World News

The Two-Way
10:34 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Spain's Tomato Festival Shrinks, As Town Pares Crowd Size

Ammunition in the form of tomatoes are thrown to a crowd gathered for the annual Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain, near Valencia, Wednesday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Tomatina Festival, the famous free-for-all in which partiers pelt one another with ripe tomatoes, was held in Bunol, Spain, Wednesday. The big party that has become an international sensation in recent years was smaller than usual in 2013 — for the first time, the town sold a limited number of tickets for 10 euros (about $13.25) to indulge in the huge food fight.

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Africa
10:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

In Egypt's Political Turmoil, Middle Ground Is The Loneliest

The protesters who opposed Hosni Mubarak two years ago, like these demonstrators in Cario's Tahrir Square on Feb. 8, 2011, have been pushed to the sidelines in the current confrontation.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Egypt is quieter these days. Protests against the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi have subsided for now. And the military-appointed interim government is firmly in charge.

Yet, Egypt remains deeply polarized. And the middle is a lonely place to be.

Some of the young revolutionaries who led the 2011 uprising against the regime of Hosni Mubarak feel they are back to square one, battling authoritarian forces on both sides.

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Parallels
9:39 am
Thu August 29, 2013

The Drums Of War, Poolside Edition

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, chains his hands with his counterparts from Vietnam, right, and Thailand before the ASEAN meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on Thursday. The trip's message: The U.S. is committed to its "rebalance" toward the Asia-Pacific region.
Vincent Thian AP

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:11 pm

NPR's Larry Abramson is traveling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus, or ASEAN Plus. Larry sent us this dispatch:

You cannot hear the drums of war here in Brunei, but you can hear the surf from the Brunei coast, or the sounds of splashing from the humongous pools here at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.

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Parallels
9:06 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Dutch Migration Fears Mirror Sentiments Across Europe

A chocolate cake is shaped like Europe, with new EU members Romania and Bulgaria (far right), at a welcoming ceremony for their entry into the bloc on Dec. 14, 2006. Curbs on the movement of citizens of the two countries end on Jan. 1, raising fears in Western Europe of an influx of Bulgarian and Romanian workers.
Thierry Charlier AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:51 pm

The Netherlands is a famously tolerant and welcoming place. But the Dutch social affairs minister says he's worried about too many immigrants coming from Bulgaria and Romania, and he's tapped into wider fears in the European Union about foreign workers.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

India Nabs Top Terrorism Suspect

A poster of Yasin Bhatkal, an alleged founder of the Indian Mujahideen, burns after being set on fire by demonstrators celebrating his arrest in Bangalore on Thursday.
Manjunath Kiran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:41 pm

India says it has nabbed the co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist organization that has been blamed for attacks throughout the country.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi that Yasin Bhatkal was arrested near India's border with Nepal. He's wanted in connection with several attacks, including a 2010 bombing at a bakery that killed 17 people in the western Indian city of Pune.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Have Your Picture Taken With Hong Kong's (Smog-Free) Skyline

Tourists from mainland China take photos in front of a large outdoor banner showing what Hong Kong looks like on a clean air day, in Hong Kong on Aug. 21.
Alex Hofford EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:26 am

It's not news that Hong Kong, which brags one of the world's most stunning skylines, has been gradually losing it behind a curtain of smog.

But the Chinese territory's latest solution is new: To placate camera-clicking tourists unable to get those iconic shots of the skyscraper-studded waterfront, Hong Kong has set up a panoramic backdrop with clear, blue skies.

The Chinese website Netease published a series of pictures of tourists posing in front of the backdrop.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Israeli Soldiers Go 'Gangnam Style' With Palestinians; Incur Wrath

An image taken from an amateur video shows an Israeli soldier dancing atop a Palestinian man's shoulders to the song "Gangnam Style." The soldier and his colleagues have been suspended.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:34 am

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Assad Is To Blame For Chemical Weapons Attack, British Say

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday as he left 10 Downing Street in London.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:28 am

Saying that there are "no plausible alternative scenarios," the U.K.'s Joint Intelligence Organisation released a statement Thursday to support the conclusion reached by U.S. and British officials that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is responsible for what's said to have been a chemical weapons attack last week near Damascus.

That attack, U.S. and British officials say, killed more than 300 people and may have injured several thousand more.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama Hasn't Made Case For Striking Syria, Rumsfeld Says

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2011.
Michael Reynolds EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:02 am

As the U.S. and its allies seemingly move closer to some type of military action in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons to kill hundreds of his own people, one of the policymakers who led the U.S.

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Middle East
2:45 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama 'Concluded' Syrian Regime Conducted Chemical Attack

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

This morning in Syria, U.N. inspectors continue their investigation into last week's chemical weapons attack, which apparently killed hundreds of civilians. The U.N. plans for the inspection team to be in Syria's capital, Damascus, until Saturday.

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Europe
2:45 am
Thu August 29, 2013

British Prime Minister's Call For Action In Syria Stalls

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:25 am

In London, Prime Minister David Cameron had planned to get backing from Parliament Thursday – approving a possible military intervention. Instead, he's been forced to back down. The Labour Party announced it would vote against military action in Syria.

The Salt
3:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Latest Frontier In Gourmet Salt, From The Lowest Point On Earth

An Israeli man bathes in the Dead Sea. Spas have long touted the health benefits of the Dead Sea. So does Naked Sea Salt.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 6:34 am

When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."

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Shots - Health News
3:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

In South Africa, A Clinic Focuses On Prostitutes To Fight HIV

A prostitute in Johannesburg waits for a client on a street corner. An estimated two-thirds of sex workers in South Africa are HIV positive.
Yoav Lemmer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 7:25 pm

South Africa has come a long way in dealing with AIDS. The country has been successful in getting drug treatment to millions of people infected with HIV.

But the country still has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world — and the virus continues to spread. Nearly 400,000 South Africans are infected with HIV each year.

One health clinic in the heart of Johannesburg is attempting to break the HIV cycle by focusing on people at extremely high risk for infection — prostitutes.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

How Will U.S. Legally Justify Military Strikes In Syria?

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So what legal justification might the Obama administration use to justify military strikes on Syria? To help us better understand the legal rules behind intervention, we turn to John Bellinger. He was legal advisor for the State Department and the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. Welcome to the program.

JOHN BELLINGER: Thanks, Melissa, it's nice to be here.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

U.N. Security Council The Site Of A Showdown Over Syria

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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It's All Politics
2:31 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Many U.S. Lawmakers Want A Say On Taking Action In Syria

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., has gotten dozens of House members to sign on to a letter demanding that President Obama ask for the official blessing of Congress before attacking Syria.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 5:44 pm

The Obama administration appears poised to attack Syria after concluding Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons, but many members of Congress say they haven't been briefed enough about why military action is warranted.

Opinions about Syria are all over the map, with many lawmakers saying the president cannot proceed without first getting authorization from Congress.

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Parallels
8:35 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Limited U.S. Strikes ... Followed By Major Attacks On U.S.

A month after U.S. naval ships shelled Lebanon, Muslim extremists blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel on Oct. 23, 1983. Over the past three decades, limited U.S. military strikes have been followed on several occasions by major attacks against U.S. targets.
Bill Foley AP

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 3:23 pm

As President Obama weighs a possible limited military strike against Syria, he may want to consider the track record of his predecessors on this front. It's not encouraging.

The Obama administration and several before it have seen limited attacks as a way to send a tough message without drawing the U.S. into a larger conflict.

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Parallels
7:50 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Who Are Syria's Friends And Why Are They Supporting Assad?

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, in Moscow on Dec. 19, 2006. Russia --€” along with China and Iran --€” has remained a steadfast ally of Assad amid calls for international intervention in Syria.
Mikhail Klimentyev AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 6:33 am

While much of the world is lining up against Syria, the country is not entirely friendless, and it's hoping its allies can provide at least some cover in the confrontation over its apparent use of chemical weapons.

Russia and China are almost certain to block any U.N. resolution that could be used to authorize force against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Click Here For 'The New York Times' While It's Being Hacked

The New York Times' alternate site.
http://news.nytco.com/

The New York Times' website isn't working for us, and many other users, again this morning. As All Tech Considered reported Tuesday evening, the Times appears to be the victim of another hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army — a pro-Assad organization that has previously taken over the websites of other U.S.

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Britain Seeks U.N. OK For Military Action Against Syria

who says it is time for the U.N. Security Council "to live up to its responsibilities on Syria."" href="/post/britain-seek-un-ok-military-action-against-syria" class="noexit lightbox">
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who says it is time for the U.N. Security Council "to live up to its responsibilities on Syria."
Stefan Wermuth Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 5:39 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Philip Reeves reports on the resolution Britain will put before the U.N. Security Council
  • From 'Morning Edition': Alastair Crooke on the crisis in Syria

Some of the latest developments related to the crisis in Syria and the increasing likelihood that the U.S. and its allies will soon launch missile strikes on targets there in response to last week's alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of President Bashar Assad:

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Middle East
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

U.S. Action Against Syria Would Further Inflame Middle East

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 10:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now let's hear another skeptical view of the benefits of U.S. military strikes in Syria. Alastair Crooke has been a Mideast adviser to the European Union and also a British intelligence officer. He runs Conflicts Forum, which says it seeks to increase Western understanding of Islam.

Welcome to the program.

ALASTAIR CROOKE: Thank you very much, indeed.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

U.S. Insists It's Committed To Diplomacy In Syrian Conflict

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Proposed Strikes Against Syria May Have Too Narrow A Purpose

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A possible strike on Syria could move closer to reality today.

GREENE: British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the U.K. will put a resolution before the U.N. Security Council, quote, "authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians caught up in the civil war there."

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The Salt
1:33 am
Wed August 28, 2013

You Say 'Kubbeh,' I Say 'Kibbeh,' Let's Eat 'Em All Right Now

At the Te'amim — or Tastes — cooking camp in Jerusalem, kids learn how to make kubbeh hamusta, a popular regional dumpling from Kurdistan.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

People across the Levant love their dumplings, even if they can't agree on a name. Some say kubbeh; others say kibbeh. In Egypt, you might hear kobeba.

In Jerusalem, there are perhaps as many variations of the kubbeh as there are cultures in the city.

One popular version consists of meat wrapped in bulgur, then deep fried. Dip one in tahini for a crunchy snack.

But at the Te'amim — or Tastes — cooking camp in Jerusalem, chef Udi Shlomi prefers to teach kids to make kubbeh hamusta.

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World
3:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

U.N. Security Council Not Expected To Approve Syria Strike

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A strike against Syria will almost certainly fail to win the support of the U.N. Security Council. That is because of Russian opposition, and the Chinese also oppose it. Why are the Russians so determined in their support of the Syrian regime despite Western claims that Bashar al-Assad's army has committed an atrocious war crime?

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Europe
3:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Britain Would Join U.S. In Any Military Action In Syria

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If the United States takes military action against Syria, it will not act alone. Its allies will certainly play a role, including Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves says the British government has already launched an offensive to win public support for military intervention.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: U.N. inspectors in Syria have yet to deliver their conclusions. But Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, seems pretty sure he already knows who's to blame for last week's attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians.

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Middle East
3:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

U.S. Builds Its Case For Intervening In Syria

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Arab League says those behind last week's chemical weapons attack in Syria must face justice. The call came at an emergency meeting in Cairo, one day after the U.S. announced it has little doubt that Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible for gassing civilians. The Obama administration says it has not yet decided whether to strike Syria but is consulting with allies, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Shots - Health News
1:55 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

After Missteps In HIV Care, South Africa Finds Its Way

A nurse takes a blood sample from Nkosi Minenhle, 15, in a mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV at Madwaleni High School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 2:39 pm

South Africa has more people with HIV than any other country in the world.

Roughly 5.5 million of its 53 million citizens are infected with the virus. In some of the hardest hit parts of the country, one-third of women of childbearing age are HIV positive.

Now, after years of delay and mistakes, South Africa is transforming how it approaches the disease.

The South African government is simplifying AIDS care, cutting treatment costs and providing antiviral drugs to almost 2 million people every day.

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Parallels
12:54 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

For Syrians, Life Goes On Despite Likelihood Of U.S. Action

U.N. chemical weapons experts on Monday visited people hospitalized by an apparent gas attack last week in suburban Damascus. Although residents of the capital city have grown accustomed to war over the past two years, they say they are concerned about a possible U.S. military strike.
Abo Alnour Alhaji Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 1:54 pm

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

Most residents of Damascus believe that a U.S. military strike is on the horizon, but few think it will have a dramatic impact on the course of a war that has already been raging for more than two years.

Those who follow the government line often speak about a U.S. conspiracy to overthrow the country's leader, Bashar Assad, as other Arab leaders have been toppled in recent years.

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Parallels
8:14 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Chemical Weapons Used Rarely — But With Deadly Effect

Subway passengers affected by the sarin gas attack on Tokyo's subway system are carried into St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo on March 20, 1995. Thirteen people were killed and more than 6,000 injured in the attack, which was carried out by the Aum Shinrikyo cult.
Chikumo Chiaki AP

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:42 am

&nbsp

(Update at 12:32 p.m.: A new paragraph — second-to-last — was added to reflect sporadic uses of chemical weapons after World War I.)

&nbsp

The use of chemicals weapons last week in Syria, if proved, would put the conflict there on a short list of occasions in which the deadly weapons have been used.

Here is a look at the previous times chemical weapons were deployed in modern times:

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