war http://wnpr.org en White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza http://wnpr.org/post/white-house-adviser-cease-fire-should-include-demilitarization-gaza A top White House adviser says any cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinians must include the demilitarization of Gaza.<p>In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said "that needs to be the end result."<p>"There has to be some way forward that does not involve Hamas having the ability to continue to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians," Blinken said.<p>Asked if this means the U.S. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:49:00 +0000 editor 25764 at http://wnpr.org White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza In Effort To Forge Cease-Fire Between Israel And Hamas, Kerry Heads To Egypt http://wnpr.org/post/effort-forge-cease-fire-kerry-heads-egypt U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Egypt today in an effort to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.<p><a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/07/229510.htm">In a statement</a>, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry would meet with Egyptian and other senior officials.<p>"The United States — and our international partners — are deeply concerned about the risk of further escalation, and the loss of more innocent life," Psaki said. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:04:00 +0000 editor 25609 at http://wnpr.org In Effort To Forge Cease-Fire Between Israel And Hamas, Kerry Heads To Egypt At Least 13 Israeli Soldiers, 87 Palestinians Killed In Gaza Strip Sunday http://wnpr.org/post/fighting-rages-gaza-us-seeks-cease-fire <strong><em>Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET.</em></strong><p>A spokesman for Hamas claimed Sunday that the group has captured an Israeli soldier. Reuters quotes Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, as saying that no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped.<p>It's the latest development in a bloody day of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Sun, 20 Jul 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 25577 at http://wnpr.org At Least 13 Israeli Soldiers, 87 Palestinians Killed In Gaza Strip Sunday Ukraine Accuses Rebels Of Destroying Evidence At MH17 Crash Site http://wnpr.org/post/ukraine-accuses-rebels-destroying-evidence-mh17-crash-site <strong><em>Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.</em></strong><p>International investigators say armed rebels have limited their inspection of the Eastern Ukraine site of the downed Malaysian Airlines flight that killed nearly 300 passengers and crew, as Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists of destroying evidence at the scene.<p>Malaysia Airlines on Saturday released a <a href="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2014/07/19/mh17-pax-and-crew-manifest.pdf">list of names of the dead</a> from Thursday's crash. All 298 aboard the Boeing 777 were killed. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 18:27:00 +0000 L. Carol Ritchie 25549 at http://wnpr.org Ukraine Accuses Rebels Of Destroying Evidence At MH17 Crash Site What To Watch In Israel's Ground Invasion Of Gaza http://wnpr.org/post/what-watch-israels-ground-invasion-gaza Israel has unleashed repeated military offensives in the Gaza Strip since 2000 and has never been able to permanently suppress Palestinian rocket fire or seal off the territory's smuggling tunnels.<p>So why is Israel launching another major ground incursion now, and is there any reason to think the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/07/11/330752487/israel-and-gaza-struck-by-rockets-bombs-and-a-sense-of-deja-vu" target="_blank">outcome will be different this time</a>?<p>"After we discovered we could not take care of Gaza tunnels with airstrikes alone, we launched a ground operatio Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:11:00 +0000 editor 25524 at http://wnpr.org What To Watch In Israel's Ground Invasion Of Gaza Israeli Ground Operation In Gaza Continues http://wnpr.org/post/israeli-ground-operation-gaza-continues <strong>This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET:</strong><p>U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Middle East on Saturday in hopes of finding a way to stop the fighting between Israel and Hamas.<p>"Israel has legitimate security concerns, and we condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel that ended yesterday's temporary cease-fire," Jeffrey Feltman, deputy U.N. secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council on Friday. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:40:00 +0000 editor 25499 at http://wnpr.org Israeli Ground Operation In Gaza Continues Israel Launches Ground Offensive In Gaza http://wnpr.org/post/israel-launches-ground-offensive-gaza Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army to send ground forces into Gaza Thursday night.<p>"We are hearing reports that so far the operation has been concentrated in the north," reports NPR's Emily Harris, who is in Gaza.<p>Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, called the invasion "a dangerous step. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:39:35 +0000 editor 25470 at http://wnpr.org Israel Launches Ground Offensive In Gaza A 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel Ends, And Fighting Begins http://wnpr.org/post/mortars-rock-shaky-5-hour-truce-between-hamas-and-israel <strong>This post was updated at 4:10 p.m. ET: Ground Offenses Begin</strong><p>Israel has sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday, which we are covering in <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/17/332347143/israel-launches-ground-offensive-in-gaza" target="_blank">this post</a>.<p><strong>Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Hostilities Resume</strong><p>A temporary cease-fire had brought relative quiet to Gaza for a few hours earlier in the day, as Israel and Hamas agreed to hold their fire for five hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time, for humanitarian reasons. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:51:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 25434 at http://wnpr.org A 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel Ends, And Fighting Begins Germany: Who Are You Now? http://wnpr.org/post/germany-who-are-you-now <p>Two snapshots: <a href="http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2014/07/14/germany-world-cup-football-champions-deep-seated-reluctance-wave-flag-remains/" target="_blank">The first from the publication <em>American Bazaar</em></a>, right after the German World Cup win. "In the city of Leipzig, a solitary car scuttled along, with the flag attached to the roof. Waving the flag has yet to catch on. Jan Hoffman, who works in Frankfurt, was in New York when 9/11 happened. &nbsp;'I had never seen so many flags in my life. Here, there are hardly any, although we won football's greatest tournament. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Chion Wolf, Betsy Kaplan & Colin McEnroe 25267 at http://wnpr.org Germany: Who Are You Now? Years Home, Female Iraq Vets Endure the Wounds of War http://wnpr.org/post/years-home-female-iraq-vets-endure-wounds-war <p>It’s been nine years since Eunice Ramirez served in Iraq, but she still suffers from war wounds: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, respiratory problems, and frequent crying triggered by her memories.</p><p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:41:09 +0000 Peggy McCarthy 24905 at http://wnpr.org Years Home, Female Iraq Vets Endure the Wounds of War Israel Expands Attacks On Gaza As Rockets Target Israeli Cities http://wnpr.org/post/israel-expands-attacks-hamas-gaza <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hmmdz-RI6A</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:01:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 24898 at http://wnpr.org Israel Expands Attacks On Gaza As Rockets Target Israeli Cities ISIS Declares Caliphate As Iraq Fights To Retake Tikrit http://wnpr.org/post/isis-declares-caliphate-iraq-fights-retake-tikrit Extremist Sunni group ISIS has announced a plan to rule the territory it has carved out of Iraq and Syria in recent months, in a declaration that touches on public services, salaries and compensation for damages from the violence.<p>The plan was unveiled as Iraq's central Shiite government tries to retake the city of Tikrit, in its first major operation against the insurgents.<p>And it precedes by one day the Iraqi Parliament's first meeting since its April 30 elections; Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has been widely criticized during this crisis, has resisted calls to form a unity govern Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:32:26 +0000 Bill Chappell 24502 at http://wnpr.org ISIS Declares Caliphate As Iraq Fights To Retake Tikrit In Iraq, More Than 1,000 Were Killed In June http://wnpr.org/post/iraq-more-1000-were-killed-june The United Nations has some grim news on Iraq this morning: It says at least 1,075 people were killed in June as Sunni militants <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/10/320613630/insurgent-group-claims-large-part-of-iraqs-second-largest-city">overtook some significant cities in the country</a>.<p>Most of the deaths, the U.N. reports, were civilians. <a href="http://www.omaha.com/news/world/un-at-least-killed-in-iraq-in-june/article_874fd980-b3a7-50c6-9a87-93c708f17d83.html">The AP adds</a>:<p><blockquote><p>"According to the U.N. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:05:00 +0000 Eyder Peralta 24170 at http://wnpr.org In Iraq, More Than 1,000 Were Killed In June Obama: U.S. to Send 300 "Military Advisers" to Iraq http://wnpr.org/post/obama-us-send-300-military-advisers-iraq <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">President Barack Obama said the U.S. is prepared to take targeted military actions in Iraq if they would help fight a growing threat from extremist militants. He also said the U.S. is ready to send as many as 300 military advisers to Iraq.</span></p><p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:23:11 +0000 Tucker Ives 23916 at http://wnpr.org Obama: U.S. to Send 300 "Military Advisers" to Iraq Iraq Battles Militants For Key Oil Refinery In Beiji http://wnpr.org/post/iraq-battles-militants-key-oil-refinery-baiji In an attempt to stop the juggernaut advance of the Sunni extremist group ISIS, Iraq's central government says the fight for the country's largest oil refinery is far from over. A military official says 40 militants have been killed.<p>"Iraqi government officials say an elite special operations force is holding off ISIS militants at the Beiji refinery 160 miles north of the capital," NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Erbil. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 11:20:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 23908 at http://wnpr.org Iraq Battles Militants For Key Oil Refinery In Beiji What's Next For Iraq? http://wnpr.org/post/whats-next-iraq <h6><strong>This post was updated at 9:40 p.m. ET to reflect the Obama administration's pressure on the Iraqi government.</strong></h6><p>A week ago, it would have been difficult to find anyone in the U.S. arguing for renewed U.S. military action in Iraq. Now there's a furious debate about what the U.S. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:09:43 +0000 editor 23846 at http://wnpr.org What's Next For Iraq? What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil? http://wnpr.org/post/what-exactly-are-us-interests-iraqs-turmoil As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.<p>What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?<p>Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.<p>"Terrorists," he said, were being allowed to overrun part of Iraq's territory. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 23:42:00 +0000 David Welna 23815 at http://wnpr.org What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil? ISIS Rebels Drive Closer To Baghdad; U.S. Considers Options http://wnpr.org/post/isis-rebels-drive-closer-baghdad-us-considers-options The extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is tightening control of Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, attacking the strategic city of Baqouba, less than 40 miles from Baghdad. The U.S. is sending up to 275 military personnel to bolster its embassy in the capital; President Obama is also reportedly weighing airstrikes.<p>"ISIS is one of the most extreme Islamist organizations globally," NPR's Leila Fadel reports from northern Iraq, for our Newscast unit. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 23771 at http://wnpr.org ISIS Rebels Drive Closer To Baghdad; U.S. Considers Options Iraq War Veterans Reflect on New Crisis http://wnpr.org/post/iraq-war-veterans-reflect-new-crisis <p>Throughout the U.S. occupation of Iraq, there was concern about what would happen to the country when combat forces left. Over the last year, m<span style="line-height: 1.5;">ilitant extremists have slowly taken over the country and now President Barack Obama is weighing his options. "</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces," Obama said on Friday.</span></p><p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski 23706 at http://wnpr.org Iraq War Veterans Reflect on New Crisis Iraq Says It Has Halted Militant Group's Advance On Baghdad http://wnpr.org/post/iraq-says-its-halted-militant-groups-advance-baghdad The Iraqi government says it has halted a militant group's advance on Baghdad.<p>As <em>The Telegraph</em> reports, the Iraqi army started engaging the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, after it made a rapid advance in which it captured the key city of Mosul.<p><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10900739/Iraq-crisis-US-sends-aircraft-carrier-to-the-Gulf.html"><em>The Telegraph</em> adds</a>:<p><blockquote><p>"In Iraq, Maj Gen Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for the military's commander-in-chief, promised to recapture all rebel-held areas, including Mosul Sun, 15 Jun 2014 14:40:00 +0000 editor 23678 at http://wnpr.org Iraq Says It Has Halted Militant Group's Advance On Baghdad Obama: Options Open For Response To Militant Gains In Iraq http://wnpr.org/post/militants-make-gains-iraq-amid-report-us-rebuffed-calls-help <strong><em>Updated at 7:30 p.m. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:40:00 +0000 editor 23493 at http://wnpr.org Obama: Options Open For Response To Militant Gains In Iraq WWII Vet, AWOL From Nursing Home, Found At Normandy Ceremonies http://wnpr.org/post/wwii-vet-awol-nursing-home-found-normandy-ceremonies An 89-year-old World War II veteran, reported missing by his U.K. nursing home, has been found at the D-Day commemorations in France.<p>Bernard Jordan, who served in the Royal Navy during WWII, is a resident at The Pines nursing home in Hove, Sussex, reports the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-27735086">BBC</a>. He had previously attended the 50th and 60th memorial services in Normandy.<p>Nursing home staff attempted to sign Jordan up for a formal trip to the 70th anniversary, but they say the request was too last-minute and it wasn't possible. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:20:00 +0000 editor 23196 at http://wnpr.org WWII Vet, AWOL From Nursing Home, Found At Normandy Ceremonies Looking Back on Ukraine's Election; Interviews with Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and Olu Oguibe http://wnpr.org/post/looking-back-ukraines-election-interviews-ewa-junczyk-ziomecka-and-olu-oguibe <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This hour, we feature three international voices with Connecticut connections.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We begin with a local professor, who recently returned from serving as an elections monitor in Ukraine. He tells us about his experience and talks about what lies ahead for the country and its people.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We also talk with a Nigerian-American artist, who has found a way to create beautiful prints using just his fingers and an iPad.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We learn as well the story of a Polish hero, and find out what a top Polish official in America thinks of Ukraine’s chances for success.</span></p><p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 John Dankosky, Lydia Brown, Tucker Ives & Catie Talarski 23090 at http://wnpr.org Looking Back on Ukraine's Election; Interviews with Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and Olu Oguibe Who Are The 5 Guantanamo Detainees In Prisoner Swap? http://wnpr.org/post/who-are-five-guant-namo-detainees-prisoner-swap As part of a prisoner swap to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/31/317680946/captors-release-u-s-soldier-taken-hostage-in-2009">the United States agreed to transfer five Guantánamo detainees to Qatar</a>.<p>NPR's Tom Bowman received a list of the prisoners being released from a Pentagon official. According to documents leaked to the organization WikiLeaks, all five prisoners were high-ranking Taliban officials. Some were considered high-risk and "likely to post a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies."<p>U.S. Sat, 31 May 2014 21:09:00 +0000 editor 22855 at http://wnpr.org Afghan Taliban Release U.S. Soldier Captured In 2009 http://wnpr.org/post/afghan-taliban-release-us-soldier-taken-hostage-2009 <h6><strong>(This post was last updated Sunday at 5:50 a.m. ET. on Sunday)</strong></h6><p>Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the final remaining captured American soldier from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been released by the Afghan Taliban after almost five years of being held captive, <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/31/statement-president-sergeant-bowe-bergdahl">the White House said on Saturday</a>.<p>In exchange for Bergdahl's release, the U.S. Sat, 31 May 2014 17:15:00 +0000 editor 22853 at http://wnpr.org Afghan Taliban Release U.S. Soldier Captured In 2009 Downed Ukraine Helicopter Had General On Board; 14 Die In Attack http://wnpr.org/post/downed-ukraine-helicopter-had-general-board-14-die-attack Militants in Ukraine shot down a military helicopter near the eastern city of Slovyansk Wednesday, killing 14 soldiers that included an Army general. The incident comes days after Ukraine stepped up its operations against pro-Russian rebels this week.<p>From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:<p><blockquote><p>After suffering heavy losses in Dontesk earlier this week, pro-Russian insurgents struck back with anti-aircraft fire that brought down a Ukrainian helicopter. Thu, 29 May 2014 14:22:16 +0000 Bill Chappell 22718 at http://wnpr.org Downed Ukraine Helicopter Had General On Board; 14 Die In Attack Obama Announces Afghan Troop Withdrawal Plan http://wnpr.org/post/obama-announces-afghan-troop-withdrawal-plan A day ahead of a big foreign policy speech at West Point tomorrow, President Obama is making public his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan.<p>Obama is largely taking the recommendation of his generals and plans to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan for one year beyond the withdrawal of combat forces in December. By the end of 2015, that number will be halved with troops consolidated in the Kabul area, and their primary mission will not be combat but counter-terrorism.<p>By the end of 2016 fewer than 1000 U.S. Tue, 27 May 2014 20:28:00 +0000 editor 22613 at http://wnpr.org Obama Announces Afghan Troop Withdrawal Plan Obama Plans To Leave Residual Force Of 9,800 In Afghanistan http://wnpr.org/post/obama-plans-leave-residual-force-9800-afghanistan <h6><strong>(This post was last updated at 3:00 p.m. ET.)</strong></h6><p>President Obama announced on Tuesday a plan to leave a residual force of 9,800 service members in Afghanistan beyond 2014. By 2016, most troops will be out of the country.<p>"It's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on... wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.<p>Obama said that combat will end in America's longest-running war by the end of this year. Tue, 27 May 2014 15:37:00 +0000 editor 22577 at http://wnpr.org Obama Plans To Leave Residual Force Of 9,800 In Afghanistan Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths http://wnpr.org/post/ukraine-retakes-airport-after-airstrikes-and-dozens-deaths Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.<p>From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:<p><blockquote><p>"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Tue, 27 May 2014 11:52:53 +0000 Bill Chappell 22563 at http://wnpr.org Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths Former Ambassador To Russia: Putin Has No Master Plan For Ukraine http://wnpr.org/post/former-ambassador-russia-putin-has-no-master-plan-ukraine When Russian President Vladimir Putin started vilifying the U.S., and state-controlled media took his cue, Michael McFaul was portrayed as one of the American villains. McFaul was the American ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February of this year. He planned to leave just after the Sochi Olympics, which ended up coinciding with the Ukrainian Parliament voting to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, leading to Russia's annexation of Crimea.<p>McFaul is a Russian scholar who has returned to his teaching job at Stanford University. Thu, 15 May 2014 21:25:00 +0000 editor 21931 at http://wnpr.org Former Ambassador To Russia: Putin Has No Master Plan For Ukraine