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Shortly before he was put to death, Aftab Bahadur wrote an essay. He spoke of his alienation and loneliness, of the comfort he found in art and poetry, and of the anguish of awaiting execution on death row in Pakistan.

"I doubt there is anything more dreadful than being told that you are going to die, and then sitting in a prison cell just waiting for that moment," he said, according to a text translated from Urdu and released by Reprieve, a human rights group based in Britain.

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More than 3,400 people are now under quarantine in South Korea's fight to contain an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome — a deadly virus that can cause severe pneumonia and organ failure.

So far, South Korea has reported 122 MERS cases. And the government is actively tracking the whereabouts of people possibly exposed to the virus.

Chung-ahm is a Buddhist monk who's quarantined in the Jangduk village in southern South Korea.

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We turn now to Ambassador Ryan Crocker. He's a veteran diplomat who's represented the U.S. all over the region, including in Baghdad. Welcome to the program.

RYAN CROCKER: Thank you.

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In 2001, Tim Hunt won a share of a Nobel Prize. In 2006, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. But in 2015, he's being widely criticized for his recent remarks about women in science, including: "when you criticize them, they cry."

Hunt, a biochemist, made that and other comments during a speech this week at the World Conference of Science Journalists that's being held in South Korea this week. He was quoted in a tweet that's since been shared hundreds of times, asking the audience to "let me tell you about my trouble with girls."

Lots of factors may affect a child's odds of ending up with autism. Researchers around the world have been striving to fully understand how biology, genetics and environment play roles.

A huge study that includes data from more than 5.7 million children in five countries might shed some light on how autism develops — but it also raises new questions.

Researchers looked at autism rates among children born between 1985 and 2004 in Denmark, Israel, Norway, Sweden and Australia.

Earlier this spring, the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky was testing an advanced antivirus software on one of its computers when it stumbled on something big: As the Moscow-based company puts it, it was "one of the most skilled, mysterious and powerful" spy viruses in the world.

Still reeling from a corruption scandal that has ensnared some of its top officials and led to the resignation of its president, FIFA said it was delaying the bidding process on the 2026 World Cup.

"Due to the situation, I think it's nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being," Jérôme Valcke, FIFA's secretary general, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Updated 1:50 a.m. ET Thursday:

Russian President Vladimir Putin was about an hour and 20 minutes late for his meeting with Pope Francis on Wednesday. The two greeted each other in German and spent about 50 minutes in closed-door talks.

On the topic of eastern Ukraine, the pope encouraged Putin to make "sincere" efforts to bring peace to Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists are battling government troops.

"Yes, I do mind," says a sign alerting visitors to a ban on smoking at the Beijing Children's Hospital.

The poster shows a woman covering her nose with her hand, as if to block the secondhand smoke created by the 300 million smokers in China. There are 4 million in Beijing alone.

A recorded message played over the hospital's public address system emphasizes the message: It's "for your health, and that of the young patients," the voice says.

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Hundreds of mourners in Burundi spilled out of a funeral service Tuesday at a Catholic church, their hands raised and their palms open in what is now a global meme against police violence.

They were there to mourn an engineering student, Theogene Niyondiko, 28. He was shot last Friday by police during a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sounded a firm tone against Russia in his first major foreign speech in Germany on Tuesday while also pushing for increased U.S. trade relations in the region.

The likely GOP presidential candidate, set to announce his White House bid on Monday, warned in a speech to an economic conference in Berlin that Ukraine "must be permitted to choose its own path" as Russia continues military aggression there.

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Southeast Asia is becoming a booming market for U.S. defense companies. Countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are spending billions to upgrade and expand their defense systems. At the heart of this shopping spree is anxiety over China.

But American defense companies have plenty of competition.

Southeast Asian countries have been steadily building up their defense systems over the past decade — some more than others. But the pace has picked up recently, says Anthony Nelson, with the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

When Fatima Haidari got her first bike at age 9, she rode it all the time. But when she became an teenager, the rules changed.

"I used to bike outside because I was a kid, and nobody cared," Haidari says. "But when I got older, it got kind of weird so I stopped."

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The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team entered the World Cup stage last night in a big way by beating Australia 3-to-1.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

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The U.S. Supreme Court Monday sided with the president in a long-running struggle with Congress over who controls recognition of foreign countries and what information about nationhood can be put on the passports of American citizens.

In a 6-to-3 decision, the high court struck down a law requiring the State Department to indicate on passports that the city of Jerusalem is part of Israel. The decision was a blow to the pro-Israel lobby and to congressional power over certain parts of foreign policy.

It's India's latest social media battle cry: #DespiteBeingAWoman erupted on Twitter on Monday after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the phrase while talking about the female prime minister of Bangladesh.

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