Two presidents of Egypt have been ousted after often violent street demonstrations since the Arab Spring, but a law passed in November now bans any protest that is not sanctioned by the Egyptian government as part of the broad crackdown on the dissent there, and thousands have been arrested. Many remain in jail.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama is in Southeast Asia on the third leg of a four-nation tour of Asia. The visit is aimed at reassuring U.S. allies of its support and its intention to remain the primary power in the Asia Pacific. The president's itinerary does not include China but, of course, China's rising influence looms over the entire trip. The president's also trying to move forward on a major trade pact in the region.
Sunday is the deadline for Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over his government's chemical weapons stockpile, and he will have surrendered the vast majority of his declared arsenal.
Some call this a triumph. Others say Assad used the deal to buy time for brutal offensives in the civil war raging through the country. Western governments are investigating reports of more chemical attacks, although Russian officials said Friday that Assad's forces did not use chemical weapons.