Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:13 pm
"A pair of American B-52 bombers flew over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea" on Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal, "in a direct challenge to China and its establishment of an expanded air-defense zone."
Citing "U.S. officials" as its sources, the Journal adds that Chinese authorities were not told in advance of the planes' flights.
Back in 2001, the U.S. strongly backed Hamid Karzai as the best man to rebuild Afghanistan after the Taliban had been driven out of power.
Karzai had a solid base among the dominant Pashtun ethnic group. With his fluent English, he seemed at ease with U.S. and other Western leaders. And he appeared reasonable and moderate, in stark contrast to the Taliban's extremism.
Yet today, the Afghan president is a source of endless frustration for the Americans.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has only been in office for a few months, but he's already making waves. He's pushing for a higher minimum wage and immigration reform. Perez speaks with host Michel Martin about his goals for the U.S. labor force.
Around the world today, the powerful "feed upon the powerless" and too many people are treated as "consumer goods to be used and then discarded," Pope Francis writes in his first major paper since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic church last May.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Violence and chaos are gripping the Central African Republic. Some are even warning of genocide there. The violence traces back to a coup led by a Muslim group, the Seleca rebels. Many of them have since gone rouge, targeting Christians who are now forming their own militias.
When Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif confirmed the landmark nuclear deal over the weekend, his announcement not made at a podium or declared in front of television cameras. It was done on Twitter, and that's ironic because the government blocks many Iranians from using sites like Twitter and Facebook. Now, many people in Iran find their way around the restrictions and are able to get on social media.
Many Israelis are critical of the interim deal on Iran's nuclear program, and some are even more worried about what could follow.
"What's important here is that both sides decided: We have to start consulting. Right now," says Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, now head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Across the world, countries make very different investments in the environment. We're not just talking about measures to combat global climate change. We're talking about investments in clean water, forests, biodiversity. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly to share interesting new research, and he's here to tell us about an unexpected factor that seems to influence environmental stewardships. Shankar, welcome back.
People advising President Obama's administration on Afghanistan include John Podesta. Years ago, he was President Clinton's chief of staff. These days, he's chair of the Center for American Progress and part of an effort to offer independent views on Afghanistan to the administration. Last week, he was in that country just before the many delegates to that assembly of elders approved the U.S. presence in the country, after which President Karzai put off signing the deal, anyway.
NPR's business news begins with a new chief at Wal-Mart.
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GREENE: Doug McMillon of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started at Wal-Mart in 1984. It was a summer job, he was unpacking trucks. Yesterday, he was named as the retail giant's new CEO. Not only is the 47-year-old McMillon an insider who rose through the ranks, he's one of the few executives who actually worked under founder Sam Walton.