WYSO

Steve Inskeep

In Greece, financial inspectors returned Thursday to review whether the government was complying with the terms of a $150 billion bailout that it agreed to last year. But the inspectors were met with loud demonstrations protesting further wage and pension cuts, public sector layoffs and higher taxes.

Asian Markets Tumble

Sep 5, 2011

Stock exchanges across Asia dropped sharply Monday after Friday's dismal U.S. employment report showing no new jobs were added in August. Japan's Nikkei index fell nearly 2 percent — with markets in South Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai also posting major losses. Investors remain concerned by the possibility of another recession in the U.S., where markets are closed Monday for Labor Day.

On a recent morning, John Pierce walked across the sprawling hospital campus of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. On the lawn, he spotted people who have come to define the place in recent years.

"[They were] having physical fitness-type tests," Pierce says. "There were people with notebooks and things, like they record when you do your sit-ups and pushups — but these were a number of double amputees."

Pierce is the historian for the Walter Reed Society, which makes him an expert on the historic American hospital in Washington, D.C.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Hi, Frank.

FRANK LANGFITT: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: When we say fell, how bad was it?

The military commander of Libya's rebel forces, Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis, was killed Thursday just before arriving for questioning by rebel authorities.

The deadly collision involving two bullet trains in China last weekend is only one of many problems in the country's high-speed rail network. It's also plagued by corruption, undermining safety standards. A proud technological achievement has become an embarrassment.

Have al-Qaida and other militant groups wormed into Pakistan's military?

It's an explosive question, considering that Pakistan's armed forces are vital U.S. allies and also guardians of a stockpile of nuclear weapons. And that was the question a Pakistani journalist addressed in an article written shortly before he was murdered last week.

Saleem Shahzad reported on last month's militant attack on a Pakistani naval base in Karachi. He quoted anonymous sources who linked that attack to the discovery of suspected al-Qaida operatives inside the navy itself.

There is worry that violent militants inside Pakistan could destabilize the country.

American officials want Pakistan to intensify its fight against those militants because they complicate the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Pakistan has repeatedly driven out the Taliban from tribal zones near its border with Afghanistan. But the militants won't stay beaten.

The United States has spent more than $20 billion on Pakistan over the past decade, prompting some Americans to ask what they are getting for the money. America is deeply unpopular in Pakistan and after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Pakistani politicians unleashed a wave of criticism of the United States.

To understand why U.S. aid has not made more friends, NPR came to the gates of Forman Christian College in Lahore, founded for Christian and Muslim students by the Presbyterian Church and in recent years financed in part by the U.S. government.

How did people come to such wildly different conclusions about American aid to Pakistan?

Some Americans seem to have concluded it's a waste of $20 billion. Yet in Lahore, the Pakistani newspaper editor Najam Sethi suggested to me that Pakistan has hardly received any help at all. "It's peanuts," Sethi said.

The answer lies in the incredible complexity of Pakistan, as well as the complexity of sending aid halfway around the world. Nothing about the story is as simple as it seems.

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