The release of the Sgt. Bergdahl neatly capped off a week in which President Obama laid out the plan for the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan. At the end of this year, just under 10,000 troops will remain in a support role. By the end of 2016, they'll also be gone. The president did not declare victory. He just said that it was time to turn the page. So in the end, who won?
HASSAN ABBAS: I guess no one, but we'll not know for the next five to ten years, I would guess.
NPR's Tom Bowman received a list of the prisoners being released from a Pentagon official. According to documents leaked to the organization WikiLeaks, all five prisoners were high-ranking Taliban officials. Some were considered high-risk and "likely to post a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies."
Police have made a fifth arrest in connection to another alleged gang rape and murder in India.
The two girls, ages 14 and 15, were killed and then hanged from a tree in a village more than 100 miles east of New Delhi. The case sparked demonstrations against what villagers perceived was official inaction.
CNN reports that on Saturday, villagers called for the perpetrators to be hanged. The network adds:
Seoul, South Korea's making some changes to its urban landscape. The mayor's office says the women-friendly Seoul campaign will make the city more comfortable for women. They say a lot of urban design focused on men when they were the sole workers in a family and that's changed. So, they're installing pink painted parking spots reserved for women that are a bit wider and longer than the average spot and closer to elevators.
Earlier this week the Prime Minister of Pakistan attended the inauguration of the new Prime Minister of India. Now this event is notable not only because India and Pakistan fought several wars and both have nuclear weapons, but also because India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, is a Hindu nationalist. He is not the kind of politician that you'd imagine Pakistan would welcome in power. We're joined now by Shuja Nawaz. He's director of The South Asia Center at The Atlantic Council. Shuja, thanks for being back with us.
When the United States built the Panama Canal a century ago, it faced harrowing obstacles, from mudslides to malaria that killed thousands. But history doesn't appear to show a financial dispute with contractors. At least not one that halted labor on the maritime marvel.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. The State Department has confirmed that a U.S. citizen was involved in the suicide bombing in Syria earlier this week. Today, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the man's identity in response to a reporter's question.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you confirm, at least, the name that he went by - as was published - Abu Huraya al-Amriki?
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. Somaly Mam has been arguably that world's highest profile crusader against sex trafficking. The Cambodian activist has been named one of Time Magazine's Most Influential People. Last year, Secretary of State John Kerry called her a hero every single day. Actress Susan Sarandon, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sit on the board of the foundation that bears her name.
The State Department on Friday confirmed that a U.S. citizen, who they believe to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, took part in a suicide truck bombing in Syria earlier this week.
Reports that a Syrian rebel calling himself Abu Hurayra al-Amriki (Abu Hurayra the American), a name allegedly adopted by Abu-Salha, carried out the May 25 attack on a Syrian government complex in western Idlib province have been circulating on social media for several days.
The painful disease has been around for centuries but began a dramatic upswing in the 1980s. In the Americas alone, the annual number of cases has boomed from 520,000 in 2003 to 2.3 million in 2013. With the World Cup coming up in mid-June, host country Brazil is frantically battling the mosquitoes that carry dengue (pronounced DENG-gey).
Europe's far-right parties did well, really well in last week's elections to the European Parliament. But their embrace of Russia and its annexation of Crimea is not exactly what the far-right counterparts in Ukraine were expecting. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on a rare right-wing party that favors EU integration and joining NATO.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. We are reminded this morning of how difficult the transitions have been in the countries of the Arab Spring. Egypt has had a coup. Serious bloody civil war carries on. And in Libya, two men now claim to be the rightful prime minister. One is a businessman elected by parliament earlier this month with the backing of Islamists.
In May of 1964, a Marxist militant group called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, began its fight to overthrow the Columbian government. Fifty years later, despite ongoing peace talks that fight continues, making FARC the worlds oldest guerilla army. John Otis reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Spanish spoken).
JOHN OTIS, BYLINE: Here in the southern Colombia town of Uribe, army troops salute their officers. This region is a long-time rebel stronghold, so everyone is on high alert.
Shakespeare calls Richard III "rudely stamp'd," with the king's "hunchbacked" form revealing the twisted soul within. Actors have reveled in playing the monarch as a limping, deformed creature with a withered arm.
But when the bones of the 15th century king were unearthed from beneath a British parking lot in 2012, the skeleton showed no evidence of a hunch. Instead, the vertebrae lay in a curve suggesting that Richard might have had scoliosis.
A man whose pregnant wife was stoned to death by angry relatives in Pakistan earlier this week has admitted that he killed his first wife so he could remarry.
It's a disturbing twist to the already disturbing story that we reported on Tuesday of 25-year-old Farzana Parveen, who was bludgeoned to death with bricks by her family after she eloped with Mohammad Iqbal instead of marrying a cousin as her family demanded.
In Sao Paulo's poor north zone, in the neighborhood of Tucuruvi, teams of city workers knock on doors, warning people to take pets and small children out of the area.
Quickly after, men in hazmat suits with metal cylinders strapped to their backs start spraying the street, and some of the interiors of the homes, with powerful pesticides. This is the front line of the war on dengue fever in Brazil's largest city.
Pakistan is reeling from the latest so-called "honor killing." A pregnant woman was stoned to death just feet from a courthouse for marrying a man against her family's wishes. Police stood by as family members, including a woman, took part in the killing.
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Wildlife biologists have discovered the longest known terrestrial migration in Africa: some 350 miles across southern Africa by huge herds of zebras. Large mammal migration in Africa has generally been hindered by the subdivision and fencing of land. However, this one remains possible because it takes place in a unique, multi-country wildlife corridor.
In Afghanistan, campaigning is underway for that country's presidential runoff election. Two candidates are competing to succeed President Hamid Karzai. And the vote is set for June 14. The first round was largely considered a success - with less violence and fraud than expected. And voter turnout exceeded expectations. But as NPR's Sean Carberry reports, there are growing concerns that the second round could be a far messier affair.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The battle for control of eastern Ukraine heated up again today. Pro-Russian insurgents shot down a military helicopter - killing at least a dozen soldiers, including an Army general. The deaths came days after the Ukrainian military inflicted heavy losses on rebels, who had seized the Donetsk airport.
MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Germany's economy is having a pretty good year so far. Manufacturing is high, unemployment is low. The economy is expanding, and yet the strangest report has recently come out of Europe. It says all of that success is actually a problem for the rest of the Eurozone. Zoe Chase of our Planet Money team wondered why Germany's success isn't considered a good thing.
ZOE CHASE, BYLINE: Germany's got a thing about making stuff the world wants.
Pope Francis is hoping to demonstrate the power of prayer next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas join the pontiff at the Vatican for an exercise in peace building.
Reuters describes his invitation to the two leaders to join him at the Vatican for a joint prayer meeting as one of the "boldest political gestures" for Francis since he became pope in March 2013.
It was never in doubt, but now it's official. Ex-military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be Egypt's president after nearly a year of being the nation's de facto leader.
He won by a landslide with more than 93 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary results. His victory was so sweeping that his lone opponent, Hamdeen Sabbahy, came in third with just 3 percent of the vote. People who voided their ballots in protest outnumbered those who voted for Sabbahy.