Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:16 am
"Shooting attacks happen every day in Pakistan," as NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad.
But the shooting of a teenaged girl who became nationally known after she documented the Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan's Swat Valley has caused particular shock in that country, he tells our Newscast Desk.
The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."
Saying that the global economic recovery "has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighs heavily on the outlook," the International Monetary Fund today warned that the probability of "recession in advanced economies and a serious slowdown in emerging market and developing economies" next year have gone up.
The fund said its research indicates the risk of those things occurring in 2013 "has risen to about 17 percent, up from about 4 percent in April 2012."
Nearly a week of attacks, back and forth across the border between Turkey and Syria is causing worry in the world's capitals, U.N. and inside Turkey itself. Turkey's leaders have been talking tough, which in turn has spurred some Turks to take to the streets in protest against a possible war with Syria. NPR'S Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.
In South Africa, high stakes political drama is playing out in the courts and in the headlines there. A disgraced political firebrand expelled from the governing African National Congress for insubordination has worked himself back into the spotlight as a champion of striking mine workers. Julius Malema is denouncing the president, a man he once supported, as a fat cat growing rich on the backs of the masses. In turn, the rebel politician is facing money-laundering charges. From Johannesburg, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has this profile.
The Palestinian territories may seem an unlikely place to hold an Oktoberfest beer festival. But since 2005, one small West Bank village has been doing just that. During the festival, the village's largely Christian community swells to nearly 10 times its usual size. Thousands of visitors arrive to sample the many brands of beer produced by the local brewery. And as Sheera Frenkel reports, it also gives the territories a chance to show off a side of itself that many would not have guessed existed.
NPR's business news starts with a passage to India.
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INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meet their counterparts in India today. The U.S. wants to boost economic ties with the country that it on its way to becoming the most populous in the world. Talks have been pushed forward by India's new liberalizing economic reforms.
More Syrian mortar fire struck inside Turkey today. That's the sixth consecutive day that Syrian artillery shells have exploded across the border. The Turkish military, once again, responded with artillery fire back into northern Syria. There is a growing international chorus of calls for restraint as this cross-border fires continues, amid fears that Turkey could be dragged into the Syrian conflict. NPR's Peter Kenyon is following the story from Istanbul.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has beaten his most serious political challenge in years. He defeated a young former governor handily in Sunday's presidential election. With this victory, Chavez has another six years to consolidate his socialist system in the country with the world's largest oil reserves.
It was the toughest challenge to his rule that he'd received in years — a young, vigorous candidate whose election would have ended Chavez's self-proclaimed revolution.
The ice covering the Arctic Ocean was at a record low, in keeping with a sharp warming trend in the far north. At the same time, the amount of the ocean around Antarctica covered by sea ice hit a record high. It's winter in Antarctica when it's summer in the Arctic. But why in a warming world is wintertime ice growing?
Which brings us to our next story. As Americans try again to heat up the solar industry, let's get an update on the competition. We reported last week on the West Coast solar power company that is trying to succeed where companies like Solyndra famously failed. American companies have struggled because they've been undermined by cheap imports from China. So it is meaningful to note that China's solar power industry is a mess.
We're going to talk about that with Beijing-based economist Patrick Chovanec. Welcome back to the program.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Thousands of Venezuelans turned out to vote today in a presidential election that pits longtime leader Hugo Chavez against a younger, more moderate rival in Enrique Capriles. Chavez, the fiery left-wing leader, has irritated Washington with his anti-American rhetoric, but he's also won support among many poor Venezuelans for his social programs.
We turn now to Pakistan where a big motor convoy has been snaking across the map. It was led by Imran Khan, a former cricket star who is now a top politician. Khan and his supporters set out yesterday from the capital Islamabad and headed for South Waziristan in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. The plan was to hold a demonstration there against U.S. drones. But as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, it didn't work out that way.
For many of us, no matter where we go, we'll always have a home. We'll always be from somewhere. But what if that somewhere no longer existed?
That is the strange position in which Mikhail Sebastian finds himself. Officially, he is from nowhere and has nowhere to go. The 39-year-old is stateless and stranded on American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the South Pacific.
Sebastian is an ethnic Armenian born in what is now Azerbaijan, but back then was part of the Soviet Union. When war broke out in the late 1980s, Sebastian says his aunt was stoned to death and he fled.
In the tiny fishing village of Cromarty on the tip of Scotland's Black Isle, the last speaker of the local dialect has died. Bobby Hogg was 92 years old when he passed away last week, taking with him a language that had existed for some 600 years. Here's a snippet of Mr. Hogg speaking with his brother Gordon who died last year about acting out in school.
There's been some funny honey coming out of the northeastern region of France lately. Beekeepers there have been complaining that their hives are producing a Technicolor product - mysterious shades of blue and green. The keepers began noticing in August that their bees were returning to their hives carrying bright substances. Their investigation determined that a nearby bio-gas plant has been processing waste from a factory about 60 miles away that produces M&Ms.
How does a president bring the war in Afghanistan to an end? There are 68,000 American troops serving in the country as the war enters its 12th year.
The war hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign, and polls show American voters are tiring of the war. But the next commander in chief will find the Afghan war among the most difficult of many foreign policy challenges.
Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney appear to agree on a date: the last day of December 2014. That's when the Afghan security forces are scheduled to takeover.
We spoke with Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan's Justice Party yesterday. We contacted him at his home in Islamabad before he set off on his march to protest drone attacks. Mr. Khan, thank you very much for being with us.
IMRAN KHAN: My pleasure.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Why are you leading this march?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A mass protest is underway in Pakistan against CIA drone strikes. It is lead by one of Pakistan's top politicians, the former cricket star Imran Khan. Mr. Khan is leading a huge convoy, hundreds of people in dozens of vehicles, from the capital Islamabad to the tribal area along the Afghan border. He says he's on a peace mission.
Now, in a moment, we'll hear from Mr. Khan. But first, NPR's Philip Reeves has this report from the start of the convoy in Islamabad.
On Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faces his most serious election test in 14 years of power. Though he has easily beaten his adversaries in the past, Chavez now confronts a 40-year-old former governor who has been electrifying the crowds.
The stakes are high. If Chavez loses, it could mean the end of his socialist experiment in the oil-rich nation.
In speech after speech, Chavez is like the Chavez of old — bombastic, loud, defiant, with grand dreams about projecting Venezuelan influence worldwide.
The U.S. has been carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan for some eight years, but it's done so under a policy that has emerged piecemeal over that time.
"It started in 2004, when drones were really an oddity," says Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was on the State Department's policy planning staff when it all started during the Bush administration.
A massive graffiti mural in Cairo's Tahrir Square documenting the political turmoil in Egypt was whitewashed earlier this month. The next night, several hundred artists and supporters were back, covering the wall in new images and anti-government slogans.
Medical student and painter Doaa Okasha, 20, was outraged when she found out the original mural was gone.
"It's our history there. This wall explains a lot of what happened in the last months, and it's very important to us," she says. "They easily come and erase everything, and we don't accept that."
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In Britain, the radical cleric Abu Hamza has lost his final battle to avoid extradition to the United States. Britain's high court judges ruled today that Hamza and four other suspected terrorists must now be sent to the U.S. to face trial on terror charges related to al-Qaida. That ends a legal battle that, in Hamza's case, has lasted nearly 14 years. Vicki Barker reports from London.
For the past decade, al-Qaida has been a top-down organization.
Letters seized at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan showed that he was a hands-on manager, approving everything from operations to leadership changes in affiliate groups.
But there's early intelligence that al-Qaida may have had a small role in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11.
If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it may signal that al-Qaida has changed.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Suicide bombers explode themselves in the heart of Damascus; tens of thousands killed in that Syrian civil war and counting; the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans murdered in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11; in Minneapolis, a gunman kills four people at a local post office before shooting and killing himself; just a few of the recent headlines from a world seemingly afflicted by war and violence.
Now we want to take a look at a different faith, Tibetan Buddhism. And if you wanted to predict just who the Dalai Lama might select to lead one of the faith's most important monasteries, you probably wouldn't think about a boarding school educated, globe-trotting New York photographer whose grandmother was one of the most celebrated fashionistas of her time, but that's just who the Dalai Lama did select, saying his, quote, "special duty is to bridge Tibetan tradition and the Western world," unquote.