World News

Parallels
3:38 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music

Afghans hold large, expensive weddings, even those involving families of modest means. More than 600 people attended this recent marriage at a large wedding hall in Kabul.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 4:17 pm

Afghanistan may be one of the world's poorest countries, but weddings are still a big — and expensive — deal. On most weekends, Kabul's glitzy and somewhat garish wedding halls are packed with people celebrating nuptials.

One of them is the Uranos Palace complex. On the night I attended my first Afghan wedding, all three of its halls were overflowing. I was one of two foreigners in a room of about 200 men. The female guests sat on the other side of a 7-foot-high divider in the middle of the hall.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Popping A Baby Out Like A Cork, And Other Birth Innovations

The Odon Device was inspired by a YouTube video about how to remove a cork from the inside of a wine bottle.
The Odon Device

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 2:59 pm

An invention to help with obstructed labor has turned some heads — and not just because the idea came from a party trick on YouTube.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Japanese 'Prince' Switched At Birth Was Raised A Pauper

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

What happens when you find out that the life you've lived could have been better — much better? That's what a 60-year-old Japanese truck driver had to grapple with when he discovered he was switched at birth after being born to a rich family.

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Parallels
1:54 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Chinese Welcome Easing Of One-Child Policy, But Can They Afford It?

A man and child walk in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. China's government recently announced an easing of the country's one-child policy. While the move appears to be broadly supported, many urban Chinese parents say it would be hard to afford a second child.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 7:03 pm

Many Chinese are pleased with the recent announcement that their government will further loosen the country's one-child policy. Some couples there are already allowed to have two children, while others say that even if they are permitted to have another kid, they can't afford it.

A young, professional couple surnamed Gao and Deng went to a government office in Shanghai earlier this month to apply for a marriage license.

Waiting on a metal bench, Gao, the 30-year-old groom-to-be, said he was glad more couples will be able to have a second child.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

U.S. Apologizes For Airstrike That Killed Afghan Child

Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses the Loya Jirga on Sunday. Karzai expressed anger at an airstrike Thursday that killed a child, saying it could imperil a security agreement with the U.S. The U.S.-led international force apologized on Friday for the killing.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:17 pm

The U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan is apologizing for an airstrike that killed a 2-year-old, a death that Afghan President Hamid Karzai said imperils a long-term security agreement between the two countries.

The International Security Assistance Force said it carried out an airstrike Thursday on a militant riding a motorbike in Helmand Province. The child was also killed, and two women were injured in the attack.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Prominent Egyptian Blogger Arrested

Alaa Abdel-Fattah, seen with his wife and child in March, was arrested from his home Thursday.
Asmaa Waguih Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:26 pm

An Egyptian blogger who rose to fame during the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak has been arrested under a controversial new law that bans unauthorized protests.

Police arrested Alaa Abdel-Fattah at his home late Thursday night as his toddler slept nearby. When his wife demanded to see an arrest warrant, police beat both of them, a press release from the family said. NPR's Leila Fadel is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Fri November 29, 2013

China Sends Warplanes To Air Defense Zone

A Chinese-produced J-10 fighter jet is displayed outside the offices of the Aviation Industry Corp. of China in Beijing. China's newly established air defense identification zone has caused much consternation in the region.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 11:11 am

We've been reporting on China's new air defense zone and the criticism it is generating from its neighbors as well as the United States, who say they will ignore it. On Friday, China said it sent warplanes to the zone over the East China Sea, which overlaps with areas claimed by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn filed this report for our newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Fri November 29, 2013

18 Sunnis Found Shot Dead In Iraq

Mourners carry the coffin of a victim of a bomb attack on a Baghdad cafe on Tuesday. Violence in Iraq has spiked this year. The bodies of 18 men were found Friday in a Sunni area near Baghdad.
Sabah Arar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:59 am

Eighteen Sunni men abducted from their homes near Baghdad by gunmen wearing military uniforms were found shot in the head just hours later, Iraqi police said Friday.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Suspected U.S. Drone Strike Kills At Least 2 In Pakistan

On Friday in Peshawar, Pakistan, supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami party shout slogans during a rally to condemn U.S. drone strikes.
Ahmad Sidique Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 7:59 am

Pakistani officials said Friday that a suspected U.S. drone strike in the country's tribal belt has killed at least two people and injured several others. The incident comes amid growing controversy in Pakistan over American drone attacks.

NPR's Philip Reeves filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Middle East
3:10 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Blogger Arrested For Inciting A Protest In Egypt

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There was an arrest of a high-profile Egyptian activist last night, a well-known blogger. This arrest was part of what has apparently been an expansion in the crackdown by Egypt's military-led regime. Egypt recently issued a new law that broadens the state's powers to stop protests, including by force. We're joined by NPR's Leila Fadel in Cairo. Leila, good morning.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

GREENE: So tell us about this blogger who was arrested.

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Middle East
3:10 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Islamic Extremists Alter Dynamics In Syria's War Civil

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're gonna take a look now at the changing dynamics in the Syrian civil war. It's been going on for two and a half years now. Well over 100,000 people have died. In that time, Islamist extremists have emerged as the best armed and financed opposition to the regime of Bashar al Assad, eclipsing the opposition groups favored by the West.

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The Protojournalist
4:08 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: Thank You For Posting

Turkey of Thanksgiving in Kazakhstan.
Patricia Cullinane

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:36 am

Thanksgiving — like the universe — is expanding.

Traditionally a time for Americans to pause and give thanks to a Supreme Being — for health or harvest or happenstance, Thanksgiving is evolving before our very eyes into a holiday where we give thanks to each other as well.

Just this week we received Thanksgiving-themed thank-you notes from a doctor's office, a lawyers' association, a New Jersey congressman and others. Can Thanksgiving-themed gift cards be far behind?

It's not a bad idea. Saying thank you to more people.

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World
2:35 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

How A South Pacific Island Celebrates Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday. And on tiny Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, it's a somewhat imported holiday.

Asia
2:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

China's Latest Territorial Moves Renew Fears In Philippines

U.S. and Philippine navy personnel patrol the seas off a naval base west of Manila in June as part of joint exercises.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 7:24 pm

China is flexing its muscles these days. Over the weekend, it declared a sprawling air defense identification zone that covers disputed islands controlled by Japan. And it has sent its lone aircraft carrier for first-time trials in the South China Sea, where Beijing has territorial feuds with other neighbors, including Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.

None of this was making China any friends in Manila, where the Chinese government is particularly unpopular these days.

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Afghanistan
2:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay

A helicopter from the American security contractor DynCorp provides air support as members of an Afghan eradication force plow opium poppies on April 3, 2006, in the Helmand province, Afghanistan.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:35 pm

Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.

Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.

But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.

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Middle East
3:05 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Syria's Civil War Raised Stakes For Radio Host

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:06 am

Popular Syrian radio personality Honey al-Sayed fled the country last year and now lives in Washington, D.C. Both the regime and rebel forces wanted her to be their mouthpiece. She spoke to David Greene about what it was like to broadcast in Syria during the conflict there, and what made her leave.

Latin America
3:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Many Haitians Leave Dominican Republic After Court Decision

A court in the Dominican Republic recently stripped many people of Haitian descent of Dominican citizenship. Linda Wertheimer talks to Jacqueline Charles, a reporter with the Miami Herald, about unrest and reports of mass deportations in the Dominican Republic.

Europe
2:59 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Greenpeace Captain Awaits Trial On Hooliganism In Russia

A group of environmental activists from Greenpeace were recently granted bail in Russia after two months in detention for attempting to protest on an oil rig in arctic waters. Peter Willcox, the American captain of the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise, talks to David Greene about the experience when he and his crew were arrested by Russian commandos in the Pechora Sea, north of Russia.

Africa
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Church Shelters Those From Central African Republic Violence

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:11 am

David Greene talk to UNICEF Emergency Coordinator Bob McCarthy about the situation at a Catholic church in Bossangoa in the Central African Republic. Thousands of people are seeking shelter in the compound of the church. They are fleeing the violence that has engulfed the country after militias overthrew the government earlier this year.

World
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

By Accident, Scientists Discover Lakes Beneath Greenland

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Flying to or from Europe, many a transatlantic traveler has gazed down at the brilliant white surface of Greenland and maybe wondered what is beneath those massive sheets of ice. Well, scientists have discovered jagged mountains, ravines that rival the Grand Canyon.

And now NPR's Richard Harris reports that for the first time they've come across some lakes under the ice as well.

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Middle East
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Secret Talks Pave Way For Interim Iranian Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:28 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Laura Rozen, a reporter for Al-Monitor.com, about her reporting on the secret talks between the U.S. and Iran. Those talks preceded the interim nuclear deal reached in Geneva last weekend.

Africa
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Nigerian City Recovers After Militants Are Driven Out

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:17 am

The northeastern city Maiduguri is the birthplace of the Islamist militant movement Boko Haram. Until earlier this year, when President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in three northeastern states, the extremists regularly hit targets there.

Economy
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Greece's Economy Predicted To Shrink In 2014

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:08 am

The forecast, by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was issued on Wednesday. It contrasts with that of the Greek government which says the economy will grow next year.

Parallels
1:05 am
Thu November 28, 2013

After 50 Years, Cuba Says Its Baseball Players Can Go Abroad

A player for Havana's Industriales baseball team winds up to throw a ball during a training session in Havana on Sept. 27. Cuba recently lifted a ban on its athletes' signing contracts to play overseas professionally.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:45 am

Baseball season is over in the United States, but it's just getting started in Cuba. It's the first season since Communist authorities lifted a 50-year-old ban on players' signing professional contracts abroad.

The move could bring even more Cuban defections to the U.S. major leagues, but fans on the island aren't booing the change.

Going to a baseball game at Havana's Latin American stadium is a little different from the typical experience in the U.S.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

U.S. And Japanese Officials Discuss China's Air Defense Claim

Concerns over China's air defense claims led Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to call Japan's defense minister Wednesday. Here, a man makes a call near a replica of a Chinese fighter jet displayed in Beijing Wednesday.
Ng Han Guan AP

Concerned by China's move to assert itself in an area claimed by Japan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke with his Japanese counterpart Wednesday. China's military says it monitored a flight Tuesday by U.S. bombers through an air defense zone recently outlined by China.

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Parallels
2:40 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Born In The U.S., But Struggling To Acclimate In Mexico

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

The Francisco Villa Public School is a big, cement block of a fortress in an eastern Tijuana neighborhood just south of the Mexico-U.S. border.

Many of the nearby houses are patched together out of discarded materials, like old garage doors. The roads are unpaved and deeply rutted.

The school bell pierces the dusty air as girls in pink jumpers and boys in navy sweaters stream out of class. For 45 middle school students here who were born in the United States, the sound of the bell is one of the few things that are familiar.

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Middle East
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Egyptians Hit Streets, Defying Protest Ban

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new political storm is brewing in Egypt. It's over a law that bans unauthorized protest. Egyptian officials are taking to the airwaves to defend the law, in the face of fierce opposition from secular political activists. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.

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World
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

For Pakistani Taliban, What Difference Does A New Leader Make?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

In Pakistan, the army chief is considered the most powerful man in the land. Now, there's a new one. General Raheel Sharif was appointed today. He has the tough task of responding to an Islamist insurgency that's cost thousands of lives. That involves taking on Pakistan's Taliban militants. And they also have a new leader, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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Asia
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Territory Dispute Between China And Japan Hits The Sky

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Audie Cornish.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called his counterpart in Japan today to discuss new tensions with China. China has declared a new air defense zone over the East China Sea. Japan has refused to recognize it and has continued commercial flights through the area. And yesterday, the U.S. dispatched two unarmed B52 bombers through the zone.

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Politics
2:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Democratic Senator Pushes For More Sanctions Against Iran, Not Fewer

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. I'm not trying to scuttle the deal - those words earlier this week from Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. He's one of several high profile Democrats who voiced skepticism of the agreement announced over the weekend to curb Iran's nuclear program. His chief concern with the deal, that it lets Iran off the hook by offering some $7 billion worth of sanctions relief.

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