World News

Asia
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Corruption Trial Begins For China's Bo Xilai

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The trial of a former high-flying Chinese politician began this week. Bo Xilai is accused of corruption, bribery and stealing millions of dollars, and the possible implications for China's leadership could be huge. We're joined now by Cheng Li. He's the director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Thanks very much for being with us, Mr. Cheng.

CHENG LI: Thank you for having me.

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Digital Life
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

A Tiny Island Finally Connects To The World Wide Web

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 5:27 pm

Sandwiched between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, the island of Idjwi had no Internet access until last month. Host Scott Simon speaks with Jacques Sebisaho, a doctor and native of Idjwi Island, about how the community has responded to the Internet.

Middle East
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Military Rides Wave Of Public Support In Egypt

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Egypt continues to grapple with fallout from the military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July. President Morsi was propelled to electoral power through the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, the organization is under intense pressure as security forces arrest its members. Many hundreds have been killed in a security crackdown and a political solution seems all but impossible. And some fear that Egypt is returning to a military state. NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Asia
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Corruption Trial Not Working Out As Communist Party Had Hoped

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Did Publicizing The Terror Alert In Yemen Help?

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

The partial reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which was the focus of a recent terror alert, suggests that the immediate threat of a terrorist attack has passed. Officials cannot be certain whether the alert disrupted planning for a possible attack, whether the threat was a bluff or whether the intelligence that led to the alert was flawed. The issuance of warnings is a specialty within the intelligence community, but the recent episode underscores how much uncertainty surrounds the field.

Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Former Ambassador: Syria Will Fight No Matter What U.S. Does

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. There are growing calls for international military action if it's proved that Syria used chemical weapons in an attack this week that's believed to have killed more than 1,000 people. Britain, France and Turkey are among those calling for a forceful response. In an interview today on CNN, President Obama sounded a cautious note.

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Still Wary Of U.S. Military Intervention In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama continued his back-to-school bus tour today, visiting college campuses in New York and Pennsylvania. Back here in Washington, D.C., administration officials wrestled with how the U.S. should respond to this week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Obama says Wednesday's attack around Damascus, if verified, raises grave concern and could threaten core national interests of the United States.

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Planet Money
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Cash, Cows And The Rise Of Nerd Philanthropy

A family in western Kenya received this cow as part of a Heifer International program.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Life In Afghan Village Attacks

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seen in a courtroom sketch earlier this week, as prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury. Bales was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:14 pm

A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Fri August 23, 2013

A Glimpse Of Syria's 1 Million Child Refugees

Syrian-Kurdish children sit on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on Aug. 22. Faced with brutal violence and soaring prices, thousands of Syrian Kurds have poured into Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. UNICEF has reported that over one million Syrian children live as refugees in other countries.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:04 pm

Syria's war has reached another grim milestone: Two United Nations agencies announced Friday that 1 million Syrian children have now fled their homeland in an uprising and civil war that's well into its third year.

The accompanying slide show provides a glimpse of some of these children and the conditions they are living in.

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Race
10:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

What Do Asian-Americans Owe The Civil Rights Movement?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, for some music fans, Robin Thicke's megahit "Blurred Lines" sounds distinctly familiar, kind of like an old Marvin Gaye song. The Barbershop guys step to the mic with their verdict. That's ahead. But first, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King and the movement that he helped to shape.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Police Say One Arrest Made In Gang Rape Of Photojournalist In India

Police officers on Friday inspect the site where a woman in her early 20s was allegedly gang raped in Mumbai, India.
Rafiq Maqbool AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:17 am

Authorities in India say they've arrested one man and identified four others in the alleged gang rape of a young photojournalist, apparently the latest victim in a series of recent sexual assaults that have shaken the country.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that the woman, in her early 20s, and a male colleague were doing a photo shoot of old buildings in south Mumbai when the incident took place early Thursday evening local time.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Koreas Reportedly Agree To Resume Family Reunions

North Korean delegate Pak Yong-Il crosses the military demarcation line with South Korea for a meeting on family reunions as North Korean soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:04 pm

North and South Korea have reportedly agreed to resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, picking up from where the emotional meetings left off when they were suspended three years ago.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri August 23, 2013

After Wild Start, Silence From Bo Xilai Corruption Trial

Bo Xilai, in white shirt, on Thursday during his trial on corruption charges at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in China's Shandong Province.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:19 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn on the trial of Bo Xilai

Chinese authorities clamped down Friday on information coming out of the high-profile corruption trial of one-time rising political star Bo Xilai.

As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition, during Thursday's opening day in court Bo appeared to run circles around the judges and prosecutors. He denied any guilt, claimed a confession he gave had been coerced and called the testimony of his own wife "laughable."

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The Two-Way
4:46 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened

Syrian activists — many wearing gas masks — looked for victims and evidence Thursday in an area near Damascus where government forces allegedly used chemical weapons.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:05 pm

While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.

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World
4:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Dentist Aims To Clone Former Beatle John Lennon

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

A Canadian dentist bought one of John Lennon's molars at auction for $31,000. And now, Michael Zuk plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. The DNA sequencing is already underway. But cloning technology is not quite there yet, so Zuk is biding his time in other ways. He released a parody song called "Love Me Tooth," as in...

(Singing) Love, love me tooth.

Sorry, I just did that. What would John Lennon think of all of this? Probably just say, let it be.

Asia
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

China's Big Political Trial Takes A Dramatic Turn

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Chinese politician Bo Xilai is in court for a second day — accused of corruption and involvement in an attempted cover-up of his wife's murder of a British businessman. The trial opened on Thursday, and Bo put up a fierce defense. But on the second day, it appears he has been silenced.

Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mubarak's Release From Prison Cuts Across Egypt's Divisions

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:07 pm

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.

But the military appears to be consolidating its power.

There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.

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Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Week In Review: The Latest On Egypt And Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mubarak's move to house arrest was just one development in a tumultuous week in the Middle East. The civil war in Syria also took a stunning turn. It appears chemical weapons were used in an attack on a rebel area on a far larger scale than anything that's been alleged before.

To reflect on the state of the region we called Shadee Hameed. He's an analyst with the Brookings Center in Doha and a frequent guest on our program. Good morning.

SHADI HAMID: Hi. Thanks for having me.

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Asia
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

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Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Coach Insists Soccer Can Unite Egyptians

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our next guest says the only thing that can unite all Egyptians is soccer. American Bob Bradley is coach of Egypt's national soccer team. They're closing in on a spot in next year's World Cup, something Egypt hasn't done since 1990. We reached Coach Bradley earlier in Cairo. Good morning to you, Coach, thanks for coming on the program.

BOB BRADLEY: No problem. It's good to be with you.

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Planet Money
1:24 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Charity That Just Gives Money To Poor People

Bernard Omondi got $1,000 from GiveDirectly.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:41 am

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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Africa
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Release Sparks New Debate Over Egypt's Future

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and immediately flown to a military hospital in Cairo. The court-ordered release does not mean the end of his problems. The 85-year-old Mubarak is still facing charges of conspiracy and murder in a re-trial that could begin as early as this weekend. A small group of Mubarak supporters gathered outside the prison for his release, but overall the decision to transfer him to the hospital has not ignited any street protests.

Afghanistan
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Some Afghans Already Cynical About Next Year's Election

April 5, 2014 — that's the day Afghans are scheduled to head to the polls to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. He's constitutionally banned from running for a third term. But, in a country that loves a good conspiracy theory, many think that Karzai will find some way to stay in power. Even if he doesn't, there are still many questions about how free and fair next year's vote will be.

Asia
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Former Chinese Politician Has Spirited Defense At Trial

The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.

Middle East
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Syrian Doctor Describes Treating Chemical Weapons Victims

Hundreds of people are believed to have perished in an alleged government-launched chemical weapon attack earlier this week on the rebel stronghold of Ghouta, outside of Damascus. Melissa Blocks speaks with Abo Abdulrahman, a doctor from a field hospital there, who reports an enormous influx of patients coming into his clinic.

Africa
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Latest Clashes In Egypt Bloodier Than 2011 Revolution

Melissa Block talks to Heba Morayef, Director of Human Rights Watch's Egypt office, about their latest report on human rights violations.

Parallels
12:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

In Familiar Refrain, Syria Faces Criticism, Not Intervention

A Syrian man protesting an alleged chemical weapons attack in his homeland holds up a placard Wednesday in front of the United Nations offices in Beirut.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:43 pm

The international community once again rose in near unanimity to condemn a mass killing of civilians in Syria. But, as with so many previous episodes, no one proposed concrete action intended to prevent such bloodshed in the future.

The White House on Thursday expressed "deep concern" and urged a U.N. investigation into what the Syrian opposition says was a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Wednesday that left hundreds dead.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bo Xilai's Corruption Trial In China Kicks Off With A Twist

In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai appears Thursday on the first day of his trial in eastern China's Shandong province. Interestingly, he was photographed flanked by two very tall policemen.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:07 pm

In China, recent Communist Party show trials have featured cowed defendants acknowledging their crimes and offering apologies. Not this one.

The country's biggest trial in decades kicked off Thursday with the defendant, former politburo member Bo Xilai, denying guilt, claiming his confession was coerced and branding the testimony of one of his accusers — in this case his wife — "laughable."

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Parallels
11:33 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Case: What's The Best Approach With Ex-Dictators?

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and put under house arrest at a military hospital.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:38 am

When Hosni Mubarak was whisked out of prison by helicopter on Thursday, he did not become a free man. The former Egyptian leader, 85, was taken to a military hospital in Cairo, where he's under house arrest and still faces criminal charges.

But to many, the move was highly symbolic, the latest sign that the 2011 revolution is being rolled back and that the country's future is growing messier and more complicated by the day.

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