President Obama traded barbs with Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, but there was no sign that Congress is any closer to re-opening the federal government. At a news conference, Obama warned that the whole world is watching. It is, and so far the reviews aren't good.
Nagwa, Dina and May are sisters. All three are married, all three have children. All three had always been close — until now.
Egypt's political crisis is changing those relationships. Nagwa and May sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood. Dina, on the other hand, supports the military, arguing that the generals are just keeping extremists at bay.
Complain all you want about how sports in the U.S. are run, but the playing fields aren't always greener on the other side.
In Europe, FIFA, the soccer federation, is dealing with problems associated with the 2022 World Cup's timing and venue. For one, after awarding the World Cup to Qatar, those running FIFA wonder now if it'd be better to play the games in winter when it will be cooler — only that's when all the European leagues are operating.
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.
The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.
UNIDENTIFIED BROADCASTER: There were these developments in the Middle East war today. Israel says it has retaken the Golan Heights and has moved into Syria. And in the Sinai, Egypt and Israel are fighting about three miles east of the Suez Canal.
Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:49 am
Iran and Israel are at it again, but at least it's not the nuclear issue. This time it's jeans.
It started last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told BBC's Persian TV that "if the Iranian people had their way, they'd be wearing bluejeans; they'd have Western music; they'd have free elections."
U.S. and Iranian diplomatic relations made a big jump last month when President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke directly by phone. It's the first time an American president has spoken to an Iranian leader in more than three decades. That phone call, of course, wasn't a cure-all. The U.S. and Israel remain concerned about Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear program, among other things.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:49 pm
Imagine a poker table.
At one seat, China's President Xi Jinping studies his cards. At another, Russian President Vladimir Putin is stroking his chin. Asian leaders fill the other seats, each trying to win the pot, which is filled — not with poker chips — but with jobs.
That's the kind of high-stakes game that played out this week in Indonesia, where global leaders got together to discuss trade relations. Their gathering ended Tuesday, and exactly who won what is not yet clear.
But this much is known: President Obama was not at the table.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:44 pm
South Korean officials say they have confirmed that North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that had been shut down in 2007. The news bolsters reports last month that the reactor was operating once again.
In April, North Korea said it would restart the reactor to aid its nuclear weapons program, as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports for our Newscast unit:
"South Korea's National Intelligence Service delivered a report to a parliamentary intelligence committee saying that North Korea's 5-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.