A rare event has taken place in the Middle East - the ruler of an Arab country has voluntarily stepped down. The emir of the Gulf state of Qatar handed power over to his son in a quiet ceremony in Doha this morning. NPR's Sean Carberry has our report.
(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)
SHEIKH HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI: (Through Translator) As I address you today, I declare that I will hand over the reigns of power to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani...
Qatar's ruler said Tuesday he has transferred power to the 33-year-old crown prince in an anticipated move that puts a new generation in charge of the Gulf nation's vast energy wealth and rising political influence.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
In Italy, today, a guilty verdict for the controversial former prime minister. Silvio Berlusconi was convicted in a Milan court of paying a minor for sex at one of his notorious parties. He was also convicted of abuse of office for trying to cover it up. Berlusconi says he's the target of a left-wing judicial witch-hunt.
Edward Snowden's travels have been underwritten in part by Wikileaks. That organization, of course, has also attracted scrutiny for publishing government secrets. Lately, Wikileaks has retreated from the headlines, but as we hear from NPR's Larry Abramson, the organization has been slowly staging a comeback.
To news of the civil war in Syria now. While the United States has wrestled with the questions of whether, how and when to arm the Syrian rebels, some of those rebels have been getting arms from Libya, that according to the New York Times.
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And as the paper points out, it is a turnabout. The inheritors of one strongman's arsenal, using them in the fight against another. Mark Mazzetti was one of three authors on that article. He joins us now. Welcome, Mark.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (left) and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino appear on a window of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 16. Assange has been living at the embassy for the past year. Patino announced Sunday that Ecuador would consider giving asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
After expressing "frustration and disappointment" because Hong Kong and China did not block "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden from flying to Moscow, the White House said Monday that it expects Russia will decide "to expel Mr. Snowden for his return to the United States."
After hours of breathless reporting about how "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden would be getting on a Moscow-to-Havana flight Monday, it seems he did not in fact board the jet for what what was thought to be a step toward asylum in Ecuador.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. You can spend tens of thousands on a liberal arts degree, or just buy a fake diploma. The artist David Hockney's fake diploma is expected to sell at auction this week for up to $27,000. He created it in 1962 when he was denied a real degree by the Royal College of Art because he refused to write a final essay. And who know? The work of a famous artist might end up worth more in the long run than a real diploma.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In Turkey over the weekend, police used water cannons against demonstrators in Taksim Square. The latest confrontation comes at a delicate time. Turkey is waiting a decision on whether it will host the 2020 Olympic Games.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that Turks are wondering if the government will react with even tighter restrictions on descent, or bend to demands for greater political openness.
Technology really does seem to make the world smaller, and this morning, we'll hear this morning how that applies to protest movements. Turkey saw a fresh wave of anti-government demonstrations over the weekend.
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And in Brazil, the president is holding an emergency meeting today on how to respond to protests sweeping that country. An estimated quarter of a million Brazilians were on the streets yesterday, with a wide range of grievances.
Russia's decision to allow Edward Snowden into the country as part of his around the world search for asylum has sparked outrage in Washington, D.C. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, appearing yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union," accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of aiding and abetting Snowden's escape.
Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, is in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted two weeks ago with a recurring respiratory infection.
A statement from South African President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old Mandela's condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.
"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," said Zuma, referring to Mandela by his clan name.
Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:05 am
(This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m. ET)
Armed assailants attacked a hotel at a Himalayan base camp in Pakistan, gunning down nine foreign climbers and a local guide as the group prepared for an ascent of one of the world's tallest peaks.
NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Ukrainians and Chinese climbers, as well as a Pakistani guide, were killed in the attack at 26,246-foot Nanga Parbat, about 150 miles northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
Every weekend, I rise at 7 a.m. to get on the subway to hunt for apartments. The cheapest two-bedroom homes in the suburbs of Shanghai cost $200,000 or more, which would take me more than 12 years to pay off — if I don't spend a dime of what I make.
This is the reality of China's boom. After decades of explosive growth, the cost of living in China's big cities has skyrocketed, and many young people have been priced out of the housing market.
Poached ivory is destroying wild populations of elephants and rhinos across Africa and Asia. The strong demand for ivory takes an estimated 25,000 elephant lives each year.
Now, the government of the Philippines is sending a message to poachers and smugglers, by destroying five tons of ivory confiscated in the country. On Friday, environmentalists, government officials, and the public gathered in Quezon City to witness the pulverization.
Host Jacki Lyden checks in with NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about the ongoing protests in Brazil. Despite comments of reassurance by the country's president Friday night, throngs of anti-government protesters continue to rally in cities across the country.
From Turkey to Brazil, tens of thousands of protesters are trying to get their voices heard. But what makes an effective protest? Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Bibi van der Zee of The Guardian and author of The Protestor's Handbook about the history of protests and strategies demonstrators use to broadcast their cause.
Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 12:16 pm
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has pledged a nationwide overhaul of public transportation, improved funding for schools and a crackdown on corruption in response to sometimes violent anti-government protests that have roiled the country for the past week.
In a 10-minute address broadcast on Friday, Rousseff broke her silence on the protests, saying she would spend more money on public transportation and divert some of the country's oil revenues to pay for education, The Associated Press reported. She also addressed widespread anger over government corruption.
Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 11:49 am
Update At 11:30 a.m. ET:
Secretary of State John Kerry called the current situation in Syria "unacceptable by anyone's standard" and lashed out at the government of President Bashar al-Assad for using Hezbollah in the fight against rebels.
"Assad chose to raise the stakes militarily," Kerry said. "He chose to attack the Syrian people, but this time using Iranian supporters and using Hezbollah, which is a terrorist organization.