A brief encounter between two leaders has raised hope for better relations between India and Pakistan. India's prime minister hosted Pakistan's president and accepted a return invitation to travel to Pakistan. We talk here of two nuclear-armed rivals whose relations were even worse than usual, after Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008. And the meeting came as disaster struck Pakistani troops facing Indian soldiers in the Himalayas.
NPR's Julie McCarthy is going to talk us through all this. Hi, Julie.
We're following news this morning of more killings in the Syrian city of Homs. That's the city where rebel neighborhoods came under artillery fire for weeks and where two Western journalists were killed. Rebels later retreated, but residents and activists say pro-government militias have massacred dozens of civilians, mainly women and children. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following this story from Beirut.
And let's go next to Afghanistan, where a car bomb exploded outside a U.S. air base today. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which killed nine people. This latest wave of violence follows reports of American soldiers burning several copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Activists and human rights groups in Syria contend the government has now killed hundreds of civilians this week alone. It's hard to verify that number, but it is clear that mortars, rockets and tanks continue firing into the city of Homs. That gunfire has served as a week-long punctuation mark on the United Nation's failure to approve a resolution against Syria. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following the situation from Beirut. She joins us once again.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Here's the latest on the crisis in Syria. The U.S. State Department says it has closed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, and evacuated its diplomats. The U.S. also issued a warning for all American citizens to leave the country immediately. A State Department spokewoman says the embassy was shut because of concerns that it's not sufficiently protected from armed attack.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
The civilian government of Pakistan has been under absurd amounts of pressure ever since it won election about four years ago. It's squeezed by the army - which reluctantly surrendered power - by the United States, by a host of insurgents and also by Pakistan's Supreme Court.