a certain worldview and culture. From ancient Babylonia to the Renaissance, cartographers have been driven by politics, religion, emotion and math.
Neat rows of grapevines run down the slopes of the Cotes de Beaune, all the way to the gravel driveway at Chateau de Corton Andre. The castle's traditional Burgundy black-and-yellow-tiled roof glistens in the autumn sun.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Sweden, Anna Erickson got a letter accepting her into the local preschool. It had gone out to everyone in town born in '07. Great, except for one detail: Anna was born in 1907. So the 105-year-old won't be showing up to class. In New York, the elegant Waldorf-Astoria experienced a blast from the past this week when a man returned one of the hotel's silver-trimmed teapots, pilfered back in the 1930s. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Kingston, Ontario held its annual Santa Claus parade this past weekend. But Virginia, we are sad to report a Grinch was in attendance. As the Christmas-themed floats cruised down the street, a man began shouting, claiming that Santa Claus does not exist. Apparently, he had gotten into the Christmas spirits instead of the Christmas spirit. He was arrested for public intoxication. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:20 pm
For Thanksgiving, NASA's space food experts always try to make sure astronauts get to enjoy traditional holiday fare, even if its not exactly home cooking. And being so far from home, astronauts can get pretty attached to their comfort foods.
This year, Kevin Ford, the commander of Expedition 34 and currently working at the International Space Station, says he has the ingredients to make one favorite Thanksgiving dish the NASA nutritionists may not have anticipated: Candied yams with marshmallows.
The yams are thermostablized and come in a plastic pouch.
Ethiopia has one of the world's fastest growing economies, but in some ways it's decades behind in terms of development. Transportation remains largely by foot, bicycle or donkey. Ethiopia hopes that by restoring the century-old imperial railway, and adding thousands of new miles of lines, the nation will be propelled into the future.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman shake hands in front of the media after giving a statement in Jerusalem last month. Netanyahu said his Likud Party will join forces with the hard-line party of his foreign minister in upcoming parliamentary elections.
Some analysts have suggested that one impetus for the Israeli military strikes in Gaza is the upcoming election season in Israel. With elections set for January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu changed the political landscape last month by announcing that his Likud Party would run along with a right-wing party led by hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Likud Party leaders complained that they were left in the dark before the prime minister effectively vaulted Lieberman into the No. 2 political position.
In this image provided by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets with Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Sunday. Morsi has won praise for brokering the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.
The cease-fire between Hamas and Israel has been a political boost for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The Islamist leader spent hours in meetings and on the phone with world leaders, including President Obama, and got results: a cessation of violence that puts Egypt back on the international map. But Morsi faces a test Thursday night, when negotiations on the details begin.
In eastern Congo, the city of Goma was captured by rebel forces. But on the streets, life appears normal and people are not particularly fearful. Many say that the rebels have humiliated their national army and UN peacekeepers. Even some wounded government soldiers in the military hospital seem in a conciliatory mood.