World News

Parallels
6:56 am
Thu June 6, 2013

From The Sky, A View Of Spain's Boom And Bust

A screengrab of a satellite image of Cordoba, Spain, in 2004 (left) and 2011.
Satellite images via Google Earth and Nación Rotonda

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:01 pm

Like the U.S. and many other Western countries, Spain's building boom in the previous decade was a major factor in its economic implosion. And now a trio of civil engineers in Spain has created a website that offers a dramatic before-and-after view of the country's construction bubble.

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Asia
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

China's New President Lays Groundwork For Better Relations With U.S.

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 10:10 am

After years of distrust, China's government says it wants a new type of great power relationship with the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin trying to lay the groundwork Friday at a summit with President Obama in California, but just what kind of relationship does Xi want?

"He wants to challenge the Cold War mentality, which believes that the existing power and also the emerging power cannot have a relationship other than conflictual," says Cheng Li, a specialist in Chinese politics at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

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Parallels
12:50 am
Thu June 6, 2013

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:18 pm

German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.

Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.

Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.

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The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

London Islamic Center Fire Is Under Close Police Scrutiny

Fire officers walk past the fire-damaged Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill in London Wednesday. Counter-terrorism officers have been called in amid suspicions that it was a racially motivated attack.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Two weeks after the brutal murder of a British soldier that brought a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.K., a fire devastated an Islamic community center in London Wednesday. Scotland Yard says the cause of the blaze is being treated as suspicious.

"Graffiti was found amid the charred ruins, including an abbreviation for a far right anti-Muslim fringe group," NPR's Philip Reeves reports for our Newscast unit. "Detectives are trying to figure out when it was written."

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

IMF Admits 'Notable Failures' In Greek Bailout

The International Monetary Fund has admitted "notable failures" in the Greek bailout, saying in a report Thursday that despite the steps Greece's recession and unemployment problem were more severe than anticipated.

The report said the program had succeeded in keeping Greece within the eurozone and mostly prevented the country's economic troubles from spilling over to the rest of the region. "However," it said:

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Middle East
3:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Rebels Lose Key Town To Syrian Forces

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Syria, the battle for Qusair is over. The strategically important town has fallen back under government control. That was confirmed early today by Syrian state media and rebel sources.

For three weeks, Qusair has been the scene of fierce fighting, including not only Syrians, but also the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah. NPR's Kelly McEvers tells us more from Beirut.

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Asia
3:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Can U.S. And China Carve Out Peaceful Future In Asia?

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 4:19 pm

As President Obama meets his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, many experts hope this will be the start of something new: regular high-level contacts. History shows it is always dangerous when established powers face rising powers.

Middle East
11:18 am
Wed June 5, 2013

After Protests, Evaluating Turkey's Role As A Democracy

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Parallels
11:12 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Walks Fine Line In Her New Role

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been under fire for working with the government on a number of issues. Here, she meets in March with protesters who oppose a copper mine backed by Chinese investors. She supports the mining project.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 4:19 pm

To her many admirers in the international community, Aung San Suu Kyi remains one of the world's best known democracy icons.

But in Myanmar, also known as Burma, she is now very much a politician who is being criticized for trying to cooperate with the former military rulers who kept her under house arrest for nearly two decades.

If you want to see the old, iconic Aung San Suu Kyi, just head to the bustling headquarters of her party, the National League for Democracy, or NLD, in Yangon, the country's largest city and former capital.

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Asia
10:46 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Why Are Americans Afraid Of China?

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 1:54 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
10:46 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Toledo, Ohio: Chinese Investment Wanted

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 1:54 pm

Mayor Michael Bell hopes Chinese investment will help revive his blue-collar city. He helped broker a deal to sell a chunk of Toledo's waterfront to Chinese investors. Host Michel Martin and Mayor Bell discuss investments with China and what he thinks President Obama and China President Xi Jinping can accomplish during their U.S. visit.

History
10:42 am
Wed June 5, 2013

China's Conjoined Twins Still Fascinate, Two Centuries Later

The Bunker brothers with some members of their family.
Courtesy of Surry Arts Council

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Born to Chinese parents in what is now Thailand, Eng and Chang Bunker became famous throughout the world as "Siamese twins." The brothers were joined at the base of their chests. After years of being displayed at exhibitions, they settled in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1830s. They married two local North Carolina sisters and had a total of 21 children.

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Parallels
10:00 am
Wed June 5, 2013

A Small Farming Town Becomes Ground Zero In Syria's War

Syrian soldiers stand in the main square of the western city of Qusair. Government troops recaptured the town on Wednesday after rebels had held it for more than a year. It's seen as a significant victory for President Bashar Assad's government.
STR AFP/Getty images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:50 am

Qusair is a sleepy farming town not far from my hometown. I passed through it many times as a child and never imagined it would one day make international headlines as the focal point of Syria's civil war.

I wish it had remained a quiet place defined by the many agricultural fields of wheat and barley, along with apricot and apple trees, all of them well-watered by the Orontes River.

Less than 10 miles from the Lebanese border, Qusair was a mixed town of Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. Not anymore.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Syrian Government Seizes Control Of The Key City Of Qusayr

Syrian army's soldiers walk in a street left in ruins on Wednesday in the city of Qusair in Syria's central Homs province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 11:52 am

The Syrian government claimed an important victory today, wresting control of Qusair, a key city near the Lebanese border, from rebel fighters.

CNN reports:

"State-run TV credited an offensive 'that led to the annihilation of a number of terrorists,' the government's term for rebels.

" 'Our heroic armed forces are always determined to confront any aggression that our beloved homeland may face in the future,' an anchor on Syrian state television said.

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Around the Nation
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Army Sgt. To Plead Guilty In Afghan Village Attack

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 5:47 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Today will be a dramatic one at the Lewis-McChord military base in Washington state. That is where Sergeant Robert Bales will stand before an Army judge and confess to killing 16 Afghan villagers in a late-night rampage last year. His confession is part of a plea deal that could save Bales from the death penalty.

NPR's Martin Kaste reports from Seattle.

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Iraq
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Examining Iraq's Latest Upsurge In Violence

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Sectarian violence has flared in Iraq a year and a half after the departure of American forces. The U.N. reported that more than 1,000 people were killed there in May, the deadliest violence since the height of the insurgency during the U.S. occupation. For more on what's causing the chaos, Linda Wertheimer talks with Joost Hiltermann, an Iraq expert with the International Crisis Group.

Middle East
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Egyptian Court Verdict Complicates Relations With Washington

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Obama administration is expressing deep concern about guilty verdicts in Egypt against 43 people who were working on democracy programs in the country. Sixteen of them are Americans, though most left Egypt when the charges were brought against them. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that issue is one of many complicating Washington's relations with Cairo.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Charles Dunne wasn't even in Egypt when he first heard about the charges against him and he never received anything official from the court.

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Sports
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Quelle Surprise! Federer. Out At French Open

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Renee Montagne talks to Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated about the second week of the French Open tennis tournament. In quarterfinal action Tuesday, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated veteran champ Roger Federer in straight sets.

NPR Story
3:29 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Syrian Government Troops Take Back Qusair

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 6:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Syria, the battle for Qusair is over with the government saying it is in full control of that strategic town, which has been in rebel hands for two years. Qusair sits along a key supply route in and out of Lebanon. And one Syrian general, a government general, told Lebanon's Mayadeen TV that whoever controls Qusair controls the country.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Beirut. She joins us now for an update. Good morning.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, is that overstating the situation?

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Parallels
1:25 am
Wed June 5, 2013

With Safaris And Yachts, Spanish King Comes Under Fire

Spain's King Juan Carlos, his daughter Infanta Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, are seen together on May 22, 2006. A corruption scandal involving Urdangarin, as well as the royal family's lifestyle is contributing to the public's diminishing respect for the monarchy.
Jasper Juinen AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:16 pm

With Spain's economy in shreds, the country is doing a lot of finger-pointing about who was at fault and where all the money has gone. The latest suspects: the Spanish royal family.

The reputation of the current Spanish king, Juan Carlos, was seemingly cemented one day 32 years ago when armed civil guard officers stormed the Spanish Parliament, holding lawmakers hostage in an attempted coup.

The king went on live TV, denouncing the officers.

"The crown cannot tolerate any action that interrupts the strength of the democratic process," he said.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Beer Fridge Blamed For Cellphone Network Blackout

A row of beer cans in Australia, where a man's beer fridge has been blamed for playing havoc with the cellphone network in several neighborhoods.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Faced with reports of a "black spot" that interfered with the mobile network in several neighborhoods, technicians at Australian cellphone provider Telstra say they recently found the source of the problem: a man's beer fridge in his garage. The refrigerator was tracked by "software robots" and workers wielding special antennas.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Faces Of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:25 am

Forms of tuberculosis are emerging that are costly, difficult and at times, nearly impossible to treat. This new, worldwide threat is called multidrug-resistant TB, and it occurs when the bacteria no longer respond to the most common TB medications. Doctors have to turn, instead, to older, less effective drugs that can have devastating side effects such as hearing loss, blindness, aches and severe depression.

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Middle East
2:45 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

In Syria, Conflict Has Spread Throughout The Region

Fierce fighting has been reported between President Bashar Assad's forces and rebels around the ancient citadel in Aleppo.
Giovanni Rinaldi iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 4:54 pm

The civil war in Syria is attracting fighters from all over, increasing sectarian tensions in other Muslim countries, threatening the region's tenuous stability, bringing the threat of Russian missiles, and leaving the U.S with few good options.

More than 80,000 people have been killed so far in Syria's civil war, and 4 million of Syria's 20 million people have been displaced. Robert Malley, the program director for Middle East and North Africa for the International Crisis Group, calls it "one of the most catastrophic humanitarian disasters we're facing."

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The Salt
1:18 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Coronation Chicken: A Lowly Sandwich Filling With A Royal Pedigree

Sixty years on, this retro dish is still a favorite with Her Majesty.
Monkey Business Images iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:46 am

If you want to eat like a queen, maybe it's time to break out the cold chicken, curry and cream sauce.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 60th anniversary of her coronation in a ceremony Tuesday at Westminster Abbey. But the event also marks the anniversary of a dish as resilient as the British monarch herself: Coronation Chicken.

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Asia
11:46 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Obama Meets Xi: A Chance To Make History

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 12:34 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Parallels
10:44 am
Tue June 4, 2013

In Gaza, Hamas Targets Palestinian Informants In Crackdown

Palestinian gunmen drag a man from a motorcycle in Gaza City on Nov. 20. He was one of six men killed that day on suspicion of collaborating with Israel. The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip denied responsibility, though it has executed others judged to be working with Israel's security forces.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:25 am

Life was already grim in the Gaza Strip when fighting raged between Israel and Hamas last November. Then Khulud Badawi got unexpected bad news about her husband.

"I was at home when my son came in and said, 'Mom, they killed Dad.' I said, 'Who?' He said, 'Hamas.' I asked him, 'Where?' He said, 'Next to the gas station,'" she recalls.

Badawi's husband, Ribhi Badawi, was in prison in Gaza City. He was supposed to go to court that day for a final appeal of charges that he had collaborated with Israel against Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip.

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The Salt
8:50 am
Tue June 4, 2013

The French Learned To Make Wine From Italians 2,400 Years Ago

This French tapestry depicts noblemen and women treading and pressing grapes to make wine circa 1500. By then, the French had already been making wine for at least 2,000 years.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:38 am

The French weren't the first to make wine? Mon dieu! But as anyone who has sipped a Bordeaux, Champagne or Burgundy can tell you, the French got pretty good at it once they learned how. And thanks to some molecular archaeology, researchers can now confirm they picked up these skills as early as 425 B.C.

So who taught the French the art of viniculture? Probably the ancient Italians, says the man with perhaps the coolest nickname in science research — the "Indiana Jones of alcohol," Patrick McGovern.

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Parallels
7:42 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Is Syria's Bashar Assad Getting The Upper Hand?

Syrian President Bashar Assad reiterated his intention to remain in his current position during a television interview last week. The Syrian president and his army have been looking stronger in recent weeks, many analysts say.
SANA AP

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:19 am

After more than a year of military stalemate in Syria between the rebels and the government, President Bashar Assad appears to be making political and military gains and is not likely to be pushed aside anytime soon, according to many analysts.

Assad reasserted his plans to stay in power during a recent interview on Al Manar TV, a channel owned by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group, which has openly joined the Syria war on Assad's side.

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Afghanistan
6:11 am
Tue June 4, 2013

U.S. Worries Afghan Forces Will Divide Along Ethnic Lines

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

When the American combat mission in Afghanistan ends next year, one concern for U.S. officials is the possibility that the Afghan security forces will then splinter along ethnic lines, and the warlords of the past will reemerge.

From Kandahar, here's NPR's Tom Bowman.

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Health
3:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Moldova Grapples With Whether To Isolate TB Patients

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We heard yesterday about efforts here in the U.S. to fight tuberculosis, often successfully. But in many parts of the world, tuberculosis is not only out of control, the germ is becoming even more dangerous. Strains of TB have emerged that are difficult, if not impossible to treat.

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