U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has acknowledged that the first day of face-to-face talks between representatives of Syria's government and the opposition coalition failed to yield anything in the way of results.
"We haven't achieved much," Brahimi said following the day's discussions. "But, we are continuing."
"The situation is very difficult and very, very complicated, and we are moving not in steps, but half-steps," he said.
The Associated Press described the talks, which are set to resume on Sunday, as "painstakingly choreographed."
Thousands of Egyptians poured onto the streets to celebrate the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that brought an end to President Hosni Mubarak's regime, but the festivities were marred by violence as security forces crushed counter-demonstrations aimed at the military.
At least 29 protesters were killed, according to health officials.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:41 am
For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.
But that's not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.
As an interactive map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety.
The Olympics are less than two weeks away. The Russian host city of Sochi is busily preparing for the influx of athletes and media, but it's the security preparations that have people talking. Andrei Soldatov, the editor-in-chief of www.Agentura.ru, spoke to NPR's Jacki Lyden about security for the Games.
Newspapers from the U.K. to the U.S. were reporting a sensational story this week about an abandoned cruise ship drifting across the Atlantic with a crew of cannibal rats aboard. It sounded too outrageous to be true, so we dug into the story and smelled, well, a rat.
When a suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a popular restaurant in Kabul on Jan. 17, two of those who died worked for the American University of Afghanistan. Their deaths have shaken the young campus, which has been largely immune from violence. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks to the university's president, C. Michael Smith, about how the bombing has affected both students and faculty.
The Australian Open is drawing to a close with Li Na of China winning the women's tournament on Saturday. If Rafael Nadal wins on Sunday, he'll be the first man to win all the majors twice in the era of opens. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins NPR's Jacki Lyden to talk tennis and weigh in on the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms.
The U.S. World Cup soccer team is in Brazil for 12 days of training and acclimation. The team drew a challenging schedule for the competition and will be playing in the northern cities of Natal and Recife as well as the Amazonian city of Manaus.
There were signs of progress at the Syria peace conference Saturday after the government and the opposition agreed to meet in the same room for the first time. Reporter Deborah Amos shares the latest from the talks in Geneva with NPR's Jacki Lyden.
Fighting in Syria has internally displaced some 4 million people, and aid has only reached half of them. Humanitarian groups hope the talks in Geneva will allow them to get more aid into the country. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with Khaled Erksoussi, the head of operations for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
Firefighters are painstakingly combing the frozen rubble of a nursing home in eastern Quebec. The seniors' residence was quickly engulfed in flames shortly after midnight on Thursday, killing at least five residents and trapping dozens of others.
Lebanon's stylish capital is looking shabby. Mounds of stinking garbage are piled in Beirut's streets, byproducts of an ongoing political crisis that has paralyzed the government. Angry locals have staged a sit-in outside an overflowing landfill, and waste disposal has ground to a halt. The protesters — and the trash — could be there awhile.
Friday was the first day of negotiations at the Syrian peace conference. There were no direct talks, however. Instead, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi shuttled between government and opposition delegations in separate rooms.
Mohammed Asghar, 69, was arrested in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital Islamabad, in 2010 shortly after returning from a trip to the U.K., where he was treated for paranoid schizophrenia, his lawyer said.
It was then that he allegedly wrote letters to various individuals, including a police officer, claiming that he was the revered prophet of Islam.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:37 am
As New Year's resolutions go, cutting back on food and drink are right at the top of the list. And while those resolved to change their eating habits may cut the carbohydrates or say a sweet goodbye to sugar, for regular drinkers, the tradition may involve what's known as a dry January: giving up booze for a month.
But could such a short-term breakup with alcohol really impart any measurable health benefits?
A firefighter walks past what is left of a seniors home in L'Isle Verte, Quebec. At least five people died and 30 are still missing after a fire there. The water used to fight the flames has frozen into ice that is a foot thick in places.
Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:38 am
Eight people are known to have died and the families of about 30 others are "bracing for the worst" as the search resumes for victims of Thursday's fire at a home for senior citizens in eastern Quebec.
Correspondent Dan Karpenchuk says in a report for our Newscast Desk that:
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Deborah Amos reports from the Syria peace talks
Update at 12:36 p.m. ET. A Face-To-Face Meeting:
After arduous talks about talks, there seems to be some kind of breakthrough in Geneva, Switzerland, this afternoon: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said delegations from the Syrian government and its opposition will meet face-to-face for the first time on Saturday.
According to Reuters, Brahimi told reporters that both sides had accepted the principles of the Geneva Communiqué.
From a health center on the Syrian-Turkish border full of wounded fighters and civilians, the peace talks in Geneva seem a long way away. Some dismiss them as totally irrelevant to the conflict, saying none of the participants represent them. Others welcome anything that looks like it might bring peace closer.
After the formal opening of the Syria peace conference in the Swiss resort of Montreux, government and opposition representatives begin negotiations Friday at United Nations headquarters in Geneva. International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is mediating the talks.
There have been three deadly explosions in Cairo on Friday. First, a car bomb targeted Egypt police headquarters in the heart of Cairo. The bombings come on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the 2011 uprising.
Shoppers at a department store in Sochi, Russia, pass an information banner with photos of suspected terrorists wanted by police. The color photo shows Ruzanna Ibragimova, the 22-year-old widow of an insurgent. Police say she has been spotted in recent days in central Sochi.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:31 pm
A ghost ship full of diseased, cannibalistic rats could be nearing landfall somewhere in the British Isles.
No, it's not the plot for a new horror film. According toThe Independent, the 300-foot cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, which has been drifting, crewless, around the North Atlantic for nearly a year since it snapped its towline en route to the scrapyard, might be moving east toward the English coast.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. Central African Republic's new caretaker president was sworn in today. She is the first woman to hold the post and assumes control at a low point for this chronically unstable country. A coup last year led to an unprecedented explosion of violence and killings despite the presence of African and French peacekeepers.
Most of China's Internet users experienced an outage this week. For up to eight hours, some 500 million people could not get Web pages to load. And the leading theory about what happened is that the Chinese government mistakenly rerouted Internet traffic. Headlines about this on some news sites have been a little misleading: How the Chinese Internet Ended Up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, blared one site. And there were lots of variations on that.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
In Ukraine, antigovernment protests turned deadly this week. Yesterday, two men were shot in the capital of Kiev during battles with police. The protests have spread to other cities, notably in the western part of the country.