Mon May 21, 2012
Middle East

Change Comes To Saudi Arabia, In Slow Motion

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:13 am

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, two women stroll into a cosmetics shop in a luxury mall. The desire for greater personal freedoms has prompted Saudi rulers to relax some restrictions.
Chuck Holmes NPR

The shock waves of the Arab Spring continue to reshape countries like Egypt and Syria. But the kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains largely unaffected. King Abdullah and the Saudi ruling family are in firm control of the country's massive oil wealth and Islam's two holiest sites — Mecca and Medina.

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Mon May 21, 2012

Mineral-Rich Mongolia Rapidly Becoming 'Minegolia'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

The mine at Oyu Tolgoi, Turquoise Hill in Mongolian, will be one of the world's largest copper mines in about five years. An employee holds up a small sample of the oxidized copper that gave the mine its name.
John W. Poole NPR

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

First of four parts

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Sun May 20, 2012

In This Russian Trial, The Defendant Is A Dead Man

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 5:45 pm

Friends and relatives take part in the funeral ceremony of Sergei Magnitsky at a cemetery in Moscow in 2009. The tax lawyer was arrested after he began investigating fraud at Hermitage Capital, which had been seized by the Russian tax police. He later died in prison.
Mikhail Voskresensky Reuters/Landov

The Russian government is about to put a dead man on trial.

Sergei Magnitsky was a tax lawyer for the investment fund Hermitage Capital, at one time the largest foreign investment firm in Russia.

In 2007, Hermitage Capital was seized by the Russian tax police, and through a number of shady maneuvers, they extracted more than $230 million in illegal tax refunds for themselves.

Magnitsky decided to investigate, angering those who had stolen the company. They had him arrested, and he died in prison in 2009.

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Sun May 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Lockerbie Bomber Dies

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 4:46 am

Security officers escort convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (center) in Tripoli in 1992.
Manoocher Deghati AFP/Getty Images

The former Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died.

Family members tell The Associated Press and Reuters that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi died at home after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 60.

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Sun May 20, 2012

The View Of The War From Afghanistan



Let's turn now to how all of this is playing out on the ground. And for that, we're joined now by our two correspondents in the region. Julie McCarthy is in with us on the line from Islamabad in Pakistan and Quil Lawrence is in the Afghan capital Kabul. Good morning to you both.



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