World News

The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Pakistan Says Drones Killed Far Fewer Civilians Than Thought

A U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:12 pm

While human rights groups and other watchdogs have put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that just 3 percent of the deaths from U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were noncombatants.

The ministry says 317 drone strikes have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians in the last five years.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

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Parallels
11:08 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Armies Can't Find Joseph Kony. Can Crowdfunding?

Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is being pursued by U.S. Special Forces and African armies. If he can raise enough money, adventurer Robert Young Pelton will be tracking him, too.
STR AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:23 pm

U.S. Special Forces haven't found Joseph Kony. Several African governments have searched in vain for the notorious Ugandan warlord. And a social media campaign among young Americans, which last year focused attention on Kony's atrocities and went viral, has waned.

But Canadian Robert Young Pelton, an adventurer/journalist/entrepreneur, thinks he can track down Kony in central Africa — and he's prepared to do it if he can raise $450,000 from crowdfunding.

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Parallels
9:34 am
Wed October 30, 2013

How NATO Is Trying To Change The Narrative In Afghanistan

Afghan National Army Commandos attend their graduation ceremony in Kabul in July. Foreign combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 after handing over all security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
S. Sabawoon EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

As he prepared to deploy earlier this year, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the No. 2 commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, found that people seemed to have forgotten about Afghanistan.

"The opinion that he gathered was nobody was interested anymore," explains Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for ISAF Joint Command in Kabul. "[Gen. Milley] came over here with the goal to say, 'Well, let's try and get people interested; let's try to explain to people where we are.' "

And, with that, this past summer ISAF launched a new offensive in the war to inform.

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Parallels
9:28 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Someone In Central China Really Stinks At Photoshop

In a photo originally posted to a county government website, local officials purportedly visit a 100-year-old woman in Anhui province. They sure are tall, aren't they? And what happened to the legs of the guy on the right?
Ningguo Civil Affairs Department via Chinanews.com

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:32 am

Local Chinese government propagandists have outdone themselves in what seems to be the increasingly competitive category of bad Photoshop.

This week's entry hails from Ningguo County in central China's Anhui province. The workmanship is so bad, it seems almost, well, effortless.

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World
6:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Families Of Drone Strike Victims Tell Their Stories

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A family from a village in Pakistan traveled all the way to Capitol Hill this week to tell lawmakers the story of how they lost their grandmother in a deadly attack. She was killed by a U.S. drone strike one year ago. Speaking through an interpreter, her grandchildren's testimony, along with that of her son, marked the first time civilians victimized by drone strikes appeared at a congressional briefing.

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Parallels
6:30 am
Wed October 30, 2013

World Headlines: China Calls Tiananmen Attack Terrorism

A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Ng Han Guan AP

China, CCTV

We start this morning with more news on that deadly crash in Beijing's Tiananmen square.

Authorities say they've arrested five people in Beijing in connection with Monday's crash that killed two people and injured nearly 40. They labeled the incident a terrorist attack.

Police said the attack was "carefully planned, organized and premeditated."

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa

The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:27 pm

Update on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

French Hostages Held In West Africa Since 2010 Win Freedom

The hostages' families, friends and activists demonstrate in Aix-en-Provence, France, in June.
Claude Paris AP

Four French hostages captured in Niger three years ago by members of an al-Qaida affiliate have been released.

France's President Francois Hollande says the men, seized in a raid on a uranium mining operation on Sept. 16, 2010, near Arlit in northern Niger, will be returning home soon.

The four men are identified as Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret. A source close to Hollande was quoted by AFP as saying: "We can't say that they're in great health but their health is fine."

The hostages are thought to have been held in neighboring Mali.

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Middle East
2:49 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Syrian Drug Sales Fuel Country's Civil War

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Drug money has fueled insurgencies all over the world, from Afghanistan to Central and South America. And now, the war in Syria may be seeing the beginning of a similar trade. This time, it's not opium or cocaine, it's Captagon, a powerful amphetamine and highly sought after street drug in countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In just one month, Lebanese authorities seized more than $200 million worth of Captagon. Other raids have yielded more than six million loose pills at a time.

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Middle East
2:49 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Polio Returns To Syria As Health System Crumbles

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

After weeks of uncertainty, the World Health Organization today confirmed that polio has reemerged in Syria for the first time in 14 years. Earlier this month, health officials reported that 22 children in eastern Syria were paralyzed by what appeared to be polio. And now the WHO says, so far, 10 of the cases have tested positive for polio.

NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

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National Security
2:49 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

NSA Chief: We Did Not Collect French, Spanish Phone Data

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Europe
2:49 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

New Evidence Re-Opens Britain's 'Plebe-Gate' Scandal

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A year ago, a British Cabinet minister was forced to step down after being publicly excoriated. His crime? He allegedly berated two police officers while wheeling his bicycle away from the prime minister's residence.

Though, Vicki Barker reports, that doubts are now being cast on the officers' version of the story.

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Asia
2:49 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Tienanmen Square Car Crash Leads To Questions And Censorship

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:57 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Police in Beijing are investigating the cause of a fiery car crash yesterday in the heart of the Chinese capital. A car plowed into a crowd of people near the gates at the north end of Tiananmen Square. It's not yet clear if this was an accident or an intentional attack. Five people died and 38 were injured.

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Middle East
2:49 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Israeli-Palestinian Talks Progressing, Despite Sore Spots

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 6:56 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In a few hours, Israel will release 26 Palestinian men from prison. These are men who were jailed for attacks that killed Israelis in the 1980s and early '90s. They're being freed before they finish serving their full sentences. The release of these prisoners is part of a deal to resume peace talks with the Palestinians.

NPR's Emily Harris reports.

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Parallels
2:41 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

100 Days To The Sochi Olympics: Some Key Things To Know

One of the participants of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay runs near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, on Oct. 8. Controversies surrounding costs, security and gay rights swirl around the games, to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:58 am

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, open in February, just 100 days from now.

The games have already given rise to some superlatives: most expensive (at more than $50 billion), most heavily guarded and, potentially, most controversial.

Here are key questions surrounding the Sochi games, and some answers:

An Islamist militant leader has called on Muslim fighters to attack the Olympics. Can Russian officials keep visitors and athletes safe?

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

U.S. Did Not Spy On French, Spanish Citizens, Says Spy Chief

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander is sworn on Capitol Hill on Sept. 26.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:31 pm

The brewing scandal over allegations that the United States spied on millions of phone calls made by Spanish and French citizens took a sharp, surprising turn Tuesday.

During congressional testimony, Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, said those reports, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, were "false."

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

U.N. Condemns U.S. Embargo Of Cuba, Again

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:02 pm

In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.

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Parallels
8:21 am
Tue October 29, 2013

'They Want To Fit In': An Uphill Struggle For Greece's Roma

Maria Souta (center), a Roma grandmother in her 50s, lives in a shack in the Roma camp near Corinth, Greece. She supports her family by picking aluminum cans out of the trash. "I really want my children to get an education and get out of here," she says.
Joanna Kakissis for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:06 am

The boys are nervous. A big parade at the local Greek public school is coming up, and they can't afford the uniform: navy pants and a white shirt.

But the boys, all Roma from an impoverished camp near the city of Corinth, are desperate to attend.

"They want to be proud," says Maria Larsen, their teacher, as she reaches into a box of donated clothes. "They have been told over and over again at school that they are less worthy than other children. But Greece is their home, and they want to fit in."

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Parallels
8:09 am
Tue October 29, 2013

World Headlines: Trains Under Bosphorous; Loans To Yakuza

Japan's Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said it had punished a total of 54 current and former executives over its loans to organized crime groups, but a third-party panel found no sign of a deliberate cover-up. Mizuho Bank president Yasuhiko Sato said his salary would be cut for six months and other executives would step down from their posts or face pay reductions.
Frank Robichon EPA /LANDOV

Turkey, Zaman

Turns out the twain shall meet after all.

A railway tunnel under the Bosphorous Strait now connects the Asian and European parts of Istanbul – fulfilling the vision of an Ottoman sultan nearly two centuries ago.

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World
4:40 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Dubai Plans Airport So Big It Will Be Its Own City

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. The United Arab Emirates is about to take a big leap forward in its plan for regional economic domination. No, the plan is not to host another "Sex and the City" sequel, or install more vending machines that dispense gold.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The details are a bit more lofty - and today's last word in business is: up in the air. The boom city of Dubai is building the world's largest airport and it recently celebrated its first commercial flight.

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Middle East
3:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Syria On Course To Meet Weapons Destruction Deadlines

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The U.S. and Russia don't agree on much when it comes to Syria. But the deal they reached to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons seems to be paying off. Syria met its deadline to declare all of its stockpiles to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the OPCW announced today that it has visited nearly all of the sites it needs to see.

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Middle East
3:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Turkish Cease-Fire With Kurish Militants Hangs By A Thread

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To Turkey now and the fragile, seven-month cease-fire between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government. The long-running conflict has claimed some 35,000 lives, and the peace deal that stopped the bloodshed is now in jeopardy. The problem, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, is that both sides want the peace process to speed up.

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Europe
3:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

'News Of The World' Phone Hacking Trial Gets Started In London

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In England today, one of the highest profile criminal trials the country has seen in years got underway. Eight people are on trial, most notably Rebecca Brooks, a former top executive for Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper empire, and Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor. Coulson also served for a while as Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief.

The case grew out of a scandal over allegations that staff at the News of the World hacked into thousands of voicemails, including celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

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National Security
3:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

NSA Spying Draws Focus To Decades-Old Intelligence Pact

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are still trickling out. The latest reports include allegations that the U.S. is collecting data on millions of citizens in countries such as Spain and France. The steady stream of NSA revelations has drawn attention to an intelligence-sharing agreement known as Five Eyes.

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Parallels
1:50 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Brazil's Restrictions On Abortion May Get More Restrictive

Demonstrators who are critical of the Catholic Church and favor abortion rights take part in a protest in Rio de Janeiro during Pope Francis' visit to Brazil on July 27. Abortion is illegal in Brazil with rare exceptions. Some lawmakers are attempting to make it even more restrictive.
Tasso Marcelo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

The doctor's office is clean and white and comfortingly bland in an upscale neighborhood of Sao Paulo. We were given the address by a health professional who told us one of the doctors here gives safe abortions in a country where they are illegal.

The doctor agrees to speak on condition of anonymity after we prove we are not there to entrap him. He does not admit on tape that he terminates unwanted pregnancies. But he says openly he favors legalizing abortions.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Syrian Hackers Hit Social Media Accounts Linked To President

The Syrian Electronic Army – a shadowy group of hackers acting in support of the Assad regime – has hit Twitter and Facebook accounts linked to President Obama.

When users clicked a link on some tweets originating from "Organizing for Action" – a non-profit organization that advocates for President Obama's agenda — they were directed to this (warning: graphic) video titled "Syria facing terrorism."

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Storm Packing Hurricane-Force Winds Hits Western Europe

Waves produced by storm-force winds break against the harbor wall in Dover, England, on Monday.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:40 pm

What's being described as the worst storm in years hit Britain before moving across the English Channel to lash the Netherlands, France and Germany. It's claimed as many as 13 lives, The Associated Press reports, and has caused flooding as it whips the region with wind gusts of nearly 100 mph.

The BBC reports:

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Mon October 28, 2013

'Bishop Of Bling' Mansion May Become Refuge For Poor

This panoramic image (a composite of 9 photographs) shows part of the exterior of the bishop's residence in Limburg, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes Getty Images

That mansion in Limburg, Germany, where about $40 million was spent on renovations for the since-suspended cleric now known as the "bishop of bling" may soon be "turned into a refugee centre or a soup kitchen for the homeless," according to reports from The Independent and other European news outlets.

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Parallels
10:05 am
Mon October 28, 2013

4 Things To Know About Spying On Allies

President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference in Berlin in June. A German newspaper reported Sunday that Obama had known since 2010 that his intelligence service was eavesdropping on Merkel. The story came a day after reports alleged Obama told Merkel he was not aware she was being spied on.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:37 am

Disclosures about the National Security Agency's spying on U.S. allies, including France and Germany, have sparked outrage in Europe and created tensions in trans-Atlantic relations. But just how widespread is such spying? Here are four things to know.

1. Who spies on whom?

Spying on adversaries is common — as is spying on your allies.

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