Soldiers march during a graduation ceremony for recruits of the Libyan army in Tripoli, the capital, on Jan. 16. The military, gutted by years under Moammar Gadhafi and by NATO attacks, faces multiple challenges as it tries to rebuild.
Credit Ismail Zitouny / Reuters/Landov
These are among the some 230 men undergoing military training at a camp outside Tripoli. On the day NPR visited, a gun battle raged about a mile away. No one intervened.
Credit Leila Fadel / NPR
A member of a heavily armed militia group is seen with his weapon in Freedom Square in Benghazi, Libya, on Feb. 18. Many of the militias are actually on the government payroll.
Credit Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters/Landov
A batch of former rebels who have joined the Libyan army board a plane in Tripoli on Jan. 9. They were headed to Italy to receive training.
Credit Mahmud Turkia / AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Libyan police special forces holds his weapon as he and another stand atop a vehicle at Martyrs' Square, also known as Green Square, in Tripoli, on Nov. 21.
On a recent day, just west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, gunfire erupts, a battle between two families. It builds for hours; people run for cover. No one intervenes — even though a Libyan army base is just a mile away.
Inside that military camp in a town called Zawiya are 230 young men from across the North African nation, part of the government effort to address the country's most glaring problem: an almost nonexistent security force.
An anti-Yanukovych protester holds a Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Tuesday. The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to turn prosecution of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych over to The Hague.
The whereabouts of Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych remain unkown, but the country's opposition-led Parliament says any war crimes prosecution of the former leader would come in The Hague's International Criminal Court.
The opposition, which took control after Yanukovych fled the capital, has not yet formed a government. But its leaders have said they want to ensure the former president and other officials are held accountable for the deaths of protesters during months of demonstrations.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit from Kiev:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
Huge protests have engulfed Venezuela for several weeks now. The protests started with students and expanded to the middle class. Venezuelans angered by an economy in freefall, high inflation, and soaring rates of crime. At least 15 people have been killed and about 150 injured during the demonstrations.
Norwegians love winter sports. Their haul of 26 medals in Sochi placed them third behind Russia and the U.S., a disproportionate haul. So you might think people in Oslo would be thrilled that their city is a likely contender to host the 2022 Winter Games.
But Sidsel Overgaard found that's not always the case.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: It's a brisk night in Oslo, a new dusting of snow on the ground. In the city center, mittened children scrape and twirl on an outdoor rink, torn up by a day's hard use.
Separatist rhetoric is perhaps strongest in Crimea, the strategic peninsula that's home to Russia's Black Sea Naval fleet. Crimea used to be part of Russia, but in 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine. Ethnic Russians are a majority in Crimea and the region tilts toward Moscow. Paul Sonne is in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol reporting for The Wall Street Journal and he joins me now. Paul, welcome to the program.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. It took nearly three months for Ukraine's people to overthrow their government and now the opposition is running into problems as it tries to build a replacement with infighting among the various parties. Meantime, the Ukrainian economy is in a shambles. The country is on the verge of default.
Clara Rojas waves as she arrives at an airport near Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 10, 2008, after being released from six years of captivity by Colombian rebels.
Credit Gregorio Marrero / AP
Clara Rojas, right, was held for six years by Colombian guerrillas. During that time, she nearly died during childbirth and had her son taken away from her. Rojas, who is now running for Congress, is shown here in 2012 speaking with relatives of people kidnapped or forcibly recruited by Colombian rebels.
Credit Guillermo Legaria / AFP/Getty Images
Clara Rojas embraces her son, Emmanuel, at a foster center in Bogota on Jan. 13, 2008. He had been taken from his mother by the guerrillas holding her, and they were apart for three years until her release.
Politicians on the campaign trail love to talk about their personal stories and they often mention their kids as well. It can be pretty routine stuff, unless you happen to be Clara Rojas, a candidate for Congress in Colombia's elections next month.
Rojas, a lawyer, was a central figure in one of the most dramatic episodes of Colombia's long guerrilla war. In 2002, she was managing the presidential campaign of Ingrid Betancourt when both women were kidnapped by Marxist rebels.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 12:16 pm
President Obama told Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that he has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to have all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.
But at the same time, Obama opened the door to the U.S. staying in the Central Asian nation even if Karzai hasn't signed a newly negotiated "Bilateral Security Agreement" before the end of April — the month of scheduled presidential elections in Afghanistan and what had been something of a deadline set by U.S. officials.
On 'Morning Edition' in 2006: Part II of an interview with Moazzam Begg
Nine years after his release from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a British-born man named Moazzam Begg is once again in custody and being questioned about alleged ties to terrorists.
Begg was one of four people arrested Tuesday in Birmingham, England, British authorities tell Reuters and other news outlets.
Cattle graze at a Brazilian Agricultural Research experimental farm in Planaltina in Goias state. To reduce emissions from deforestation, the Brazilian government is experimenting with grazing on integrated forest and pasture lands.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:31 am
We Americans are heavy consumers of meat, and we're increasingly reminded that eating less of it will shrink our carbon footprint. Growing the crops to feed all those animals releases lots of greenhouse gases.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:00 pm
This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET
We told you Monday about Uganda's president signing a controversial bill that makes gay sex punishable by terms of up to life in prison. Well, a day later, a Ugandan tabloid has published a list of what it calls the country's "top" 200 homosexuals.
Drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman is one of the major villains in Chicago's heroin epidemic, and his recent arrest in Mexico is sparking a debate over how the city's drug trade will be affected.
Chicago is the heroin hub for the Midwest, with cartels often using stash houses in quiet, residential neighborhoods. Last fall, for example, Chicago police raided a cute, quaint two-story house on the southwest side of the city and allegedly seized about $10 million worth of heroin.
Jockeys take their camels home after racing in Egypt's El Arish desert. The annual race draws competitors from around the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, where camels carry the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus.
Speaking by telephone Monday, top military officials from NATO and the Russian government discussed the situation in Ukraine, with both sides expressing their concerns. NATO says it respects Ukraine's sovereignty – and it hopes it's not alone.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Last week, Viktor Yanukovych was Ukraine's head of state. Today, he's a wanted fugitive. The acting interior minister issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of mass murder. Yanukovych's main backer, meanwhile, is stepping up its criticism of the upheaval that has swept through Ukraine.
And to hear how the Russians view events in Ukraine, we turn now to Andranik Migranyan. He's a political scientist and director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation. That's a Russian-funded think tank in New York with close ties to Russia's leadership. Welcome to the program once again, Mr. Migranyan.
ANDRANIK MIGRANYAN: Yeah, thank you for having me.
SIEGEL: And first, who in Russian eyes is considered legitimate to lead Ukraine at this point?
The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday.
"The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.
The opening to one of the many tunnels that authorities discovered were used by Guzman as escape routes. The neighborhood of La Libertad is known for its complex drainage system, which provided easy access in and out of various safe houses.
Credit Encarni Pindado / for NPR
Attendee at the shrine of Jesus Malverde, an icon in Sinaloa. His existence is disputed but he is legendary in Mexico, and is said to have been a Robin Hood-like bandit who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Although not officially recognized by the Catholic church, he is venerated as a saint, particularly in "narco" culture and in Sinaloa.
Credit Encarni Pindado / for NPR
Mariachis playing at the shrine of Jesus Malverde.
Credit Encarni Pindado / for NPR
A soldier picks up a fake cucumber commonly used by cartels to smuggle drugs. Four days after Guzman's capture, Mexican marines raided a ranch in Culiacan, where they found a pit filled with empty plastic cucumbers.
Credit Encarni Pindado / for NPR
Federal police and marines encircle an area at the ranch Culiacan where they found the empty plastic cucumbers.
Drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo," was formally charged on Monday with violating drug trafficking laws in Mexico. While officials celebrate his capture, many in his home state of Sinaloa — who viewed the kingpin as a helper of the poor and a keeper of the peace — are not as pleased.
People pass by a portrait of prominent opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday. Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, is one of the leaders who have emerged after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, but she is also a controversial figure.
Credit Marko Drobnjakovic / AP
A Russian flag flies outside the state and city administration building in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Monday.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The Winter Olympics games closed yesterday with a spectacular display of fireworks, dance and music, including a thousand children singing the Russian national anthem.