Egyptians go to the polls over the next two days to vote on a draft constitution. The military-backed government is pushing for a "yes" vote amid indications that military chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will soon announce his intention to run for the presidency.
On the third anniversary of its revolution, Tunisia appears to be making political progress. Unlike in other Arab Spring nations, the country's religious and secular factions are sitting down to hammer out a constitution, and new elections are planned for this year.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has staked out a more moderate tone internationally, but he hasn't yet kept his campaign promises domestically. At the same time, nuclear talks with the West are encouraging. Steve Inskeep talks to Thomas Erdbrink, Tehran Bureau Chief for The New York Times, for the latest on the mood on the ground in Iran.
A race is on to save Britain's beloved crimson phone booth, threatened not by habitat loss or climate change, but by the ubiquity of cell phones. The country had 92,000 payphones in 2002; now, it has just 48,000. But devotees are finding new uses for the booths.
Mainstream Russian media outlets don't cover gay issues neutrally — let alone positively. So, as the nation gears up to host the Winter Olympics, activists are calling on Western media to shed light on the plight of gay Russians. That puts NBC in the awkward position, as both a journalistic enterprise and a business partner of the Olympic Games.
Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde, the leader of more than a dozen self-defense groups in Mexico, remains hospitalized after a plane crash. While the crash has been ruled an accident, federal police have been stationed outside the Mexico City hospital where he's recuperating. The doctor heads up the armed citizen groups that are taking on organized crime and the feared Knights Templar drug cartel.
The government is cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and youth activists associated with the 2011 revolution in what many analysts say is a full-blown counterrevolution. Egypt's path to democracy is in doubt. Yet for many Egyptians, stability trumps democracy — at least for now.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, are holding a series of talks in Paris in anticipation of an upcoming Syrian peace conference. They are trying to persuade the Syrian government and opposition leaders to allow unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid. There are still doubts, however, about whether exiled Syrian opposition leaders will even agree to attend the peace conference.
Organizers of the Winter Games are preparing to serve up quite a bit of the hearty deep-red Russian staple soup. Which is kind of ironic, says Russian food writer Anya von Bremzen, since borscht carries with it complicated political implications. And not all borschts are created equal, Bremzen warns.
New York City's newly minted mayor found himself at the center of a minor scandal Friday after eating pizza "like a tourist." His offense? Tackling a slice with — gasp! — a fork and knife. Turns out, he's got some plausible deniability, Italians say.
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