The House voted on Thursday to establish a new investigative committee to look into circumstances surrounding the attack two years ago on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three others.
Republicans accuse the White House of misleading the public about the nature of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and stonewalling efforts by Congress to investigate. Democrats see the creation of the new investigative committee as an election-year political ploy to raise money and motivate the party's base.
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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan vowed today that the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in that country will be the beginning of the end of terror. In a speech, he also thanked the U.S. and several other countries for offers to help rescue the girls. The teenagers were taken from their boarding school dormitory more than three weeks ago. Since then, other girls have also been kidnapped.
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And I'm Melissa Block. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists have decided to go ahead with Sunday's referendum on independence. That's despite Russian President Vladimir Putin urging them yesterday to postpone that vote. Here's the self-declared governor in the eastern region of Donetsk earlier today.
Vietnam's coast guard has released a video it says shows one of its vessels being deliberately rammed by a Chinese patrol craft near the disputed Paracel Islands. It comes on the same day that Beijing reiterated its right to drill for oil in the region of the South China Sea also claimed by Hanoi.
At least 125 people were killed in an attack on a market in a Nigerian village near the Cameroon border. The violence is suspected to be the work of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has also claimed responsibility for abducting more than 250 girls from a school last month.
CNN says that the attack targeted "an area that troops had been using as a base in the search" for the kidnapped girls.
What can the U.S. â€” or anyone â€” do to return more than 200 abducted girls to their families in Nigeria? And what might happen if the U.S. engages with another violent group of extremists? Retired Gen. Carter Ham, who until last year led the U.S. African Command, says there's still a chance to help.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk through what the United States may be able to do in searching for kidnapped girls in Nigeria. The U.S. has promised assistance, Nigerian officials have now accepted. This would involve the United State more overtly than before in fighting Boko Haram, the extremist group that says it took the girls.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. Here's a scene that journalist Graeme Wood witnessed recently in the Central African Republic. He'd gone to a cell phone shop in the capital, Bangui. Out front a guy in a motorcycle was holding up an AK-47, screaming angrily about his cell phone.
A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told separatists in Ukraine they should postpone a referendum on secession, leaders of the group say they'll hold the vote this Sunday as planned.
The decision was announced by a committee heading the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. The group held a news conference Thursday to say they would go ahead with plans to hold the vote.
Syrian rebels were retreating from the besieged city of Homs on Wednesday, surrendering the "capital of the revolution" to President Bashar Assad under a cease-fire that gave them safe passage to other insurgent-held areas of the country.
The governor of Homs, Talal al-Barazi, was quoted by the state news agency Sana as saying some 2,000 people would be evacuated. Local activists said the first 600 to leave were wounded fighters and civilians.
Chinese ships trying to deploy an oil rig in disputed waters of the South China Sea have reportedly rammed Vietnamese vessels in recent days, as the Philippines says it's seized a Chinese fishing boat and its crew of 11 for poaching endangered sea turtles.
Nigeria is offering a $300,000 reward for anyone who can find the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram. The U.S. is also pitching in with hostage negotiators and intelligence experts. President Obama says the U.S. will do everything it can to provide assistance to Nigeria.
There's a development today in Syria's civil war. Syrian rebels surrendered control of an important piece of ground, the city of Homs. That's been the heart of uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hundreds of rebel fighters abandoned the city's central district. They left in rickety green buses, escorted by the United Nations. The rebels had been under siege and were running out of ammunition and food.
For more on the story, we're joined by NPR's Alice Fordham. She's in Beirut.
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Now, the moribund Middle East peace process. People who follow that decades-long U.S. diplomatic effort, remember a moment in 1990. A frustrated U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, fed up with the intransigence of Palestinians and Israelis made this memorable declaration to in testimony to Congress.
Now to the conflict in Ukraine. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin made some conciliatory sounding statements. He called on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum on autonomy. That vote is currently scheduled for Sunday. Putin also said that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Ukrainian border and that Russia is ready for more talks on ways to resolve the crisis.
The beginning of the end of the two-year siege of Old Homs came as green buses full of fighters bounced down uneven streets Wednesday â€” a scene that was captured in a photo that was retweeted hundreds of times.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's turn now to South Africa, where elections are being held today. Twenty years ago, the country went to the polls for the first democratic elections after the end of apartheid.
Saying Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had violated Thailand's constitution, the country's Constitutional Court ordered the caretaker leader to step down from office, along with nine ministers. She had held the post since the summer of 2011.
The court's ruling Wednesday stems from accusations that Yingluck abused her powers in 2011 by transferring the national security chief, who had been appointed by the opposition. The court's nine judges went on national television to broadcast their decision.