A new study of volcanic rocks suggests that an ancient mural may indeed depict an erupting volcano, adding new weight to a theory that this image is a contender for the world's oldest known landscape painting or map.
The relationship between the world's biggest two democracies is under strain over an incident involving a low-ranking diplomat. U.S. prosecutors are preparing to indict a government representative from India. She's accused of lying on a visa application for her housekeeper. That indictment and the diplomat's treatment by American authorities have ignited a furious response in India. And the Indian government is retaliating.
As we just heard from Peter, one of the most talked about figures in Turkish politics is the Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen. He's said to wield great influence in Turkey, especially among police and prosecutors. This, despite his self-imposed exile. He lives in a compound in the Pocono Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania. Fethullah Gulen doesn't grant a lot of interviews. His aides cite his poor health. But he occasionally does receive an inquiring journalist.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
In Turkey, a widespread corruption scandal appears to be forcing an odd alliance. On one side is the prime minister, a conservative Muslim. On the other are members of the secular military establishment. As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, Turkey's leader has done the political equivalent of a 180. He's defending generals who were imprisoned on his watch, while denouncing his own prosecutors.
The flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, flutters on the dome of an Armenian Catholic Church in the northern rebel-held Syrian city of Raqqa on Sept. 28, 2013. At first, Syrian rebels and civilians welcomed the experienced Islamist fighters, and the groups fought together to take over the city from Syrian troops. Now, many Syrians fear and resent ISIS.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Men look at a jihadist flag flying over Raqqa on Sept. 28, 2013.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
A man holds his rifle during clashes between the Free Syrian Army and ISIS in Aleppo, Syria, on Jan. 4. The fighting between the rebels and ISIS militants is taking place in Aleppo and Raqqa.
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Syrian journalist Rami Jarrah (right) has set up Radio Ana across the border in southern Turkey and broadcasts into Syria. He left Raqqa after ISIS began targeting journalists and activists.
Reports from the Syrian city of Raqqa are dire. In the north-central provincial capital, "the atmosphere has gone from bad to worse," says one activist with a rare link to the Internet. He reports the city is "completely paralyzed," the hospital is abandoned, and there are bodies in the central square. There is no power or water for a city of more than half a million people. Even the critical bread ovens are shut.
President Obama walks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 6, 2013. Relations between the two allies are strained after documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, suggested the agency had spied on Merkel and other world leaders.
Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:09 pm
German Chancellor Angela Merkel accepted an invitation Wednesday from President Obama to visit the U.S., just months after relations between the two allies hit a low following revelations the U.S. was spying on Merkel and other world leaders.
Obama made the invitation during a conversation Wednesday with the German chancellor. Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman, said the visit would occur in the next few months.
A view of the Panama Canal last Thursday. The canal is being widened to accommodate larger ships, but the builders and the canal operators are locked in a dispute about who will pay the higher-than-expected costs to finish the project.
Credit Alejandro Bolivar / EPA /Landov
Workers at the construction site of the Panama Canal expansion project on the outskirts of Colon City, Panama, on Tuesday.
For five years, a multibillion-dollar expansion has been underway on the Panama Canal so that ships three times the current size can pass through the vital waterway. The new, wider canal will alter global trade routes and dramatically increase revenue for Panama's government, primarily from toll charges.
The expansion is more than two-thirds done, but now a funding dispute between the builders and the canal operators threatens to bring construction to a halt.
Coptic Christians in Egypt celebrated their Christmas on Tuesday in an atmosphere of uncertainty. There were dozens of attacks on churches and Christian homes both during and after the tenure of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Coptic leaders publicly supported the military coup that ousted Morsi.
Edward Snowden is, of course, facing some serious criminal charges here in the United States for stealing classified documents and leaking details of domestic and international surveillance programs. It's unclear if Snowden will ever return to this country to face charges, but that hasn't stopped a vigorous debate in recent days over whether Snowden should be eligible for clemency.
Should they or shouldn't they? That's the question Brazilians are asking themselves after Edward Snowden's "open letter" lauding Brazil's role in protecting privacy rights and alluding to his hand in uncovering spying on their president.
A U.S. Army soldier guards the remains of a burned-out military ammunition truck after it was attacked in Fallujah, Iraq, on Oct. 19, 2003. Fallujah and its surrounds were the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for U.S. troops during the Iraq war.
Credit Khalid Mohammed / AP
Will Walsh fought in Fallujah in 2004. He says he has thought about it every day for the past 10 years.
Credit Quil Lawrence/NPR
U.S. Marines deploy in the town of al-Nasr Wa al-Salam near Fallujah on March 28, 2004.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the rising violence in both Syria and Iraq and American military options in the region. A group linked to al-Qaida has been fighting in Syria, battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad. That group has also crossed the border into Iraq where it is fighting for control of Ramadi and Fallujah, cities where hundreds of Americans died years ago.
Sunni Muslim fighters in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah take up positions on Sunday. The insurgents have been fighting government troops in battles similar to those a decade ago in the area.
Credit Mohammed Jalil / EPA /Landov
Iraqi Sunni men carry the coffin of a person killed by Iraqi army fire in Fallujah, in western Iraq, on Saturday. Sunni extremists have been battling Iraqi government forces in the region, in fighting reminiscent of violence a decade ago.
Yet again, Iraqi civilians are fleeing violence in Iraq's sprawling western province of Anbar. Years of under-the-radar daily tension and bloodshed has erupted into another al-Qaida surge and retaliatory Iraqi government airstrikes.
But the violence that brought Iraq back to the headlines, while tragic, was not surprising.
For months, observers had been warning about the combustible combination of the Syrian civil war next door and the alienation of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.
The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016 feet, was inaugurated in London in 2012. It got its formal name when the builders adopted the term used by critics, who called it a "shard of glass" in the city's skyline.
Credit Ben Fitzpatrick / AP
"The Gherkin," which is formally known as 30 St. Mary Axe, was completed in 2003.
Credit Oli Scarff / Getty Images
A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new "Walkie Talkie," or "Walkie Scorchie," tower in central London on Aug. 30, 2013.
Credit Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images
Retail stores make up much of the "One New Change" development near St. Paul's Cathedral. It's called the Stealth Bomber for its low-key design.
And with much of the nation is in the middle of this brutal cold snap, let's take a moment to hear from scientists who study other planets or even the chilliest places on Earth. Those researchers commonly encounter temperatures that make this news-making cold seem downright balmy. We asked NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel to find out just how low it can go.
GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: I caught up with researcher Paul Mayewski yesterday just as he was headed out of town.
Ian Dodd (center), co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Sunday Assembly, sings with other attendees. Chapters of the godless church, founded by British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, have been spreading since launching in London in January 2013.
It sometimes feels like church in the auditorium of the Professional Musicians union in Hollywood. It's a Sunday morning, and hundreds of people are gathered to meditate, sing and listen to inspirational poetry and stories.
But then the live band starts up — performing songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jerry Lee Lewis. And instead of a sermon, there's a lecture by experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Jessica Cail about the biology of gender identification and sexual orientation.
President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli (left), talks next to Spain's Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ana Pastor, during a news conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Panama City, Panama, on Monday.
Panama's president on Monday expressed confidence that a multi-billion dollar Panama Canal expansion will get back on track after a European-led consortium threatened to halt construction unless it gets paid for massive cost overruns.
Britain's southwest coast is getting slammed by a winter storm, with high winds driving waves as high as 27 feet ashore in an unusual event that meteorologists say is likely linked to the bone-chilling "polar vortex" gripping much of the U.S.
South Sudan's then-Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Peter Adwok Nyaba (center) celebrates the first anniversary of the country's independence in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on July 9, 2012. Since then, all of South Sudan's Cabinet ministers have been sacked — including Adwok — for allegedly conspiring to overthrow President Salva Kiir.
Credit Ding Haitao / Xinhua /Landov
A military tank patrols along one of the main roads in the South Sudanese capital of Juba on Dec. 16, 2013, when a citywide curfew was declared.
The unmarked, unpaved streets of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, can be tough for an outsider to navigate.
By the time I found the house of Peter Adwok Nyaba, the country's former minister of higher education, science and technology, it was already 5 p.m. The sun was dangerously low on the horizon. I had less than an hour to interview Adwok and get back to my hotel before the citywide curfew — imposed when the violence began three weeks before — took effect. After 6, there would be no one on the streets except myself and soldiers.