WBEZ | World http://www.wbez.org/tags/world Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Tough Choices For Greece's Youth In Economic Crisis http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-03/tough-choices-greeces-youth-economic-crisis-92792 <p><p>The financial crisis gripping Greece is having a major impact on the country's young people. A two-tier labor market that favors the older generation and draconian austerity measures have triggered a record high jobless rate among those under 35.</p><p>And now, the economic upheaval is undermining the traditional family structure and pushing the young to leave their homeland for better prospects.</p><p>On a recent Saturday night in a pub in trendy Monastiraki, a group of 20-somethings held a going-away party for a young doctor who has found a job abroad. His friends don't feel so lucky.</p><p>"The general feeling is that the future does not depend on us," says Joanna Zahari-oudaki, a 31-year-old who gives private English lessons. She says she feels stuck and just tries to survive. "I try to imagine myself one month from now; I don't know what the answer is because every month, every day, we hear different things."</p><p>Zahari-oudaki says nothing changes and it doesn't feel like Greece is a democracy anymore.</p><p>Youth unemployment in Greece is running at 40 percent, one of the highest rates in Europe, and rising, as the economy rapidly shrinks. While the government is laying off middle-aged workers in the inflated civil service, the country of 11 million people last year lost 200,000 jobs in the private sector — where many young Greeks seek opportunities.</p><p>It wasn't easy even before the crisis hit, when the young used to be called the "700 generation." That label stood for a monthly salary of 700 euros, which is less than $1,000. Now, they're lucky if they make 500 euros, and they are rapidly disappearing from the labor market.</p><p><strong>Seeking Opportunity Outside Greece</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>Unemployment offices in Greece are crowded, mostly with young people. George Koklas, 28, just got laid off from his job as a driver and bodyguard at the Finance Ministry. Previously, he worked with his father as a house painter — a skill he believes is useful anywhere.</p><p>Koklas has already put the word out on the international Greek grapevine and hopes to go to the U.S. or Australia.</p><p>"The only thing left for us is to quit the country and to immigrate to another country," Koklas says. "I will feel very bad for my relatives, for my family, [but] not for my country. My country now is a big disgrace."</p><p>Greece's large and growing pool of skilled as well as unskilled workers is attracting headhunters from abroad. The Australian Embassy in Athens is already organizing work fairs in search of doctors and dentists as well as plumbers and home care workers. Even Germany is putting out feelers for doctors and engineers.</p><p>But in a country where family ties are intense, the No. 1 topic anguishing the Greek household is: Should the kids stay at home or seek their fortunes abroad?</p><p>Despina Papadopoulou, who <strong> </strong>teaches social sciences at Athens University, says the economic crisis is having a radical impact on one of the traditional pillars of Greek society: overprotective parents who coddle their children, promote their education and yet keep them at home well into adulthood.</p><p>"Now, you have one or even both parents who have lost their jobs," Papadopoulou<strong> </strong>says. "This is undermining fundamental family relationships. They're exploding, not because of a change in peoples' outlook but because social and economic conditions inside the family have changed."</p><p>The best-educated generation in Greek history has had the rug pulled out from under its feet.</p><p>Lidia Manca comes from a middle-class family and studies accounting and finance at Athens University. Her father, an engineer, recently lost his job, and Manca says she feels at a loss.</p><p>"I never thought before of leaving Greece and going out to find a job," Manca says. "But I think I have no future here. All of us studied hard, we got into a good university in Athens and now it just means nothing."</p><p>But some young people still have a clear aim in sight, and that doesn't include leaving Greece.</p><p><strong>Youth Fighting Back</strong></p><p>Now that the government is slashing funds for education, students from mostly low-income families who got into college through high entrance exam scores and good scholarships are staging protests and occupying buildings.</p><p>Evangelia Angehlina is a medical student who wants to be a surgeon. Her father is a plumber and her mother is a cleaning woman; she has no intention of leaving Greece.</p><p>"I want to fight here with other people to change this situation and have a future in our country," Angehlina says.</p><p>In the middle-class neighborhood of Elinorosson, 30-year-old Stella Kasdagli and her 35-year-old husband, Alexandros Karamalikis, are trying to make ends meet.</p><p>Kasdagli, managing editor of a magazine, has had her wages cut and has to pay a slew of new taxes. Her husband lost his job as a record producer and is now a stay-at-home father, raising their 13-month-old daughter. He restores old pieces of furniture, which he tries to sell to friends.</p><p>The couple say they'll stay in Greece.</p><p>"But we will do that in a hostile environment, without good public schools, without good public universities, without good nurseries, without anything from the state," Karamalikis says. "We give the money without taking something back; they just reduce their help to society, not only to us, but to the poor people who really need it."</p><p>The economic crisis is not only upsetting the family structure. It is also putting the spotlight on Greece's two-tier labor market, which includes older, full-time employees who have up to now enjoyed lifelong job security, and a second-class group of workers — mostly poorly paid young people with short-term contracts and few or no benefits.</p><p>George Kirtsos, a journalist and publisher, calls it a form of modern slavery. And he's not alone in thinking that the crisis could lead to some kind of uprising, led by the young, in what he calls a civil war among generations.</p><p>"Those who control the system that are in [their] 50s or 60s sent a bill of their own failure to the younger generation," Kirtsos says. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317715208?&gn=Tough+Choices+For+Greece%27s+Youth+In+Economic+Crisis&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Europe,Economy,Business,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141014692&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111004&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=3&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-03/tough-choices-greeces-youth-economic-crisis-92792 Finding The Next Steps For U.S.-Pakistan Relations http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-02/finding-next-steps-us-pakistan-relations-92728 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-02/filkins_sq.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/09/29/140898616/adm-mullen-sticks-by-his-assertion-that-pakistan-supports-extremist-network">Adm. Mike Mullen</a> retired last week after spending four years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff trying to improve relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.</p><p>In his parting remarks, he had some advice for his successor, Gen. Martin Dempsey.</p><p>"I urge Marty to remember the importance of Pakistan to all this. To try to do a better job than I did with that vexing and yet vital relationship," he said. "I continue to believe there is no solution without Pakistan and no stable future in the region without a partnership."</p><p>Mullen was, by most accounts, Pakistan's best friend in the U.S. government. So admitting he wasn't able to keep that relationship from unraveling is a sign things have gone from bad to worse.</p><p>Much of the tension is over Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, the spy agency at the center of a recent piece by reporter Dexter Filkins in the <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/09/19/110919fa_fact_filkins"><em>New Yorker</em></a>.</p><p>Filkins wrote about Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani journalist known for his exposés of the Pakistani military and the ISI. Some suspected the agency of harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.</p><p>Filkins told weekends on <em>All Things Considered</em> guest host Rachel Martin that he met Shahzad at a coffee shop in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in May. Bin Laden had been killed that week, and Shahzad was the type of contact an American journalist like Filkins could depend on for some inside information about what happened.</p><p>Shahzad wrote a story last year when bin Laden was still alive about how the al-Qaida chief was on the move again, meeting people and crossing the border. The ISI, he told Filkins, was not a fan of his s reporting, so he got a phone call.</p><p>"So he shows up at the ISI headquarters and sits down with the generals and the admirals and they say, 'We didn't like your story last week,'" Filkins says.</p><p>The ISI told Shahzad they wanted the world to believe that bin Laden was dead, and he was making that harder.</p><p>"Now think about that, this is March, when Osama bin Laden is still alive," Filkins says. "Why on earth is the Pakistani intelligence service saying to a reporter [they] want the world to believe Osama is dead?"</p><p>Shahzad never reported what the ISI had said to him about bin Laden. Filkins pressed him for more information about Pakistan and the ISI, but says Shahzad grew increasingly nervous. He says he kept changing the subject and saying he needed to get his family out of Pakistan.</p><p>"I met a very nervous man. I mean, I met a guy who was afraid for his life," Filkins recalls.</p><p>About a week later, Shahzad wrote another article: about possible links between al-Qaida and the Pakistani navy. That article would be his last.</p><p>"He had written that piece on May 22 [and] he disappeared, I think, within a day and a half," Filkins says. "Two days later, they found him floating facedown in a canal. He'd been beaten to death. He died a terrible death; very slow, very painful."</p><p>Filkins says several American officials told him that the phone call ordering Shahzad's killing came from the office of Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the head of the Pakistan army and thereby the country's most powerful man.</p><p>Mosharraf Zaidi, a Pakistani newspaper columnist who knew Shahzad and was a distant relation, says many journalists in Pakistan don't feel safe.</p><p>"There's been incidences where journalists have been picked up, humiliated, harassed, obviously the story with Syed Saleem Shahzad is one — where obviously the community denies any role but the whispering campaign hasn't really stopped," Zaidi says.</p><p>Zaidi says the reason it's a whisper campaign rather than a riot is that Pakistani security officials aren't accountable to the public.</p><p>"Our intelligence services, our police, military, haven't had a sustained period where it's had to be accountable to elected officials and go through those processes to develop the kind of accountability that a democracy needs to have," he says.</p><p>Filkins says there is no civilian control over the military in Pakistan.</p><p>"They do what they want. They overthrow governments when they don't like them ... you really do feel like you're living inside of a spy novel," he says.</p><p>Filkins says the difficulty in U.S.-Pakistan relations is that about 85 to 90 percent of the supplies going to Afghanistan go through Pakistan. Simply cutting Pakistan off is not an option.</p><p>"The other reason is that they have about 100 nuclear weapons and not all of which we really know the location of," Filkins says. "And there's a terrible fear that those nukes are going to fall into the wrong hands."</p><p><strong>Next Steps For The U.S.</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>This past week on NPR, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/09/28/140860934/pakistans-foreign-minister-blame-game-is-counterproductive">responded </a>to Mullen's comments, calling them "counterproductive." She said the past successes between the U.S. and Pakistan cannot be "shoved under the rug."</p><p>Daniel Markey, a former State Department official now with the Council on Foreign relations, agrees that the U.S. and Pakistan have shared success before. But he says Pakistan is hedging its bets when it comes to going after insurgent groups within its borders.</p><p>"Pakistan seeks to have some influence in Afghanistan and one of the things that it's come upon is the use of militant groups to expand their influence that includes the Haqqani network," Markey says.</p><p>The tactic – also used against neighbor and rival India — is used to sow violence and instability and project Pakistan's own interests, Markey says.</p><p>The U.S. needs to make it very clear it is unacceptable for Pakistan to use militant groups that the U.S. has identified as threats, Markey says.</p><p>"Beyond that, the U.S. should open up a way for [Pakistan] to project their influence without using these groups," Markey says.</p><p>The problem now is that there's a question of whether the U.S. can continue to offer the type of assistance it has in the past to Pakistan because of Congress' ire at the country. That anger could see assistance to Pakistan cut off in the near future.</p><p>Offering new avenues for Pakistan to raise its influence without using these militant groups is a challenge, Markey says.</p><p>Unless the U.S. offers something such as trade benefits or other types of assistance that Pakistan has requested for years, Markey says he doesn't believe the U.S. can get them to budge. The problem is making that aid appealing to those who have to approve it.</p><p>"The real question is: Can we get them to change?" Markey says. "But if these things might bring us plausible prospect of change, I think we should try." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317592734?&gn=Finding+The+Next+Steps+For+U.S.-Pakistan+Relations&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=World,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140994188&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111002&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Sun, 02 Oct 2011 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-02/finding-next-steps-us-pakistan-relations-92728 Conditional Aid For Pakistan: Change Not Guaranteed http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-01/conditional-aid-pakistan-change-not-guaranteed-92715 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-01/505474746_8599909.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pakistan is a leading recipient of U.S. economic aid, receiving billions of dollars every year in both civilian and military support. However, the recent rocky patch between the two countries is pushing many members of Congress to reevaluate the assistance package.</p><p>The U.S. has been providing foreign assistance to Pakistan, to varying degrees, since the country was born in 1947. Aid started to climb dramatically after the Sept. 11 attacks, when Pakistan was deemed an ally in the battle against terrorism. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the U.S. has pumped roughly $20 billion into Pakistan since 2001.</p><p>Danny Cutherell, a policy analyst at the Center for Global Development, says recent incidents, like the finding of Osama bin Laden near a key military base in Pakistan, are causing many members of Congress to question whether the U.S. is being taken for a ride.</p><p>"When they found bin Laden hiding there, I think a lot of people are asking, 'Is it really possible the military could not have know that he was there?'" Cutherell says. "And also with these new allegations of the Pakistani military supporting the Haqqani network, I think the natural impulse there is to say, 'Don't give them any money if they're not working with us.'"</p><p>The magnitude of Congressional displeasure with Pakistan is seen in next year's proposed appropriations bills both in the Republican-led House, and the Democratic-run Senate. Cutherell says both proposals make economic and military assistance conditional.</p><p>"It says unless you can prove that the Pakistani government is essentially hunting down the Haqqani network, the Taliban, al-Qaida, unless you can certify that every year, you can't disburse any aid to Pakistan," he says. "So that includes both civilian aid and military aid."</p><p>One of Congress's targets is the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, better known as the "Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill." The bill promises $7.5 billion over the course of five years to help strengthen the fledgling civilian government and the people. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle complain that bill and that money have done little to build trust between the two countries. Military assistance is also in Congress's crosshairs.</p><p>"It is the biggest lever that we have, there's no question about it, it's the thing they value the most," says Tom Donnelly, a defense expert with the American Enterprise Institute. "Because Pakistan is an army in charge of a state rather than a state in charge of an army, the military is by far the most dominant organization in Pakistan."</p><p>The Obama administration is requesting more than $2 billion for Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. has also provided at least $2 billion more every year in grants since Sept. 11 to modernize Pakistan's military. Donnelly says hundreds of millions dollars more are tucked into different budgets for reimbursements and the like.</p><p>"Things like buying uniforms for and giving low-level equipment to the Pakistani armory and this Frontier Corps, but the Pakistanis charge a big premium just to allow us to do that," he says.</p><p>The U.S. already suspended $800 million because the Pakistanis expelled American military trainers following the bin Laden killing. Moeed Yusuf, a South Asia adviser at the U.S. Institute of Peace, says Pakistan may not like cuts in foreign assistance, but those cuts are unlikely to force a change of behavior.</p><p>"Pakistan will probably dig its heels. Pakistan has this narrative of having gone through 10 years of sanctions in the '90s and still survived. Pakistan has the narrative of having a great friend in China," Yusuf says. "So my view is they will go and fetch and find whatever they can, but the last thing they will do is to change their calculus just because the aid has disappeared."</p><p>Yusuf says cutting off aid to Pakistan will be counterproductive, if anything. He says ultimately the U.S. and the rest of the world have an interest in a stable Pakistan, even if it takes a lot of patience. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317473949?&gn=Conditional+Aid+For+Pakistan%3A+Change+Not+Guaranteed&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140970143&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111001&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=7&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Sat, 01 Oct 2011 07:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-01/conditional-aid-pakistan-change-not-guaranteed-92715 Turkey's Erdogan Blasts Syria, Israel http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-25/turkeys-erdogan-blasts-syria-israel-92438 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-26/505825988_8758175.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been generating international attention recently with sharp criticism of three countries that have had close relations with his country: Israel, Syria and the United States.</p><p>In an interview with <em>Morning Edition's</em> David Greene, Erdogan said the Syrians have a right to determine their future. Instead of bringing about reforms, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/09/12/140394884/in-syria-2-600-dead-so-far-u-n-official-says" target="_blank">President Bashar Assad</a> has been "turning guns toward his own people."</p><p>The Turkish leader has also been a repeated critic of Israel. Relations between the two states have been spiraling downward since last year, when Israeli commandos raided a Turkish aid flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turkish citizens. Earlier this month, Turkey downgraded relations, and Erdogan says ties will not improve until Israel apologizes and meets other demands.</p><p>In addition, Erdogan has been a strong supporter of the Palestinians. He is currently so popular in the Palestinian territories that his photo is prominently displayed in many public places.</p><p>He sees the U.S. as <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/09/21/140655094/at-u-n-obama-faces-palestinian-challenge" target="_blank">standing in the way of the Palestinian people</a> and their attempt to achieve statehood at the U.N. He says he has "no doubt" that the U.S. image in the region has been harmed by the Obama administration's opposition to the Palestinian's U.N. bid.</p><p><strong>Highlights of the interview</strong></p><p><strong>On relations with Syria, where President Bashar Assad has cracked down on pro-democracy protesters</strong></p><p>"Of course, the current developments between Syria and Turkey are not very promising right now. We needed certain reforms to be carried out, but unfortunately, under these circumstances, instead of carrying out the necessary steps forward to improve the situation, Assad wanted to keep his position and he became increasingly aggressive and violent.</p><p>"And unfortunately, until now, no steps have been taken forward to improve the situation, and he became a leader turning guns toward his own people. But, of course, the current situation in Syria, and Assad's conduct, is in full contradiction with our principles with which we approach people and humanity. That's where friendship ends."</p><p><strong>On what it will take to mend his country's relations with Israel</strong></p><p>"Three things: One, an apology; compensation must be paid; and the embargo upon Palestine and the Gaza Strip should be eliminated once and for all."</p><p><strong>On whether he regrets calling Israel a "spoiled child," and its actions "state terrorism" </strong></p><p>"Never forget that as a prime minister, as a leader of my country, I'm carrying a responsibility. I'm not only speaking about the 74 million inhabitants who are living in Turkey, who are my citizens ... but also the entire population of the Arab world that expects our reaction and our response on this issue. They will always observe whether I'm taking ownership of my citizens who have been killed on board a ship navigating in international territorial waters or not. This is a duty for me. This is an obligation for me."</p><p><strong>On U.S. opposition to the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations</strong></p><p>"I've said whatever I was supposed to say on this matter when I spoke personally with Mr. Obama a couple of days ago. And I reminded my dear brother, my dear friend, of the speech he has delivered only last year at the 65th General Assembly of the United Nations. I read the speech text to him. I told him that last year you had announced everybody in the audience that you were going to see Palestine emerging as a recognized state out of the General Assembly hall."</p><p><strong>On whether the U.S. image has been damaged in the Middle East by its opposition to Palestinian statehood at the U.N.<br /></strong></p><p>"No doubt." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317028040?&gn=Turkey%27s+Erdogan+Blasts+Syria%2C+Israel&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Europe,Interviews,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140790657&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110926&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=3&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 04:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-25/turkeys-erdogan-blasts-syria-israel-92438 Security Expert: U.S. 'Leading Force' Behind Stuxnet http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-25/security-expert-us-leading-force-behind-stuxnet-92437 <p><p>One year ago, German cyber security expert Ralph Langner announced he had found a computer worm designed to sabotage a nuclear facility in Iran. It's called Stuxnet, and it was the most sophisticated worm Langner had ever seen.</p><p>In the year since, Stuxnet has been analyzed as a cyber super weapon, one so dangerous it might even harm those who created it.</p><p>In the summer of 2010, Langner and his partners went to work analyzing a malicious software program that was turning up in some equipment. <a href="http://www.langner.com/en/">Langner Communications</a> is a small firm in Hamburg, Germany, but Langner and the two engineers with whom he works know a lot about industrial control systems. What they found in Stuxnet left them flabbergasted.</p><p>"I'm in this business for 20 years, and what we saw in the lab when analyzing Stuxnet was far beyond everything we had ever imagined," Langner says.</p><p>It was a worm that could burrow its way into an industrial control system, the kind of system used in power plants, refineries and nuclear stations. Amazingly, it ignored everything it found except the one piece of equipment it was seeking; when the worm reached its target, it would destroy it.</p><p>Langner says that the more his team analyzed the Stuxnet worm, the more they knew they were onto something big.</p><p>"We were pretty much working around the clock," he says, "because after we had the first impression of the magnitude of this, we were just like on speed or something like that. It was just impossible to go back to sleep."</p><p>Langner also realized after analyzing the Stuxnet code that it was designed to disable a particular nuclear facility in Iran. That's serious business, he figured. Some Iranian nuclear scientists, he remembered, had been mysteriously killed. Langner published his findings anyway.</p><p>"I wasn't actually scared, but this was just something I was thinking about," he says. "You know, this stuff must involve intelligence services who do some dirty work every now and then, and you can't just block that away from your personal situation when you are the guy who is the first to publish [that] this is a directed attack against the Iranian nuclear program. So there have been some frightening moments."</p><p><strong>'</strong><strong>United States</strong><strong> Behind Stuxnet'</strong></p><p>Langner says as they dug deeper into the Stuxnet code, each new discovery left them more impressed and wondering what was coming next. He says he couldn't imagine who could have created the worm, and the level of expertise seemed almost alien. But that would be science fiction, and Stuxnet was a reality.</p><p>"Thinking about it for another minute, if it's not aliens, it's got to be the United States," he says.</p><p>The sophistication of the worm, plus the fact that the designer had inside intelligence on the Iranian facility, led Langner to conclude the United States had developed Stuxnet, possibly with the help of Israeli intelligence.</p><p>Langner isn't shy about naming the U.S. as the Stuxnet culprit, as he stated in a recent speech at the Brookings Institution. In that speech, he also made the bigger point that having developed Stuxnet as a computer weapon, the United States has in effect introduced it into the world's cyber arsenal.</p><p>"Cyber weapons proliferate by use, as we see in the case of Stuxnet," he said. "Several months or weeks or a year later, the code is available on the Internet for dissection by anyone who has the motivation or money to do so."</p><p>It would have to be revised, Langner says, in order to target some other industrial control system besides the one in Iran, a U.S. power plant, for example. But it could be done, and he warns that U.S. utility companies are not yet prepared to deal with the threat Stuxnet represents.</p><p>The CIA declined to comment on Langner's charge that the U.S. was "the leading force" behind Stuxnet. Homeland Security officials insist measures are being taken to defend U.S. infrastructure against cyber attack. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317027137?&gn=Security+Expert%3A+U.S.+%27Leading+Force%27+Behind+Stuxnet&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=National+Security,Technology,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140789306&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110926&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=3&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 03:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-25/security-expert-us-leading-force-behind-stuxnet-92437 Fragile U.S.-Pakistan Relations On Downward Spiral http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-25/fragile-us-pakistan-relations-downward-spiral-92436 <p><p>The fragile and troubled relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan is on a deep, downward spiral. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that Pakistan's intelligence agency had a role in several high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, including the attack earlier this month on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.</p><p>Mullen's comments made public what many officials in Washington and Afghanistan have long voiced only in private; that Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, the ISI, supports insurgent groups including the Haqqani network, one of the most dangerous group, based in Pakistan's tribal region.</p><p>Mullen said the Haqqani network, which launches attacks against Western troops in neighboring Afghanistan, acts as a veritable arm of the spy agency. His comments signal a more confrontational stance against Pakistan. Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, says Mullen's forceful language was striking in its tone and substance.</p><p>"The implication is that the United States government is saying with one voice that, if Pakistan does not end its ties with the Haqqani network, the U.S. will expand its unilateral actions to destroy that network whether Pakistan likes it or not." Markey says.</p><p>Markey says the U.S. could expand its drone strikes in North Waziristan, where the Haqqani network is believed to be based. But he says things could go further, such as launching raids using U.S. Special Forces.</p><p>"You could see conventional forces in Afghanistan moved up to the Pakistan border to support cross-border attacks that would probably start out small but could expand," he says. "And you could see a variety of other combined efforts that could even include a more extensive bombing campaign that went beyond the use of drones."</p><p><strong>Pakistan</strong><strong> Denounces Comments</strong></p><p>On Sunday, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan army chief, called in his commanders for a special meeting to discuss the security situation. That was an unusual move, says retired Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.</p><p>"Their media people coming out of that said that Pakistan intends to defend its borders from incursions from Afghanistan," Barno says. "So I think they're signaling that they're not going to tolerate any U.S. ground intervention certainly into Pakistan."</p><p>Barno says Pakistan considers any ground incursion, any raid by American Special Forces or the like, as crossing a red line, and that the U.S. could face a significant backlash. Among other things, Pakistan could shut down critical land and air routes needed to shuttle military supplies into Afghanistan. Still, Barno says the U.S. has to consider when it reaches a point where it has to take that risk.</p><p>"I don't think we've ruled anything out entirely," he says.</p><p>Barno thinks there's probably a debate going on to sort out what things can be done and what lines the U.S. can cross or should we cross at this point in time. He says the uprooting of the Haqqani network is part of that strategic calculation, especially as the U.S. begins winding down its operations in Afghanistan in 2014.</p><p>Barno says it's clear that Washington has lost patience with Pakistan's reluctance or inability to go after militants on its own soil. Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council, says this is probably the worst he's seen relations between the two countries in a very long time.</p><p>"I see the mood darkening in Washington, and I fear that it may lead to unilateral action," Nawaz says. "But historically, whenever the U.S. has put such sharp pressure on Pakistan to do certain things on behalf of the U.S., the Pakistanis have not reacted well at all."</p><p>Nawaz says the U.S. and Pakistan need some clear-headed thinking to get out of this situation because the two sides need each other — at least for the next few years. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317026230?&gn=Fragile+U.S.-Pakistan+Relations+On+Downward+Spiral&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Afghanistan,National+Security,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140791165&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110926&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=3&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 03:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-25/fragile-us-pakistan-relations-downward-spiral-92436 Irish Nomads Fight To Save Decade-Long Home http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-24/irish-nomads-fight-save-decade-long-home-92421 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-25/dale_farm_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A group of semi-nomadic Irish known as Irish travellers has been ordered to leave the former scrap yard east of London where they've been living.</p><p>The local government has been trying to evict most of the group since it started living on the land 10 years ago, an eviction that has long been delayed due to legal wrangling. But on Monday, a judge will finally rule on the plea of the travellers to remain on land that's been their home for a decade.</p><p>The controversy revolves around a site known as Dale Farm in the English town of Basildon, about 15 miles east of London. The area is home to 86 families of Irish travellers — some 400 people living, according to custom and culture, in extended family groups.</p><p>When the travellers bought the land, half was zoned for residential use but the other half was zoned "greenbelt," which meant it was protected from development. The Basildon Town Council has spent about 10 years and $28 million trying to clear the 52 trailers from that site.</p><p>As she walked into court Friday, Dale Farm resident Kathleen McCarthy told reporters the case is crystal clear.</p><p>"Justice — that is really what this is all about," she said. "Because it's going on 10 years now and we just need justice; we need to be let stay or find somewhere for us to go."</p><p>But the town says the zoning law is clear and has to apply to everyone equally.</p><p>The travellers, though, say it isn't that simple. Like Roma migrants and new age travellers, Irish travellers theoretically have the legal right to pursue their semi-nomadic way of life in Britain. In reality, they say, 90 percent of their zoning applications are turned down.</p><p>Basildon has offered alternative housing or plots of land, but the travellers have rejected them all as too rundown, too permanent or too dispersed to allow them to maintain their close family ties.</p><p>"They want a site in the area where they can carry on their lives, where their kids can still go to the local school or a school nearby, and they can remain part of the community of Basildon, which is where most of these kids were born," said Matthew Brindley of the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irish-Traveller-Movement/160681543259">Irish Travellers Movement</a>, a group that advocates for travellers' rights.</p><p>Last Monday, as authorities prepared to carry out the mass eviction, the travellers won a last-minute court-ordered reprieve to allow a high court judge to consider the case.</p><p>The judge says his ruling will concern not whether but when and how the evictions should proceed. Tony Ball, head of Basildon's Town Council, says he's confident of victory.</p><p>"We've been doing this for 10 years; we can wait another three [or] four days," Ball said.</p><p>He may have to wait longer than that, though, since the travellers have reportedly lodged two more bids for a judicial review of their case. If allowed, the reviews could cost Basildon yet more time and more money. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1316944329?&gn=Irish+Nomads+Fight+To+Save+Decade-Long+Home&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Europe,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140772711&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110925&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=10&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Sun, 25 Sep 2011 03:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-24/irish-nomads-fight-save-decade-long-home-92421 World Powers Seek To Contain Europe Debt Crisis http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-24/world-powers-seek-contain-europe-debt-crisis-92420 <p><p>World stock markets tumbled this week amid fears about Europe's debt crisis, and the subject dominated the discussions at the fall meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund held this weekend.</p><p>Europe's sovereign debt problems, including the growing possibility of a default by Greece, have been festering now for more than a year. Investors in the financial markets are questioning the will and capacity of European governments to solve the problem. In the seminars and salons surrounding the IMF/World Bank meetings financial heavy-weights sounded the alarm.</p><p>"For Europe these meetings are the equivalent of an intervention for an alcoholic," said Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of the giant bond fund PIMCO. "The friends, the family are all coming around the Europeans and saying 'guys and gals, you have a problem and it's bad and let me tell you about it.' Now the question is: does Europe respond to the intervention or not?"</p><p>Recently, much of the discussion surrounding the European debt crisis has centered on Greece and whether it will get the second round of emergency funding from the IMF and the European Union. But former U.S. Treasury Secretary and White House advisor Larry Summers told an audience that was like worrying about a broken ankle when organ failure is imminent.</p><p>"If a generous sovereign from Mars came down and paid off every penny of Greece's debt tomorrow, the fundamentals of Europe in crisis would not be altered," Summers said.</p><p>That's because the underlying problem is the inability of Europe, so far, to follow through on a plan its government leaders agreed to in July. It would allow Europe to use its financial emergency fund, the EFSF, to provide emergency loans at rock-bottom interest rates to countries in trouble, including larger countries with shaky finances, like Italy and Spain.</p><p>The fund could also be used to prop up European banks which could fail if those larger countries defaulted. But the agreement needs to be ratified by the legislatures of all 17 Euro-zone nations, and fewer than half have approved it so far.</p><p>At the IMF meeting Saturday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned that time is running out, and that the threat of cascading default, and bank runs must be taken off the table.</p><p>In his recent trip to Europe, Geithner suggested the Europeans boost the size of their 440 billion euro rescue fund and take some lessons from the way the US used the $700 billion TARP fund to prop up big banks during it's financial crisis.</p><p>Geithner was publically rebuffed by some officials, not surprising, said Jacob Kierkegard, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.</p><p>"Probably the only thing more unpopular in Europe than bailing out Greece is bailing out banks," Kirkegaard said.</p><p>Speaking from his native Denmark, Kirkegaard said he believes, in the end, Europe will do what needs to be done.</p><p>"But we're going to see a continuation of this extreme volatility in financial markets for quite a while yet, because this is not something that's going to be solved in the next couple of week or the next couple of months, so we're in for a bumpy ride," he said.</p><p>That's even if Greece gets the next installment of its bailout, which Kirkegaard believes it will.</p><p>At the end of the IMF meetings, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said its members were ready to take bold action.</p><p>"I myself was certainly very strongly encouraged by the purpose, the determination, the sense of absolute urgency that was shared among the membership," Lagarde said.</p><p>For the Europeans, said Lagarde, the key is implementation of their July agreement. The German Parliament takes up the agreement this week. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1316923934?&gn=World+Powers+Seek+To+Contain+Europe+Debt+Crisis&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Economy,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140771542&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110924&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=10&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Sat, 24 Sep 2011 13:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-24/world-powers-seek-contain-europe-debt-crisis-92420 U.S. Rebukes Pakistan For Ties To Afghan Militants http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-22/us-rebukes-pakistan-ties-afghan-militants-92346 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-22/afpak_war1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. military officials have for years talked of links between Pakistan's spy agency and militant groups attacking American forces across the border in Afghanistan.</p><p>During a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, the top U.S. military officer said there's proof.</p><p>The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was blunt. Supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the militant Haqqani network was responsible for attacks that included the one on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last week, he said.</p><p>"We also have credible intelligence that they were behind the June 28 attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and a host of other, smaller but effective operations," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq.</p><p>This was Mullen's last appearance before Congress before retiring at the end of this month. The chairman is known for taking a diplomatic approach with Pakistan, but after last week's attack on the U.S. Embassy, Mullen issued an unusually stern warning.</p><p>"In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan — and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI — jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership, but Pakistan's opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence," he said.</p><p><strong>Still Providing Safe Haven</strong></p><p>Mullen has been the Obama administration's key link between the U.S. and Pakistan, visiting that country dozens of times for personal meetings with the head of Pakistan's military.</p><p>"I've done it because I believe that a flawed and difficult relationship is better than no relationship at all. Some may argue I have wasted my time, that Pakistan is no closer to us than before and may now have drifted even further away. I disagree," he said.</p><p>Mullen said cooperation with Pakistan has been getting better, especially the fight against al-Qaida. For example, earlier this month, Pakistan arrested the group's operations chief.</p><p>But both Mullen and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Pakistan is still harboring other terrorist groups, like the Haqqanis.</p><p>"We cannot tolerate their having these kind of safe havens. We cannot tolerate having terrorists coming across the border, attacking our forces, killing our soldiers and then escaping back into that safe haven. That is not tolerable," Panetta said.</p><p><strong>Calls For Change</strong></p><p>Some senators are losing patience after 10 years of war.</p><p>"We should get out as quickly as we can," said Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia. "Go and fight terrorism anywhere and everywhere to keep it from the shores of America, but I do not believe we can win and change the Afghans or the Pakistanis."</p><p>The secretary of defense responded.</p><p>"I understand there's been waste, I understand that mistakes have been made," Panetta said. "But I also believe that this is a point where the U.S. has got to stick with it and not just walk away, largely because the last thing we should do is to say to those families who have lost loved ones that somehow all of this was in vain."</p><p>At the same time, Panetta said the U.S. must find a way to get Pakistan to stop reaching out to the U.S. with one hand and propping up terrorist groups with the other.</p><p>"Would you agree with me," asked Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, "if something doesn't change in Pakistan substantially that we are on a collision course with Pakistan?"</p><p>"It has to change," Panetta responded. "We can't continue the situation as it is now."</p><p>Panetta said he has made it clear to Pakistan that the U.S. will do everything in its power to protect American forces from attacks that originate from Pakistan. He refused to say exactly what that could entail. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1316724430?&gn=U.S.+Rebukes+Pakistan+For+Ties+To+Afghan+Militants&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Afghanistan,Asia,National+Security,World,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140711511&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110922&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 13:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-22/us-rebukes-pakistan-ties-afghan-militants-92346 Toronto Restricts Sales Of Cats And Dogs http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-22/toronto-restricts-sales-cats-and-dogs-92340 <p><p>Toronto's City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban pet shops from selling dogs and cats unless the animals come from shelters or rescue groups.</p><p>The move comes after authorities seized more than 500 dogs from a Quebec puppy mill in what could represent the largest case of animal cruelty in Quebec's history.</p><p>The animals are now in the care of the Humane Society. Many of them are suffering from skin and respiratory problems. A representative of the society said the operation involved some of the worst conditions she'd ever seen.</p><p>Under the new rule, pet shops in the city can no longer sell dogs or cats unless the animals come from a shelter, the Humane Society or a registered rescue group.</p><p>Many animal-rights activists hope the action by the country's largest city will further the movement to ban or restrict pets being sold in shops across Canada.<br /> <br /> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1316713329?&gn=Toronto+Restricts+Sales+Of+Cats+And+Dogs&ev=event2&ch=1004&h1=Animals,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140708335&c7=1004&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1004&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110922&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-22/toronto-restricts-sales-cats-and-dogs-92340