Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:17 am
A second team of international inspectors is being deployed to Syria, where the process of destroying chemical weapons-producing facilities began Sunday. Syria faces a November deadline for demolishing its production equipment; the first weapons team arrived in the country on Oct. 1.
Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgium's Francois Englert won the prize for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson. That's the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass. The two will share the $1.25 million prize.
As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.
And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:36 pm
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.
"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."
Now to Egypt, where militants carried out a series of attacks against government targets today. Nine people were killed and dozens more were wounded. The incidents follow deadly clashes yesterday and add to concern that the political crisis, sparked by the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, could lead to an insurgency.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:07 pm
Days after doctors said Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner must take a month off from work to recover from a brain hematoma, reports now indicate that she'll undergo surgery to relieve the condition Tuesday.
Libyan protesters burn a replica of the U.S. flag on Monday during a demonstration against the capture of Abu Anas al-Libi. U.S. forces seized him Saturday in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He is accused of involvement in two U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and is being held on a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
Credit Esam OmranAl-Fetori / Reuters/Landov
Abu Anas al-Libi was captured by U.S. forces in Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday. He's described as a long-time member of al-Qaida and is wanted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:45 am
After seizing terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. forces took him to a ship in the Mediterranean where he could be interrogated for weeks or even months to come.
Why a ship?
In short, this allows the U.S. to hold and question al-Libi about his alleged role in a pair of 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa without putting him in the U.S. civilian court system, which could limit or halt efforts to interrogate him.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:56 pm
China — which holds nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities (pdf) — is asking the U.S. to get its finances in order and not allow a political stalemate to cause the country to default on its obligations for the first time in history.
The United States is expected to run out of money by Oct. 17, so the Treasury needs Congress to extend its credit limit before then. As has happened before, the House and Senate are at odds and the prospects of a compromise look shaky.
A woman carries a sack of food aid on her head in Ghouta, Syria, earlier this month.
A bombed-out building in Zamalka, a neighborhood in east Ghouta, Syria. The destruction seen in this picture was caused mostly by government air raids months before the Aug. 21 chemical attack on the neighborhood.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:46 am
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
The boy on the bicycle wasn't old enough to have facial hair. His feet barely reached the ground as he stopped and moved, circling the soldier manning the government checkpoint in east Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.
"Please, just one bag of bread," the boy, lips quivering, said to the soldier. "Just one."
"I told you, no. No means no, young man," the soldier replied. "No food is allowed inside." He seemed somewhat pained at having to deprive a child of food.
Upheaval in countries like Egypt and Syria is often discussed in political terms, but how do artists see it? Guest host Celeste Headlee talks about arts and the Arab Spring with Egyptian-American poet Yahia Lababidi and Syrian-American doctor Dr. Zaher Sahloul.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We're going to spend some time talking now about Egypt, where more than 50 people were killed over the weekend in clashes between the military and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. In a moment, we'll speak to an Egyptian-American who has written poetry inspired by the unrest there.
The United States military struck twice over the weekend in Africa. Commando raids in Somalia and Libya targeted terrorists. The mission in Libya resulted in the capture of a top al-Qaida operative. He was a key figure in bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania back in 1998. The outcome in Somalia is not as clear.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:23 am
More than 50 people are dead after security forces and Islamist protesters clashed. Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and backers of the military that deposed him poured into the streets and turned on each other. Sunday's death toll was the highest on a single day since Aug. 14 when security forces raided two sit-in protest camps by Morsi supporters, killing hundreds.
A Kenyan intelligence official says that the "high-value terrorist leader" whose residence was targeted in a Navy SEAL raid Saturday was the senior al-Shabab leader Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, who used the alias Ikrima.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews the honor guard upon arrival from the U.S. at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 28. Iranians from across the political spectrum hailed the historic phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Rouhani, reflecting wide support for an new tone between the two nations.
Credit Ebrahim Noroozi / AP
President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013.
Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence.
Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.
It's been a weekend of horrific violence in Iraq, and September had the highest number of civilian deaths since the U.S. withdrawal. Host Arun Rath speaks with Adam Schreck, Baghdad bureau chief for The Associated Press, about the on-going sectarian violence there.
People in a crowd flee as an out-of-control monster truck plows through spectators at a Mexican air show in the city of Chihuahua Saturday. Officials say they are investigating the incident, in which eight people died.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:00 am
Three days of mourning have been declared in Chihuahua, Mexico, where at least eight people were killed by an out-of-control monster truck this weekend. A crowd had gathered to watch the truck at an outdoor arena that lacked any visible barriers.
From Mexico, James Blears reports for our Newscast unit that the truck went from crushing cars to plunging into a crowd of spectators, leaving eight dead and dozens more injured:
Iran has arrested four people who it says were intent on sabotaging facilities in its nuclear program. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the four are now being questioned.
"Some time ago, a number of people were arrested in one of the (nuclear) facilities when they were involved in planning activities," Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:29 pm
Suicide car bombers carried out a deadly strike on a school and a police station near Tel Afar, a small town in northeastern Iraq, Sunday. At least 12 students and their principal died in the attack on an elementary school, according to reports.
Part of the school building is believed to have collapsed as a result of the blast. The suicide bombing at the town's police station reportedly did not cause further casualties.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:09 am
In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.
"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."
The Taliban have been waging a particularly bloody offensive this year now that Afghan government forces are in charge of security. The result: Afghan army and police are suffering record numbers of casualties — far more than NATO ever did at the height of its troop presence in Afghanistan.
So even as NATO forces are preparing to leave, they are working to bolster the medical capabilities of Afghan forces at hospitals, clinics and training centers across the country.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:56 pm
What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?
IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.
The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they're reversible. Shortly after they're taken out, a woman can become pregnant.
Cyclists whiz past Madrid's Puerta de Alcalá monument as part of <em>Bici Crítica,</em><em> </em>a movement that seeks to raise awareness of bike safety. On the last Thursday of every month, thousands of cyclists ride in unison through downtown Madrid, blocking traffic during rush hour.
For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.
Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:50 pm
(Updated 8:50 p.m. ET)
A force that struck foreign fighters in Somalia early Saturday included members of a U.S. Navy SEAL team, according to reports. The team targeted a senior leader of the militant group al-Shabab, but there were conflicting reports about that man's fate.