World News

Parallels
3:25 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Paris' Traffic-Cutting Gamble Charms Pedestrians, Irks Drivers

Parisians and tourists sit at a cafe along the Seine River. The mayor of Paris recently closed down a major highway along the river to open it up for pedestrians.
Christophe Morin Landov

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:51 pm

In a daring gamble, the mayor of Paris recently shut off a major vehicle thoroughfare through the city, the highway along the Seine River.

The move is part of his plan to reduce traffic in the city. The new space delighted Parisians and tourists this summer, but many wonder if it'll be such a hot idea during the cold winter months.

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Asia
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

China Fights Choking Smog With New Regulations

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:13 pm

China's central and local governments are releasing a slew of new regulations aimed at cutting severe air pollution and mitigating its deadly effect on citizens. The seriousness of the problem is obvious in China's northeast, where smog in one city this week cut visibility down to a few yards, and particulate matter soared to 60 times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization.

Latin America
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Brazil's Black Bloc Activists: Criminals Or People Power?

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The massive protests that took place in Brazil over the summer may be over, but smaller near daily smaller demonstrations are ongoing and getting more violent.

From Sao Paulo, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on the shadowy anarchist group that's now playing a key role in the protest. It's called the Black Bloc.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Cuba To Phase Out Two-Peso Currency System

A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.

The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Nuclear Plant Starts Up On India's Tsunami-Vulnerable Coast

An Indian Coast Guard plane flies over hundreds of anti-nuclear activists during a protest last year. The Kundankulam Nuclear Power, still under construction, can be seen in the distance.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 12:34 pm

A controversial nuclear power plant situated on a stretch of India's southeastern coast that was hit hard by the 2004 Asian tsunami has begun supplying the grid with electricity, officials say.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, a joint project with Russia located at the country's southern extremity in Tamil Nadu state, was connected to the grid on Tuesday, The Indian Express reports.

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Parallels
10:19 am
Tue October 22, 2013

In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive

The Chinese border town of Suifenhe is a port of entry for almost all of the hardwood coming from the Russian Far East. Russia is the world's largest exporter of timber, but illegal logging is a growing problem.
Courtesty of EIA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:11 am

Forests cover about half of Russia's land mass, an environmental resource that President Vladimir Putin calls "the powerful green lungs of the planet."

But Putin himself acknowledges that Russia, the world's biggest exporter of logs, is having its timber stolen at an unprecedented rate.

The demand for high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging in the Russian Far East. The hardwood cut in the endless forests often ends up as flooring and furniture in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Tue October 22, 2013

As Smoke Blankets Sydney, Australians Brace For Worse Days

A general view of play as the Sydney skyline is shrouded in smoke during the Ryobi Cup match between the South Australian Redbacks and the Western Australia Warriors at Drummoyne Oval in Australia.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Wildfires are burning to the north, south and west of Sydney, Australia, and smoke "has been rolling in for days," correspondent Stuart Cohen said Tuesday on Morning Edition.

While the fires are mostly in sparsely populated areas, Sydney is blanketed — "you can smell smoke inside buildings" and health authorities are expecting a surge in cases of people with respiratory problems, Cohen added.

Things may get worse.

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The Salt
10:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Chocolate Fashions Make For A Truly Sweet Little Black Dress

Breakfast of chocolate at Tiffany's? Ten pounds of the dark, sweet stuff were used to craft this Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress and matching handbag, created by master chocolatier Mark Tilling of Squires Kitchen.
Photo: Paul Winch-Furness Courtesy of Salon du Chocolat

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:51 am

If you find yourself sauntering down the runway wearing 40 pounds of chocolate, don't sweat it. Seriously — you might find yourself dripping on the audience.

So warns Fiona Bitmead, one of 10 models who showed off edible chocolate creations Friday night at the Salon du Chocolat in London. Five handlers helped her get dressed.

"[I] had to worry about a dress melting on me!" she says. "I can't say I've ever wanted to eat the dresses I've worn down the catwalk before."

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Parallels
8:47 am
Tue October 22, 2013

European Parliament Joins List Of Those Upset With The NSA

U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin (in red tie) leaves the Foreign Ministry in Paris after being summoned Monday following reports that the National Security Agency spied on French citizens.
Thibault Camus AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 9:44 am

The fallout from revelations about the National Security Agency's spying activities continues: A key European Parliament committee approved new rules strengthening online privacy and outlawing the kind of surveillance the U.S. has been conducting.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says the legislation could also have significant implications for U.S. Internet companies. Here's what she told our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Roma Couple Charged With Abducting Girl; Missing-Child Tips Pour In

A woman takes a call at the Greek charity The Smile of the Child, which is caring for a girl who police say was abducted by a Roma couple. Officials are trying to find her biological parents.
Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:03 am

Greek officials who are trying to determine the origin of a young blond girl found living in a Roma settlement last week have received thousands of calls since releasing her photo. Some callers offer information; others say the girl may be their child. The head of a charity that's now caring for the girl says about 10 missing-children cases are being reviewed.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Tue October 22, 2013

U.S. Drone Strikes Violate International Law, Reports Allege

Last month, protesters in Multan, Pakistan, expressed their anger about U.S. drone strikes.
S.S. Mirza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:07 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Philip Reeves discusses the Amnesty International report on U.S. drone strikes

Two reports released on the eve of a White House visit by Pakistan's prime minister allege that the U.S. has "violated international law with top-secret targeted-killing operations that claimed dozens of civilian lives in Yemen and Pakistan," as McClatchy Newspapers writes.

In one of the reports, Amnesty International says that:

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Parallels
6:01 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Headlines From Around The World

A firefighter hoses down the flames in a backburn at Faulconbridge in Australia's Blue Mountains on Tuesday. The inferno is one of the stories making headlines around the world.
William West AFP/Getty Images

What is God? It's one of the eternal questions, and it's front-page news in Malaysia.

A recent court order said the word Allah can only be used by Muslims – and not by members of the country's other faiths. But Malaysian Prime Minister Najik Razak said Tuesday that Christians in the states of Sabah and Sarawak can continue to refer to God as Allah.

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World
3:35 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Australian Wildfires Threaten Sydney

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:53 am

Sydney, Australia, is suffering under a blanket of smoke and officials are sounding air quality alerts because of vast wildfires in the area. And it's still early in the fire season. Steve Inskeep talks to Stuart Cohen for the latest.

Parallels
2:50 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Election In Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Town Tests Gender Norms

Candidates for town council Michal Chernovitsky (left) and Adina Ruhamkin campaign in a park in El'ad, or Forever God, a small religious community in Israel. They could be the first women on El'ad's council, and the first ultra-Orthodox women to win public office in Israel.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 6:29 am

Voters across Israel choose new mayors and city councilors in local elections Tuesday. In one small town, a handful of ultra-Orthodox Jewish women are defying the norms of their community by running for office.

On a recent day, children mob two women in skirts, stockings and purple T-shirts in a neighborhood park in El'ad, or Forever God. The women are candidates for town council. As part of their get-the-word-out campaign, they're blowing up balloons for kids.

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Unrest Erupts In Egypt After Attack On Christian Wedding

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Sunday was supposed to be a day of joy in Egypt at the Church of the Virgin Mary in suburban Cairo. There were four weddings scheduled. But after a drive-by shooting ripped through the celebrations, there were four burials today instead. At least 18 other people were wounded in the attack. It was the latest act of violence in a country experiencing divisions and great crisis. From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Fugitive Arrest: Former Banking Executive Caught In Italy

Former UBS banking executive Raoul Weil was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in 2008, on charges that he helped wealthy clients avoid billions in taxes.
Antonio Calanni AP

A former UBS bank executive who has been a fugitive since being indicted on federal charges in 2008 has been arrested in Italy. Swiss citizen Raoul Weil, the former head of UBS Global Wealth Management International, is accused of defrauding the U.S. government by helping clients evade taxes.

From Rome, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Indian Police: Crew Member From Detained U.S. Ship Tried Suicide

The MV Seaman Guard Ohio, owned by a U.S.-based security firm, was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu.
STRDEL AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 1:22 pm

A member of a U.S.-owned ship whose crew was arrested by Indian authorities earlier this month for allegedly carrying a "huge cache" of illegal arms, has tried to commit suicide in his jail cell, police say.

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Africa
10:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Burundi Genocide Survivor: Running Eases Mind

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 12:00 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

It's been 20 years today since a small East African country descended into turmoil after the death of its president, and I'm not talking about Rwanda. A year before the genocide in that county, the Hutu president of neighboring Burundi Melchoir Ndadaye was assassinated. Hutus retaliated by slaughtering thousands of their Tutsi neighbors, perhaps as many as 25,000. A decade later, the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi called it a genocide.

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Parallels
9:46 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Britain To Build New Nuclear Plant, Bucking European Trend

A worker walks inside the turbine hall of the Sizewell nuclear plant in eastern England in 2006. The U.K. government on Monday announced that French-owned EDF would build the first new British nuclear power station in 20 years.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 11:13 am

Britain has approved the construction of the country's first nuclear power station in 20 years.

NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on the announcement for our Newscast unit, said the move goes counter to a European trend to phase out nuclear power in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

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Parallels
9:25 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Syria's Grinding War Takes Toll On Children

Children play at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, where more than 120,000 Syrian refugees live. Roughly two-thirds are kids, many of whom have been traumatized by the violence in their homeland.
Cassandra Nelson Mercy Corps

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 12:19 pm

Alexandra Chen, a specialist in childhood trauma, is on her way from the Lebanese capital, Beirut, to the southern town of Nabatiyeh, where she's running a workshop for teachers, child psychologists and sports coaches who are dealing with the Syrian children scarred by war in their homeland.

"All of the children have experienced trauma to varying degree," explains Chen, who works for Mercy Corps and is training a dozen new hires for her aid group.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Mon October 21, 2013

These Cats Are Mules: Kitties Smuggle Goods Into Prisons

Brazil's General Superintendency of Prisons of Alagoas (SGAP) released this photo last Dec. 31 of a cat caught with contraband taped to its body at a medium-security prison in Alagoas state.
AP

January:

"Cat Caught Smuggling Contraband Into Brazilian Prison." Gothamist

June:

"Cat Caught Smuggling Cell Phones Into Prison" (in Russia). The Moscow Times

Last week:

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Hurricane Raymond Strengthens As it Moves Toward Mexico In Pacific

Hurricane Raymond is seen at 2 p.m. ET Monday, in a photo provided by NOAA. The storm is threatening an area of Mexico that's still coping with the effects of last month's massive rains.
NOAA AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:53 pm

Hurricane Raymond has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm in the Pacific Ocean, as it moves slowly northward toward Mexico's southwest coast. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center say it could gain more strength before it begins to weaken Tuesday.

Monday morning, the Hurricane Center said that Raymond had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, with stronger gusts recorded. The storm is moving northward at a 2 mph pace from its current location about 165 miles west-southwest of Acapulco. It was some 100 miles from the coast.

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Shots - Health News
7:27 am
Mon October 21, 2013

First Polio Cases Since 1999 Suspected In Syria

Syrian opposition fighters sit on the front line in the city of Deir Ezzor on Oct. 13. Ongoing violence has ravaged the city since March 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

The World Health Organization is investigating a cluster of possible polio cases in an eastern province of Syria.

If the cases are confirmed, they'd be the first ones in the war-torn nation in more than a decade. The country eliminated polio in 1999.

Syria used to have one of the highest polio vaccination rates in the region. If the virus has returned, it would be a high-profile example of the ramifications of the collapse of Syria's once-vaunted public health system.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Mon October 21, 2013

France, Mexico Latest Nations Reportedly Spied On By U.S.

Le Monde has the scoop on allegations about NSA spying on French phone calls.
LeMonde.fr

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 7:42 am

The latest reports based on documents said to have been leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden allege that:

-- France. "The U.S. National Security Agency recorded millions of French phone calls, including those involving individuals with no links to terrorism, Le Monde reported on Monday."

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Parallels
5:51 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Headlines From Around The World

A woman walks past a newsstand in Beijing.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 12:16 pm

We begin with more revelations about the National Security Agency's spying program — this time from France.

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Science
3:19 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

To Fix Climate Change, Scientists Turn To Hacking The Earth

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 12:52 pm

In the summer of 2012, a small group of the Haida people, a native community in Canada, had a problem. The salmon they rely on were disappearing. So the Haida took matters into their own hands.

They partnered with an American businessman, drew up plans and then took a boat full of iron dust into the waters off their home island and put the dust in the ocean.

When they spread the iron dust, it created a big algae bloom. They hoped the algae would soak up carbon dioxide and bring back the fish.

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Books
3:19 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

For The Ultimate Getaway, Why Not South Sudan?

Most people associate the Nile with Egypt, but the river also flows through South Sudan, where much of it is bordered by jungle. That makes it a excellent destination for rafting and wildlife enthusiasts, says travel guide author Max Lovell-Hoare.
Courtesy of Levison Wood/Secret Compass

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:02 pm

With cooler temperatures approaching, you might be in the market for a perfect wintertime vacation. Maybe someplace sunny and warm, unspoiled by tourists, with beautiful views and rich culture.

To find all that, you might consider South Sudan. That's the suggestion from Sophie and Max Lovell-Hoare, authors of the Bradt Travel Guide to the young country.

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Movie Interviews
3:19 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

'Captain Phillips': A First-Time Actor, Opposite Tom Hanks

Barkhad Abdi (center) learned to swim, navigate small skiff boats, handle weapons — and act — for the film Captain Phillips.
Jasin Boland

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:02 pm

Before landing a role opposite Tom Hanks in the film Captain Phillips, Barkhad Abdi had never acted.

"This was my first time acting, or even thinking about acting," Abdi tells NPR's Arun Rath.

Captain Phillips is based on a true story: the hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama. Hanks stars as the title character, Capt. Richard Phillips, and Adbi plays Muse, the man who leads the charge against ship and crew.

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Science
3:19 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Climate Watcher Says He's Done With Flying

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:02 pm

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus has made his career monitoring the Earth's climate, and he's alarmed at what he sees. After reading a new, bleak international report on climate change, Holthaus has decided one important way to reduce his carbon footprint is to give up airplane travel for good.

Media
4:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

What Glenn Greenwald Could Gain From New Media Venture

Glenn Greenwald, who first reported the disclosures of U.S. surveillance programs, is now leaving The Guardian to work with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar on a new journalism venture.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:58 am

Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story about the U.S. government's massive surveillance program, is quitting The Guardian. He's leaving the British daily and joining a journalism startup with eBay founder and billionaire philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.

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