This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Of course somebody needed to mark the occasion today by setting off a bomb. It was Afghanistan, where what is hoped will be a turning point was reached today when a ceremony was held in which the Afghan government officially took control of the nation's security, meaning that the U.S., which still has nearly 70,000 troops there, swaps into what is called a support role. Same for some of the 30,000 troops from other NATO nations.
A mass protest in Sao Paulo on Monday night was one of several across the country where demonstrators raised a host of grievances. Some demonstrators said they drew their inspiration from the protests in Turkey.
Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:40 am
They are young, they are angry and they have drawn inspiration from protest movements a world away in places like Turkey and the Middle East.
Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets across the country Monday night, and more demonstrations are slated for the coming week. Brazil doesn't have a history of this kind of mass dissent, but it seems to be catching on very quickly.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, data mining and privacy issues are in the news. But we want to talk about some data that could affect your life in ways you might not have considered. We're talking about your credit reports and we'll talk about how errors can appear and cost you plenty, and what to do about that. That's coming up later in the program.
At a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, NATO officially handed over security of Afghanistan to the country's forces. It marked the first time the whole nation has been under Afghan control since the coalition invaded to oust the Taliban in 2001.
From Brussels, Teri Schultz filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Afghan forces are now leading security operations all over the country, as NATO-led forces gradually drop back into a supporting role in the remaining, most difficult, districts.
Just because a government is democratically elected does not mean it is immune to protest. We've been watching demonstrations and the government response in Turkey. And now the demonstrations we're about to hear about took place in Brazil.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. It's easy for us to overlook, given the violence elsewhere in the Middle East, but violence in Iraq has risen sharply. Since the start of April, more than 2,000 people have been killed in car bombings and other attacks. Iraq has not seen that level of killing since the worst of the sectarian war back in 2006 and 2007. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.
A supporter holds a sign with pictures of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked details about the agency's surveillance programs, and Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan during a protest outside the Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong on June 15. Snowden has been holed up in Hong Kong since the leaks.
Libyan presenters work at the studio of Radio Zone in Tripoli, Libya, in 2012. The radio station's owners hope to teach a new generation about democracy.
Credit Mahmud Turkia / AFP/Getty Images
Libyan technicians work at the studio of Radio Zone in 2012, in Tripoli. The station's presenters are not afraid to speak out against militias formed in the uprising against Gadhafi, and continue to challenge the post-revolutionary government.
In his speech in Belfast, President Obama talked at length about the transformation of that city from conflict zone to a city bustling with normal healthy daily life. He got the biggest burst of applause when he tossed in a bit of Irish vernacular.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Students lounge at cafes asking each other, what's the crack?
BLOCK: What's the crack? Translation, how you doin'? Are you having fun?
OBAMA: So to paraphrase Seamus Hayden(ph), it's the manifestation of sheer bloody genius. This island is now chic.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Today, the new president of Iran vowed to follow the path of moderation and justice, not extremism. Hasan Rowhani talked of enhancing mutual trust between Iran and other countries. That marks a stark change in rhetoric from that of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rowhani campaigned as a reformist. He's also a cleric and Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator, who became known as the Diplomat Sheikh.
In Pakistan, a new government started work this month. It faces a country awash in conflict. To get a sense of just how complicated it is to govern Pakistan, NPR's Philip Reeves focused on one 48-hour period. He chose this past weekend.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: For many Pakistanis, this was supposed to be a fun weekend. Their national cricket team was playing the old enemy, India.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. We begin this hour with the annual Group of 8 summit in Northern Ireland. Today, President Obama and the other G8 leaders huddled at a resort there. Among the many topics, the bloody civil war in Syria. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down to talk about Syria, acknowledging that they have, as Mr. Obama said, differing perspectives.
Iran's newly elected president, Hasan Rowhani, gave a news conference in the capital Tehran on Monday. He said he would pursue a path of moderation.
Credit Ebrahim Noroozi / AP
Hasan Rowhani's victory in Iran's presidential election produced street celebrations in Tehran on Saturday, in sharp contrast to the weeks of violent protests that followed a disputed election four years ago. Rowhani is being hailed as a moderate, though hard-line clerics are still seen as the most powerful force in the country.
Ever since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, the U.S. has been in search of moderate Iranian leaders who could steer the country away from its hostile standoff with America.
To cite one famous example, President Ronald Reagan's administration secretly sold weapons to Iran in the mid-1980s in the belief it could work with the country's "moderate" elements even as Iran remained under the control of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
In Tehran today, the first news conference of Iran's president-elect ended abruptly when a man in the audience jumped up to protest the absence of the man many believe was elected president four years ago, Mir-Hossein Mousavi has been held under house arrest since 2011. And after the interruption, President-elect Hasan Rouhani left the stage and state television pulled the plug on the live broadcast.
The Deserters is Charles Glass' second book relating to World War II. His last book, Americans in Paris, told the story of the U.S. citizens who remained in the French capital after the 1940 German invasion.
Credit Penguin Press
John Bain, shown above in 1940, is one of the men Glass profiles in The Deserters.
Credit Penguin Press
Bain, show above at 85 in 2007, deserted from the Gordon Highlanders.
Few citizens are more honored than military veterans, and there's particular reverence for those who defeated the Nazis in World War II. Like any war, however, World War II was complicated and traumatic for those on the ground, and not a few deserted from the front lines.
A 2013 Accord is ready to come off the line at the Honda automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 2012. Accords built at the 4,400-employee plant are shipped to South Korea — an example of the importance of trade to manufacturing jobs.
Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:13 am
If economists were cheerleaders, their favorite shout-out might be: "What do we want? Growth! When do we want it? Now!"
They won't actually shout those words, but they may be thinking them as global leaders meet this week for a G-8 summit. Economists are hoping that at the gathering in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight major economies will discuss expanding global trade and investment to spur job creation.
This is Morning Edition from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. After weeks of protest, security forces in Turkey carried out a violent crackdown yesterday, arresting hundreds of people in Istanbul and other cities around the country. Riot police tear gassed protesters who were trying to return to Istanbul's Taksim Square Sunday.
Syria's Arab neighbors are increasingly being drawn into that country's conflict. Over the weekend, the Egyptian president cut all diplomatic ties with Syria and called for a no-fly zone to protect rebels there.
In Jordan - right next door to Syria - King Abdullah told graduates at the country's military academy that he would defend against any spillover from the fighting. That followed a Pentagon decision to base Patriot missiles and a squadron of F-16 fighter planes in the country.
And let's stay in this part of the world. Over the weekend, Iran overwhelmingly elected a new president, a man seen by many as a reformer. More than half the voters in that country opted for this change.
The relatively moderate cleric, Hassan Rouhani, replaces Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who's been in power since 2005. Rouhani campaigned on a message of ending Iran's international isolation.
For reaction from Tehran, we're joined by The New York Times bureau chief there, Thomas Erdbrink.
Calling it an era of wisdom and moderation, Iran's new president, Hasan Rowhani, vowed to integrate the country back into the international community and asked Western nations to adopt a more "respectful rhetoric" toward Iran.
His triumph Saturday with 18 million votes, slightly over half of the cast ballots, surprised many Iranians who had suspected that the leadership would repeat the controversial elections of 2009 that led to the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. By accepting Rowhani's victory, the regime may be taking a step to restore some of its lost legitimacy.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday defended his order to forcibly evict thousands of anti-government protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square, saying he had simply carried out his "duty" as the nation's leader.
In a speech to hundreds of thousands of supporters, Erdogan also railed against foreign media coverage and social media amid criticism of his government's handling of the protests, The Associated Press reports.
Pakistani security personnel inspect a burned-out bus on Sunday, a day after it was destroyed by a bomb attack in Quetta. The bus was carrying students from the region's only university for women. Fourteen women died.
Credit Banaras Khan / AFP/Getty Images
In a pre-dawn attack southeast of Quetta on Saturday, millitants destroyed the building where Pakistan's founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, spent his final days.
Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 11:36 am
There is no more graphic example of the daunting challenges facing Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, than the bloody events playing out in the west of his nation.
Just over a week after Sharif was sworn in for a third term, at least 24 people were killed in a day of violence that underscored the threat presented by violent militancy to the fabric of the Pakistani state.
Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 10:41 am
Jordan's King Abdullah says his country stands ready to respond to any threat from a spillover of the civil war in neighboring Syria, a day after the U.S. announced it would leave fighter jets and Patriot missiles in his country after joint military exercises end this week.
"If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," Abdullah said, speaking to graduating military cadets.
Hasan Rowhani's stunning presidential election victory in Iran has opened the door for improved relations with the West, but the U.S. and Israel remain cautious about making progress on their key demand — dismantling Iran's nuclear program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the international community "must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program."