A U.S. soldier watches members of the Afghan Public Protection Force arrive at the transition ceremony on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul on March 15. The APPF replaces all private security contractors in the country.
Nearly two years ago, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered that gun-toting private security companies in his country be brought under state control. But the Afghan force to replace the foreign-funded contractors is off to a rocky start.
According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the new force will increase security costs for USAID projects and could even shut some of them down, at a loss of about $899 million. USAID in Kabul disagrees, and the dispute has gone public.
Egyptian voters go to the polls over the next two days to vote for president. There are 12 candidates but polls suggest the race is down to four men: two Islamists and two former officials in the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. If no one wins at least 50 percent of the vote in the first round, a runoff will be held next month.
Tonight, when Ryan Seacrest announces who has won the 11th season of American Idol — when the confetti falls and Jennifer Lopez sheds a perfect dewy teardrop and Randy Jackson's thought bubble explodes with "Dude, that was a moment moment MOMENT" and Steven Tyler purses his immortal lips in that vampire-connoisseur way he does, smelling the perfume of another sweet young victory — I will be out to dinner with friends, far from the agony and ecstasy finalists Jessica Sanchez and Phi
Two New Jersey men have found a way around high gas prices and traffic jams. The mile long trip from Hoboken across the Hudson River to their Manhattan office takes about a half-hour to paddle. They also get their exercise in for the day.
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A Chinese dissident is settling into life in New York. And Chen Guangcheng is thinking about those he left behind. His story captured worldwide attention when people helped him escape from house arrest to the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Those people remain within the reach of Chinese authorities. NPR's Michele Kelemen has more.
Intense fighting in Lebanon has killed more than a dozen people over the past week. One deadly battle was sparked by the murder of an anti-Syrian Lebanese cleric. The violence is stoking fears that the conflict in Syria is spreading to its neighbors.