An Egyptian student is dead Saturday after clashes between police and Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the country's main Islamic university.
Egyptian media reported that the violence erupted when security forces fired tear gas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were trying to prevent classmates from getting into buildings at the famed Al-Azhar university. Some of the buildings were set on fire. Police said 101 people were arrested.
To the Middle East now where 2013 has been a dark year. The promise of the Arab Spring has been reality checked by events in Syria, Egypt and across the region.
Marc Lynch is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University. As the end of the year approached, he sat down and made what he calls a dark list, people in the Middle East who have contributed to the chaos. He says much of the violence stems from a failure of leadership.
From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.
ARUN RATH, HOST:
We're going to begin the program today in South Sudan where despite talk of a possible cease-fire, the fighting continues. A power struggle there between the president and his former vice president spiraled into violence along tribal lines. Hundreds have died and tens of thousands are displaced. If not checked, many fear the conflict will become Africa's next civil war.
Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 6:16 am
Just how far does a dollar go? We'll try to answer that question as part of an occasional series on what things cost around the world. In this installment, NPR's Emily Harris looks at the price of headwear in Jerusalem.
In Israel and the Palestinian territories, headgear is big business. How much does it cost to cover up for different religions, traditions and fashions?
Antarctica is one of the best places on Earth to spot these fallen stars.
Each winter — which is summer in down south — a team of geologists camps out on an Antarctic glacier in the middle of nowhere, often where no human has ever tread. It's kind of like a space voyage, but a lot cheaper.
And it's the meteorite that's done most of the traveling.
As we approach the threshold of a new year, it's only human to wonder what's ahead. In Germany and a few nearby countries, the answer to this age-old existential question is found in molten lead.
When Gesine Krätzner had some scraps of lead left over from a roofing project last winter, she knew just what to do with them. Krätzner lives in Portland, Ore., but grew up in Germany. As a kid, she would melt bits of lead with her family for a New Year's Eve tradition called Bleigiessen.
The Marines kept flying over us all night long. Their hulking C-130 cargo planes rattled the tarp we'd jerry-rigged above our heads. NPR photographer David Gilkey and I were lying in sleeping bags next to the runway of the destroyed Tacloban airport. We'd arrived a few hours earlier in the back of one of those military aircraft. Now we were just waiting for daybreak.
The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:56 pm
Thailand's army chief on Friday called for calm amid unrest between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup to restore stability.
Asked whether the army would seize the government for the second time in less than a decade, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "That door is neither open nor closed ... it will be determined by the situation."
At least three people are reported dead in Egypt after security forces clashed across the country Friday with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. On Thursday, the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization following a car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura that claimed 16 lives. The brotherhood denied it was behind the attack, and another group claimed responsibility.. For more on the turmoil in Egypt, Robert Siegel speaks with Tamer El-Ghobashy Cairo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:30 pm
Egyptian security forces carried out widespread arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members just days after the government labeled the group, which supports ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a terrorist organization.
Three people were reported killed in Muslim Brotherhood-led protests and some 265 people were arrested as part of the nationwide crackdown, which came as the political group renewed calls for massive anti-government rallies.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:23 am
The chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat is often spoken of as the country's next prime minister. But his critics accuse Narendra Modi of being responsible for a wave of anti-Muslim violence in his state in 2002. The accusation has stuck despite Modi being cleared of wrongdoing in the violence and despite his record as an efficient administrator.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:01 am
Okinawa's governor has approved a plan to relocate the U.S. Marine base on the Japanese island.
Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima's decision Friday is a reversal of his pledge to move the base off the Japanese island.
The project would involve land reclamation for a new base that would consolidate the U.S. presence on the island.
"We decided to approve the application for the landfill as we judged it contains all possible steps that could be taken at present to protect the environment," Nakaima said at a news conference in Naha, the prefectural capital.
Correspondent Susannah George describes the scene in Beirut
An explosion in Beirut on Friday killed at least six people, including a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. who was a leader of the Western-backed coalition that opposes the militant group Hezbollah.
More than 70 other people were injured by the car bomb, authorities say.
In these last days of the year, we're airing conversations about the future. Today, we turn to David Kilcullen, who imagines future wars in his book, "Out of the Mountains." Kilcullen served in the Australian Army then went on to advise U.S. General David Patraeus in Iraq. Kilcullen told my colleague Steve Inskeep that warfare is chanting in three ways. First, it's becoming more urban. Second, technology is changing warfare; he notes how quickly news spread of Moammar Gadhafi's death in Libya in 2011.
To many Afghans, 2014 is more than a year — it's a sword of Damocles hanging over the fragile nation. It's the year the country will elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai and the U.S.-led military mission will end. Many fear that will open the door to chaos.
But on a chilly winter day in Kabul, it's still business as usual in the city center.
In a stationary market, you can still buy calendars for this year — the year 1392. Afghanistan uses the Persian solar calendar, and in March the year 1393 begins.
In a clinic in southern Turkey, Mohammed Ibrahim helps 23-year-old Syrian Mustapha Abu Bakr take his first steps since he lost his legs, holding on to a set of bars for balance.
"He can't express his feelings," Ibrahim says. "It's a new thing completely for him."
Ibrahim explains that patients who have lost a leg below the knee can walk out of the clinic without crutches after a day of practice. For double amputees like Abu Bakr, who was injured in Syria's civil war, the adjustment takes more time.
Reporter John Otis was looking for a flight to Venezuela. That may sound like a simple task, but air travel to and from that Latin American country turns out to be extremely complicated these days. Here's his story.
A direct flight from my home in Bogotá, Colombia, to Caracas, Venezuela, takes about 90 minutes. But when I tried to buy a ticket recently, none were available. I was offered a flight with an overnight stop in Miami, but that would have cost $5,000.
The Gulf nation of Qatar has nearly depleted its groundwater, and will increasingly need to import food. Some farms still operates on ground water, but in the long haul, Qatar is counting on desalination and using money to import food.
Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 2:04 pm
Thailand's government has rejected a call from the country's Election Commission to delay a February vote to choose a new parliament, as protesters opposed to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra increasingly resort to violence to disrupt the polls.
Anti-government demonstrations have been going on for weeks as "yellow shirt" protesters — most drawn from the ranks of Thailand's urban middle class — have sought to oust Yingluck, whose government was elected in a 2011 landslide, mostly with support from the country's poorer, rural farming communities.
Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 10:41 am
An American development worker and Peace Corps veteran who was kidnapped more than two years ago from his home in Pakistan by men claiming to be affiliated with al-Qaida, asks President Obama in a newly released video "to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release."
Warren Weinstein, 72, is also heard saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten."
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, economic growth has been slowing this year. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed an ambitious plan to lure large-scale foreign investment. But details of his plan remain under wraps. Small businesses make up the vast majority of companies in the West Bank.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
NPR's Emily Harris has this profiles of one new one.
EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Before opening a cafe, Palestinian Tariq el-Ayyan worked on documentary films.