World News

Middle East
2:28 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Syrian Conflict Continues Spread Into Neighboring Lebanon

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:39 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

The Syrian town of Quseir sits just miles from the border with Lebanon and the fierce fighting there is evidence of how the war is reaching beyond Syria's borders. Lebanese militants from Hezbollah are now openly fighting alongside Syrian soldiers in Quseir. And this weekend, rockets were fired on Hezbollah areas inside Lebanon's capital Beirut. Here's NPR's Kelly McEvers.

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Middle East
2:28 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Turkish Parliament Tamps Down On Alcohol Sales

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 2:57 pm

Robert Siegel talks with Hugh Pope, the Turkey/Cyprus project director for the International Crisis Group, about the Turkish parliament's passage of a law that restricts the sale of alcohol.

The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

McCain Meets With Rebels In Syria

Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, briefly entered Syria to meet with rebel forces on Monday, according to his spokesman.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 2:42 pm

Arizona Sen. John McCain spent his Memorial Day in Syria. As NPR's Jonathan Blakley reports from Beirut, McCain's spokesman says the senator crossed into northern Syria from Turkey to meet with rebels in the country, ripped apart by the 2-year conflict turned civil war.

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Parallels
1:06 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Palestinian Used Imprisoned Husband's Sperm To Get Pregnant

Red Cross vehicles outside Israel's Ofer prison, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
David Vaaknin Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:40 am

Israeli prison officials invited reporters last month on a first-ever tour of the Ofer prison, a concrete-and-barbed wire compound on the northern edge of Jerusalem. More than 700 Palestinians are detained here for alleged security violations in connection with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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Parallels
12:13 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

'We Are Not Valued': Brazil's Domestic Workers Seek Rights

Cassia Mendes, who has worked as a housekeeper for more than 20 years, cleans a house in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Feb. 19, 2012. Brazil enacted on April 2 a constitutional amendment to grant domestic workers health insurance and other benefits.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 2:57 pm

The phone is ringing off the hook at the crowded waiting room at the Domestic Workers Union in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In the past decade, millions of Brazilians have joined the middle class. Advocates say this isn't just the result of a growing economy or social spending, but also laws like the one just passed that enshrine domestic workers' rights.

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Parallels
12:10 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Let Them Eat Grass: Paris Employs Sheep As Eco-Mowers

Sheep used to replace gas-guzzling lawn mowers graze at a truck warehouse at Evry, south of Paris.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 4:02 pm

City officials in Paris are experimenting with an unconventional way to keep urban lawns trimmed.

Agnes Masson used to be simply the director of the Paris city archives. Now, she's also a shepherdess of sorts, responsible for four black sheep munching the lush grass surrounding the gray archives building at the eastern edge of the city.

Masson says the ewes are efficient and easy to care for.

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Middle East
2:43 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Latest News From Syria

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene. Steve Inskeep is on assignment in Syria.

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Europe
2:43 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Sweden Tries To Get A Handle On Riot

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 3:33 am

Violence has erupted over the past week in and around the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Tensions have emerged over joblessness, a growing gap between wealthy and poor and influxes of immigrants. David Greene talks to Alistair Scrutton, Stockholm bureau chief for the Reuters News Agency, for the latest on the chaos.

Africa
2:43 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Kerry Visits Ethiopia

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 3:00 am

Secretary Of State John Kerry made a stop in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa over the weekend. Kerry was in Africa several weeks ahead of a trip to the region by President Obama.

Europe
2:43 am
Mon May 27, 2013

France Pays Tribute To Early U.S. Fighter Pilots

A memorial outside Paris honors members of the Lafayette Squadron, which was started by a group of young American men in 1914 who wanted to fight for France when World War I broke out. The U.S. had not yet entered the war.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 6:47 am

Every Memorial Day weekend, a ceremony takes place just outside Paris to honor a group of Americans who fought in France. They're not D-Day veterans, but a little known group of pilots who fought for France in World War I, before the U.S. entered the war.

This year's ceremony in the tiny town of Marnes-la-Coquette began with a flyover by two French air force Mirage fighter jets from the Escadrille Lafayette, or Lafayette Squadron, paying tribute to the men who founded the group nearly 100 years ago.

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World
1:28 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Targets Of Disgraced Bo Xilai Still Languish In Jail

Chinese police lead a group of defendants, including millionaire and politician Li Qiang, to court on organized crime charges in 2009. Many of those arrested in now-imprisoned politician Bo Xilai's campaign against the mafia still remain in jail, despite serious legal questions about the process.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 4:28 am

It was 5 p.m. on an ordinary Tuesday, and Li Ping was finishing up the company accounts before going to have a facial. She was working for her brother, Li Qiang, who owned one of the biggest private transport companies in Chongqing, a major city in southwestern China.

Suddenly, five plainclothes policemen barged into the room. They asked her name, then put a black hood over her head and drove her to a secret interrogation site. Her ordeal had begun.

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Middle East
5:13 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Syrian Opposition Faces Expanding, Volatile Conflict

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:38 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
4:55 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Obama Administration Turns Attention Toward Africa

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in the capital of Ethiopia this weekend. He was attending the 50th anniversary summit of the African Union, and he was laying the groundwork for President Obama's trip to Africa in the next month. Our East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner is in Addis Ababa. He joins us now. Hi, Greg. Thanks for being with us.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Rachel.

MARTIN: So, you spent the day with the secretary. How was he received?

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The Salt
10:40 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

Sam Bompas (left) and Harry Parr made names for themselves with spectacular gelatin creations.
Courtesy of Sam Bompas

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:05 am

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

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StoryCorps
9:16 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Sole Survivor: Iraq Rescue Mission Ended In Tragedy

In 2005, Lance Cpl. Travis Williams lost his squad to an IED. He was the only survivor.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:52 pm

Lance Cpl. Travis Williams, 29, is an Iraq War veteran — and the only post-9/11 Marine to lose every other member of his 12-man squad. It happened in August 2005, when Williams and his teammates were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq.

"That morning, we loaded into the vehicle," Williams recalls. "And I get tapped on the shoulder, and I got told that I need to bounce up to the next vehicle. I said, 'Catch you guys on the flipside.' And that was the last thing I ever said to them."

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Middle East
5:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Kerry Acknowledges 'Years Of Disappointments' In West Bank

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry met with political leaders in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank this week in his effort to try to restart direct peace talks between the two parties. NPR's Emily Harris is in Jerusalem. Emily, thanks for being with us.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: So if not a concrete plan, is somebody pouring the concrete?

(LAUGHTER)

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Parallels
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

In India, More Women Are Playing Matchmaker For Themselves

A bride and groom exchange rings during a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. Although most marriages in India are still arranged, a growing number of women are taking matters of the heart into their own hands, using social networking clubs and matrimonial websites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:52 pm

In India, some of the most entertaining reading on a Sunday afternoon is found in the classified ads. Page after page, the matrimonial section trumpets the finer qualities of India's sons and daughters.

Parents looking to marry off their children often place ads such as this one: "Wanted: Well-settled, educated groom for fair, beautiful Bengali girl, 22, 5'3"."

The matrimonial ads are a hallowed tradition in the quest to find a life partner — part of the institution of matchmaking that is as old as the country itself.

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Europe
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

War Of Words: France Debates Teaching Courses In English

Demonstrators in Paris protest Thursday against a measure to teach more university courses in English.
Jacques Demarthon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:13 pm

Will teaching in English at France's universities undermine the French language? That's up for debate in the country now, and the argument is heated.

The lower house of parliament approved a measure Thursday that would allow courses to be taught in English, something that is currently against the law.

Those in favor of the proposal say it will attract more international students and improve English language skills of French students. But opponents say the move will only impoverish and marginalize the country's tongue.

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The Two-Way
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gnomes Crash Distinguished Garden Show In England

Despite the change in policy, some gardens maintained a more traditional appearance this year, such as the East Village display.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Toronto Mayor: 'I Do Not Use Crack Cocaine'

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a city council meeting on Tuesday.
Nathan Denette Associated Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he doesn't smoke crack cocaine and isn't an addict, in response to a video that surfaced recently purporting to show him using the illegal drug.

Last week Ford called the cellphone video obtained by The Toronto Star "ridiculous" and blamed the newspaper for "going after me."

Friday's comments from Ford were more emphatic.

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World
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Toronto Mayor Dodges Accusations Of Crack Cocaine Use

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This remarkable statement today from the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford.

(SOUNDBITE OF PREPARED STATEMENT)

MAYOR ROB FORD: I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.

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Africa
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Elected Leadership Struggles To Rule In Libya

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

In Libya, guns are still everywhere and the elected leadership is struggling to rule as militias use guns and intimidation when they don't get their way. Most recently they surrounded two ministries and state television to force through a political isolation law that bars former members of Moammar Gaddafi's regime from government posts.

Asia
3:26 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Print Media Thrives In Myanmar Where Internet Is Limited

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Print media are struggling in the U.S. and Europe, but in many Asian countries, including China and India, newspapers are thriving. Another example is Myanmar, also known as Burma. There, only 1 percent of people have access to the Internet and private daily newspapers are rushing into print after decades of being banned. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on how Burmese journalists are exercising newfound freedoms.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Ex-Guatemalan President Extradited To U.S.

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo speaks with journalists in Guatemala City before boarding a plane for the U.S. on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo has been extradited to the United States, where he faces charges of laundering tens of millions of dollars through U.S. banks.

Portillo, who served as president from 2000 to 2004, was snatched from a hospital bed in Guatemala City, where he was recovering from liver surgery. He was placed on an airplane bound for New York, according to his lawyer, Mauricio Berreondo.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Fri May 24, 2013

James Joyce Coin-troversy Reportedly Could Have Been Averted

A commemorative 10-euro coin featuring James Joyce bears an image of the author that his literary estate did not approve. It also misquotes his work.
Irish Central Bank

Irish banking officials should have known there were problems with the controversial 10-euro coin commemorating James Joyce, according to Ireland's RTE News. The coin misquotes the author's Ulysses, and bears an image of Joyce that his estate did not approve.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri May 24, 2013

2 Men Arrested After Pakistani Jet Is Diverted Over U.K.

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:49 pm

Two men were arrested and removed from a Pakistan International Airlines passenger jet Friday. It had been on its way from Lahore, Pakistan, to Manchester, England, when something that happened aboard led authorities to scramble Royal Air Force fighter jets and divert the passenger plane to London Stansted Airport.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Fri May 24, 2013

British Soldier Hacked To Death Was 'Our Hero,' Family Says

As Ian Rigby spoke Friday about his stepson Lee, a British soldier who was murdered on a south London street this week, the young man's widow, Rebecca (right), and his mother, Lyn, reached out.
Dave Thompson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:37 am

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Explosion, Gunfire Reverberate In Kabul

A wounded Afghan police officer is helped from the scene of Friday's explosion and gunfire in Kabul.
Omar Sobhani Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 3:50 pm

  • NPR's Sean Carberry, reporting from Kabul

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 6:45 p.m. ET.)

An explosion followed by gunfire in Kabul on Friday claimed the lives of at least two attackers and wounded a small number of civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which appeared to have been aimed at offices of the International Organization for Migration and stretched over several hours as Afghan security forces tried to hunt down those responsible.

As night fell in Kabul, it was unclear whether the incident was over or not.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Assad Regime Agrees To Attend Peace Conference, Russia Says

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 8:27 am

Representatives of President Bashar Assad's regime have agreed "in principle" to attend an international peace conference aimed at ending more than two years of brutal warfare in Syria, Russia's foreign ministry said Friday.

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Middle East
3:34 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Iranian Council Declares Ex-President Rafsanjani Unfit To Run Again

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Iran's Guardian Council does not hesitate to use its power. That's the legislative body that vets political candidates for their commitment to the Islamic Revolution. Perhaps no surprise in the upcoming presidential election, voters are able to choose from a very narrow range of candidates - all of whom support the regime. All the high-profile or independent candidates have been eliminated by the Guardian Council. And this caused some shock - those include a man who has already held the post of president.

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