World News

Parallels
9:42 am
Mon April 27, 2015

With The U.S. In The Background, Afghan Commandos Step It Up

Afghan commandos move through a smoke screen during a training exercise at Camp Commando on the outskirts of Kabul. Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

With the U.S. combat role over in Afghanistan, the country's security now depends on men like Sgt. Maj. Faiz Mohammed Wafa, one of the leaders of the Afghan commandos.

On this day, the Afghan sergeant is screaming at trainees at Camp Commando, a training center built by the Americans in the hills south of Kabul. Two dozen trainees are seated in the dirt in full combat gear. Wafa is trying to teach them the proper way to clear a house, searching room to room for insurgents.

"I told you 10 times," he says. "Hold your weapons correctly!"

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon April 27, 2015

6 Novelists Withdraw From Event Honoring 'Charlie Hebdo' For Free Speech

Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, the late editor of Charlie Hebdo, is seen in September 2012. PEN American Center's decision to give the French satirical magazine its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award has prompted six writers to withdraw from the annual event.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 9:28 am

Six writers have withdrawn from the PEN American Center's annual gala on May 5 in protest against the free-speech organization's decision to give the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award.

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Mon April 27, 2015

More Than 4,000 Dead In Nepal As Earthquake Toll Rises

A woman and child rest in the open outside a destroyed building Sunday, a day after a major earthquake destroyed homes in Kumalpur village on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. Nine people reportedly died in the small village, including four children.
Narendrea Shrestha EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 10:19 am

Nepal's devastating earthquake that hit Saturday is now blamed for at least 4,000 deaths. Reconstruction is estimated to cost billions. International aid efforts are underway, but aftershocks are rattling survivors' nerves and making the recovery even more challenging.

Update at noon, ET: Death Toll Rises Above 4,000

We've updated this post with the latest figures from officials in Nepal.

Our original post continues:

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Asia
5:13 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Humanitarian Groups Arrive In Nepal To Help With Earthquake Aftermath

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 5:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
3:45 am
Mon April 27, 2015

In Nepal, Aftershocks Keep People Fearful And Out Of Their Homes

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 6:13 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
2:35 am
Mon April 27, 2015

For Japan's Prime Minister, U.S. Visit A Chance To Elevate Image

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier this month in Tokyo. Abe's visit to the U.S. this week features an agreement for the Japanese military to have a more active role.
Franck Robichon AP

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 10:27 am

Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is in the U.S. this week for a tightly packed visit that will focus largely on the strong ties between the U.S. and its closest Asian ally.

There was a time not so long ago that the prime minister's office in Tokyo appeared to have a revolving door. Japan went through four prime ministers during President Obama's first three years in office.

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All Tech Considered
2:35 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

SwiftKey analyzed more than a billion pieces of emoji data, organized by language and country. The poop emoji was most popular in Canada.
Unicode/Apple

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 6:20 am

Smartphones have become an essential part of many people's lives — 64 percent of Americans own one. And just as smartphones grew in popularity, so too have emojis. There are now more than a thousand emojis and some of them can really say a lot about how people are using language and communicating.

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World
3:25 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

Malta's Coast Guard Rescues Migrants — And Feels The Strain

Soldiers in Malta carry coffins during a funeral service for 24 migrants who drowned while trying to reach southern Italy.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 4:34 pm

This week, the bodies of 24 unidentified migrants were laid to rest in Malta, the European island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. They were among more than 800 people who lost their lives last weekend off the coast of Libya when their ship capsized as they were trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach a better life.

Lieutenant Keith Caruana of the Armed Forces of Malta spoke with NPR's Arun Rath about the situation in the Mediterranean — and the toll it has taken on rescuers after more than a decade of trying to save the lives of desperate people seeking safety.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Sun April 26, 2015

Putin: 'No Regrets' Over Crimea Annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a celebration to mark the first anniversary of Crimea's incorporation into Russia, in Moscow, on March 18.
Xinhua Xinhua/Landov

In a new documentary in Russia, President Vladimir Putin says that the annexation of Crimea just over a year ago was justified and righted a historical wrong.

In the film titled The President, Putin denies that the importance of the Black Sea peninsula is not strategic. "It's because this has elements of historical justice. I believe we did the right thing and I don't regret anything," he says, according to RIA news agency.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Eliud Kipchoge Edges Out Fellow Kenyans To Win London Marathon

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (left) celebrates winning the London Marathon next to runner-up and last year's winner Wilson Kipsang, also of Kenya, on Sunday.
Facundo Arrozabalaga EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 12:57 pm

In his first London Marathon win, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge edged past his countryman and defending champ Wilson Kipsang to win the distance race by five seconds, with a final time of 2:04:47. Fellow Kenyans, including the world-record holder, rounded out the third and fourth spots.

ESPN writes:

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Sun April 26, 2015

High-Altitude Rescue Underway On Everest

People approach the scene after an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Saturday. At least 17 people have been killed on the mountain.
Azim Afif AP

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 12:59 pm

Following a powerful quake that has killed more than 2,000 people in Nepal, a high-altitude effort is underway on the slopes of the world's highest peak to rescue trapped climbers and recover the bodies of those killed when the temblor triggered a massive avalanche that swept base camp.

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Asia
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Kathmandu In Chaos After Massive Saturday Earthquake

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 12:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Fruit Loops And Crying Travelers: The Trials Of Flight Attendants

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Pakistani Activists Mourn Slain Human Rights Proponent

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 5:42 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Europe
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Number Of The Week: Migrants En Route To Europe

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Fifty-two.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: 11:52.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Twenty-five.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: 6.112...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #4: Twenty-five thousand eight...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Asia
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Everest Climbers Hit By Deadly Snow, Rock After Nepal Quake

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Humans
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo, A Chant That Spans The Globe

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Commentary
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

U.K. Candidates Stumble Just Days Before General Election

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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World
3:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

Solving Crimes With Pollen, One Grain Of Evidence At A Time

Dallas Mildenhall, New Zealand's forensic pollen expert, peers at samples through a microscope.
Courtesy of David Wolman

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 4:23 pm

Some murder cases are harder to solve than others. The investigation into the killing of Mellory Manning — a 27-year-old woman who was assaulted and murdered in 2008 while working as a prostitute in Christchurch, New Zealand — confounded police.

They conducted an investigation and interviewed hundreds of people, but months later, they still had no solid leads.

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World
3:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

Turkey's Armenian Artists Honor Their Community's Past

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 4:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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World
3:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

From Alabama To ISIS

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 4:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

We've heard a lot about how the group that calls itself the Islamic State, or ISIS, has mastered social media like Twitter. Ellie Hall, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, has been tracking the tweets of female ISIS recruits. Recently, a woman with the handle Umm Jihad caught her attention.

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World
3:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

Devastating Earthquake Hits Nepal, Kills More Than 1,000

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 4:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Indonesia Sets Executions For 3 'Bali Nine' Drug-Smugglers

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (center) of the Philippines, is escorted by Indonesian officers during a hearing to appeal her conviction on drug-smuggling charges in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in March. Veloso is one of three "Bali Nine" inmates who have been told their execution date is imminent.
Bimo Satrio EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 1:39 pm

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Two Australians and a woman from the Philippines convicted nearly a decade ago of drug smuggling in Indonesia have been informed by authorities that their execution by firing squad is imminent.

"Indonesian authorities today [Saturday] advised Australian consular officials that the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be scheduled imminently at Nusa Kambangan prison in central Java," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sat April 25, 2015

On Everest, Quake-Triggered Avalanche Leaves Death, Chaos

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 12:07 am

Read this post on Storify.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:22 am
Sat April 25, 2015

1,400 Confirmed Dead In Nepal After Powerful Earthquake

Volunteers help with rescue work at the site of a building that collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Saturday. The temblor is the worst in Nepal in 80 years.
Niranjan Shrestha AP

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 6:43 am

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

The desperate search for survivors continues Sunday in Nepal. Strong aftershocks woke thousands of Nepalese who were forced to spend the cold night outdoors.

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Parallels
5:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Flood Of Desperate Refugees Tests Spaniards' Tolerance

Migrants wait to disembark at the Catania harbor in southern Italy on April 24. In recent weeks, hundreds of migrants leaving Libya have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European countries, including Italy, Spain and Greece.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 6:58 pm

Pepe Guerrero is a doorman at a high-rise building in Malaga, on Spain's Mediterranean coast. From his post he looks out at the turquoise blue waters — where hundreds of Arab and African migrants have drowned in recent weeks.

"They're people — human beings like us," he says. "Searching for a better life."

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Asia
5:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Powerful Quake Hits Nepal; Death Toll Rising

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 10:36 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Africa
5:27 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Rap City: Sweat, Hope & Hip-Hop In Dakar

Fans wait for Senegal's biggest stars to perform at a free hip-hop festival, held in the capital city of Dakar.
Ryan Kellman for NPR

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:30 pm

An orange streetlight glows over the sandy street corner. The surrounding alleys and cement buildings disappear into darkness at the edge of the light. It is 11 p.m. on this July night, temperatures are still in the high 80s and a cool breeze is nowhere to be found.

Young men hustle to arrange hulking, rusted speakers on either side of a small wooden platform. Others hover by the streetlight. They wear crisp T-shirts with bold lettering and splashes of color.

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Parallels
3:20 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Invisible For Generations, 'Hidden Armenians' Emerge In Turkey

Armenian Christian women pray at St. Giragos Church in southeastern Turkey. The restored church, reopened in 2011, is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East.
Sertac Kayar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:56 pm

A century after Ottoman forces massacred an estimated 1 to 1.5 million Armenian Christians, some of the remaining Armenian Turks are taking tentative steps out into the open. They survived because their ancestors were taken in by Muslim families and raised as Muslims.

Now, thanks in part to a somewhat more tolerant climate in Turkey, their descendants, known as "hidden Armenians," are coming out of hiding.

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Parallels
3:24 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Clearing The Tangled Path For Land Ownership In The West Bank

One of the first homes going up on land bought and sold as part of a Canadian-Palestinian investment firm's effort to properly register plots. Much land in the West Bank is not registered and has no title deed, creating problems for economic development.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 4:55 pm

High on a West Bank hilltop, the extended Dissi family gathered on a recent weekend for a day out in the Palestinian countryside.

Aunts, uncles and cousins came to see the half-built weekend home of Taysier Dissi, an electrician and father of three. The concrete-block shell, with windows set and stairs roughed in, is placed just right for the view.

This will be the family's getaway from their home in the cramped confines of Jerusalem's often tense Old City. Dissi paid about $30,000 for one-third of an acre here, bought from a Palestinian-Canadian company, UCI.

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