An Iranian man counts banknotes after exchanging a gold coin for cash in Tehran on Monday. Gold coins were being exchanged for over 10 million rials as the Iranian currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar.
Credit Atta Kenare / AFP/Getty Images
The value of Iran's currency — which had been sliding steadily for months — took another plunge this week. Faced with new economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, the rial now seems to be in free fall.
But at least part of the dive could be linked to currency manipulation by the government itself in an effort to fund candidates in upcoming elections.
In images posted on the Internet, hundreds of Iranians are seen gathered outside the headquarters of the Bank Melli in Tehran Monday. They wanted to buy dollars, but there were no dollars to be had.
It's been nearly a year since Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Arab Spring as his online organizing efforts and his arrest helped draw people and attention to the demands by many Egyptians for reform — a movement that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
Saudi Arabia said Monday that it will enforce a law that allows only females to work in women's lingerie and apparel stores, despite disapproval from the country's top cleric.
The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been put into effect, partly because of the views of hard-liners in the religious establishment, who oppose the whole idea of women working in places where men and women congregate, such as malls.
Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 10:55 am
Photographer Moises Saman captured this shot of two activists in Hama, Syria. Saman and journalist Anthony Shadid entered the city for several days last July. The rest of Saman's images can be found <a href="http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/a-western-photographer-in-hama-syria/">here</a>.
Veteran war correspondent Anthony Shadid spent much of the past decade in Baghdad covering the Iraq war, first for The Washington Post and then for The New York Times. Last December, Shadid left Baghdad for his home in Beirut, Lebanon, where he's been based for more than a decade.
In two interviews, today, NPR's Robert Siegel got reaction from Hamas and the Israeli government over a prisoner swap deal that freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
When Robert asked Osama Hamdan, a senior official from the Hamas international relations department, what the deal meant for future relations between Hamas and Israel, Hamdan said it "depends on the Israeli side."