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World News
11:38 am
Tue January 15, 2013

In War-Torn Aleppo, Old Doors That Reflect A Grand Tradition

Syria door
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 12:37 pm

Aleppo's storied old city, which dates to the 12th century, has suffered much in the fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels over the past few months. But parts of the city remain intact, as I saw on a recent walk through the winding, stone alleys on the way to the front line.

Centuries ago, it took Muslims from this area months in a caravan to make the pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, which is now part of Saudi Arabia.

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World News
10:59 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Pakistan's Latest Political Crisis: Court Orders Arrest Of Prime Minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Waqar Hussein EPA /LANDOV

"The news that the [country's] Supreme Court had called for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf ran through Pakistan like an electric current Tuesday afternoon," The Christian Science Monitor writes from Islamabad.

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World News
12:29 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Saudi King Invites Women To Join The Debate ... From Another Room

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, shown last November, has appointed women for the first time to a top advisory body. But in a country where the sexes are strictly segregated, the women will meet in a separate room from the men.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:45 pm

King Abdullah kept a promise to Saudi Arabia's women last week, when he appointed 30 of them to four-year terms in the new Consultative Assembly, the pseudo-legislature that advises the monarch on laws and regulations.

As usual with such developments in Saudi Arabia, there is a catch: The women will have to meet in a room separate from the men.

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World News
9:31 am
Mon January 14, 2013

'Biggest Gathering On Earth' Begins In India; Kumbh Mela May Draw 100 Million

Hindu devotees prayed and washed as they attended the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at the opening of the Kumbh Mela festival today in Allahabad, India.
Jitendra Prakash Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Imagine one-third of the entire U.S. population — 100 million or so people — visiting Dallas in the next 55 days.

That gives you a sense of what began today in Allahabad, India, a northern city of about 1.1 million people. Over about the next eight weeks it is expected to host nearly 100 times its population in pilgrims (not all at once, obviously). They're coming for the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, which happens every 12 years.

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World News
7:36 am
Mon January 14, 2013

As French Claim Gains In Mali, Islamists Vow To Strike Back

This photo, released on Saturday by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD), shows French Mirage 2000 D jets flying over Mali.
ECPAD Xinhua /Landov

On this fourth day of French military operations aimed at routing Islamist militants in Mali, the al-Qaida-linked rebels are "vowing to drag France into a long and brutal ground war," Reuters reports.

"France has opened the gates of hell for all the French. She has fallen into a trap which is much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia," a spokesman for the MUJWA Islamist group told Europe 1 radio, the wire service writes.

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World News
4:26 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Beijing's 'Airpocalypse' Spurs Pollution Controls, Public Pressure

A woman helps adjust a mask for her friend outside an amusement park on a hazy day in Beijing on Saturday.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:39 pm

In China's capital, they're calling it the "airpocalypse," with air pollution that's literally off the charts. The air has been classified as hazardous to human health for a fifth consecutive day, at its worst hitting pollution levels 25 times that considered safe in the U.S. The entire city is blanketed in a thick grey smog that smells of coal and stings the eyes, leading to official warnings to stay inside.

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World News
7:14 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Mubarak Granted Appeal Of His Life Sentence

Egyptians supporters of ousted former President Hosni Mubarak celebrate an appeal granted by a court in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 1:16 pm

An Egyptian court overturned a life sentence against ousted President Hosni Mubarak and ordered a retrial for the former autocrat.

The decision to retry the strongman who was serving a life sentence for failing to stop the killing of protesters came as no surprise. When the judge overseeing the original case made his ruling last June, he criticized the prosecution for failing to produce concrete evidence against the leadership.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Fleeing Violence, Syrian Refugees Weather A Cruel Winter

Some of the worst winter weather in decades is making life even more difficult for the residents of the al-Marj refugee camp. Some Syrians who fled violence and shelling say after living in such harsh conditions, they wish they could go back.
Susannah George NPR

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 3:32 pm

Lebanon has had some of the worst winter weather in decades. First, record rainfalls flooded the low-lying part of the country, then ice and show bent trees and blocked roads. The frigid conditions are making it even harsher for Syrian refugees trying to take shelter from the violence in their home country.

The al-Marj refugee camp sits wedged between snow-covered vineyards, a community center and an unfinished warehouse in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, just a 10-minute drive from the Syrian border.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Failed French Rescue Attempt Leaves Several Dead In Somalia

In October, kidnapped French intelligence agent Denis Allex appeared in a video shot by his captors. In the video, Allex pleads for French President Francois Hollande to negotiate for his release.
- AFP/Getty Images

It's not clear whether a French intelligence agent is dead or alive after a botched rescue attempt in Somalia on Saturday morning. As the AP reports:

"France says the agent, code-name Denis Allex, was killed in the raid, along with a French commando and 17 Islamist militants. But the militant group al-Shabab, which held Allex for more than three years, says it still has Allex and claims to have captured a French soldier."

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Shots - Health News
5:34 am
Sat January 12, 2013

After Bringing Cholera To Haiti, U.N. Plans To Get Rid Of It

Haitians protest against the United Nations peacekeepers in Port-au-Prince in November 2010.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:11 pm

Not quite 10 months after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, a more insidious disaster struck: cholera.

Haiti hadn't seen cholera for at least a century. Then suddenly, the first cases appeared in the central highlands near a camp for United Nations peacekeeping forces.

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