BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.
RACHEL MARTIN, host:
Hey, good morning everyone.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said today he would not lead a government under current President Pervez Musharraf. Sharif returned to Pakistan, Sunday, after spending eight years in exile and was greeted at the airport by cheering supporters.
(Soundbite of applause)
MARTIN: Sharif was ousted in a 1999 military coup by Musharraf, and he says he's returned to help end what he called Musharraf's dictatorship. Musharraf has held the country under emergency rule since November 3rd. Nawaz Sharif tried to come back to Pakistan less than three months ago, but Musharraf ordered him deported only a few hours after Sharif landed in Pakistan. Sharif is registering to run in January's national elections, but he says he will boycott the poll unless Musharraf surrenders his emergency powers.
And eyes are fixed on Annapolis, Maryland, this week where the U.S. will host the first Middle East peace conference in seven years. Today, President Bush will meet with Palestinian and Israeli leaders in a last ditch effort to push for Palestinian statehood before Bush leaves office in 14 months. Expectations are low for the meetings, but the event got a major boost yesterday when Syria announced it would participate. Saudi Arabia will also send a representative. Tomorrow, Bush will meet together with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas which is expected to be the conference's symbolic high point.
Disturbing statistics said today about the prevalence of HIV in the nation's capital. A report to be released today reveals what researchers call a modern epidemic of HIV in Washington, D.C., particularly in the African-American population. According to the Washington Post, D.C.'s AIDS rate is the worst of any city in the country. The report by the city's HIV/AIDS Administration says more than 80 percent of all HIV cases between 2001 and 2006 were among black men, women and adolescents. According to the data, most of the children who tested positive in the past five years were infected at birth.
And about a month after announcing an investment partnership with Microsoft, Facebook has made another high-powered friend: ABC News. The social networking site and ABC have formally established the partnership that will allow Facebook members to electronically track ABC reporters, view reports and participate in polls and debates. To highlight their new relationship, the two companies are expected to announce today that they're jointly sponsoring presidential debates in New Hampshire on January 5th, three days before the primary election there.
That's the news, and it's always online at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
MARTIN: Mike and Alison, back to you.
MIKE PESCA, host:
Wow, ABC and Facebook. I always wanted to poke Sam Donaldson. Now I got the chance.
ALISON STEWART, host:
You wouldn't be the first.