Outside the courthouse in New Delhi on Friday, demonstrators gathered to call for — and then celebrate — the death sentences handed down for four men convicted in the December gang rape and murder of a young woman.
"It took all of 90 seconds" for the judge to announce his decision and then leave the courtroom, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi. One of the four convicted men "shrieked and slumped," while outside a cheer went up when spectators heard the news, she adds.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states are stepping in with billions of dollars for Egypt's military as it attempts to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force. The exception is Qatar, which along with Turkey, is left to condemn the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president last month. The rift poses new challenges for U.S. policy in the region.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov resume meetings in Geneva on Friday. The talks are aimed at working out the details of a program in which Syria's Bashar Assad would give up his chemical weapons.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:32 am
The past couple of weeks have sometimes felt like an international thriller as American and Russian leaders moved their chess pieces around the board. Renee Montagne talks to Washington Post columnist and novelist David Ignatius about the strategies involving Syria.
We're going look more closely at whether the United States is providing arms to Syria's rebels. The commander of the Free Syrian Army General told Morning Edition on Thursday that his group was not receiving weapons. But American officials contend they are providing weapons to the rebels.
A wounded Syrian, suffering skull, stomach and pancreas injuries from an explosion, in intensive care at Ziv Medical Center in Israel. Hospital staff asked that faces and names not be included to protect the safety of the Syrian patients who could get in trouble with Syrian authorities if it were discovered that they were in Israel.
At about 2 p.m. on a recent day, hospital personnel at Ziv Medical Center in northern Israel got a text message from the Israeli army: We're on our way with four wounded Syrians. Half an hour later, two army ambulances pulled up to the emergency room.
Two soldiers carried in the injured Syrian, his hands covering his head. Then, another was brought in on a wheelchair.
Teams of army paramedics and hospital doctors huddled around the Syrians, asking their ages, tearing away their clothes and quickly assessing their injuries.
For Tunisia's ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, what happened this summer in Egypt is a cautionary tale and a constant reminder of the risks it faces as it navigates through its own political crisis.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood easily dominated all post-revolutionary elections, only to be ousted by the military in July. Brotherhood supporters now carry yellow placards, a reminder of the military crackdown, and that same placard now hangs on Ennahda's headquarters in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:56 pm
Thirty-five years after the assassination of Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov by a ricin-tipped umbrella as he waited for a bus in London, no one knows for sure who was responsible. And now it's quite possible that no one ever will.
Syrian refugees wait in Beirut before a flight to Germany on Wednesday. More than 100 Syrians were on the flight, the first mass relocation program for Syrian refugees. Germany has agreed to take in 5,000 of them.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:21 pm
As a Syrian Christian man rolled the family luggage through Beirut's international airport, he practiced his German: "Thank you, danke, dankeschon."
The man, who asked not to be named, is part of a group of Syrian refugees offered temporary resettlement by Germany for two years. The contingent, which flew out Wednesday, included 70 adults and 37 children and infants.
Mourners carry the coffin of a car bomb victim during the funeral in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, last week. Violence is on the rise in Iraq, but it is receiving little international attention.
Credit Ako Rasheed / Reuters/Landov
Civilians gather at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk last week.
Credit Sabah Arar / AFP/Getty Images
A man weighs goods at a market in Baghdad on Sept. 1. Baghdad's once-bustling markets are facing difficult times as customers stay away, increasingly fearful of bomb attacks.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:56 am
With the current focus on Syria it's easy to miss that things are getting worse again in Iraq. Since the spring, the country has been pounded by waves of attacks on civilians and security forces by extremists with links to al-Qaida. Three car bombs in the Iraqi city of Baquba killed 10 people Tuesday.
In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris
As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."
Mexico's president has unveiled a major shakeup of the country's tax system. His administration says it's aimed at capturing more of Mexico's paltry tax collection. Critics say it's unfairly targeting the middle class. Among the items slated for taxing: dog food and private school tuition.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:21 am
Steve Inskeep talks to General Salim Idriss, commander of the Free Syrian Army. They discuss Syrian opposition reaction to President Obama's address to the nation this week, the Russian diplomatic initiative and what assistance the general is hoping to receive from the United States.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:26 am
During the run-up to possible military action in Syria, the name of an unknown researcher was catapulted into the spotlight. Elizabeth O'Bagy was on NPR, Fox and quoted by Senator John McCain during a hearing. It turns out, O'Bagy is not exactly who she said she was, and her story reveals a lot about how Washington works during times of high drama.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:04 am
Russian President Vladimir Putin has written an op-ed piece for Thursday's New York Times. He's calling on the U.S. to forgo military strikes on Syria. For Russia's view of the Syrian conflict, Renee Montagne talks to Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Now, those who favor U.S. military intervention in Syria include backers of Israel. One of them is Republican campaign contributor Sheldon Adelson. Another is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
NPR's David Welna reports on their lobbying efforts.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:46 pm
North Korea appears to be in the process of restarting a nuclear reactor used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, five years after shutting the facility down as part of international disarmament efforts.
New satellite imagery appears to reveal that the 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon, which experts believe can produce enough plutonium for one to two bombs a year, shows signs of being operational.
Robert Siegel talks with David Hanney about prospects for a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria's chemical weapons. Lord Hanney represented Britain in the United Nations during the first Iraq war, when the UN Security Council voted unanimously to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
This week's diplomacy over Syria was widely described as improvisational. John Kerry made a comment that his own aides were at pains to describe as rhetorical. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pounced on it opportunistically. Well, today there's some revisionist reporting on that score, reporting that Kerry and Lavrov were actually building on a year's worth of U.S.-Russia conversations.
A screen grab of Elizabeth O'Bagy's appearance on Fox News on Sept. 5. She has been on many news programs in recent days commenting on the Syrian war. She was fired on Wednesday for falsely claiming to have a Ph.D., according to her employer, the Institute for the Study of War.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:06 pm
If you're following the Syrian debate, there's a good chance you've come across Elizabeth O'Bagy, an analyst on the Syrian war, who went from obscure think tank analyst to media darling to unemployed in roughly a week.
Here's how she did it.
O'Bagy, 26, was a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. Her specialty, the Syrian rebels, received only periodic flickers of attention.
Then came the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria, followed by President Obama's declared intent to carry out a military strike in Syria.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:07 pm
Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.
The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.