Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.
Now, to Egypt where there were more indications today that the country's top military chief is preparing to run for president. The armed forces announced on state television that Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi should, in their words, heed the call of the people and run for president in an election expected to be held within the next three months.
NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo. Hi, Leila.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Hi.
SIEGEL: And does this mean that Egypt's military chief is definitely running for president?
The meeting between Syrian government and opposition leaders also brings competing entourages to Geneva. Pro-government reporters and opposition journalists are covering the same events, often in the same room, and it's not pretty. They've sparred, traded insults and even thrown punches.
NPR's Deborah Amos reports on a media war that reflects the passions of the battlefield.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
At the Syria talks in Geneva today, government and opposition representatives held their first face-to-face discussion about a political transition. By the end of the day, United Nations' mediator Lakhdar Brahimi had no progress to report. He urged both sides to focus on the desperate humanitarian situation facing Syrians in several besieged cities.
Marvel is introducing a new character: Kamala Khan. She's a 16-year-old Muslim public high school student in Jersey City. She's also the new Ms. Marvel, and the first Muslim superhero to star in her own mainstream comic book series. Author G. Willow Wilson spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about her new series.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:58 pm
Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. El-Sissi Should Run For President:
NPR's Leila Fadel sends us this update from Cairo:
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi should heed the calls of the people to run for president and that el-Sissi is free act as his conscience guides him. El-Sissi hasn't explicitly declared but what is clear is he will run for president.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:41 am
After three weeks in London, I'm finally starting to understand some local customs and mores. Yet I confess that political cartoons remain a challenge. They often reference obscure government ministers or historical practices in such an oblique way that I totally miss the joke.
So it was with some relief that I stumbled upon a cartoon over the weekend whose meaning was unambiguously clear. In the black-and-white drawing, a glutton with a gaping mouth full of sharp teeth steps on a poor, miserable man, who lies pinned to the floor.