Work will begin next year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on what's touted as the world's biggest investment in public transportation. The biggest impact is likely to be social, providing greater independence and affordable transportation options for women — who are forbidden from driving — and the poor.
In the 1970s, Ali Maow Maalin, a Somali hospital worker, was the last member of the general public to catch smallpox — worldwide. Once recovered, he worked for years to wipe out polio in Somalia. Maalin, called "an inspiration" by world health leaders, died unexpectedly last week.
Zimbabweans go to the polls Wednesday to elect their next president. Many fear a repeat of the 2008 election violence that killed 200 people. President Robert Mugabe is facing opposition leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the vote. Riot police have been deployed in the event of conflict.
India looks about to acquire a new state, with a decision by the ruling Congress party to support splitting off a number of districts from Andhra Pradesh. The new state of Telangana will be the first formed not on the basis of language or ethnicity, but after claims by many residents that the area has been neglected by central and regional politicians. Many residents believe they will fare better as an independent state, but opponents warn it could lead to widespread demands for statehood from other disaffected regions.
Priests of the powerful Georgian Orthodox Church led a recent attack on a group of people protesting against homophobia in Tblisi, Georgia. The incident in May raises questions about human rights and the balance of power between church and state in the religiously conservative former Soviet republic.
European Union envoy Catherine Ashton completed a round of talks in Cairo with Egyptian officials and opposition leaders including ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Ashton says she will continue her mediation efforts to resolve Egypt's worsening political crisis.
The latest Pentagon report to Congress on Afghanistan says the insurgency is still "resilient" and violence in some areas is at the same level as last year. But the Afghan forces are taking the brunt of the casualties now that the U.S. troop presence has decreased and the remaining forces have turned to training the Afghans.
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