World

1:14pm

Sat May 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Bashar Assad: A Political Solution In Syria Is 'Unreal'

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad made it clear in an interview with the Argentine newspaper El Clarin that he was not resigning.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Syrian President Bashar Assad essentially dismissed attempts by the United States and Russia to bring the civil war in the country to a political solution.

"Believing that a political conference will stop terrorism on the ground is unreal," Assad said in an exclusive interview with the Argentine newspaper El Clarin. Assad also took the usual stance on a wide range of issues.

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10:58am

Sat May 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Afghan Parliament Halts Debate On Women's Rights Bill

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 8:58 pm

A boy holds the burqa of his mother as they walk down a street in the old city of Kabul on November 1, 2009.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

After protests from some MPs and after only about 15 minutes, the Afghan parliament halted debate Saturday on a bill aimed at curbing violence against women.

As the BBC reports, the bill would have solidified a law passed by presidential decree in 2009, which banned "violence against women, child marriages and forced marriages."

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7:31am

Sat May 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Russian Official Names CIA Station Chief In Moscow

In Moscow's Red Square, people still line up to visit Lenin's tomb. Though the Cold War is over, Russia and the U.S. keep watchful eyes on each other. Tuesday, Russian officials claimed to have uncovered a CIA spy.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA /Landov

Breaching protocol, a Russian official let a name slip during an interview with Interfax, the state news agency.

The interview was with a representative of the FSB, the Russian security agency, and the name he made public was of the person Russia believes is the CIA station chief in Moscow.

The Guardian explains:

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6:28am

Sat May 18, 2013
Parallels

Afghan Mineral Treasures Stay Buried, Hostages To Uncertainty

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

An Afghan worker helps excavate part of the mountaintop copper works above the ancient city at Mes Aynak in February. Afghanistan is believed to be sitting on massive mineral and metal deposits. But many obstacles have prevented large-scale mining from getting underway.
Matthew C. Rains MCT/Landov

For years, reports have suggested that Afghanistan is sitting on massive deposits of copper, gold, iron and rare earth minerals valued up to $3 trillion. This provides hope for a future economy that would not have to rely so heavily on foreign donations.

But with an uncertain political, regulatory and security environment, international investors are hesitant. And it could be many years before Afghanistan begins extracting its mineral wealth.

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5:33am

Sat May 18, 2013
The Two-Way

North Korea Fires Three Short-Range Missiles, Says The South

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:04 pm

After a relatively calm few weeks, North Korea fired three short-range missiles Saturday, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said.

NPR's Louisa Lim reports that North Korea fired the missiles in defiance of international sanctions. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"North Korea launched two guided missiles this morning and a third in the afternoon, according to South Korea's defense ministry — all landed in waters off the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula."

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