Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 10:15 am
As Afghan elders debate whether to approve a proposed security agreement with the U.S., there's word that President Obama has said the U.S. will respect Afghanistan's sovereignty and carry out raids on Afghan homes only under extraordinary circumstances, The Associated Press writes.
The wire service says Obama made that pledge in a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. It adds that:
Steve Inskeep talks to William Dalrymple about his upcoming piece in The New York Times Magazine entitled: "How is Hamid Karzai Still Standing?" Dalrymple recently wrote the book, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839-42.
The U.N. says it's gotten nearly $130 million from donor nations, about half the funds it requested just last week, to carryout the massive relief effort in the Philippines. Some four million people are homeless in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
The World Food Programme is one of the many U.N. organizations responding to that disaster. We reached its director, Ertharin Cousin, in Delhi, after she spent several days in Tacloban, the hardest hit city in the Philippines.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has convened an assembly of tribal and religious leaders to debate a proposed security pact with the United States. The accord would allow some U.S. forces to remain in the country following the completion of NATO'S withdrawal at the end of 2014.
Paul Salopek has discovered that the best way to take in information, to be a journalist and a storyteller, is not flying around the world with the latest technology. It's by walking.
"There's something about moving across the surface of the earth at 3 miles per hour that feels really good," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.
Salopek plans to walk 21,000 miles total — from Africa to the Middle East, across Asia, down through Alaska and all the way to Tierra del Fuego. He calls it the "Out of Eden Walk" because the idea is to follow the path of human migration.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:38 pm
Secretary of State John Kerry says he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed on the text of a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay on the ground in the South Asian country beyond 2014.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that after numerous phone calls, Kerry says he and Karzai reached terms for a "limited role" for U.S. troops that would be confined to training, equipping and assisting Afghan forces.
Indonesia says it has scaled down its diplomatic relations and its level of cooperation with Australia in the wake of reports that Australia's security services spied on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other top officials.
"We have downgraded the level of relations between Indonesia and Australia," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said. "Like a faucet, it is turned down."
Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are back in Geneva for another round of talks on Tehran's nuclear program. There are signals that a preliminary deal over the future of Iran's nuclear program may finally be within in reach.
Since the typhoon hit the Philippines, doing business in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban has been next to impossible But on Wednesday, five gas stations, two hardware stores and several banks reopened.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Our colleague Anthony Kuhn has departed Tacloban, the city in the Philippines hardest hit by a typhoon. Anthony covered the early days of a disaster that left around 4,000 people dead and has displaced four million more. And now that he's in Manila, Anthony is going to try to help us get some perspective on what happened. He's on the line.
Thirty-five years ago the U.S. negotiated an historic peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Over 13 long days at the presidential retreat Camp David, President Jimmy Carter walked a delicate line to get Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin to reach an agreement. Now we're learning more details of how they succeeded. Last week, the CIA declassified 1,400 of pages of documents related to those Camp David peace talks.
Ghana qualifies for its third straight World Cup — defeating Egypt 7-3 on total goals after a 2-1 loss. This was the first international match in Cairo in two years. A bloody soccer riot there left dozens dead in 2011. It was also the first match since authorities lifted the curfew that went into effect after widespread clashes between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters, protesting the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been lobbying hard against an agreement with Iran that would ease economic sanctions if it allows Tehran to continue enriching nuclear material in any way. Israelis overwhelmingly agree that the Iranians should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.
The difference of opinion comes on the range of views of how to stop them. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
For four years, the Islamist militants of Boko Haram have been waging a deadly campaign in northern and central Nigeria, killing thousands of people. In response, the Nigerian military is cracking down on the group, and the United States last week designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
Some 3,000 Afghan elders will assemble on Thursday in Kabul to consider a new security agreement with the U.S. The document will spell out the rules for American forces in Afghanistan troops after their combat mission ends in December 2014. U.S. officials say between 6,000 and 9,000 US troops would remain to train Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terror missions against al-Qaeda and other anti-government forces. That counter-terror mission remains a sticking point, though most other issues — like potential criminal liability of Americans in Afghanistan — have been resolved.
In 2010, British spy Gareth Williams was found dead, naked, and stuffed inside a duffel bag in his bathtub. Although a coroner initially suspected foul play, London police have determined that his death was probably an accident. Robert Siegel talks to spy historian Nigel West about the case.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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Negotiators for Iran and six world powers returned to Switzerland to discuss limiting Iran's nuclear program. After reportedly coming close to a first-step deal earlier this month, some officials say an agreement is within reach this week. But critics warn a deal would be dangerous.
NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Geneva and has this report.
Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen is competing in the 2013 World Chess Championships. Melissa Block speaks with Joran Jansson, president of the Norwegian Chess Federation, for more on his rise to a number one ranking and what his popularity means for the game of chess.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:50 pm
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was thrust into the international spotlight after he admitted to smoking crack. Since then, a caricature of the politician has emerged: a bumbling, error-prone addict, whose everyman persona has helped him maintain his popularity in Canada's most populous city.
Shiite Muslims gathered in Kabul last week to celebrate Ashura, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar. Hundreds of shirtless men chanted and flogged themselves with chains tipped with knife-like shards of metal.
In the past, these public Shiite commemorations have become targets of the Taliban and other Islamist extremists. In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 56 Shiites marking Ashura. But this year, security was particularly tight.
Shopkeeper Noor Aga said the celebration was magnificent, and he felt safe.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:03 am
On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.