Migrants sit in a boat during a rescue operation by Italian navy off the coast of Sicily on Nov. 28, 2013. Italy is looking to revamp the way it handles the hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrive annually.
Credit HANDOUT / Reuters/Landov
Undocumented migrants are held at Ponte Galeria, a detention camp near Rome. Human rights groups have criticized conditions in Italy's detention camps.
Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 3:10 am
With mild weather ahead, southern Europe is once again bracing for new boatloads of would-be migrants and asylum seekers from North Africa.
Italy has borne the brunt of this migrant flow for two decades and it has responded with one of Europe's most repressive laws on illegal immigration.
But now the Italian parliament is trying to scrap a law that has made migrants vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuses. The existing law has also produced detention camps where undocumented migrants are held in harsh conditions.
A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry — anything from frozen chicken to computers.
Credit Jonathan Blakley / NPR
Containers are unloaded off a ship at New Jersey's Port Elizabeth. The global shipping industry took a big hit in the wake of the 2008 worldwide recession, but now companies are building the biggest ships ever.
On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives and the whole process starts again.
It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.
This week, All Things Considered is exploring a counterfactual history of World War I, and we invite you to participate. Use the form below to imagine how one aspect of the past 100 years would be different if Archduke Franz Ferdinand had not been killed in 1914. We will share some of the responses in a future segment.
This summer marks 100 years since the start of World War I. Many argue that the conflict was inevitable — but what if it wasn't?
Three years ago today, a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed thousands of people. It also triggered the meltdown of reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The cleanup is ongoing and has been problematic, with power failures and leaks of contaminated water. And the technical difficulties involved in closing the facility are compounded by serious labor issues.
This week, Pope Francis marks the first anniversary of his papacy. In his first 12 months, Francis has achieved the rank of a global pop star. His message of humility and proximity to the poor has won admiration from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He's attracting bigger crowds than his predecessor and, as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, he is now the focus of a new fan magazine.
A specimen of<em> Platydemus manokwari </em>collected in a greenhouse at Caen in Normandy. You can see its white pharynx protruding from the underside, ingesting soft tissues of a specimen of the Mediterranean snail.
Credit Pierre Gros/PeerJ
France's famed mollusk appetizer could be endangered by an unwelcome worm arrival, scientists worry.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:06 pm
Oh, no, not the escargot!
A vicious little worm with an appetite for snails has made its European debut. And that has some scientists worried about the future of France's famed mollusk appetizer.
The New Guinea flatworm (Platydemus manokwari) is the lone worm on the Global Invasive Species Database's list of 100 of the world's most dangerous invaders. And last November, it was discovered in a greenhouse in Caen, Normandy.
When Jonette Øyen bought her first electric car, it turned heads. "Now nobody turns around!" she says with a laugh.
Sometime in April, Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric. One percent may not sound like a huge figure, but in the U.S., the equivalent number would be something close to .07 percent.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:51 am
"Crimea's regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a 'declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,' " The Associated Press reports. "The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote on Sunday in favor of joining Russia."
That's just one of several developments Tuesday as the crisis in Ukraine continues. Among the other news:
As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has expanded, teams from many countries have been involved. This navigator was aboard a Vietnamese helicopter searching the waters off that nation's coast.
Credit Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP/Getty Images
A map showing where authorities are searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Credit Aly Hurt / NPR
At a news conference Tuesday in Sepang, Malaysia, authorities held up pictures of the two Iranian men who are said to have boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with stolen passports. The man at left is said to 19-year old Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad. The other man was not identified. Authorities believe the men were trying to emigrate to Europe.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. And I'm looking for a Mr. Frostnova. He's a 22-year-old from New Zealand who lost a poker bet a few years ago. He wagered his name. And after losing, he had to change his name to one just shy of the hundred-character limit for new names in New Zealand; this came to light recently because his passport expired. His full legal name, a mouthful, wait for it: Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova.
And our next guest is Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East policy advisor at the State Department. He came to our studio this morning to weigh in on the consequences of the Ukraine crisis on two other major foreign policy issues: The Syrian Civil War and the Iran nuclear negotiations.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
On Independence Square in Kiev this morning, a 62-year-old Ukrainian, Igor Voscovonyanko(ph), was venting his frustration. Russia is effectively occupying part of his country, Crimea, and he's not convinced economic sanctions or anything else can stop Russia's president Vladimir Putin.
IGOR VOSCOVONYANKO: It is not enough. They are not enough because Putin's will is only occupation.
Iraqi Shiite mourners carry the coffin of a soldier killed in clashes with anti-government fighters in Fallujah earlier this month. The government faces a months-long crisis in Anbar province, where it has lost the city of Fallujah as well as shifting parts of provincial capital Ramadi to anti-government militants.
The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there, says Brett McGurk, one of the State Department's top officials for Iraq.
The militants, who have drawn strength amid the war in Syria over the border, have taken over parts of Anbar over the last three months.
Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary.
Credit Lucy Craft for NPR
A sea wall on the outskirts of the port city of Kesennuma. Some residents say high walls are too expensive and destroy scenery, wildlife and popular beaches. The government has proposed sea walls that will stretch for more than 200 miles and will be 30 feet high in some places.
Three years after the massive tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, the government is building the biggest anti-tsunami barriers ever.
The vast network of supersized sea walls, mocked by some as "the Great Wall of Japan," is already underway and would stretch 230 miles and cost nearly $8 billion.
The wall is designed to protect places like the small port city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. With its dramatic hills, white fishing boats and seafood market, Kesennuma has the pleasant nautical feel of Seattle.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:56 am
We are rarely lost anymore.
In a foreign city or just a drive out of town, our GPS-enabled smartphones pin our positions on digital maps to within a few meters. We are rarely without facts anymore. Any question that has an objective answer — from the last day of the Civil War to the maximum speed of a Boeing 777 — is as close as Google. For a broad class of experience in modern life we have become very used to "knowing." Events a world away may be subject to our opinions, but rarely anymore are they cloaked in an enveloping darkness.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:54 am
There's always a risk in flying, but the phase in which a plane is cruising at high altitude is widely considered to be safe. And that's what makes the mystery of what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 so confounding.
"Whatever happened happened quickly and resulted in a catastrophic departure from the air," Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board who is now a consultant with CBS news, told NPR's Melissa Block.
The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.
But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.
So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. This all complicates things on the diplomatic front.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
Crimea votes this coming Sunday on whether to claim independence from Ukraine. Polls indicate the measure is sure to pass. But pro-Russian politicians are leaving nothing to chance. They've imposed a near total blackout on information from the government in Kiev.
And as NPR's Gregory Warner reports, volunteers are taking great risks to get that information into Crimea.