Egyptians are getting ready for an historic vote, their first real presidential election since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted during the Arab Spring. Twelve candidates are in the running. One them, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, is already dividing voters ahead of Wednesday's vote. Many consider Shafiq a corrupt holdover from the old regime.
But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, he is gaining widespread support from Egyptians fed up with the growing insecurity in their country.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. World leaders are gathered in Chicago for a two-day NATO summit, which starts this morning. The summit agenda centers on Afghanistan, specifically figuring out how to meet a 2014 withdrawal deadline while shoring up Afghanistan's security forces. We'll hear a view from the White House in a moment. But we begin with this report from NPR's Jackie Northam in Chicago.
When Egyptians go to the polls on May 23, many will be looking to celebrate the end of military rule that began some 50 years ago. Observers warn that it won't be easy to send a deeply entrenched military back to its barracks, and they point to Turkey's experience as an example. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.
The White House is urging war-weary NATO leaders to dig deeper into their pockets to share the commitment to get Afghanistan's forces to stand up on their own so U.S. and NATO forces can pull out in 2014. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Ben Rhodes, White House spokesperson on national security issues.
Host Rachel Martin takes a moment to remember William Henderson Foote, a black federal agent in Mississippi in the late 1800s. He was honored this week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.