World News

Europe
3:05 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Off The Tuscan Coast, Raising The Ill-Fated Costa Concordia

An aerial view taken on Aug. 23 shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island. The wrecked cruise ship will be rolled off the seabed and onto underwater platforms.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:29 pm

Weather permitting, one of the largest maritime salvage operations ever attempted will get underway Monday in the waters off of an Italian island.

Twenty months ago, in January 2012, the Costa Concordia luxury liner smashed into a jagged reef, killing 32 people. Since then, the vessel has being lying on its side — an unsightly wreck visible for miles around.

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Africa
12:45 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

What A Chatty Monkey May Tell Us About Learning To Talk

The gelada monkey, found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, is known as the bleeding heart baboon for the splash of red on its chest. Males of the species have a remarkable vocal agility greater than that of any nonhuman primate.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 12:04 am

The gelada monkey, also known as the bleeding heart baboon, makes a gurgling noise or wobble sound that scientists say is close to human speech — at least in how much facial coordination it requires.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

37 Killed In Fire At Russian Psychiatric Hospital

In a photo released by Russian officials in Novgorod, firefighters work at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:23 pm

A fire at a dilapidated Russian psychiatric facility that broke out early Friday morning has killed at least 37 people, including a nurse who tried to guide patients to safety, officials say.

The fire in the town of Luka, about 120 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, was the second such blaze in recent months. In April, a similar blaze at a psychiatric hospital near Moscow killed 38 people.

In the latest incident, authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe, according to The Associated Press.

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Parallels
10:20 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Like Anthony Weiner, German Politician Gives One-Finger Salute

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:15 pm

If two politicians on different continents both give an upthrust middle finger to the camera in the same week, is that enough to call it a global trend?

Perhaps we need one more, but here's what we have so far.

First there was failed New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, who, in a rare display of impulsive behavior, expressed his feelings toward a reporter as he left his election night party Tuesday.

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Asia
8:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

No Deal On Bangladesh Garment Factory Compensation Fund

A Bangladeshi woman holds a photograph of a relative missing in the Rana Plaza building collapse, as she participates in a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Friday. Protesters demanded a minimum monthly salary of $103 and compensation for the victims and injured in the building collapse in April that killed more than 1,000 people.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:20 am

Families and survivors of the Rana Plaza garment factory disaster in Bangladesh in April who are waiting for compensation from Western companies will have to wait a little longer.

A meeting Thursday of retailers and brands in Geneva, Switzerland, facilitated by the U.N.'s International Labor Organization, ended with only one company announcing measures for the victims: Primark said it would give the families of victims three months' salary.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri September 13, 2013

He's Down, Not Up: Trans-Atlantic Balloonist Forced To Land

Jonathan Trappe lifted off Thursday from Caribou, Maine. He had to give up his trans-Atlantic trip about 350 miles later.
Mark McBreairty AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:09 am

Before we even had a chance to tell you he was up, Jonathan Trappe is down.

"Hmm, this doesn't look like France," says the American aviator on his Facebook page.

Trappe left from Caribou, Maine, on Thursday on a bid to fly across the Atlantic in a small boat hanging beneath about 300 helium-filled balloons. Think Up.

No one's ever made that trip using a "cluster balloon" rig.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Fri September 13, 2013

As Talks Continue, CIA Gets Some Weapons To Syrian Rebels

A Free Syrian Army fighter looks through the scope of his sniper rifle at an area controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in Aleppo.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:13 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman talks with host Steve Inskeep about the crisis in Syria

It's Day Two of talks in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who are seeing if they can come to an agreement on Russia's suggestion that Syria hand over its chemical weapons to international monitors — and thus avert a possible strike by the U.S. military.

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World
5:07 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Serious But Funny Discoveries Win Prizes

The lg Nobel Prize honors discoveries that are very scientific yet humorous. Winners include researchers who showed dung beetles navigate using the Milky Way. Other scientists proved that people who are drunk think they're more attractive.

The Two-Way
4:28 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Death For 4 Men Convicted In Indian Gang Rape And Murder

Outside the courthouse in New Delhi on Friday, demonstrators gathered to call for — and then celebrate — the death sentences handed down for four men convicted in the December gang rape and murder of a young woman.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:44 am

The four men convicted for December's notorious gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi, India, were given the death penalty on Friday.

"It took all of 90 seconds" for the judge to announce his decision and then leave the courtroom, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi. One of the four convicted men "shrieked and slumped," while outside a cheer went up when spectators heard the news, she adds.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Saudis At Odds With U.S. Over Egypt

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:56 am

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states are stepping in with billions of dollars for Egypt's military as it attempts to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force. The exception is Qatar, which along with Turkey, is left to condemn the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president last month. The rift poses new challenges for U.S. policy in the region.

Middle East
2:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

An Unlikely Refuge: Some Wounded Syrians Treated In Israel

A wounded Syrian, suffering skull, stomach and pancreas injuries from an explosion, in intensive care at Ziv Medical Center in Israel. Hospital staff asked that faces and names not be included to protect the safety of the Syrian patients who could get in trouble with Syrian authorities if it were discovered that they were in Israel.
Daniel Estrin For NPR

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 8:40 am

At about 2 p.m. on a recent day, hospital personnel at Ziv Medical Center in northern Israel got a text message from the Israeli army: We're on our way with four wounded Syrians. Half an hour later, two army ambulances pulled up to the emergency room.

Two soldiers carried in the injured Syrian, his hands covering his head. Then, another was brought in on a wheelchair.

Teams of army paramedics and hospital doctors huddled around the Syrians, asking their ages, tearing away their clothes and quickly assessing their injuries.

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Middle East
2:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

U.S. And Russia Hammer Out Plan For Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov resume meetings in Geneva on Friday. The talks are aimed at working out the details of a program in which Syria's Bashar Assad would give up his chemical weapons.

Middle East
2:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Fit For A Novel: U.S., Russia Differences Over Syria

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:32 am

The past couple of weeks have sometimes felt like an international thriller as American and Russian leaders moved their chess pieces around the board. Renee Montagne talks to Washington Post columnist and novelist David Ignatius about the strategies involving Syria.

Middle East
2:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Are Weapons Getting To Syrian Rebels?

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:13 am

We're going look more closely at whether the United States is providing arms to Syria's rebels. The commander of the Free Syrian Army General told Morning Edition on Thursday that his group was not receiving weapons. But American officials contend they are providing weapons to the rebels.

Parallels
3:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

As The Revolution Fades, Tunisia Begins To Splinter

People gather outside the Constituent Assembly headquarters during a protest to demand the ouster of the Islamist-dominated government, in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 28.
Anis Mili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:35 pm

For Tunisia's ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, what happened this summer in Egypt is a cautionary tale and a constant reminder of the risks it faces as it navigates through its own political crisis.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood easily dominated all post-revolutionary elections, only to be ousted by the military in July. Brotherhood supporters now carry yellow placards, a reminder of the military crackdown, and that same placard now hangs on Ennahda's headquarters in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

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Shots - Health News
2:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

How A 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' Video Improved Asthma Treatment

Tapas Mukherjee shot this asthma education video in a field near his home.
Tapas Mukherjee YouTube

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:12 am

Doctors and staff at a British hospital were doing a lousy job of treating patients in the midst of life-threatening asthma attacks. Less than half of the doctors made use of asthma treatment guidelines. One-third of them didn't even know the asthma guidelines existed.

That all changed when one of the doctors posted a homemade music video on YouTube.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Bulgaria Closes Cold War 'Umbrella Murder' Case

Georgi Markov in a photo taken in September 1978, the same month he died. The Bulgarian defector worked for the BBC and was killed by an unknown assassin in London using a ricin-tipped umbrella.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:56 pm

Thirty-five years after the assassination of Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov by a ricin-tipped umbrella as he waited for a bus in London, no one knows for sure who was responsible. And now it's quite possible that no one ever will.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor said Thursday that his office is officially closing the Cold War cold case, saying the statute of limitations has run out. If there's ever to be a resolution, it's entirely up to British authorities, he says.

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Parallels
12:55 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

For Some Syrian Refugees, A New Home In Germany

Syrian refugees wait in Beirut before a flight to Germany on Wednesday. More than 100 Syrians were on the flight, the first mass relocation program for Syrian refugees. Germany has agreed to take in 5,000 of them.
Nabil Mounzer EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:21 pm

As a Syrian Christian man rolled the family luggage through Beirut's international airport, he practiced his German: "Thank you, danke, dankeschon."

The man, who asked not to be named, is part of a group of Syrian refugees offered temporary resettlement by Germany for two years. The contingent, which flew out Wednesday, included 70 adults and 37 children and infants.

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It's All Politics
11:02 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Pro-Israel Lobby Finds Longtime Supporters Defect On Syria

Vice President Joe Biden, projected on screens, gestures as he addresses the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2013 Policy Conference in March.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 8:40 am

The Obama administration is getting assistance from outside allies also trying to sell Congress on authorizing a military strike against Syria. Among the most prominent: strong backers of Israel.

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Parallels
10:30 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Libya Faces Looming Crisis As Oil Output Slows To Trickle

Libyan oil exports have plunged because of strikes at oil terminals on the northeastern coast. Supply has also been disrupted in the country's southern fields.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:47 am

If you looked for stories on Libya's oil industry after the revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, you'd find encouraging headlines like these:

Spared in War, Libya's Oil Flow Is Surging Back

Libya rises fast from the ashes

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Movie Interviews
10:26 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Saudi's First Female Film Director Says Women Aren't Victims

Tobias Kownatzki Razor Film, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:17 am

"I wasn't trying to make a 'loud' film," Saudi Arabia's first female film director tells NPR's Michel Martin.

Haifaa Al Mansour's Wadjda is the first full-length feature film to be shot and produced in Saudi Arabia, and it lifts the veil on life in the kingdom.

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Latin America
9:58 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Hair Thievery Is Serious Business In Venezuela

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:29 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parallels
9:25 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Next Door To Syria, Iraq Slowly Boils

Mourners carry the coffin of a car bomb victim during the funeral in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, last week. Violence is on the rise in Iraq, but it is receiving little international attention.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:56 am

With the current focus on Syria it's easy to miss that things are getting worse again in Iraq. Since the spring, the country has been pounded by waves of attacks on civilians and security forces by extremists with links to al-Qaida. Three car bombs in the Iraqi city of Baquba killed 10 people Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu September 12, 2013

UPDATED: U.S. Rejects Assad's Timetable For A Chemical Weapons Deal

In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:44 pm

Thirty days after his regime signs the international Chemical Weapons Convention that bans their use he will start handing over data about Syria's stockpile, President Bashar Assad told a Russian TV channel Thursday.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 8:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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Business
3:26 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Mexico's Tax Overhaul Has Middle Class Crying Foul

Mexico's president has unveiled a major shakeup of the country's tax system. His administration says it's aimed at capturing more of Mexico's paltry tax collection. Critics say it's unfairly targeting the middle class. Among the items slated for taxing: dog food and private school tuition.

Middle East
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Backers Of Israel Press For Strikes On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 8:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, those who favor U.S. military intervention in Syria include backers of Israel. One of them is Republican campaign contributor Sheldon Adelson. Another is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

NPR's David Welna reports on their lobbying efforts.

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Middle East
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Rebels Were 'Eager' To See U.S. Strikes On Syria

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:21 am

Steve Inskeep talks to General Salim Idriss, commander of the Free Syrian Army. They discuss Syrian opposition reaction to President Obama's address to the nation this week, the Russian diplomatic initiative and what assistance the general is hoping to receive from the United States.

Middle East
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Analyst Criticized For Syrian-Rebel Advocacy Connections

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:26 am

During the run-up to possible military action in Syria, the name of an unknown researcher was catapulted into the spotlight. Elizabeth O'Bagy was on NPR, Fox and quoted by Senator John McCain during a hearing. It turns out, O'Bagy is not exactly who she said she was, and her story reveals a lot about how Washington works during times of high drama.

Middle East
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russia's Putin Adds Another Voice To Debate On Syria

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:04 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin has written an op-ed piece for Thursday's New York Times. He's calling on the U.S. to forgo military strikes on Syria. For Russia's view of the Syrian conflict, Renee Montagne talks to Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

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