World News

Africa
2:54 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Life Expectancy Drops Dramatically For Syrians Ravaged By War

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:40 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Middle East
2:54 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Senators Grill Obama Officials On Iran

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:40 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
1:24 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

As Palm Oil Farms Expand, It's A Race To Save Indonesia's Orangutans

A baby orangutan wearing a diaper swings through the trees at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program outside Medan, capital of Indonesia's North Sumatra province. The program takes mostly orphaned orangutans, nurses them back to health and releases them back into the wild.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:40 pm

On a hillside on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, about 50 red-haired refugees are learning how to be orangutans once again. The country's booming palm oil industry has encroached on their habitats, leaving many of them homeless and orphaned.

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Goats and Soda
12:28 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

He's 14. He Was A Child Soldier. He's Suicidal. How Can He Be Saved?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:35 pm

The boy was abducted by the Lord's Liberation Army to serve as a child soldier when he was 7. He had been forced to kill his uncle with a machete.

At 14, he escaped and made his way back to his parents. But he wasn't himself.

He couldn't sleep at night, and during the day, he'd run around the village screaming. He was fighting back thoughts of suicide.

"No one knew what to do with him," says Peter Oketayot, a mental health counselor with the nonprofit Vivo in Northern Uganda, who eventually treated the teenager.

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The Salt
9:40 am
Wed March 11, 2015

From Ancient Sumeria To Chipotle Tacos, Cumin Has Spiced Up The World

The cuisines of the classical world made use of cumin both as a flavoring and a drug.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:44 am

I first encountered cumin in suburban New Jersey around 1988. Indian food was just starting to penetrate the suburbs, and a trip to the new Indian restaurant in the next town had, literally, the whiff of adventure about it.

As I took in the many new tastes and aromas from curries and kormas, one stood out: what I deemed the "the sweaty shirt spice," or cumin.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Iraqi Forces Reportedly Enter Tikrit In Push Against ISIS

Iraq's push into Tikrit follows its retaking of the nearby town of al-Alam on Tuesday. There, a woman welcomed a relative who is fighting with a militia that's backing Iraqi troops.
Thaier al-Sudani Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:07 pm

Iraqi troops and militia fighters are reportedly inside the city of Tikrit, the city that has been held by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, since last June. Officials and witnesses say the Iraqis now control part of northern Tikrit.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Wed March 11, 2015

French Highway Heist: Armed Thieves Take Millions In Jewels

A French gendarme stands guard Wednesday in Avallon after thieves attacked two armored vans carrying jewels overnight.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:48 pm

French police say two armored trucks carrying jewels and other items worth some $9.5 million were seized by more than a dozen armed attackers Wednesday, in a midnight heist that took place on the A6 highway that runs between Paris and Lyon.

Authorities were hunting for the thieves Wednesday, focusing on an area around the crime that took place about 140 miles southeast of Paris.

The heist was timed to coincide with the trucks' stop at a toll booth, where gunmen overcame the shipment's drivers, who were reportedly unarmed. The drivers were left uninjured.

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Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Happy World Plumbing Day! We Celebrate By Interviewing ... A Plumber

Fred Schilling has made many trips to Haiti to fix pipes and train Haitians.
Courtesy of Plumbers Without Borders

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:21 pm

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, help poured in from the U.S. Doctors came to battle the cholera epidemic, agencies handed out food, and nonprofits provided shelter.

And then there were plumbers.

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Europe
3:04 am
Wed March 11, 2015

3 French Athletes Die In Helicopter Crash While Filming Reality TV Show

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 6:54 am

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

NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed March 11, 2015

9 Iraqi Interpreters Sue U.S. Government Over Visa Delays

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:38 pm

During a decade of war, U.S. troops relied on interpreters — thousands of Iraqis and Afghans — who worked and often fought alongside Americans.

Many of them were promised visas to the U.S. but they have been waiting for years with no answer. Now, nine Iraqis are suing the U.S. government to get their status resolved.

All the Iraqis in the lawsuit go by code names because of ongoing threats to their lives.

Plaintiff Alpha was in an ambush with U.S. troops and got shot in the back, but he continued to work with the U.S. military after he recovered.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed March 11, 2015

African Nations Join Coalition To Fight Boko Haram

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 7:58 am

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

Parallels
1:40 am
Wed March 11, 2015

In The West Bank, Living Side By Side — But Agreeing On Nothing

Murad al-Khuffash (right) and his twin brother, Hazem, are Palestinian farmers living in Marda. Khuffash remembers when settlers took charge of Ariel in the 1970s.
Tanya Habjouqa for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:06 pm

No matter how much you've read about the struggle for land in the Middle East, it deepens your understanding to visit an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The Israeli settlements, founded in areas that Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, raise some of the more contentious issues in the conflict.

Israel is under pressure to stop building them, and eventually to surrender many of them to make way for a future Palestinian state. The United Nations long ago said they are not legal, and critics of Israel cite them as a reason to boycott or divest from the Jewish state.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Italy's Top Court Upholds Berlusconi's Acquittal In 'Bunga Bunga' Case

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, seen here in 2012.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:10 pm

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's acquittal in the "bunga bunga" case has been upheld by the Court of Cassation, the country's highest court.

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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Goats and Soda
4:05 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

An Anti-Rape Activist Is Disturbed By 'India's Daughter'

Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association, photographed in the offices of the Communist Party of India. The bust in the background depicts Charu Majumdar, a Communist revolutionary from Bengal.
Poulomi Basu/VII Mentor for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:49 am

Kavita Krishnan has been a leading activist in the protests that took over the streets of Delhi after the rape and killing of a 23-year-old student in December 2012.

She appears in India's Daughter, the controversial documentary about the crime.

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Parallels
2:18 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Italian Architects Look To Replicate Success Of N.Y. High Line In Rome

On the outskirts of Rome is a mile-long stretch of unfinished elevated track for a tramline. Work stopped in the mid-1990s. Under the guidance of Renzo Piano, architects are turning it into an elevated park.
Courtesy of the G124 Group

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:53 pm

When the famed Italian architect Renzo Piano was named honorary Senator-For-Life in 2013, he handed over his spacious new office and hefty salary of some $15,000 a month to a team of young architects. They were given the task of helping salvage depressed outskirts of Italian cities. One project was inspired by New York City's High Line — the beloved public park built on a derelict rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan.

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Iraq
2:18 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Iraq Archaeologist Asks U.S. To Help Protect Antiquities

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:07 pm

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

It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

No Big Money Or TV Ads — What's With The U.K.'s Low-Key Election?

Conservative party Chairman Grant Shapps speaks to party supporters after canvassing in London on Saturday.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:07 pm

In the U.K., national elections are less than two months away. In the U.S., the presidential election is more than a year away. But you could be forgiven for thinking it's the other way around.

America experiences a long, drawn-out election fever, while the U.K. hardly shows any symptoms at all. That is to say, almost none of the events most strongly associated with an American presidential campaign are part of a typical British national election.

Take political rallies, where the bleachers fill with thousands of flag-waving, screaming supporters.

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Parallels
1:36 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Taking U.S. Politics Beyond 'The Water's Edge'

Michigan Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, with arm raised, greets the press at the 1948 Republican Convention. Vandenberg worked closely with President Harry Truman's Democratic administration on foreign policy issues even though he was seeking the Republican nomination to challenge the president. "Politics must stop at the water's edge," Vandenberg famously said.
Thomas D. McAvoy The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

In the spring of 1948, Arthur Vandenberg was a powerful Republican senator from Michigan with ambitions of unseating a vulnerable Democratic president, Harry Truman, in November of that year.

Vandenberg had considerable influence as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a moment when the U.S. was reordering a beleaguered world still emerging from the ashes of World War II.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Climate Change May Be Destroying World's Oldest-Known Mummies

A mummy of a Chinchorro child, dating to between 5000 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The Chinchorros were hunter-gatherers who lived in the region between modern-day Peru and Chile.
Claudio Santana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:34 pm

There's a problem with the mummies at the University of Tarapacá's archaeological museum in northern Chile.

They're turning into a black oozy substance.

Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences says scientists have found that Chile's famous 7,000-year-old Chinchorro mummies are being eaten by bacteria — and that climate change could be the culprit.

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Parallels
1:11 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Via Satellite, Tracking The Plunder Of Middle East Cultural History

Dura Europos, a Roman walled city in eastern Syria, dates back to 330 B.C. The main gate is shown here in a photo from 2010. It's one of the many important archaeological sites militants of the self-styled Islamic State have ransacked and damaged.
EPA /Deir Ezz-Zour Antiquities Department/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 7:50 am

Southern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is the crossroads for an extensive smuggling operation of ancient artifacts. Those transactions are held in secret, often in towns along the border.

But high overheard, eyes are watching: satellites scanning heritage sites, sending alarming imagery to Washington, D.C.

From her office in the nation's capital, analyst Susan Wolfinbarger monitors the ransacking of these sites in Syria and Iraq on a large-screen computer.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Neighbors Surprise Man By Using Sign Language; Hearts Melt

After a month of preparation, people surprised Muharrem Yazgan, who has impaired hearing, by using sign language to communicate with him. The results were filmed for an ad for Samsung.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 1:04 pm

The story of how Istanbul residents learned sign language to create a special day for a neighbor has turned a Samsung ad into an international viral hit. The ad was filmed by hidden cameras on the route traveled by Muharrem Yazgan, who is hearing-impaired, and his sister, Özlem, who was in on the project.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Iran Calls GOP Letter 'Propaganda Ploy,' Offers To 'Enlighten' Authors

A letter from U.S. senators suggests the lawmakers "not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution," says Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 12:38 pm

Republican senators' letter to Iran about ongoing nuclear talks has prompted a lengthy response from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who delivered an overview of international law as he critiqued the letter.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue March 10, 2015

U.S. Ambassador Leaves Hospital After Attack In South Korea

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert waves as he leaves a hospital in Seoul, where he recovered from being attacked by a knife-wielding South Korean nationalist.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:48 am

Five days after his face and arm were slashed in an attack in Seoul, U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert has been released from the hospital. Doctors say the stitches from the cut to Lippert's face have been removed, but he has a deep cut on a finger that will still require attention.

From Seoul, NPR's Elise Hu reports:

"In a press conference before leaving the hospital, Lippert said that while there's more rehab left for his arm, he's eager to return to work.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Tue March 10, 2015

3 French Star Athletes Die In Helicopter Crash In Argentina

A helicopter crash in Argentina has killed 10 people, including 3 French athletes: sailor Florence Arthaud, swimmer Camille Muffat, and boxer Alexis Vastine.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Two helicopters collided during the filming of a French reality TV show Monday, killing 10 people, including two Olympic medalists and an accomplished sailor. News of the crash in Argentina has left France in mourning, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says.

In addition to the athletes and five other French citizens, two Argentine pilots died in the accident.

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Middle East
4:22 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Brutal Acts By ISIS Eclipse Reports Of Violence By Syria's Assad Regime

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:45 am

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

Latin America
3:21 am
Tue March 10, 2015

U.S. Hits Venezuela With Sanctions Over Crackdown On Protesters

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 7:34 am

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

Africa
3:08 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Ethiopia's Blue Party Tries To Reacquaint Nation With Dissent

Thousands of Ethiopian opposition activists demonstrate in Addis Ababa on June 2, 2013. The demonstrations were organized by the newly formed Blue Party opposition group.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:53 am

Feven Tashome is a study in blue. The 21-year-old's toenails are painted a rich cobalt, her scarf is baby blue and her leather handbag is ultramarine. To ordinary passersby in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, it's a fashion statement; to members of Ethiopia's beleaguered political opposition, it's a secret handshake.

Feven (Ethiopians go by their first names) is showing her allegiance to an opposition party with an odd name, and an even odder theme song.

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Latin America
3:08 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Sao Paulo's Drought Pits Water Prospectors Against Wildcatters

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:45 am

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

Latin America
2:19 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Explorers Discover Ancient Lost City In Honduran Jungle

A view of part of the vast Mosquitia jungle in Honduras. A team of explorers, guided by scans made from airplanes, recently discovered an important ancient city in the region.
Courtesy of UTL Productions

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:43 am

For almost a century, explorers have searched the jungles of Honduras for a legendary lost city known as the White City, or the City of the Monkey God.

A team of explorers — including archaeologists and a documentary filmmaker — have just returned from an expedition in person, after using a new technology to search for evidence of ruins by plane.

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