World News

The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Police: British Spy's Strange Death Was 'Probably An Accident'

Scotland Yard says it believes a British spy whose naked, decomposing body was found padlocked inside a gym bag in a bathtub three years ago, probably died accidentally.

Gareth Williams, 31, was working for Britain's MI6 spy agency when his body was found at his home in August 2010.

Last May, a coroner concluded that Williams was probably murdered, but on Wednesday London Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt told reporters that the death was "most probably ... an accident."

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All Tech Considered
1:36 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Flooded And Powerless: When Lights And Cellphones Go Dark

Typhoon survivors line up Wednesday to charge their mobile phones using power outlets provided by a cellular service provider in Tacloban, Philippines.
Dita Alangkara AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:35 am

Updated Nov. 14 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

It's hard to imagine what would happen when, in the wake of destruction, lights go dark and cellphones become useless. For many inhabitants of the Philippines this past week, that was reality.

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The Salt
1:14 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Could Hunger Make Us More Charitable?

Researchers have a hunch that because we often had to share food to survive, we're inclined to be more interested in giving when we're hungry.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:44 pm

Hunger can make people emotional, that's for sure. Some people get "hangry" when their blood sugar levels drop and their irritability rises. Others get greedy.

But new research suggests that we may have another, innate response to hunger: a desire to encourage others to share what they have.

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Parallels
11:24 am
Wed November 13, 2013

By The Numbers: A Typhoon's Devastation

Residents collect gasoline at a damaged gas station in Tacloban, Philippines, on Wednesday.
Lui Siu Wai Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:06 pm

Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on Friday, packing winds of close to 200 mph. Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, devastated the city of Tacloban and the surrounding areas. At the time of impact, it was being called the "strongest tropical cyclone on record."

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Toronto Council Asks Mayor Ford To Temporarily Step Aside

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during Wednesday's contentious City Council meeting.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:10 pm

Toronto's City Council voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to call on Mayor Rob Ford to take a leave of absence after he admitted to purchasing and using illegal drugs.

In a final plea before the vote, Ford apologized to Council members, acknowledging that "I really 'effed up.' "

The vote came after a tumultuous afternoon chronicled in our original post, which we pick up here:

-- Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to purchasing illegal drugs in recent years, while also insisting that, "I am not an alcoholic ... I am not a drug addict."

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World
9:55 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: Families Struggle To Connect Amid Devastation

Wrecked infrastructure is making it hard for Filipino Americans to find out the status of family members affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jessica Petilla, a Filipino doctor in New York who has immediate family in the hard hit province of Leyte.

Books
9:55 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Aid Worker: Hard To Put Experience Into Words

As an aid worker, Jessica Alexander worked in Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Haiti, but don't call her a hero or a saint. Alexander tells Michel Martin about why she wanted to challenge perceptions of aid workers in her new book, Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid.

Parallels
9:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Despite Western Efforts, Afghan Opium Crop Hits Record High

Afghan farmers collect raw opium earlier this year in a poppy field in the Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul. Afghanistan's opium production surged in 2013 to record levels, despite 12 years of international efforts to wean the country off the narcotics trade, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 10:20 am

The amount of land under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is at a record high, the United Nations said in a report released Wednesday.

Opium production in 2013, meanwhile, rose 49 percent over 2012, according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey. The country is the world's No. 1 poppy producer.

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Parallels
8:31 am
Wed November 13, 2013

The Emperor's Code: Breach Of Protocol Spurs Debate In Japan

Actor turned lawmaker Taro Yamamoto (second left) hands a letter to Japan's Emperor Akihito, as Empress Michiko and chief steward Yutaka Kawashima (top center) look on during the autumn garden party at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct. 31.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:23 pm

A staid and unremarkable royal garden party suddenly became the stuff of front-page scandal, when rookie lawmaker and passionate anti-nuclear activist Taro Yamamoto slipped a handwritten letter to Emperor Akihito. The mystified monarch hurriedly passed the epistle to an aide, unread — but the damage was done.

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Parallels
7:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

World Headlines: Israel Settlement Plans Threaten Peace Talks

Billboards advertise apartments as construction takes place in the Har Homa section of Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has intervened after his housing minister announced plans for some 20,000 additional housing units in another sensitive area, known as E1, just east of Jerusalem in the West Bank.
Jim Hollander EPA /LANDOV

Israel, Haaretz

The latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have come under threat after Israel's housing minister said his office would start long-term planning to build more than 20,000 homes in a particularly sensitive area near Jerusalem.

The move by Housing Minister Uri Ariel immediately drew fierce criticism from the Palestinians, with President Mahmoud Abbas threatening to call off the talks with Israel that began in the summer.

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Asia
3:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Typhoon Relief Supplies Badly Needed In Tacloban

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:50 am

Relief workers are trying to get more food, water and medicine to survivors of Friday's typhoon in the central Philippines. Two more airports have opened in the region and the U.S. military is installing equipment so that relief flights can land at night. Tacloban was the worst hit city.

Sports
3:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Cricket Star Sachin Tendulkar To Retire At 40

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:44 am

Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the greatest modern cricket star, prepares to play the last match of his career in India on Thursday. Commentator Sandip Roy explains why Tendulkar matters so much to the sport.

Africa
3:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Chain Of Low-Cost Schools Open In Kenya

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 11:56 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In the developing world, millions of children are either not in school or attending classes where learning to read or write is far from guaranteed. Recently, several for-profit companies have started opening low-cost private schools in Africa aimed at families living on less than $2 a day.

NPR's Jason Beaubien looks at the largest, a new chain of low cost schools in Kenya.

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Parallels
1:19 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Afghan Air Force Races To Prepare For Solo Mission

Afghan trainer Col. Din Mohammad, standing in front of a Soviet-made helicopter, speaks to new group of Afghan pilots and air crews at the Air Force University in Kabul on Jan. 16, 2012. The Afghan air force has only a small number of planes, pilots and spare parts and is attempting to ramp up training before the departure of U.S. and NATO forces.
Musadeq Sadeq AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:11 am

A gray C-130 Hercules flies low over the runway at Kabul airport. The four-engine cargo plane then climbs and banks to the left. Moments later, it lands and passes under the spray of two fire trucks before stopping in front of a crowd of officials.

This ceremony last month marked the official transfer of the first two C-130s from the U.S. to the Afghan air force.

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Asia
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

In Storm-Ravaged Philippines, Corruption Undermines Infrastructure

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Some of the destruction from Typhoon Haiyan was not purely the result of the storm's huge force. Among the leading Asian economies, the Philippines regularly ranks as the most corrupt. Robert Siegel talks with Steven Rood, who runs the Asia Foundation's office in Manila, about how the nation's infrastructure problems, laid bare by the storm, relate to graft and corruption.

Asia
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Chinese Communist Party Meeting Promises Big, Yet Vague, Changes

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

China's Communist Party wrapped up a four-day meeting Tuesday that could herald big changes for the nation's economy. The meeting carries the soporific title The Third Plenary of the 18th Central Committee. But historically, a third plenary has meant transformational reforms.

Asia
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

The Philippines' Geography Makes Aid Response Difficult

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Richard Brennan, World Health Organization director of emergency risk management and humanitarian response, about the geographic challenges of sending humanitarian aid to Typhoon Haiyan victims.

Asia
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

At Tacloban Airport, Aid Workers Arrive As Residents Try To Leave

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

The town of Tacloban on the island of Leyte in the Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. The scene at the airport there was chaotic as the Philippine and U.S. military delivered food and aid workers and residents rushed to board planes headed back to less-damaged Manila .

The Salt
3:16 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Chef Chat: We Pick The Brains Of Ottolenghi And Tamimi

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi grab a quick breakfast with NPR's Madhulika Sikka. They stopped by NPR in October to talk food philosophy.
Morgan Walker/ NPR

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi own four wildly popular London restaurants and have authored runaway best-selling cookbooks for omnivores and vegetarians alike.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

World Anti-Doping Leader: Armstrong Needs 'Miracle' To Return

The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency calls Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban "done and dusted." Armstrong is seen here riding in an event in Iowa this year.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Sports officials from cycling's governing body and the World Anti-Doping Agency will meet this week to discuss an in-depth review of doping among cyclists. But WADA's chief says that one topic that's not likely to be reviewed is Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban, which he calls "done and dusted."

WADA president John Fahey made that comment Tuesday in South Africa, where officials are meeting for the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

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NPR Story
2:46 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Kerry's New Mission: Convince Congress To Take Iran Deal

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is back in Washington to defend the proposed nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical members of Congress. He and his colleagues from other major powers failed to reach a deal with Iran during talks over the weekend in Geneva. Iran blames France's hard line for blowing up the deal, though Kerry has tried to downplay that.

Parallels
2:46 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Ukraine, A Chocolate Factory And The Fate Of A Woman

Individually wrapped chocolate-covered hazelnut sweets move along a conveyor belt on the production line at the Roshen Confectionary Corp. factory in Kiev, Ukraine. A Russian ban on Ukraine's chocolate comes at a time when the nation is considering aligning itself with the European Union.
Joseph Sywenkyj Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 4:41 pm

It's been more than two decades since the former Soviet Union broke apart, and to the dismay of Russia, many of the 15 former Soviet republics have spun away from Moscow's orbit.

Now Ukraine — with 46 million people — has a chance to say goodbye to its Soviet past and align itself both economically and culturally with the European Union.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Nigerian Pirates Free Kidnapped U.S. Mariners

Fighters with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), pictured in 2008. The rebel group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Two U.S. crewmembers seized last month from a ship off the coast of Nigeria have been released by their pirate captors, the State Department said Tuesday.

The captain and engineer from the U.S.-flagged C-Retriever, a 222-foot offshore resupply, were abducted on Oct. 23 when gunman boarded the vessel.

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Parallels
12:22 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Do For-Profit Schools Give Poor Kenyans A Real Choice?

Young students in a Bridge International Academy school in Nairobi, in September. On the surface, there's little to distinguish these schools from others in the developing world. But Bridge's model relies on teachers reading lessons from tablets.
Frederic Courbet for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 11:54 am

Bridge International Academies has set up more than 200 schools in Kenya over the past four years, and plans to open 50 more in January.

Using a school-in-a-box model, Bridge's founders say it gives primary schoolkids a quality education for roughly $5 a month.

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Parallels
11:47 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Can The Philippines Save Itself From Typhoons?

The sun sets behind a house damaged by Typhoon Haiyan outside the hard-hit city of Tacloban. The Philippines has gotten better at preparing for typhoons, but remains extremely vulnerable.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:05 pm

For the third year in a row, the Philippines has been hit by a major storm claiming more than 1,000 lives, and the death toll from Haiyan, one of the worst on record, could climb to 10,000.

With thousands of islands in the warm waters of the Pacific, the Philippines is destined to face the wrath of angry tropical storms year after year.

So what can a poor, densely populated country do to mitigate the huge loss of life and the massive destruction?

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World
9:25 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Reparations May Not Mean What You Think It Means

Fifteen countries in the Caribbean are seeking reparations from their former colonial masters for the lasting harm slavery has had on their countries. Host Michel Martin talks about the effort with Jermaine McCalpin from the University of West Indies in Jamaica.

World
9:25 am
Tue November 12, 2013

In Dominican Republic, An Emotional Fight Over Citizenship

Thousands of people in the Dominican Republic are being stripped of their citizenship by that country. Host Michel Martin talks to Miami Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles about why Dominicans of Haitian ancestry are denouncing the decision.

The Two-Way
7:58 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Clash Between Garment Workers, Police In Cambodia Turns Deadly

An injured Cambodian worker escapes from riot police in the compound of a Buddhist pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Tuesday. Police fired live ammunition at protesting garment workers outside the capital, injuring at least 20 people and killing a bystander.
AP

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 9:17 am

Protesting garment workers and riot police clashed Tuesday in Cambodia's capital city, leaving a bystander dead and at least 20 people injured.

Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. Factory were marching toward Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence in Phnom Penh. Workers from the factory have been protesting for months, demanding better pay and working conditions. The factory makes clothes for H&M, Gap and other Western brands.

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Parallels
6:40 am
Tue November 12, 2013

World Headlines: The Financial Cost Of Typhoon Haiyan

Philippines, Philippines Daily Inquirer

The devastation from Typhoon Haiyan could cost the Philippines economy $14 billion, according to one estimate.

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Asia
6:15 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Tacloban Took Brunt Of Typhoon Haiyen

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We have two perspectives now on the destruction a typhoon left behind in the Philippines. The first is the view from the air. It comes from U.S. Marine Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, who is coordinating an American military effort to help typhoon survivors. Not long ago, General Kennedy stepped on board a helicopter for what he called reconnaissance. He flew over a wide strip of land struck by one of the strongest storms on record.

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