Citizens of Cyprus did not react well to the news that their government wants to allow the E.U. to take nearly 10 percent of their savings deposits in exchange for a $13 billion bailout. Banks are closed through Tuesday after worries over bank runs. Depositors stood in long lines to withdraw money over the weekend.
This week marks two years since the uprising in Syria when thousands took to the streets to protest against the government. Back then they called it a revolution. But now, Syria looks a lot more like a civil war — with tens of thousands of people killed.
One area of rural development where the Afghan government has had some success is the National Solidarity Program. Funded by international aid, it distributes small grants to rural villages. For more on its successes, Renee Montagne talks to Wais Ahmad Barmak, who heads the Rural Rehabilitation and Development Ministry.
A few decades ago, trees covered an estimated 50 percent of Afghanistan. Now, an official says that figure is just 2 percent. The main reason is the illegal harvesting and trade of timber. A visit to Kunar province, near the Pakistan border, reveals that many people, from top officials down, are involved.
President Nicos Anastassiades went on television to say he was working to amend parts of the bailout deal struck with negotiators from eurozone countries and the IMF. The deal would levy taxes on all bank deposits, the first time the eurozone has dipped into people's savings to pay for a bailout.
Sunday is the final day of a week-long Russian festival that celebrates folk traditions, heroic eating and the distant promise of spring. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on Maslenitsa, or "pancake week," the last culinary blow-out before the austerity of Lent.
Scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a new book, Brokers of Deceit, he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Host Rachel Martin talks with Khalidi about prospects for successful mediation.
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