World leaders are meeting with President Obama in his hometown of Chicago for a two-day NATO summit focused heavily on Afghanistan.
Obama warned of the difficulty ahead as the summit confronted questions about Afghanistan's future. The summit kicked off on Sunday with a meeting between Obama and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, the two key players to determine that future.
"We still have a lot of work to do and there will be great challenges ahead," Obama said. "The loss of life continues in Afghanistan and there will be hard days ahead."
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.
And when Egyptians head to the polls this week, many will be looking to celebrate the end of military rule, which 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.
So as we just heard, this NATO summit will be crucial when it comes to working out who's going to put up the money needed to support and train Afghan security forces in the years to come. The White House is leading the charge, so next we go to Ben Rhodes, White House spokesman on national security issues. Ben Rhodes, thanks so much for joining us.
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.
Let's turn now to how all of this is playing out on the ground. And for that, we're joined now by our two correspondents in the region. Julie McCarthy is in with us on the line from Islamabad in Pakistan and Quil Lawrence is in the Afghan capital Kabul. Good morning to you both.
Last fall, Abe Lincoln lost his sword. A copper blade went missing from atop President Abraham Lincoln's burial site in Illinois. Authorities eventually recovered it, but in two pieces. Now, as Rachel Otwell reports, the artifact has been replaced.
RACHEL OTWELL, BYLINE: Lincoln's tomb is at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. It's a massive structure with statues of Union soldiers that reach far into the sky. Mikle Siere works at the historic site. He describes the statue the sword was taken from.