After months of unrest of Egypt led to former President Mohamed Morsi's ouster this summer, schools are back in session. The new government says it has quickly rewritten portions of school textbooks. Merrit Kennedy in Cairo looks at how Egypt is teaching its recent past as historical events continue to unfold.
Before there was Wikipedia, there were encyclopedias — and Saturday marks the 300th birthday of the father of one of the world's most important.
Eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot was the driving force behind the Encyclopédie,one of the first compendiums of human knowledge of its time. The anniversary of his birth has prompted calls for Diderot to receive France's highest honor: have his remains reinterred in Paris' Pantheon, a mausoleum of sorts for France's national heroes.
The general who helped end French colonial rule in Vietnam has died. Vo Nguyen Giap was 102. He famously surprised and overwhelmed French troops at Dien Bien Phu. Later in 1968, Giap led the Tet offensive, catching U.S. commanders and the American public by surprise. After Tet, many wondered is victory in Vietnam even possible? Michael Sullivan has this look back at a man considered one of history's greatest military tacticians.
Job seekers line up outside a work support office in London in 2009. New measures proposed by the Conservative-led government will require recipients of unemployment benefits to do unpaid community work, spend workdays at a job center or participate in intensive programs to help solve personal issues that prevent them from working.
Credit Oli Scarff / Getty Images
"No one will be ignored or left without help. But no one will get something for nothing," British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told the Conservative Party's annual conference. "Because a fair welfare system is fair to those who need it and fair to those who pay for it, too."
Britain's Conservative-led government delivered a one-two punch to more pillars of Britain's social benefits system this week. It announced more cuts to the country's social welfare programs — moving ever closer to "workfare."
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:07 am
It must be draining to do eight interviews in a row, but Benjamin Netanyahu seemed energized by it. The Israeli prime minister walked into our meeting in a New York hotel room bantering and smiling. He commented on the shades (pulled down to avoid a backlit photo) and noticed a novel that our engineer had brought along. Netanyahu picked it up and looked it over — a novel by Joe Hill, the pen name for the son of Stephen King.
Syrian youths line up for food distribution in the Maiber al-Salam refugee camp in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey. The U.S. government has provided more than $1.5 billion in aid to Syrians since the uprising began in 2011.
Credit Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP/Getty Images
Syrians near the northern town of Azaz cross into neighboring Turkey on Sept. 5. Radical Islamist rebel fighters recently dislodged more moderate rebels from the town.
Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.
"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.
Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.
Some people skydive, others build websites. Designers Chris Hirst and Leo Zhao have now done both, at once. The stunt was to promote their product, Designbymobile. The message: We've made Web designing so easy, you can do it anywhere. On their first jump, they gathered video. On the second, they used that footage to create a website. It only took a minute, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the 8,000-foot plunge.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Supporters of the ultra-right-wing Golden Dawn Party wait outside the Athens courthouse for the transfer of party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos to the prosecutor Wednesday. Four lawmakers from Greece's neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have been indicted on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
Credit Simela Pantzartzi / EPA /Landov
Michaloliakos is escorted by masked police to an Athens court.
The Greek lawmaker who leads the neo-fascist Golden Dawn Party is behind bars, awaiting trial for allegedly running a criminal organization. Nikolaos Michaloliakos' views are racist and anti-Semitic, and he's been blamed for inciting violence, especially against immigrants.
He says he's not a criminal and is being persecuted for his beliefs.
But will shutting down the party shut down its support?
International weapons inspectors have begun the process of verifying Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. A team of 19 inspectors, plus staff, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday. New York Times reporter Anne Barnard is also in the Syrian capital, and I asked her how the inspectors' mission will work.
Rick Najera doesn't remember his wife Susie dialing 9-1-1. She came home six hours after Najera had taken a fall that left him bleeding on the floor of his home. The Hollywood actor/writer/producer had pneumonia and ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma.
Rick Najera told NPR's Michel Martin that his near-death experience caused him to reflect.
"I really looked at my life and I said I wanted to chronicle it. I wanted to bring it down and talk about it in a very human, honest way," he says.
Beef from cattle that have grazed only on pasture is in high demand — much to the surprise of many meat retailers, who didn't traditionally think of grass-fed beef as top-quality.
George Siemon, a founder of Organic Valley, the big organic food supplier, says the push for grass-fed beef started with activists who wanted to challenge a beef industry dominated by factory-scale feedlots. In those feedlots, cattle are fed a corn-heavy diet designed to make the animals gain weight as quickly as possible.
"A ship carrying African migrants to Europe caught fire and capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday, killing at least 94 people as it spilled hundreds of passengers into the sea, officials said. Over 150 people were rescued but some 200 others were still unaccounted-for."
For years, the small West African nation of Liberia was associated with violence, child soldiers, blood diamonds, 14 years of one of the world's most brutal civil wars. Now Liberia is celebrating a full decade of peace. Tamasin Ford brings us the story of one enterprising young woman there who's learning to operate in the new Liberia.
Palestinians inspect trucks loaded with iron arriving from Israel through the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Sept. 22. The delivery of the materials to the private sector is a first since the Hamas takeover in 2007.
Credit Hatem Moussa / AP
Untreated sewage from Gaza flows directly into the Mediterranean Sea. This has long been a problem, but authorities say the amount of untreated sewage being dumped into the sea had been falling before the current fuel crisis.
Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.
There is an old Arab saying that proclaims books are written in Cairo, published in Beirut and read in Baghdad. Those cradles of civilization were cradles of learning, and that education continues even as those places in modern times fell into unrest and violence, in part thanks to a string of English-language American universities dating back to Beirut in the 1800s.
The president of Nigeria is calling on his country to overcome its religious and ethnic divisions and to avoid becoming another Syria. President Goodluck Jonathan's warning came after an attack last weekend on a school there. At least 40 students died when gunmen stormed an agricultural school in Nigeria's mostly Muslim northeast.