Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:17 am
Alarmed over rising threats in the Middle East and North Africa, the Gulf Cooperation Council is set to launch an unprecedented joint military command, according to regional officials and military analysts.
"At the moment, we are witnessing a new spirit," says Abdulaziz Sager, head of the Gulf Research Center, a think tank that focuses on the GCC, a six-member group of Arab monarchies.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:06 pm
If you dislike meetings, you might empathize with Nigel Mills. He's a British lawmaker who had to apologize after being caught playing Candy Crush Saga on his iPad during a hearing. (As far as we know, he wasn't sending invitations to his Facebook friends to join him.)
Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:42 am
For months, Liberia was the country worst-hit by the Ebola outbreak. But the wards in Liberia's Ebola treatment units now stand virtually empty. The number of newly reported cases fell from almost 300 cases a week in mid-September to fewer than 100 by mid-October.
But that doesn't mean it's time to take it easy. In fact, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has just announced a new campaign, Ebola Must Go, which focuses on the role of the community.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:02 pm
When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.
Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:24 pm
The United Nations Children's Fund calls 2014 a devastating year for children, reporting that as many as 15 million young people are caught in conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Ukraine.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 12:32 pm
Forget Ebola. In Liberia, style is everything.
"Even if poor, even if without a job, Liberians still spend money on clothes. They value appearance over everything," says Muhammed Trawally. The 33-year-old driver is wearing tightly fitted black jeans, sharp Italian-style leather shoes, a crisp orange-and-white striped polo shirt, brown-tinted aviator glasses in a gold-and-white frame and a black Casio watch.
"Looking good is business," he says — a phrase that keeps popping up.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 8:38 am
The phone calls start in early morning. They are strikingly similar.
"There is an injured dog on the street. Can you take care of it?"
Ram Nagarkoti, the 31-year-old ambulance driver at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre), often spends his days zigzagging through traffic, waving at police officers as he edges across chaotic intersections and squeezing into labyrinthian alleyways to find his patient — one of 20,000 stray dogs in Nepal's capital.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:43 am
Israel's Antiquities Authority Sunday announced it had indicted six men accused of stealing antiquities and destroying archaeological sites in the southern Judean Desert — the same desert where the Dead Sea Scrolls — religious texts dating from the third century BC — were found.
The announcement also revealed a connection to the ancient world: They had lice combs, too. The Antiquities Authority released a photo of what it says is a 2000-year-old lice comb captured along with the men.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 10:28 am
Ebola has had a brutal impact on the economies of three West African nations at the epicenter of the outbreak. In Liberia, the World Bank has more than halved projected growth for the nation, compared to what they predicted before the epidemic.
Ebola has killed more than 3,000 people in Liberia and, at the height of the outbreak, closed shops, businesses and offices. As the situation eases, many have now reopened — but it's still tough going.
Syrian state media say Israeli planes hit government-controlled zones in and around Damascus in what independent observers have said was an apparent effort to target Hezbollah arms shipments.
"The Israeli enemy committed aggression against Syria by targeting two safe areas in Damascus province, in all of Dimas and near the Damascus International Airport," state television said, adding that there were no casualties, according to Reuters.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:27 am
Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran who has been held by the Iranian government for more than four months, was formally charged over the weekend, but the specifics are not yet known, his newspaper reports.
Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 12:19 pm
Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET
Six men long detained at Guantanamo Bay – four Syrians, one Tunisian and one Palestinian – were transferred this morning to Uruguay in a deal forged by the White House to reduce the inmate population at the controversial prison, which President Obama has promised to close.
Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:25 am
Oil prices are at a five-year low, inflation is on the rise, the currency is sinking and nuclear talks are dragging on with no end to sanctions in sight. Those are the grim indicators confronting Iranians as winter approaches.
Iran's leaders are counseling resilience and patience, but Iranians aren't finding much to be hopeful about, although they're dealing with it in their own way.
Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:25 am
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Liberians have been gripped by crisis after crisis. A long and brutal civil war shattered the West African country and now Ebola. But NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has been looking into another far lighter side of life in that country - fashion.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:42 am
I began running about a year ago. I'd just moved to New Delhi, after living in the United States for 11 years. The stress of the move was getting to me, and I desperately needed exercise.
But finding a regular route wasn't easy. Running on the sidewalk is next to impossible here in Delhi. Every few seconds I had to get off the sidewalk to avoid bumping into a street vendor's cart or a patch of sidewalk claimed by Indian men to pee on.
Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:42 am
Remains of one of the 43 missing college students in Mexico have been identified, NPR's Mexico correspondent Carrie Kahn reports for our Newscast division.
DNA tests showed that bone fragments matched a student identified as Alexander Mora Venancio, 19, one of the students who went missing in September, allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a drug gang that was working with local police. The identification was announced on the Facebook page of the teaching school attended by the students, Kahn says, as well as by multiple media outlets.