The Takeaway's BBC producer in London
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will close Britain’s most popular newspaper, The News of the World, in a bid to prevent the outrage over the tabloid’s phone hacking scandal from infecting the other news outlets he owns. British detectives investigating the illegal phone hacking conducted by the newspaper’s staff say the number of victims could exceed 4,000.
The media giant News Corp. announced yesterday that it would close its most successful tabloid paper, News of the World, over claims its journalists hacked the private phones of celebrities, crime victims, bereaved military families and people involved up in the 2005 London bombings — a terrorist attack that killed 52 people.
Plans for the troop drawdown in Afghanistan are underway. The Defense Department announced that the first regiments to head home will be finishing their tours of duty this month, and won’t be replaced. But after nearly a decade of combat there, how much do we really know about Afghanistan and what this will mean for the country?
About a thousand Syrians crossed the northern border of the country into Turkey overnight. They are fleeing a possible assault from the Syrian Army, which is believed to be led by Syrian President Bashar Assad's younger brother. The troops have surrounded the town of Jisr al-Shughour, close to the Turkish border, with heavy forces and tanks. The Turkish government has already built one camp to house the Syrian refugees, and is currently building another.
American hedge funds are buying massive amounts of land—larger in size than the state of California—in Africa, often without proper contracts, according to the Oakland Institute, an independent policy think tank. The hedge funds say that it's an effort to uplift the economies of African nations, but some critics say it's a "land grab;" an opportunity to buy cheap land to grow food crops that will be exported to richer countries, ultimately depleting Africa's natural resources and raising global food prices.
Thousands of Mexicans have gathered for a 900-mile march to protest against the drug cartels and the violence that has gripped the country. Their caravan started last weekend in Cuernavaca, a resort and industrial city south of Mexico City. Mexican poet Javier Sicilia—whose son was killed by members of the Mexican drug cartel two months ago—is leading the march. It will conclude when the marchers cross the border from Ciadad-Juarez into El Paso, Texas.
Two months ago 24-year-old Juan Francisco, along with six others, was killed by members of a Mexican drug cartel. Francisco’s father is Mexican poet Javier Sicilia. Juan Francisco was just one of the estimated 34,000 people killed in Mexico in drug-related violence in the last four years. Now Sicilia is leading a 900 mile march across Mexico visiting cities where people have been affected by drug violence. Irene Caselli, will join them, she's reporting this story for the BBC.
In the city of Monterrey in Northern Mexico, teacher Martha Rivera led her kindergarteners in song as a shootout took place in the streets outside the classroom. She videotaped the entire episode because she is on the school safety committee and felt the need to record it. Like other teachers, she had been trained for this type of event.
Ratko Mladic was arrested yesterday for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity for his role as Army Chief of Staff during the Balkan wars. 8,000 Muslim men and boys were allegedly executed by Mladic's soldiers during the Srebrenica massacre. Dr. Denisa Kostovicova, Balkans expert and Senior Lecturer at the London School of Economics discusses the significance of his arrest and the importance of witness testimony in helping the country reckon with its past. Dejan Anastasijevic is a political journalist with the journal, Vreme in Belgrade. He helps contextualize the international significance of the arrest.
Why should America give millions in foreign aid to a country where the United States' number one enemy was able to hide for years? That's a question many in the U.S. are asking in the wake of the discovery of Osama Bin Laden's hideout. But it's also being asked by many in Pakistan, who wonder if America's financial aid is worth the influence and pressures that come with it. Has it helped or hurt the country? Aleem Maqbool, reporter for our partner the BBC, joins us to discuss the growing debate.
We’ve heard a lot about President Obama’s ethnic background since the 2008 election: his father from Kenya, his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia. Few of us remember that the President's mother’s family came to the U.S. from Ireland. But the tiny village of Moneygall, Ireland hasn’t forgotten. Today they’re getting ready to celebrate the president as he visits his ancestral hometown for the first time. Barry Williams is a Moneygall resident - he says that many presidents have come through Ireland looking for ancestral roots.
What if the world's most wanted man was hiding out in your own hometown? That's the case for Ali Bokhari, a doctor from Abbottabad — the garrison town just an hour's drive north of Pakistan's capital where Osama bin Laden was living. We talk with Bokhari, who says he's driven by the large compound hundreds of times and never suspected the al-Qaida leader was living there.
The killing of Osama bin Laden has evoked passion among the people for whom he is an icon, reports BBC's Shoaib Hassan from Islamabad, Pakistan. Hasan spoke with representatives of the Taliban and al-Qaida, who said that militants would carry out attacks against Pakistani security forces for their involvement in the killings.
The countdown is over: this morning, after months of anticipation, Britain’s Prince William is marrying Kate Middleton. The wedding is in progress right now. And all this morning, we'll be bringing you live updates from both sides of the pond. We go first to Buckingham Palace where we're joined by the BBC's Laura Lynch and Paddy O'Connell. And for reaction from U.S.-based Brits we'll hear from The Takeaway's Kristen Meinzer, live from Greenwich Village, New York.
By now 2 billion people have seen “The Dress” that Kate Middleton managed to keep secret until today. So what’s the verdict? British fashion designer Caroline Castigliano has experience dressing royals, and is dressing the friends of the happy couple today. She speaks to us from Buckingham Palace.
The final run-up to Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding is in full swing. Are the flowers arranged just so? Is the guest list finalized and the seating arrangement appropriate? We check in with veteran BBC broadcaster Dan Damon, to get a preview of the noble affair taking place Friday.
With recent news that Sony's Playstation network has been hacked, the video gaming system's 77 million users are now worrying that their personal information—including credit card details—may have been stolen.
And the alarm goes right round the world - we hear from concerned gamer Perry Davis in Buffalo, New York and technology journalist and expert, Adrian Mars.
In recent days, harrowing reports out of Misrata, Libya's third largest city, have brought into sharp relief the dangers for civilians living there. Thousands of migrant workers are trapped as rebels spar with Moammar Gadhafi's forces, and scores of foreign medical workers have already departed or plan to soon. Some civilians have been evacuated during nightfall, but the situation there remains dire. Iman recently escaped Misrata by boat with her baby and husband and is now in Ireland; she shares her story.
CBS "60 Minutes" is not widely broadcast inside Afghanistan or Pakistan, but you wouldn't know it from the reactions from a story over the weekend. In a take down of the famous book, "Three Cups of Tea," CBS disputed the veracity of Greg Mortenson's his charity work. CBS also took issue with the finances of his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The BBC's Bilal Sawary reports from Kabul.
More protests are planned in several cities across Syria. So far protests have led to changes in President Bashar al-Assad's government including a new cabinet. However, Syrian security agents have continued to detain and torture undreds of protesters in the past month, according to Human Rights Watch. The BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones is monitoring events from across the border in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.