Afghans carry the coffin of Afghanistan High Peace Council head and former President Burhanuddin Rabbani during his burial ceremony in Kabul, Sept. 23. A suicide bomber assassinated Rabbani on Sept. 20, which further complicates the thorny issue of negotiating with the Taliban.
Credit Shah Marai / AFP/Getty Images
Ethnic Tajik warloard Rabbani (shown here in January) was considered a bitter enemy of the Taliban and other Pashtun factions. His selection to the High Peace Council a year ago surprised many people.
Afghanistan buried a former president last week, but there is concern in Kabul that something else may have been buried as well: the peace process. In nearly two years since the U.S. opened the prospect of negotiations with the Taliban, progress has been hard to discern.
The assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was also the head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, may have quashed any negotiations that were under way. It also may have given new strength to those who never supported the idea of talking with the Taliban.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are 2,000 years old and very sensitive to direct light. At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where they are housed, the scrolls are rotated every few months to minimize the damage. As Bloomberg explains it, the Great Isaiah Scroll, which is the most ancient biblical manuscript on Earth, is so sensitive that only a copy of it is on display.
Imagine you're trekking through the concrete jungle of just about any Southeast Asian city. The first thing you notice is the smorgasbord of smells, some enticing, others downright rank. Amid the urban odor-rama, one sweet herbal fragrance stands out. It's lemongrass. And it's just about everywhere.
A man readies a cow for the International Highland Cattle Show in Glasgow, Scotland. Researchers say genetics and the amount of time animals and humans spend together can affect how viruses spread between species.
Earlier this year we heard about a curious case of leprosy that jumped from armadillos to humans. We also know that a certain nefarious flu came to us via water fowl, and HIV likely affected chimpanzees before humans.
U.S. Army Sgt. Don Stolle launches a Raven surveillance drone from Achin, Afghanistan, on Aug. 30. The drones have been widely used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and now the military plans to employ them in other areas as it tracks suspected terrorists.
The Obama administration is expanding its controversial drone program to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
The Washington Post first reported last week that the administration was setting up secret bases for the unmanned aircraft all over the region. U.S. officials say the drone surveillance will allow them to keep watch on terrorists in Yemen and Somalia. The question is whether the program will eventually go a step further and include armed drones to kill terrorists before they strike.
Over the weekend, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced that women will get the right to vote and to run in municipal elections, but not until 2015. And King Abdullah said women will be appointed to the Shura Council, which advises the monarchy. This in a country where women still don't have the right to drive.
The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, has died while undergoing treatment for cancer. Maathai was an environmentalist and human rights campaigner who was arrested, imprisoned and beaten for her efforts in Kenya. She was 71. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports talks to Melissa Block.
With FEMA running out of disaster money at some point this week, and the whole federal government starting a new fiscal year on Saturday without an accompanying budget, Congress muddles through another budget standoff. NPR's Tamara Keith joins Michele Norris to bring us the latest.