Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He is the co-founder of <a href="http://bigthink.com/blogs/waq-al-waq">Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog</a>.
In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.
This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.
Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a measure that allows President Hugo Chávez to leave the country for medical treatment in Cuba.
Chávez, as we've reported, has been battling cancer for more than a year. His treatments and the secrecy surrounding his condition led some to wonder whether he could handle a rough reelection campaign. But he made a remarkable comeback and handily won another term in October.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:56 pm
After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.
One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.
The results of Alabama's election on Nov. 6 will become official Wednesday.
That's when the state Canvassing Board meets in Montgomery to review the returns from every county and certify the vote totals.
The Canvassing Board consists of Secretary of State Beth Chapman, Gov. Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange, or their representatives. The board will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Chapman's Capitol office.
Alabama's top health officer says state Medicaid is facing a major funding shortfall.
The director of the Alabama Department of Public Health, Dr. Don Williamson, says federal changes will add $30 million to the state's Medicaid funding needs for 2014.
The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/TdPa3M ) reports that state officials didn't know about the additional cost when voters approved using $437 million from a state fund to plug the Medicaid budget in September.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the novel "The Round House" won this year's National Book Award for fiction. We'll talk with author Louise Erdrich about the story and the award. That's just ahead.
Let's turn now to the urgent diplomatic efforts underway. Secretary of State Clinton is now in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian leaders in efforts to reach a ceasefire. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us from Cairo to discuss the latest.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: So what do you know about what's happening on the diplomatic front today there in Cairo?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As the story goes, pardoning a turkey dates back to Lincoln, when his young son Tad begged his father to let the White House Thanksgiving meal live. Today, President Obama pardons two turkeys - Cobbler and Gobbler. Ahead of their big moment, the birds have been staying at the swanky W hotel, nibbling on organic meals prepared by the hotel's chef. And once pardoned, the turkeys will retire to Mount Vernon. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:58 am
After a week of bloodshed, Israel and fighters in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip agreed to "hold fire" beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a joint news conference this afternoon with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Egypt had been trying to broker a truce to end the exchange of rockets and air strikes between Israel and militants in Gaza.
We'll post more on the agreement, which was announced at 12:35 p.m. ET., as the story develops.
Afghan officials welcomed the release of Taliban prisoners by Pakistan in an attempt to jump-start a shaky peace process with the militant group. But many Afghans are wondering about the timing and the motive. They say mistrust born of decades of duplicity won't vanish with a few declarations or small gestures.
Secretary-General of the Afghan High Peace Council Mohammad Stanekzai was part of the delegation that recently traveled to Pakistan to discuss how the countries can cooperate and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.
There has been a small but potentially important breakthrough in the faltering Afghan peace process. In what is considered a good-faith gesture, Pakistan last week released at least nine Afghan Taliban prisoners. The move is seen as part of an emerging new strategy by Pakistan as it eyes the looming drawdown of U.S. and Western troops in Afghanistan.