Now we go to Mexico where this week brought a major development in the drug war. Authorities there captured the man they believe is the leader of the Zetas, a group that's been described as a paramilitary drug cartel responsible for some of the most grotesque violence connected to Mexico's drug war.
Today is Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, and his legacy is being celebrated around the world. John Silvanus Wilson Junior, the president of Morehouse College, met Mandela in 1992. He tells Michel Martin about how that meeting changed his life, and fueled his commitment to educating African-American men. He also talks about the lessons he might share with his students in light of the George Zimmerman verdict.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:56 am
China has supplanted or soon will supplant the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. That's the headline from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which put this proposition to people around the world.
In 23 of the 39 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said China has overtaken or will overtake America.
In China, the verdict was clear: Two-thirds believe their country already has supplanted or eventually will supplant America.
The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.
The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:02 am
We have news this morning from Russia that opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison.
"The judge found Navalny and his business partner guilty of embezzling nearly a half-million dollars' worth of timber from a state-owned company in 2009," NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit. "The case was previously dismissed for lack of evidence but later reinstated after Navalny published embarrassing revelations about the foreign assets owned by the head of Russia's investigative committee."
And for Americans trying to understand how China has risen so far so fast, we turn now to Orville Schell and his fellow China scholar John DeLury. Their new book is "Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the 21 Century." It looks back at the original documents and writings that reveal the thinking of 11 key figures in China's modern past, from a famous satirist to a dowager empress to Mao. And it zeros in on the reformers who sowed the seeds of the current boom.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.
Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.
While South Africa celebrates the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate remains at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.
President Jacob Zuma's office has said that Mandela is in "critical but stable" condition, though Mandela's daughter Zindzi said Wednesday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and could be released soon.
Before it became China's capital in 1949, Beijing was a fairly provincial little city of 2 million people.
Today, it has grown into a megalopolis of some 18 million people.
I've recently returned to the city after a few years away, the first thing that strikes me is: Who the heck are all of these 20-somethings and how did they get to be driving all these Ferraris and Maseratis?
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.
Anger spilled onto the streets of the Indian state of Bihar today.
This after more than 20 children died after eating a free government-sponsored school lunch. Doctors say the victims show symptoms of insecticide poisoning. Today, protesters attacked police vehicles in Chhapra, a city near the children's school. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.
And moving on now to a mystery in Panama. A North Korean ship was stopped there as it was cruising through the Panama Canal carrying military supplies from Cuba. Missile and aircraft parts were hidden beneath bags of sugar in the cargo hold. North Korea is subject to a U.N. arms embargo and the North Korean crew is said to have violently resisted an effort to inspect the ship. NPR's Tom Gjelten has the latest.
If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Alarmed at ballooning waistlines in a region where fast food is common and comfortable outdoor exercise is not, the local government is offering to give citizens a gram of gold for each kilogram lost by Aug. 16, according to news reports.
That's about $41 for a little over two pounds of pudge, based on today's market rate.
As Zimbabwe prepares for hotly contested elections later this month, there's pressure on politicians to avoid violence and follow through on promises. One group making sure the country's leaders do what they promised is the group Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights.
A federal judge has refused to stop the force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay inmates on a hunger strike. David Greene talks to Carol Rosenberg, of the Miami Herald, who's just returned from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, where she's been reporting on the prisoners' hunger strike.
Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.
The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase about 30 percent globally by 2050, scientists said Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most common, will be the hardest hit.
A statement from Cuba's foreign ministry says weapons that Panama seized in a North Korean ship were mid-20th Century models that Cuba was sending to North Korea for repair, according to reports from the BBC and Reuters.