U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, chains his hands with his counterparts from Vietnam, right, and Thailand before the ASEAN meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on Thursday. The trip's message: The U.S. is committed to its "rebalance" toward the Asia-Pacific region.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:11 pm
NPR's Larry Abramson is traveling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus, or ASEAN Plus. Larry sent us this dispatch:
You cannot hear the drums of war here in Brunei, but you can hear the surf from the Brunei coast, or the sounds of splashing from the humongous pools here at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:41 pm
India says it has nabbed the co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist organization that has been blamed for attacks throughout the country.
NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi that Yasin Bhatkal was arrested near India's border with Nepal. He's wanted in connection with several attacks, including a 2010 bombing at a bakery that killed 17 people in the western Indian city of Pune.
A chocolate cake is shaped like Europe, with new EU members Romania and Bulgaria (far right), at a welcoming ceremony for their entry into the bloc on Dec. 14, 2006. Curbs on the movement of citizens of the two countries end on Jan. 1, raising fears in Western Europe of an influx of Bulgarian and Romanian workers.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:51 pm
The Netherlands is a famously tolerant and welcoming place. But the Dutch social affairs minister says he's worried about too many immigrants coming from Bulgaria and Romania, and he's tapped into wider fears in the European Union about foreign workers.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:56 am
For Venus Williams, a three-hour tennis match came down to a third-set tiebreaker against Zheng Jie of China at the U.S. Open Wednesday night. But the world's former No. 1 player couldn't get past 44 unforced errors, and Zheng outlasted her in a rain-delayed match. Williams lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).
In the match's final two points, Williams misfired on successive shots after coming back to even the tiebreaker at 5-5, sending Zheng into the third round. Williams is currently ranked 60th in the world.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:26 pm
It's not news that Hong Kong, which brags one of the world's most stunning skylines, has been gradually losing it behind a curtain of smog.
But the Chinese territory's latest solution is new: To placate camera-clicking tourists unable to get those iconic shots of the skyscraper-studded waterfront, Hong Kong has set up a panoramic backdrop with clear, blue skies.
The Chinese website Netease published a series of pictures of tourists posing in front of the backdrop.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 10:28 am
Saying that there are "no plausible alternative scenarios," the U.K.'s Joint Intelligence Organisation released a statement Thursday to support the conclusion reached by U.S. and British officials that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is responsible for what's said to have been a chemical weapons attack last week near Damascus.
That attack, U.S. and British officials say, killed more than 300 people and may have injured several thousand more.