Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:46 pm
This post was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET.
The United States and European Union say they will lift some sanctions against Iran after reports from international inspectors that Tehran has suspended high-level enrichment of uranium under an interim pact to scale back its nuclear program.
Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:06 am
This post was updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn an invitation to Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks after groups opposing President Bashar Assad's regime threatened a boycott of the discussions if Tehran got a seat at the table.
Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:38 pm
American missionary Kenneth Bae, who's been held for more than a year in North Korea following his arrest and trial on espionage charges, spoke to reporters for Western media on Monday, calling for the U.S. government to help win his freedom.
Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:00 pm
Can a meeting in Switzerland, known as Geneva-2, solve the crisis in Syria?
The expectations are low. The warring parties are reluctant. Some of the most important players, including powerful armed rebel groups, are not on the invitation list.
The superpower hosts, the U.S. and Russia, fully back the peace conference, set for Wednesday. They hope to kick-start a political process and end the armed conflict that has ravaged Syria and destabilized the region.
Day one of a six-month period of reduced Iranian nuclear activity and a slight easing of economic sanctions begins Monday. The interim accord may be a high-water mark for nuclear diplomacy, but soon negotiators must begin to fashion a comprehensive nuclear accord in the face of widespread skepticism.
Each side is sniping at the other's interpretation of the relatively modest steps agreed to thus far.
Syrian opposition groups threatened to skip the talks on ending Syria's civil war after the United Nations invited Iran to attend. The U.S. is also trying to figure out if Iran would agree to terms calling for an end to the Assad regime. Renee Montagne talks to Rami Khouri, director of the Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut.
In South Sudan, the fighting that began in December continues between groups loyal to two powerful rivals: President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, his former vice president. The conflict, which has left thousands dead, and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes caught many by surprise. It was just a short time ago - 2011 - that South Sudan became an independent nation after a decades-long rebellion against Sudan.
Non-governmental organizations and restaurants are raising security protocols in the Afghan capital Kabul after last week's attack on a popular Lebanese restaurant. Twenty-one people, mostly foreigners, were killed. Some members of the international community say they anticipate more violence as elections draw closer.
A quarterly review over the past 11 years of NPR's coverage of Israel and the Palestinians—a self-assessment that may be unique in the annals of American journalism—comes to an end with the attached last report that finds lack of completeness but strong factual accuracy and no systematic bias.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Rhinoceros horns now sell for more on the black market than cocaine or heroin. Demand from Southeast Asian consumers is primarily to blame. In order to cash in, thieves have begun targeting a different kind of rhino habitat: museums. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with journalist Adam Higginbotham about the so-called "Rathkeale Rovers," a gang suspected of several thefts.
On Monday, the nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran officially kicks in. But this agreement is just a first step in a long negotiation process. NPR's Arun Rath talks to Karim Sadjadpour, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about what to expect from additional disarmament talks.
Last year, revelations that the U.S. had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone soured relations between the two allies. In Europe, President Obama's recommendations to reign in the NSA when it comes to listening to foreign leaders was met with a lukewarm reaction. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that Germans are especially skeptical that the changes will mean an end to American eavesdropping.
Time now for another episode of archrival series, Wingin' It. This week, we introduce you to an 87-something-year-old British sailor who has racked up approximately 300,000 nautical miles; sometimes with no crew, just him and his 42-foot yacht, Fiona.
We're going to turn our attention now to piracy. There have been a string of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia over the past few years. One was the basis of an Oscar-nominated film starring Tom Hanks.
The deal is only an interim one, but it is the first step in yet another effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, who does not believe that this deal is a good one. Pletka is the co-author of Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. In a close vote, Syria's political opposition agreed to attend peace talks this week in Switzerland. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the decision as courageous. The vote clears the way for the first face-to-face negotiations in a war that has devastated Syria and destabilized the region. NPR's Deborah Amos has been following the latest developments from Beirut. Good morning, Deb.