This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.
Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.
While South Africa celebrates the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate remains at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.
President Jacob Zuma's office has said that Mandela is in "critical but stable" condition, though Mandela's daughter Zindzi said Wednesday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and could be released soon.
Before it became China's capital in 1949, Beijing was a fairly provincial little city of 2 million people.
Today, it has grown into a megalopolis of some 18 million people.
I've recently returned to the city after a few years away, the first thing that strikes me is: Who the heck are all of these 20-somethings and how did they get to be driving all these Ferraris and Maseratis?
Juan Pablo Gonzalez, a science and math teacher in San Diego, posted an offer to teach urban planting, including hydroponic techniques. He and his wife were inspired by the site and offered to help by translating it into Spanish.
Credit Courtesy of Juan Pablo Gonzalez
Tallinn, Estonia is a high-tech city that is home to Skype as well as the Bank of Happiness, an online marketplace to share good deeds.
Credit Mundus Gregorius / flickr
Ryan Iverson of Lebanon, Ore., turned to the Bank of Happiness for assistance with writing a grant proposal related to a type of stove he designed. It's made from recycled propane tanks, which are costly to prepare safely.
Credit Courtesy of Ryan Iverson
Veronika Davel, a pizza maker in Tallinn, Estonia, has offered to teach English lessons and has sought companions for a bike tour.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.
Anger spilled onto the streets of the Indian state of Bihar today.
This after more than 20 children died after eating a free government-sponsored school lunch. Doctors say the victims show symptoms of insecticide poisoning. Today, protesters attacked police vehicles in Chhapra, a city near the children's school. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.
And moving on now to a mystery in Panama. A North Korean ship was stopped there as it was cruising through the Panama Canal carrying military supplies from Cuba. Missile and aircraft parts were hidden beneath bags of sugar in the cargo hold. North Korea is subject to a U.N. arms embargo and the North Korean crew is said to have violently resisted an effort to inspect the ship. NPR's Tom Gjelten has the latest.
If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Alarmed at ballooning waistlines in a region where fast food is common and comfortable outdoor exercise is not, the local government is offering to give citizens a gram of gold for each kilogram lost by Aug. 16, according to news reports.
That's about $41 for a little over two pounds of pudge, based on today's market rate.
As Zimbabwe prepares for hotly contested elections later this month, there's pressure on politicians to avoid violence and follow through on promises. One group making sure the country's leaders do what they promised is the group Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights.
A federal judge has refused to stop the force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay inmates on a hunger strike. David Greene talks to Carol Rosenberg, of the Miami Herald, who's just returned from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, where she's been reporting on the prisoners' hunger strike.
Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.
The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase about 30 percent globally by 2050, scientists said Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most common, will be the hardest hit.
The Mathare Valley, shown here in an aerial map, is one of the largest and oldest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Residents are using hand-held GPS devices to map the area, which comprises 13 villages and is home to nearly 200,000 people.
Credit Courtesy of Muungano Support Trust and Jason Corburn, UC Berkeley
Isaac Mutisya, whom everyone knows as Kaka, points out the spot in Mathare where he was born. The more he maps his slum through the lens of his GPS, the more he feels the outside world is finally looking back.
Credit Gregory Warner / NPR
The residents of Nairobi's informal settlements live in unsafe, overcrowded and often unsanitary housing and lack access to basic services such as sanitation, water and electricity.
Credit Courtesy of Muungano Support Trust and Jason Corburn, UC Berkeley
Slum mapper Emily Wangari stands outside a communal toilet in the Kiamutisya settlement of Mathare. This settlement has only four toilets for 4,000 residents. By mapping the problems, she hopes to pressure authorities to bring in more necessary services.
A statement from Cuba's foreign ministry says weapons that Panama seized in a North Korean ship were mid-20th Century models that Cuba was sending to North Korea for repair, according to reports from the BBC and Reuters.
We turn now to northern Nigeria where more than 50 teachers and students have been killed in terrorist attacks just in the last month. The group known as Boko Haram, which loosely means Western education is forbidden, is allegedly responsible for these, as well as previous attacks on churches and government institutions. The leader of the extremist Islamist sect has said he fully supports the attacks and has called for more targeting of schools.
Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:42 am
Latin American cartels are fueled by U.S. drug demand, so their illegal retail networks often stretch throughout America. Mexico's arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales was a reminder that the connections between drug traffickers and the U.S. are not just commercial — they're also personal.
Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked a cache of classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs, officially filed for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, a human rights lawyer and WikiLeaks say.
After what had been a week of calm, violence returned to the streets of Cairo late Monday into early Tuesday.
NPR's Leila Fadel reports that Egypt's health ministry said seven people were killed and more than 200 were injured as supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi clashed with police. From Cairo, Leila filed this report for our Newscast unit:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
One of the most brutal and vicious cartel leaders in Mexico has been arrested. Early yesterday morning, Mexican marines, caught the leader of the notorious Zeta gang organization. The country has killed or captured dozens of kingpins in recent years without managing to bring an end to the high murder rates in many areas.
In Egypt, the ouster of President Mohammad Morsi has changed things - not just for Egyptians but also for another group of Arabs living in that country. It's a story of how when one group falls from grace, so do those who are perceived to be its supporters. Under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt was a safe haven for Syrians fleeing the war in their country.
Now, as NPR's Kelly McEvers reports from Cairo, the power shift in Egypt is putting Syrians in danger.
A woman waits to get AIDS drugs on April 8 at a clinic in Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa, about 55 miles north of Johannesburg. New WHO guidelines say patients should start HIV treatment much earlier, before they become extremely sick.
The World Health Organization has issued revised guidelines saying that people with HIV should be put on antiviral drugs far earlier than was previously recommended. The hope is that most patients would get started on treatment before they begin to get extremely sick.
It's a move that could have huge implications for African nations where millions of people are infected with HIV. In South Africa roughly 5.5 million people are living with HIV — more than any other country in the world. South Africa also has more people in treatment than anywhere else.