Known for quiet diplomacy, Saudi Arabia is taking an unusual and very public step to protest the international community's failure to resolve the crisis in Syria and other issues that interest Riyadh.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia was elected to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which the Saudi ambassador to the U.N. initially called a defining moment in his nation's history.
Four months have passed since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began spilling secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, but many Americans still don't know what to think about the disclosures.
For good reason. The surveillance programs are highly technical, involving the bulk interception of huge volumes of communication data as they traverse multiple links and networks. The laws governing what the NSA can do are complex and open to conflicting interpretations.
An anonymous buyer on Saturday paid about $1.6 million for a violin believed to have been played by one of the musicians who famously stayed aboard as the Titanic sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic in April 1912.
The Associated Press writes that "the sea-corroded instrument, now unplayable, is thought to have belonged to bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who was among the disaster's more than 1,500 victims."
Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 10:07 am
"An interior ministry investigation into the controversial deportation of a Roma schoolgirl from France has found that her deportation was lawful, but said police could have used better judgment in the case," France 24 is reporting.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In the United States, a Tweet or YouTube video that goes viral can make a career. In China, that can be dangerous. Last month, the Chinese government issued a new edict forbidding the spreading of rumors against the Chinese government. People who intentionally post what the government considers a rumor violate the law if they get 500 or more reposts or 5,000 or more views.
The political instability over funding the U.S. government and raising the debt ceiling could have international financial implications. Host Scott Simon speaks with Matthew Goodman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies about how emerging economies view the dollar after the current debt crisis.
Not all viruses are bad for us. Some of them might even help up us fight off bacterial infections someday.
Naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages attack specific types of bacteria. So researchers at the University of Leicester decided to try and take advantage of phages' bacteria-destroying powers to treat infections with Clostridium difficile, a germ that that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Thugs with machetes killed Muhammed's two younger brothers. They were coming for him next.
Lingering violence from an 11-year civil war sent Muhammed fleeing his village in Sierra Leone. He escaped to the coast and paid smugglers to sneak him into the cargo hold of a ship at port. He had no idea where he was going.
"There was no light, no food — nothing for 10 days," he recalls. "I was very hopeless. I'd been in the darkness for 10 days."
A 15-year-old schoolgirl is at the center of an emotional debate in France over the country's immigration policies.
Leonarda Dibrani was taken away by police during a field trip with her school class last week and deported along with her parents and five siblings to Kosovo. Many French are outraged at the way she was seized. And whether the deportation was legal or not, many say the action runs contrary to French human rights values.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:56 pm
The crew of a U.S.-owned ship has been arrested at a port in India for allegedly trying to enter territorial waters illegally carrying what's been described as a "huge cache" of weapons.
The 35 crew members on MV Seaman Guard Ohio, owned by Washington, D.C.-based AdvanFort, were detained on Saturday by the Indian Coast Guard. The vessel is currently at anchor in the port of Tuticorin in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu.
Mohammed is a teacher, and for the past 17 years, he has also worked with an Islamic charity in Cairo. But a little more than two weeks ago that charity was shut down.
Security forces raided its office, took everything and began searching for the head of the board of directors because he's connected to the Muslim Brotherhood — the Islamist group of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Mohammed, who asked that only his first name be used, fled.
Historian Niall Ferguson explains why, when it comes to amassing wealth, it's been the West versus the rest for the past 500 years. He suggests six killer apps that promote wealth, stability and innovation — and are now shareable.
Author and politician Chrystia Freeland says economic inequality is growing by leaps and bounds. She charts the rise of today's billionaire plutocrats and wonders what the concentration of wealth means for the rest of us.
When many aid workers hear about a problem, they get to work. But Ernesto Sirolli says that's naive and counterproductive. He argues that the first step is to listen to the people you're trying to help and tap into their entrepreneurial spirit.
The former treasurer of Spain's ruling party said in court Friday that he delivered 7,500 euros in cash to the party's secretary-general, the latest fallout in a political slush fund scandal that has embroiled the Popular Party.
"I delivered the envelope" to Maria Dolores de Cospedal, Luis Barcenas said via videoconference at his trial.
In Nigeria an Islamist insurgency has claimed thousands of lives, most of them civilians. The Nigerian president imposed a security crackdown last spring in a bid to end the uprising. Now Amnesty International is out with a report warning that more than 950 people have died in military detention in Nigeria in just the first half of this year. And the attacks continue. NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, reports from, Lagos.
Audie Cornish talks to Kevin Bales, a professor of contemporary slavery at the University of Hull and lead author of the 2013 Global Slavery Index. The first-time report by the Walk Free Foundation estimates that there are nearly 30 million people in slavery across the globe.
Did Turkey sell out Israeli agents to Iran? Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reports today on a twist in the strained relations between Turkey and Israel. Ignatius writes about something that he says happened in early 2012. At the time, the Turks were still furious over the loss of life two years earlier, when Israeli commandoes had boarded a Turkish flotilla that was bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza.
David Ignatius joins us now to talk about this. Welcome to the program once again.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 11:10 am
The crash of a turboprop in southern Laos that killed all 49 people aboard was caused by a violent storm that prompted the pilot to miss a runway and careen into the Mekong River, authorities say.
"Upon preparing to land at Pakse Airport the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and was reportedly crashed into the Mekong River," the Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport said in a statement.
And news that Washington has finally reached a deal, averting a potentially catastrophic debt default, is drawing a mixed reaction from the rest of the world.
NPR's Philip Reeves, in London, is watching the markets for us.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: We all know that, at times, the markets can be panicky and irrational. Yet, during this crisis, they held their nerve. Analysts say traders were always pretty confident there would be a last-minute deal. This time, they were right.
A handful of German and Polish residents at a nursing home in the Polish mountain town of Szklarska Poreba play a Scrabble-like game using blocks with large letters.
The seniors are tended to by Polish workers who offer a steady supply of smiles, hugs and encouragement.
Leonardo Tegls says such personal attention makes this nursing home, Sun House, special. The 87-year-old Dutch-born immigrant to Germany says he first learned about the Polish nursing home from a TV ad.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:23 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
Let's go deeper now into one issue Secretary of State John Kerry raised in my interview with him earlier in the program. The secretary, along with his Russian counterpart, got Syria's Bashar al-Assad to agree to hand over his vast store of chemical weapons. Now, Kerry is suggesting those stockpiles be taken out of Syria.