World

4:50am

Thu March 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Explosions, Gunfire At Sight Of Standoff With Murder Suspect In France

Members of a special police force unit at the site of the standoff in Toulouse, France, today.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images
  • French Interior Minister Claude Guéant (translated)

After a massive manhunt and a two-day standoff at an apartment building in Toulouse, French authorities say a man who claimed to be a member of al-Qaida and to have killed seven people in recent weeks is now dead himself.

According to French Interior Minister Claude Guéant, in the hour before 7 a.m. ET there was a dramatic conclusion to the saga that had gripped France and gotten the attention of people around the world.

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5:57pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Europe

French Police Fight For Presumed Killer's Surrender

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 6:37 am

French police have been trying to get a suspected gunman to surrender, after he apparently changed his mind about turning himself in. The 24-year-old has confessed to killing the Jewish children and the paratrooper in Toulouse. Explosions have been reported near the apartment. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells host Robert Siegel the latest developments.

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3:00pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Middle East

As Illegal Immigrants Increase, Israel Plans To Act

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 7:08 am

Israel says it will begin taking tougher action against illegal immigrants, many of whom are from Africa. Here, African immigrants demand the right to stay in Israel during a protest in Tel Aviv on Aug. 1, 2009.
Yehuda Raizner AFP/Getty Images

The place is Tel Aviv, but it doesn't look at all like Israel: Dozens of African men are sitting on broken stools and plastic at a makeshift restaurant.

Sudanese fare is on the menu. The men scoop up the stews and salads that remind them of home.

Abdullah Mohammad Mustafa started this restaurant with a couple of other African men who arrived in Israel five years ago from Sudan's troubled Darfur region. They are among some 40,000 Africans who have come to Israel illegally, and many have congregated in neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.

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2:07pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Dutch Catholic Church Is Accused Of Castrating Boys

Dutch lawmakers are calling for a parliamentary hearing, today, after new allegations of abuse by the Catholic Church surfaced over the weekend. This time, an investigation by the newspaper NRC Handelsblad found that Catholic-run institutions had surgically castrated young boys.

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12:38pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Sifting Through What We Know About The French Shootings Suspect

Police officers stand near the apartment building where a suspect in the shooting at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school is barricaded in Toulouse, southern France on Wednesday.
Bob Edme AP

The standoff between a murder suspect and French police in Toulouse, France, has stirred up a swirl of speculation about the man's background and motives, but so far there are relatively few confirmed facts.

French officials say the suspect is a 23- or 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian decent by the name of Mohammed Merah, who had a long record as a juvenile delinquent.

He's suspected in the killings this month of three French paratroopers of North African descent, as well as a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren.

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