World

9:41am

Thu March 29, 2012
Europe

Vatican Leaks Raise Questions Over Finances

Italian financial police officers talk in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Recently leaked Vatican documents have raised questions about the Vatican's financial transactions.
Angelo Carconi AP

The Vatican has launched a rare criminal investigation to uncover who is behind leaks of highly sensitive documents that allege corruption and financial mismanagement in Vatican City.

The documents also shed light on purported infighting over the Vatican Bank's compliance with international money-laundering regulations.

A television show in late January on an independent network first revealed letters addressed last year to Pope Benedict XVI from the then-deputy governor of Vatican City, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

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9:13am

Thu March 29, 2012
Afghanistan

Dreams Of A Mining Future On Hold In Afghanistan

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:27 pm

Afghan miners in a makeshift emerald mine in the Panjshir Valley in 2010. Reports suggest that Afghanistan is sitting on significant deposits of oil, gas, copper, iron, gold and coal, as well as a range of precious gems like emeralds and rubies. Currently these minerals are largely untapped and are still being mapped.
Majid Saeedi Getty Images

Afghanistan faces the daunting prospect of a drastic reduction in foreign aid, which currently makes up about 90 percent of the country's revenue. Some have seen an economic life raft in geological surveys that indicate huge deposits of copper, iron, uranium and lithium in various parts of the country. But multinational mining firms have been slow to invest in Afghanistan — not least because of questions about stability after American troops draw down.

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1:34am

Thu March 29, 2012
Middle East

Egyptian Activists Push To End Military Trials

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 7:06 am

Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian woman who brought the case against an army doctor accused of conducting forced "virginity checks" on female protesters last year, breaks into tears outside a military court in Cairo on March 11 after hearing that the doctor was acquitted.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

For Samira Ibrahim, and many other Egyptians, the struggle to remake their country didn't end with the ouster last year of Hosni Mubarak.

Ibrahim, a 25-year-old from southern Egypt, was arrested by the military during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in March of last year, a month after Mubarak was overthrown.

While in custody, Ibrahim said, she and six other young women were subjected to a so-called "virginity check" — a forced penetration to check for hymen blood. Amnesty International has called the procedure a form of torture.

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4:03pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Middle East

Still Wounded, Baghdad Hosts Arab Summit

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Here's another milestone for Iraq. For the first time in more than two decades, the Arab League is meeting in Baghdad. Little in the way of major policy is expected to come out of tomorrow's summit, but as NPR's Kelly McEvers reports, after years of violence and war, it's a marvel the gathering is happening at all.

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3:21pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Africa

For The Two Sudans, The Threat Of War Looms

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

Sudanese troops stand next to a burnt-out military vehicle in the oil center of Heglig after clashes with South Sudanese forces Wednesday. Recent fighting has raised fears of a renewed war.
AFP/Getty Images

Less than a year after they formally split, Sudan and South Sudan appear to be in danger of going to war.

Fighting spilled over the disputed border this week, scuttling a planned summit intended to resolve issues lingering from South Sudan's independence last July.

International diplomats are trying to get that summit back on track and deal with a humanitarian crisis that is looming in the region.

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