Pakistan faces even more political uncertainty. The country's supreme court today found the prime minister guilty of contempt of court. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had resisted demands by the court that he press authorities in Switzerland to pursue money laundering charges there against his boss, the president of Pakistan. NPR's Julie McCarthy has been following this story. She was at the court in Islamabad.
As we just heard from Jackie, most drone strikes are in areas along the border with Afghanistan, places overrun in recent years by the Pakistani Taliban and other radical groups. And our next guest is using a form of soft power to fight terrorism there: mothers. Mossarat Qadeem is deploying mothers to pull their sons back from militancy.
In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, thousands of African immigrants, many of them small-scale clothing traders from Nigeria, have come seeking business opportunities. One of the Nigerian traders, who goes by his "designer name" of Niceguy, is shown here in the city's Little Africa neighborhood.
Credit Nina Porzucki for NPR
The Little Africa neighborhood in Guangzhou is dominated by African immigrants who run the shops and stalls, but many customers are Chinese.
Credit Nina Porzucki for NPR
A trader who goes by the name Fortunato — he says it's his "designer name" — stands outside one of the clothing shops in the Little Africa section of Guangzhou. He's been living in the Chinese city for five years.
China and Africa have become major trading partners in recent years. Chinese companies have made a big push into Africa seeking raw materials like oil. And enterprising Africans now travel to China to buy cheap goods at the source and ship them home. Today, the city of Guangzhou, near Hong Kong, is home to some 10,000 Africans, the largest such community in China. The city's Little Africa neighborhood is a world unto itself, with restaurants specializing in African food to money changers who deal in the Nigerian currency.
A sign stands in front of a bank-owned home in Las Vegas. Housing counselors say the $25 billion mortgage settlement between major banks and the states has yet to make an impact in communities around the U.S.
Earlier this month, a judge approved a settlement between five major banks and nearly all of the state attorneys general. The banks admitted to taking shortcuts — or "robo-signing" documents — as they pushed through some foreclosures.
Most of the $25 billion settlement is supposed to go toward reducing mortgage payments for some troubled homeowners. But lots of other programs have promised to help struggling homeowners in the past, and results have been disappointing.
Keith Ballard, right, of the Vancouver Canucks is tripped by Colin Fraser of the Los Angeles Kings for a penalty during game in Los Angeles on April 18. Researchers studying hockey penalties found that teams wearing black jerseys were far more likely to draw penalties than teams wearing other colored or white jerseys.
Hockey teams wearing darker-colored jerseys are more likely to be penalized for aggressive fouls than teams wearing white jerseys, according to new research. Teams wearing black jerseys in particular get penalized the most, according to an analysis that may offer a window into the hidden psychological dynamics of the ongoing NHL playoffs.
Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.
Now they face a new cyberthreat: Iran.
"[The Iranians] have all the resources and the capabilities necessary to be a major player in terms of cyberwarfare," says Jeffrey Carr, an expert on cyberconflict who has consulted for the U.S. Department of Defense.
It's dinnertime at a bustling Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Little Africa neighborhood of Guangzhou, in southern China. Chinese schoolgirls nibble on fries, a grandmother feeds her grandson, and Kelvin Njubigbo stares at a single wing on his tray. His foot, wrapped in a gauze bandage, juts out from the table.
"Everything is risk in life," repeats Njubigbo. "It's all risk from the beginning to the last."
A majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled Wednesday that they will uphold at least part of Arizona's controversial immigration law. Four provisions of the law were blocked by a federal appeals court last year, and while even some of the court's conservatives expressed skepticism about some of those provisions, a majority seemed willing to unblock the so-called "show me your papers" provisions.
Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:52 pm
The Republican primaries were certainly fun while they lasted, especially for political journalists and junkies for whom the intramural fighting generated no shortage of interesting and sometimes bizarre story lines.
But President Obama's campaign aides were all but certain from the start that they would be running against Mitt Romney. That was one of the few areas of agreement between the former Massachusetts governor's campaign and the Obama people.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks to the press during a visit to camp Andalusia for internally displaced people from southern Sudan, some 30 kms south of the capital Khartoum.
Over the past year and a half, the world has seen crisis after crisis. Today, NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke to António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, mostly about the crisis in Sudan.
But at one point during their talk, Guterres rattled off the crises they've dealt with since the beginning of 2011: The Ivory Coast, Libya, Syria, Yemen, both a famine and conflict in the Horn of Africa, Mali and now Syria is flaring up again.
Los Angeles police form a line to keep a crowd from entering a building on April 30, 1992. Twenty years after the L.A. riots, most civil rights and community groups give the LAPD high marks for progress.
Credit Jonathan Nourok / AFP/Getty Images
LAPD Chief Daryl Gates (right) and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley respond to the rioting that began on April 30, 1992, after four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.
Credit Nick Ut / AP
Former LAPD Chief William Bratton is credited with setting the first substantive department reforms in motion during his seven-year tenure.
It's been 20 years since Los Angeles erupted in riots following the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. There have been many changes in the city since those days of fire, looting and public discord, but perhaps the biggest changes can be seen in L.A.'s police department.
On a drive around the heart of South Central L.A., there are still plenty of weed-filled lots where businesses that burned down in the riots used to stand. There's also still a lot of crime.
Members of the Syrian opposition walk with a U.N. observer during a visit by monitors to the restive city of Homs, Syria, on April 21. Opposition activists say observers appear to help bring calm if they stay in an area. Two monitors have been deployed in Homs for the past several days.
Credit SANA via AP
A U.N. observer (left) speaks with Syrian citizens during their visit to the pro-Syrian regime neighborhoods, in Homs province, central Syria, on April 23.
Syrians walk in an alley damaged by Syrian army shelling in the Bab Sbaa neighborhood in Homs province, central Syria, on April 21.
The U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Syria keeps unraveling. Syrian government troops were supposed to pull their tanks and soldiers out of cities and towns, while rebels were supposed to lay down their arms.
Yet hundreds of people have died in recent days, according to activists. And in some areas, visits by U.N. observers have been followed by intense violence.
Newt Gingrich has experienced a long slide since March 6, when he won Georgia's Republican primary. It was his second and final victory of the campaign season, but Gingrich fought to stay in the race through a Southern strategy that never caught on.
On Wednesday, a source close to the Gingrich campaign told NPR that he would officially suspend his campaign next week, and was likely to formally endorse Mitt Romney.
Hikers arrive at the post office in Caratunk, Maine, in 2011. Some of the rural post offices the U.S. Postal Service may close are relied on by Appalachian Trail hikers for supply drops on their trip from Georgia to Maine.
The U.S. Postal Service is so much a part of this country, it's in the Constitution. And yet with so much written communication now delivered via email, text messages and the Internet, the Postal Service is steadily losing business and operating in the red.
Most people wouldn't think of Washington, D.C., as one of R&B's great cities. Despite the fact that soul music greats Marvin Gaye and Roberta Flack grew up in D.C. neighborhoods, the city never had the equivalent of Detroit's Berry Gordy and Motown, or Memphis' Willie Mitchell and Hi Records. But in the early 1970s, D.C. did have producer Robert Williams and his Red, Black and Green Productions. A new compilation album called Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production revisits Williams' influence on the sound of R&B in D.C.
Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:10 am
Allegations that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid local authorities to speed up permits to build new stores could result in a trial and a huge financial penalty under a U.S. anti-corruption law. But legal experts who spoke to NPR have their doubts it will ever come to that.
Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 2:42 pm
Making a living practicing medicine is more complicated and frustrating than ever. But it still pays. And pretty well.
A survey of more than 24,000 doctors conducted online for Medscape, a doctor-oriented information service of WebMD, finds that their average annual pay ranges from $156,000 for pediatricians, the lowest-paid specialty, to $315,000 for the top earners.
Members of a civil war amputee soccer team practice on a beach in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, in April 2006. Rebel groups, allegedly aided by former Liberian President Charles Taylor during Sierra Leone's brutal 1991-2002 civil war, were known for their gruesome practice of hacking off limbs.
Credit Ben Curtis / AP
Liberian President Charles Taylor, shown here in the capital Monrovia in 2003, is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity — including murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers — in neighboring Sierra Leone. A verdict is expected Thursday.
A court in the Netherlands is set to deliver a verdict Thursday in a case involving a former head of state charged with international war crimes.
Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, is on trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, Netherlands. He is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity — including murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers — in neighboring Sierra Leone.
Tens of thousands died during Sierra Leone's vicious civil war, one that was infamous for the brutal hacking off of limbs.
As I write this, it's about 1 a.m. in Nepal and, according to National Geographic magazine's iPad app, a group of climbers is camped on the side of Mount Everest, possibly sleeping (though we can't be totally sure), at nearly 21,000 feet. They expect to make a final summit push in early May.
Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:17 pm
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed is ready to implement "balance sheet actions if necessary."
That means if the Federal Open Market Committee feels that the economic recovery is in danger, it is ready to implement a third round of quantitative easing, or bond purchases intended to bring down long-term interest rates and spur borrowing and spending.
"If appropriate... we remain entirely prepared to take additional action," the chairman said. "We will not hesitate to use them."
Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 3:17 pm
At airports, train stations and other public places across the nation, the Department of Homeland Security's "See Something, Say Something" campaign has encouraged people to report suspicious activity in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. But a recent government survey found citizens are not jumping in to report others.
Mitt Romney swept all five primaries on Tuesday, solidifying his hold on the GOP presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich made a last stand in Delaware, but came up short and aides to the former House speaker say he plans to suspend his campaign soon and will likely endorse Romney.