"Although the constitution declares Turkmenistan to be a secular democracy and a presidential republic, the country has an authoritarian government controlled by the president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov."
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an EU summit in Brussels last week. Samaras began his term by refusing to negotiate with with EU leaders, but now calls Merkel an ally.
Credit Yves Logghe / AP
A year into his tenure as prime minister, Antonis Samaras is viewed with suspicion by many Greeks.
Antonis Samaras became prime minister of Greece a year ago, when the world assumed his country, battered by debt and austerity, would exit the eurozone.
European leaders were openly relieved that Samaras' conservative, pro-bailout New Democracy Party eked out a victory in elections last June over the leftist, anti-bailout Syriza Party.
"Today, the Greek people express their will to stay anchored with the euro, remain an integral part of the eurozone, honor the country's commitments and foster growth," Samaras said that night. "This is a victory for all Europe."
"Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the U.S. spied on EU representations in Washington and New York," Germany's Der Spiegel writes. "Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement."
After visiting the jail cell on South Africa's Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during the long struggle against apartheid, President Obama wrote on Sunday about the bravery of Mandela and others who demanded their rights.
In a message he added to the island's visitors book, the president said:
Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Credit Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters/Landov
Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of Morsi opponents poured out onto the streets across much of Egypt, launching an all-out push to force him from office on the first anniversary of his inauguration.
Embassy Row — otherwise known as Massachusetts Avenue — in Washington, D.C., is decorated with flags of every nation, flying in front of impressive embassy buildings.
In front of the embassies, there are often statues of national heroes. Winston Churchill graces the grounds of the British Embassy. Outside the Indian Embassy, Mahatma Gandhi looks as though he's in full stride, clad in loincloth and sandals.
And now, there's a Hindu goddess. Saraswati just arrived. She stands in a garden in front of Indonesia's embassy, glowing white and gold, with her four arms upraised.
Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution from The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, explores what the author Brett Martin describes as the "Third Golden Age of TV," based on a new kind of television character.
Subscription cable channels don't have sensitive sponsors, commercials or concerns about language or violence. In the book, Martin argues that this relative freedom, combined with the old-fashioned appeal of serial storytelling, creates a new kind of high-quality television programming.
Players from other countries bring a tempting amount of uncertainty and risk for U.S. teams. Weekend Edition Sunday host Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Mike Pesca for his take on the past week's sports news.
As you prepare the potato salad for your Fourth of July barbecue or your picnic, stop for a moment and wish your mayonnaise happy birthday. Love it or hate it, there's one brand that synonymous with mayo: Hellmann's.
(SOUNDBITE OF AD)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) When you want to bring out the flavor and bring out the zest, just bring out the Hellman's and bring out the best.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Rachel Martin is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
President Obama is in Cape Town, South Africa this morning. Later today, he'll give the keynote speech of his weeklong trip across the African continent. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president. He joins us with a preview.
Good morning, Ari.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Good morning, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: So first, give us some context. The president is speaking at the University of Cape Town. Is that an important setting?
Palestinians wait for Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian winner of the <em>Arab Idol</em> contest, in front of his family home in the southern Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The cheering for Assaf crossed political and ideological divides.
Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.
It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.
Afghan official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 10. After a month outside the country, NPR's Sean Carberry returned to find some things that had changed, but many, like insurgent violence, that remain the same.
Credit Ahmad Jamshid / AP
An Afghan policeman stands guard at the scene of a suicide car bomber attack that struck outside the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul, on June 11.
I've just returned to Kabul after a month out of the country. In a place where it sometimes feels like nothing changes, a lot has changed.
First, a few oddities. An Afghan businessman on my street apparently bought a lion cub and has been keeping it on his roof. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I have yet to see any of the ubiquitous, dust-caked street dogs in the neighborhood since I returned, but I don't miss them.
On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."
Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?