World

The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Syrian Activist's Offer Of Talks With Assad Draws Mixed Response

Activists in the town of Saraqib, Syria, hold a poster that reads, "Sheikh Moaz al Khatib represents me."
Courtesy of Mahmoud Bakkour

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 2:39 pm

Moaz al-Khatib sent waves through the Syrian activist community this week when he announced via Facebook that he was open to talks with representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on two conditions: that political prisoners, thought to number in the tens of thousands, be released; and exiled Syrians be able to renew their passports at embassies abroad.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Iraq Attack Kills At Least 15, Wounds Dozens

Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of a bombing in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad on Sunday.
Emad Matti AP

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 2:16 pm

Update at 1:32 p.m. ET. Toll Rises:

The death toll from the coordinated attacks in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk has risen: The BBC says at least 16 people are dead, while Al Jazeera puts the number at at least 30.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Foreign Minister Says Iran Is Open To Talks With U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks to reporters on the third day of the 49th Munich Security Conference on Sunday.
Tobias Hase AP

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:24 pm

Iran's foreign minister on Sunday welcomed Vice President Joe Biden's comments that the U.S. was willing to hold direct talks with the Islamic republic over its nuclear program.

"We have no red line for bilateral negotiations when it comes to negotiating over a particular subject," Ali Akbar Salehi said at a security conference in Munich, Germany. "If the subject is the nuclear file, yes, we are ready for negotiations but we have to make sure ... that the other side this time comes with authentic intention, with a fair and real intention to resolve the issue."

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Afghanistan
5:21 am
Sun February 3, 2013

From A Land Where Music Was Banned — To Carnegie Hall

Afghanistan's youth orchestra performs in Kabul on Jan. 31. The orchestra is coming to the U.S. and will appear at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 3:49 pm

In Afghanistan, there was no sound of music when the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001. The Islamist militants destroyed music CDs and instruments and even jailed musicians.

Today, there are music schools and young Afghans playing in public. And, this weekend, 48 Afghan boys and girls are traveling to the U.S. to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

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Asia
4:49 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

In India, Men Accused of Deadly Rape Formally Charged

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 6:41 pm

Five men accused of the brutal rape and murder of a woman student in New Delhi were charged today. The attack in December launched an international outcry and led to nationwide protests. NPR's Julie McCarthy joins host Laura Sullivan from the Indian capital with the latest.

The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Turkish Left-Wing Group Claims Responsibility For U.S. Embassy Blast

Mourners gather in Ankara on Saturday by the coffin of Mustafa Akarsu, who was killed in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Turkey's capital on Friday.
AP

A radical left-wing group is calling Friday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Turkey "an act of self-sacrifice" against the U.S. The suicide bombing killed an embassy guard and injured several others.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Direct Talks With Iran? Biden Says It's Possible

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:53 pm

Vice President Joe Biden says the United States is ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program — provided that the country's top leader is serious about such discussions.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Powerful Quake Rocks Northern Japan; No Reported Damage

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 1:02 pm

The Japanese Meteorological Agency says an extremely strong earthquake rattled the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Saturday. The magnitude was 6.4. The U.S. Geological Survey's report puts the tremor at a higher magnitude of 6.9; the epicenter was very deep, about 65 miles below ground, near the city of Obihiro. That's about 120 miles east of Hokkaido's largest city, Sapporo.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Sat February 2, 2013

'Vive Francois Hollande!' France's President Visits Mali

French President Francois Hollande is surrounded by well-wishers on his short visit to Timbuktu, Mali, on Saturday.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 11:15 am

The security situation in Northern Mali has improved with the arrival of the French military last month, so French president Francois Hollande traveled there Saturday for a one-day visit. He didn't stay in the southern capital, Bamako, which has remained under Malian government control, but instead flew north to the ancient city of Timbuktu to meet residents and thank French troops for their work in ousting Islamist rebels from the historic city.

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The Two-Way
3:54 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Taliban Militants Assault Pakistani Army Base

Pakistani troops gather at the site of an attack on an army post in Serai Naurang town, near Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, on Saturday.
Jibran Yousufzai AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:10 am

Armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, militants attacked an army camp in Northwestern Pakistan early Saturday morning.

According to officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, 12 militants and 13 security officials were killed in the attack. The New York Times is reporting that 10 civilians — including three women and three children — who were living in a nearby compound, were also killed.

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