Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 5:59 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Where does Washington figure in all of this? Well, we're going to ask Nicholas Burns. He's professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard's Kennedy School. Welcome to the program once again.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:26 pm
Belle Gibson is an Australian blogger who said she cured her terminal brain cancer solely through diet and lifestyle, spawning a wellness empire, an award-winning app, a recipe book and a large online following. Trouble is, Gibson now says she made it all up.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 1:16 pm
Armenians are preparing to mark on Friday the 100th anniversary of the killing of as many as 1.5 million of their ancestors by the Ottoman Empire. And Turks are getting ready to celebrate the centennial of a major military victory by the Ottoman forces over the Allied powers at Gallipoli in World War I.
Turkey traditionally holds the Gallipoli ceremonies on April 25, which falls on Saturday this year. But it is moving up the events by one day to Friday in what critics call a clumsy attempt to overshadow Armenian Remembrance Day.
Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 7:15 am
On April 20, 2015, the body of a 27-year-old mother of two was laid to rest in a village in India. She had been admitted to the hospital ten days earlier, with bleeding in the head and a spinal injury that left her paralyzed. She told authorities she had slipped and fallen. NPR contributor Wilbur Sargunaraj had the opportunity to speak with three of her close friends, who said her husband caused her death. Family members would not comment.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:59 am
We told you earlier this week about the anger in Poland over remarks made by the head of the FBI linking that country to the Holocaust. Hungary, which James Comey also mentioned in his speech, has now joined in the protests against the comments. The FBI chief, in an interview Tuesday, said he has no apology.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:49 am
After announcing a more limited military campaign against rebels in Yemen, Saudi Arabia continues to conduct airstrikes that began weeks ago. President Obama says the U.S. has warned Iran, which has condemned the Saudi strikes, not to deliver weapons to rebels in Yemen.
It's unclear what the Saudi-led coalition is planning for the next phase of its military operation in Yemen. The group has said it will protect civilians, ensure the flow of humanitarian aid and secure safe passage for foreigners who want to flee the violence.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:41 am
As soon as the news broke, Traffic Scotland took pains to say it was a serious event, not a joke. But that didn't stop people from putting their own spin on the story of the border collie who took control of a small tractor — which then drove onto a highway Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:45 am
A hundred years ago this week, the Ottoman Empire began the killings and forced marches of Armenians in what most historians call the first genocide of the 20th century.
Turkey staunchly denies that label, saying the deaths — estimated by historians at around 1.5 million — were part of widespread ethnic fighting in a civil war.
Regardless of the label used, the result was destruction of virtually every Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed after the war. What was left of the country transitioned into the modern-day Republic of Turkey.
Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:03 pm
Emad al-Masaadi, a 41-year-old house painter and taxi driver, fled Damascus with his wife and three young boys after their home was bombed in late 2012, just one of the countless hard-luck stories generated by Syria's civil war. They landed in Beirut, but after more than a year without work or cash, Masaadi wanted out.
"So I asked my friends, 'How can we get to Europe?' " says Masaadi, an industrious and optimistic man with a gracious smile.
The answer was clear: "Smugglers were the only way," he recalls.
Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:54 pm
Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET
The Saudi-led military operation in Yemen is shifting gears, moving from airstrikes against Houthi rebels to a new phase that will include diplomatic and political efforts alongside military operations, Saudi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said.
"The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen," Asiri said at a news briefing in Riyadh.
He said coalition airstrikes had destroyed the ballistic missiles operated by the Shiite Houthis.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 10:56 am
Imagine yourself clinging to a cliff face with nothing but uneven, worn wooden planks and chains to keep you from plummeting 7,000 feet to your untimely demise. Don't worry: You can rent a little red safety harness for $5. No one will make you wear it, though.
Oh, and you will probably encounter someone coming the other way, in which case you will have to maneuver around your neighbor as if playing a deadly game of Twister. Someone has to go on the outside, so I hope you're good at not blinking first.
You wouldn't do this for all the tea in China, you say?
Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:03 pm
Looks like many of us don't have the right stomach for a paleodiet. Literally.
Two studies give us a glimpse into our ancestors' microbiome — you know, those trillions of bacteria that live in the human gut.
And the take-home message of the studies is clear: Western diets and modern-day hygiene have wiped a few dozen species right out of our digestive tracts. One missing microbe helps metabolize carbohydrates. Other bygone bacteria act as prebiotics. And another communicates with our immune system.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 8:31 am
The ancient Rabban Hermizd Monastery, on a hill overlooking the northern village of al-Qosh, is a testament to the long history of Christians in Iraq. Stone walls leading up the hill are decorated with iconography, and the 7th-century monastery is covered with the ancient Syriac language, still spoken today by the people of al-Qosh.
"Christians have been here in the Ninevah plains for thousands of years. It would be a tragedy if we just disappeared," said Athra Kado, a local Syriac language teacher.