The rumor mills in China are in overdrive this week, with speculation about the health and whereabouts of the heir to China's top leader. Just weeks before Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to be elevated to head of the party, he seems to have disappeared. He's been mysteriously out of sight since last week when he missed an important meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and also the Prime Ministers of Denmark and Singapore.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Let's get the latest, now, from North Africa, in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in both Libya and Egypt. In Cairo, as we saw yesterday, protesters went over a wall and took down an American flag. The far more serious attack was against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where we now know four Americans were killed, including the United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
It's shaping up to be an important day for the European Union and the future of its currency. In the Netherlands, there is a parliamentary election that's expected to be a barometer of Dutch support for staying in the eurozone. Also this morning, a plan was unveiled to give the European Central Bank the power to supervise the big financial institutions in Europe. And, Germany's high court ruled that the European bailout fund is legal.
NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us now from Berlin to talk about this.
The United States' southern border bristles with technology and manpower designed to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Since 1986, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircraft, detention centers and agents.
But even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs, experts say that there's no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex.
Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:26 am
Comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are ratcheting up diplomatic tension between Israel and the United States.
During a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Netanyahu expressed his frustration with how world powers are handling Iran and its nuclear program.
"The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu said.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:21 pm
In the rarefied air of China's leadership circle, anything that strays from strict protocol becomes grist for the rumor mill.
So it is with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Xi Jinping, the presumptive heir to President Hu Jintao.
Xi, 59, has inexplicably missed a series of important meetings with foreign dignitaries in the past week, including one with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Beijing. The last time anyone saw him in public was Sept. 1.
The state of Alabama has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider parts of two opinions that struck down some provisions of Alabama's immigration law.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Monday the state was challenging a three-judge panel's decision to strike down parts of Alabama's law concerning harboring illegal immigrants, contracts and collecting school data on immigrants. Bentley said the court was placing an illegal restraint on state government.
The state is asking the full appeals court to review the three-judge panel's decision.
The presidential candidates are toning it down, we're told, on this 9/11. They'll stop their negative ads, they have said. But, of course, the campaigning will continue all fall. And Mitt Romney spent yesterday in Ohio. Over the weekend, Vice President Biden was there, as well. The Midwestern state is becoming like a second home to candidates in this presidential election season.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.
Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.
When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.
To try to get a sense of what it really means to be the president of the United States, writer Michael Lewis spent six months in President Obama's shadow. Lewis hoped to find out just what it's like to be in the president's shoes — down to something as simple as how he decides what to wear every day.
Egyptians have been struggling economically since the revolution last year that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian pound has remained relatively stable, though, because the central bank shored it up through foreign reserves, which prevented food prices from skyrocketing.
But despite increasing political stability, concerns about the currency remain.
The market has been volatile since Mubarak was ousted, swinging up and down with Egypt's political unrest.