In a land where music was once banned, the Sound Central alternative arts and music festival is in its third year of showcasing the growing cultural scene in Afghanistan. Several thousand Afghans are attending this year's festival featuring live music, poetry, short films, painting and skateboarding.
Host Scott Simon speaks with David Shirk about U.S.-Mexico cooperation in the drug war. Shirk is an associate professor of political science at the University of San Diego and recently finished his tenure as director of the Trans-Border Institute at USD. He is also the author of The Drug War in Mexico: Confronting a Shared Threat.
The fighting in Syria has created tens of thousands of refugees seeking shelter in neighboring Jordan. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Deborah Amos about a refugee camp in northern Jordan that has quickly become the second largest such camp in the world. Then we hear voices from a small town in southern Lebanon, where recently arrived Syrian refugees now outnumber the Lebanese residents.
President Obama is in Costa Rica to discuss regional cooperation and security with regional leaders. This follows talks he had in Mexico with President Enrique Pena Nieto. During his two-day visit, Obama tried to steer the focus away from contentious issues like immigration and drug violence.
Jordan is not the only country now hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees. In the small town of Shebaa in southern Lebanon, recently arrived Syrian refugees now outnumber the Lebanese residents. We hear from Syrians and Lebanese in the town and from the town's mayor on how the community is coping.
An Israeli Embassy spokesman would not comment specifically on media reports of an airstrike, but he reiterated Israel's commitment to preventing the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
President Obama has named Michael Froman, a trusted adviser on international economic issues, to be the next U.S. Trade Representative. Froman will try to complete two giant trade deals that are in the works. But Froman's job won't be easy.
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