World News

The Salt
3:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:15 am

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The Salt
3:18 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 am

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Pakistan Near Watershed Moment, But It Will Take Work

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Peshawar School Was 'Almost Obvious' Target For Pakistani Taliban

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We begin this hour with today's shocking terrorist attack in Pakistan. Gunmen entered a military-run school in Peshawar and began executing children. The military says 132 students and nine staff members were killed.

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Europe
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Russia Could Be On Brink Of Full-Blown Currency Crisis

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Religion
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Vatican Tries To Mend Fences With American Nuns

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Economy
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Ruble's Troubles Tied To Falling Oil Prices, International Sanctions

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Goats and Soda
2:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Google News Is Taken Offline In Spain, After A Call For Payments

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:01 pm

Reacting to a law that requires news sites in Spain to charge for their content, Google shut down its Google News service in the country Tuesday. The tech company and other news aggregators would face steep fines if they publish headlines and abstracts without paying.

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Goats and Soda
12:52 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

A Game Of Ludo Helps Liberians Catch A Break From Ebola

Residents of New Georgia Signboard, a small village just north of Monrovia, pass the time by playing a fast-paced board game called Ludo.
John W. Poole/NPR

The president of Liberia is in town. She's about to launch her Ebola Must Go! Campaign in the dusty village of New Georgia Signboard.

But three residents sitting on chairs that are arranged in the middle of a red dirt walk not far from the ceremony are are oblivious to the hubbub. They're busy playing the fast-moving board game of Ludo.

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Parallels
11:47 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Amid Strains, Syrian Refugees Are Facing Curfews In Lebanon

A Syrian refugee child carries water in the Fayda Camp, some 25 miles east of Beirut, Lebanon, on March 10.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

In Lebanon — a fragile little country of just 4 million people — there are about 1 million refugees from Syria. Many have been here three years, and their welcome is starting to wear thin.

Some towns and villages have imposed a curfew on refugees – enforced by local groups of volunteers. But in a country that experienced a brutal civil war, some are concerned about the return of armed civilian groups.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Russia's Rate Increase Fails To Stop Currency's Steep Decline

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:42 am

Russia's ruble plunged to a record low against the dollar on Tuesday despite some bold measures taken by the country's central bank to halt its slide.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Asia
5:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Dozens Killed As Taliban Gunmen Storm Pakistani School

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
4:44 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Denmark Files Claim To Portion Of The Arctic

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:11 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
4:41 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Taliban Gunmen Storm School, Kill Dozens In Pakistan

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack on a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:21 pm

(This post was last updated at 2:07 p.m. ET.)

Taliban militants stormed a school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, leaving scores of students dead.

Quoting Pakistani officials, multiple media outlets say the death toll is at least 140, including at least 80 students in grades 1 through 10.

A little before 8 p.m. local time, police announced that the operation had ended after the gunmen were killed. Security personnel, police official Abdullah Khan told the AFP, were now in the process of sweeping the rest of the building.

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Middle East
3:26 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Contestant From War-Torn Syria Wins 'Arab Idol'

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
3:19 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Search For Missing Students In Mexico Turns Up Graves Of Others

Relatives of 43 students who went missing in Iguala, Mexico, search for them on a hill on the outskirts of town on Nov. 29. After the students vanished, searches around Iguala have turned up nearly a dozen clandestine graves. None of the remains found in those mounds belonged to the students.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:22 am

On the patio of a church in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, dozens of people gather in the early morning. They're wearing tennis shoes and jeans, and are ready to head into the hills outside the city of Iguala to search for graves and hopefully the bodies of missing loved ones.

Guillermina Sotelo Castañeda is among them. She is wearing a black T-shirt that reads: "Son, as long as I haven't buried you, I'll keep searching." Sotelo's son disappeared without a trace two years ago.

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NPR Story
3:11 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Hostage Drama Unfolds Violently In Sydney

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:45 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Russia Boosts Interest Rates To 17 Percent Amid Currency's Slide

Russia's central bank raised its interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent in an early Tuesday decision that comes as the ruble continues its year as the world's worst-performing major currency.

"This decision is aimed at limiting substantially increased ruble depreciation risks and inflation risks," the Bank of Russia said in a statement on its website.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Chinese Man Cleared Of Rape, Murder 18 Years After His Execution

Shang Aiyun (second left) and Li Sanren (second right) mourn at the grave of their son, Huugjilt, in Hohhot, China. Huugjilt was executed in 1996 for the rape and murder of a woman in a public toilet. He was cleared of the crime on Monday.
Ren Junchuan Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:26 pm

In 1996, China executed an 18-year-old man named Huugjilt for the rape and murder of a woman in a public toilet. But Monday, Chinese authorities cleared the ethnic Mongolian of the crime and offered a rare apology to his family.

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Goats and Soda
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Dr. Kent Brantly: Lessons Learned From Fighting Ebola

Dr. Kent Brantly speaks about the world's response to Ebola during the Overseas Security Advisory Council's Annual Briefing in Washington, D.C. last month.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:23 am

Dr. Kent Brantly considers himself a lucky man.

He was diagnosed with Ebola five months ago while working with Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse at a hospital in Liberia's capital, Monrovia. He became so sick that he thought he was going to "quit" breathing.

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World
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sydney Residents Rally To Head Off Anti-Muslim Violence

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:14 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sydney Siege Ends With Two Hostages And Gunman Dead

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Goats and Soda
12:07 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

A Copper Bedrail Could Cut Back On Infections For Hospital Patients

A copper bedrail can kill germs on contact.
Courtesy of CopperBioHealth

Checking into a hospital can boost your chances of infection. That's a disturbing paradox of modern medical care.

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Denmark Claims Part Of The Arctic, Including The North Pole

A map of the area Denmark is claiming.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:51 pm

Denmark, together with Greenland, today will claim around 350,000 square miles of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, in an area around the North Pole that is slightly larger than the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined.

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Goats and Soda
11:03 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Endless Ebola Epidemic? That's The 'Risk We Face Now,' CDC Says

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, talks with Doctors Without Borders staff during a visit in August to an Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 3:12 pm

Speed. That's key to ending the Ebola epidemic, says the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Thomas Frieden is visiting West Africa this week to figure out how to reduce the time it takes to find new Ebola cases and isolate them.

Otherwise, Ebola could become a permanent disease in West Africa.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Socialists Don't Sit Around — And Other BMJ Christmas Articles

A left-wing protest in Russia on Nov. 8. Apparently, armchair socialists aren't sitting down after all, a new study says.
Artyom Geodakyan ITAR-TASS /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:23 pm

It seems there are fewer armchair socialists — or their right-wing counterparts — than there are armchair centrists according to a study published in BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, as part of its annual tongue-in-cheek Christmas edition.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Mon December 15, 2014

From Australia To France, Another Bad Day For Uber

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Screenshot

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:37 pm

Uber's troubles are mounting. The ride-sharing service was criticized in Australia after its "surge pricing" kicked in, quadrupling fares for some customers trying to flee the area in Sydney where a gunman took hostages in a cafe.

Here's a screenshot that one customer sent to Mashable with details of the increased fare:

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The Two-Way
4:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

3 People, Including Gunman, Killed In Sydney Cafe Siege

A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
Rob Griffith AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:13 pm

(Last updated at 1:48 p.m. ET.)

Just as the siege entered its second day, police stormed a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, ending a more than 12-hour hostage standoff that began during morning rush hour.

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Latin America
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Haiti's President Searches For Next Prime Minister

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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