World News

The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Pakistani Taliban Chief Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud (left) with his commander Wali-ur Rehman in South Waziristan, in October 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:01 pm

The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, U.S. and Taliban officials tell NPR and other news organizations.

"We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack," a senior Taliban commander was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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Parallels
1:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

How One Kenyan Tribe Produces The World's Best Runners

Runners train in Ngong, Kenya, in 2012. The country has produced the world's best distance runners for decades, and most belong to the Kalenjin people.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:35 pm

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won this year's Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds — an average of 4:42 per mile. It was easily the fastest marathon time ever recorded, an incredible feat for another powerful Kenyan runner.

But perhaps equally remarkable was that his fellow Kenyans also came in second, third, fourth and fifth place in this major international race. On the women's side, Kenyans placed first, second and fourth.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Germany Offers Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates

Germany will allow parents to choose a third indeterminate option for newborn babies, under a new law that takes effect Friday.
Deshakalyan Chowdhury AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:14 pm

A German law takes effect today that establishes a third gender option for parents filling out birth certificates for newborn babies. They can choose "indeterminate" if the child shows both male and female characteristics.

The parents will make that choice by leaving the boxes for male and female genders blank. The new law is meant to avoid the need to label an intersex baby as male or female before the child is old enough to decide.

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The Salt
10:57 am
Fri November 1, 2013

A Spice Buyer On Why Pepper Is Dirty, And How It Gets Clean

Pepper is the spice most commonly contaminated with salmonella and other pathogens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 8:40 am

This week's news that the Food and Drug Administration found that 12 percent of spices imported to the U.S. are contaminated was a little disheartening.

As the FDA reported, all kinds of nasty stuff hitch a ride with spices into the country — from insects to animal excrement to pathogens. The agency looked closely at pepper and sesame seeds, but says this is an issue with lots of other spices, too.

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Parallels
9:25 am
Fri November 1, 2013

London Wants To Be A Center Of Islamic Finance. Why?

London's Shard building was built with Islamic financing.
Karen Prinsloo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:56 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week that he wanted London to become "one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world."

Cameron said Britain will issue sukuk, or Islamic bonds, valued at $320 million as early as next year.

But what does all that mean? We take a look:

What are Islamic bonds?

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Fri November 1, 2013

It Wasn't Crack Toronto's Mayor Was Smoking, Lawyer Suggests

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he faced reporters questions Thursday.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:16 am

An already dramatic story took another dramatic turn Friday when Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's lawyer challenged police to release a video that news outlets have said shows the mayor smoking what appears to have been crack cocaine.

What's more, attorney Dennis Morris suggested in an interview with CBC News that if Ford was caught on video smoking anything, it might have been marijuana or tobacco.

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Parallels
6:23 am
Fri November 1, 2013

World Headlines: It's Asia's Turn To Be Outraged Over Spying

A view of the Australian embassy (center-right) and surrounding buildings in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Indonesian government summoned the Australian envoy in Jakarta over reports that his embassy was involved in U.S.-led surveillance operations.
Mast Irham EPA /LANDOV

Indonesia, Kompas

There's more fallout over disclosures that the U.S. spied on many of its allies — this time in Indonesia.

The Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned Greg Moriarty, the Australian ambassador to Indonesia, over allegations that Australian diplomatic posts, including the one in Jakarta, were used as part of the U.S. surveillance network.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Fri November 1, 2013

U.S. Spying Efforts Sometimes 'Reached Too Far,' Kerry Says

Secretary of State John Kerry.
Fang Zhe Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:10 am

Some of the electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency have been on "automatic pilot" in recent years and have inappropriately "reached too far," Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

Kerry's comments are causing something of a stir.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Israeli Warplanes Reportedly Strike Russian Missiles In Syria

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 6:57 am

Unnamed U.S. officials have told CNN and The Associated Press that Israeli warplanes destroyed a shipment of Russian missiles at a Syrian airbase. But officials in Tel Aviv won't comment on the reported attack near the port of Latakia overnight on Wednesday.

"We're not commenting on these reports," a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry told Reuters.

Reuters also reported an explosion in the area and said one Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought that Israel had carried out a strike, but stressed that he was not entirely certain.

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Business
3:34 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

More Foreign Firms Look To Make It In The USA

Acura MDX sport utility vehicles roll off the assembly line at a Honda plant in Lincoln, Ala., in May. Overseas investors have U.S. assets totaling nearly $4 trillion, including auto plants, banks and mines.
Joe Songer AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:44 am

When many Americans hear the word "globalization," they think: "jobs going overseas."

And sometimes it does mean just that.

But as globalization knits nations closer together, foreign companies increasingly are creating jobs in the United States, not luring them away. Despite the Great Recession, slow recovery and political dysfunction in Washington, the United States remains a top destination for the world's wealth.

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Africa
2:49 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Protesters Call For Justice In Brutal Gang Rape In Kenya

Hundreds take to the streets in Nairobi on Thursday, calling for justice for a 16-year-old girl dubbed "Liz," who was gang raped in rural Kenya. The men were caught by the police and let go after their punishment — cutting the grass at the police station.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 8:50 am

The gang rape of a 16-year-old Kenyan schoolgirl — and the lack of punishment given to the alleged rapists — has sparked outrage in the country and beyond.

The attack was so violent it left the girl in a wheelchair with a severe back injury. She identified some of her attackers, who police apprehended — only to let go after they were ordered to cut the lawn at the police station.

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Syrian Civil War Rooted In Drought Years Before Fighting Began

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

William Polk was a voice of caution against U.S. intervention in Iraq. And he is once again urging caution, this time against intervention in Syria. He knows the country; he traveled there for the first time in the 1940s. Polk served in Policy Planning at the State Department under President Kennedy. He also taught for many years, first at Harvard and then at the University of Chicago where he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Disagreement On Syria Adds To Chill In U.S.-Saudi Relationship

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Im Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the Middle East this weekend. One key stop on his agenda, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. There, Kerry will try to fix a public dispute over Syria, as NPR's Deborah Amos reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF CALL TO PRAYER)

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Parallels
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Billionaire Who Personified Brazil's Boom Goes Bust

Batista appears with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a ceremony in celebration of the start of oil production by OGX, Batista's oil and gas company, in 2012. The company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:14 pm

He was boastful, he was brash and he came to represent a booming Brazil that was finally taking its place as an economic powerhouse on the world stage.

Eike Batista had the cars: a Mercedes McLaren worth a quarter of a million dollars parked in his living room; the boat, called "the Pink Fleet," and the women: He was married to a former Playboy model and a Carnival queen.

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Parallels
1:45 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Thinking Of Working Abroad? Read This

This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week.
Dean Treml Red Bull/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 9:33 am

Thinking of living and working abroad for the experience? For those already doing it, Asia seems to be the preferred destination.

The HSBC 2013 Expat Survey asked 7,000 expatriates in 100 countries to rate nations on three factors: economics, experience and raising children.

China topped the list, followed by Germany, Singapore, Cayman Islands and Australia. The U.S. was No. 12.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Hitler's Gestapo Chief Lies In Jewish Cemetery, Scholar Says

Dating to the 17th century, this Jewish cemetery may be the final resting place of Heinrich Mueller, the head of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo. A German historian says he has traced Mueller to the cemetery.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:12 pm

The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. Now a historian says he has traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.

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Parallels
11:08 am
Thu October 31, 2013

As Iraq's Leader Meets Obama, Here's Why The Stakes Are High

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is welcomed by Vice President Biden in Washington on Wednesday. Maliki is asking for U.S. military hardware to fight radical groups behind a recent surge in violence in Iraq.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:26 pm

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last came to the U.S. in 2011 as American troops were pulling out of his country. But with violence again on the rise in Iraq, there's much at stake as he prepares to sit down with President Obama at the White House on Friday.

Here's a primer:

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Africa
9:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

In Uganda, "Cancer Is Death"

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S. is a fanfare of pink paraphernalia. But in developing nations like Uganda, cancer is stigmatized to the point that families often lie about their loved one's cause of death. Host Michel Martin speaks with journalist Joanne Silberner about her award-winning reporting on cancer around the world.

The Salt
9:48 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples

Howard Chandler Christy's painting Halloween, as reproduced in Scribner's in January 1916.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 4:22 am

A Halloween apple bob may seem as homespun as a hayride, but that shiny red apple has a steamy past. It was once a powerful symbol of fertility and immortality.

Apple bobbing and eating candy apples are "the fossilized remnants of beliefs that ultimately go back to prehistory," British apple expert and fruit historian, Joan Morgan, tells the Salt.

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Parallels
8:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

India's Low-Cost Mission To Mars

Scientists and engineers work on the Mars Orbiter at the Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite center in Bangalore, India, on Sept. 11. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched sometime in the next three weeks.
Manjunath Kiran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:39 am

India is expected to launch a satellite to Mars next month at a cost of less than $80 million — a fraction of what it costs other countries.

The satellite, known as Mangalyaan, or Mars Craft, is designed to orbit Mars and study the planet's atmosphere and surface. It will not touch down on the planet.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Edward Snowden Has Job At Russian Website, Lawyer Says

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:22 am

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has leaked secrets about the agency's spying and surveillance programs, "has found a website maintenance job in Russia," according to that nation's RIA Novosti news agency.

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Parallels
6:11 am
Thu October 31, 2013

World Headlines: Maliki Seeks U.S. Help On Iraq Security

Vice President Joe Biden welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Iraq, Al Sabah

We begin with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's visit to Washington.

The newspaper reported on Maliki's meetings Wednesday with Vice President Joe Biden, who renewed U.S. support for Iraq's security.

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The Two-Way
4:41 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Syria's Chemical Weapons Facilities Destroyed, Watchdog Says

In the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last month, there was a class about how to protect against chemical weapons attacks.
J.M. Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:15 am

A key deadline in the quest to rid Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical weapons has been met, according to international observers.

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Parallels
2:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Case Of Marines Desecrating Taliban Bodies Takes A New Twist

A still frame taken from a YouTube video shows Marines who were later disciplined for desecrating three dead Taliban members in a 2011 incident in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 9:43 am

In a case that caused a major stir last year, a YouTube video surfaced showing Marines in Afghanistan joking and laughing as they urinated on three dead Taliban fighters. The Marines involved in the July 2011 incident in the southern province of Helmand were disciplined.

It seemed the case was over, but now it has taken a strange twist. There are allegations that the Marines' top officer, Gen. James Amos, illegally interfered with the judicial proceedings in an effort to ensure harsher penalties.

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Parallels
4:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ottoman Dream Come True: Train Links East And West In Istanbul

A Marmaray Project train awaits its inauguration ceremony in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:04 pm

The Marmaray Project, Turkey's new underwater rail link between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, is open for business. It's the first of its kind, a modern feat of engineering that realizes the 150-year-old dream of an Ottoman sultan.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Police: 'Jihadists' Detained In Tiananmen Square Car Crash

Police cars block off the roads leading into Tiananmen Square as smoke rises into the air after a vehicle crashed in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Oct. 28.
AFP/Getty Images

Police in China have arrested five men described as Islamic jihadists in connection with a deadly car crash and fire that killed two tourists and injured 40 others this week in Tiananmen Square.

The incident on Monday, in which a car crashed into a bridge near the Forbidden City before three occupants set the vehicle and themselves ablaze near the iconic portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong, was described by police for the first time as a "violent terror attack" that was "carefully planned and organized."

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Media
3:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Prosecutors Press Case In 'News Of The World' Phone-Tapping Trial

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:00 pm

At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.

The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

WATCH: Boy Upstages Pope's Speech

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis reads his message as a young boy plays in front of him on the stage.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:12 pm

Protocol is a concept that's often lost on young children, and this boy — one of a group of children invited to sit near the pontiff during a speech — didn't see any reason why he shouldn't hang out for a bit with the guy in white.

Dressed in jeans, sneakers and a polo shirt, the unidentified youngster crawled up onstage and stood next to Pope Francis during a service at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican over the weekend.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Priceless Italian Treasure Is Shown Off In Rare Exhibition

A necklace of Saint Januarius, in gold, silver and precious stones, is displayed in Rome. The riches are from a treasure trove in Naples that is said to be worth more than the British crown jewels.
Gabriel Buoys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:07 pm

Dazzling with diamonds, emeralds and gold, 70 pieces of treasure — said to be some of the most valuable in the world — have been transported from a vault in a Naples cathedral to a museum in Rome. They'll stay there until February, marking the first time they've ever been displayed outside of Naples.

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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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