World News

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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Parallels
2:11 am
Fri May 24, 2013

China's Air Pollution: Is The Government Willing To Act?

Skyscrapers are obscured by heavy haze in Beijing on Jan. 13. Air pollution remains a serious — sometimes overwhelming — problem, but researchers say environmental technology is available to solve it.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:55 am

Denise Mauzerall arrived in Beijing this year at a time that was both horrifying and illuminating. The capital was facing some of its worst pollution in recent memory, and Mauzerall, a Princeton environmental engineering professor, was passing through on her way to a university forum on the future of cities.

"I took the fast train from Beijing to Shanghai, and looking out the window for large sections of that trip, you couldn't see more than 20 feet," Mauzerall recalled.

To Mauzerall, the lesson was surprising and inescapable.

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Planet Money
1:13 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Can This Man Bring Silicon Valley To Yangon?

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 7:29 am

Like a proud father, Nay Aung opens up his MacBook Air to show me the Myanmar travel website he has built. But we wait 30 seconds for the site to load, and nothing happens.

"Today is a particularly bad day for Internet," he says. This is life in Myanmar today: Even an Internet entrepreneur can't always get online.

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Europe
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Four Arrested After British Soldier Hacked To Death In London

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. In London, authorities and the public are grappling with the brutal murder yesterday of a British soldier who was hacked to death on the street. All the evidence suggests this was a terrorist attack by Islamist extremists. Investigators moved quickly today, pursuing leads, making additional arrests and filling in the picture of what happened and who was involved.

Our coverage begins with NPR's Philip Reeves.

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Europe
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

One Of London Attack Suspects Had Troubled Past

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For more on this story, we turn now to Sandra Laville, a reporter for The Guardian newspaper in London. Thanks for joining us today.

SANDRA LAVILLE: Hi.

SIEGEL: You've done quite a bit of reporting on at least one of the suspects, the young man in the now famous cell phone video. What can you tell us about him?

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Middle East
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Syrian Rebels Continue To Clash With Hezbollah-Backed Forces

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:28 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Middle East
2:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

More Young Syrians Flee Home Lives To Face The Unknown

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:25 pm

Over the past few months, the security situation in the Syrian capital Damascus has been deteriorating. For many Damascenes, the city they always called home is no longer a livable place. They can't make a living anymore, and everyday is a risk that tempts fate. In an exodus from Damascus, many young professionals are abandoning their lives at home to flee abroad and face the unknown.

Asia
11:53 am
Thu May 23, 2013

A Look Ahead To The Flash Point In The South China Sea

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:54 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Close to half of the world's maritime traffic passes through the South China Sea. Vast deposits of oil and natural gas are believed to lie beneath the ocean floor there. These waters are also the scene of bitter international rivalry as at least five smaller countries find themselves in lopsided disputes with China.

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Movies
10:03 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'Epic' Movie Role For Music Superstar Pitbull

Pitbull's latest album is titled Global Warming, and he voices the character Bufo in the new movie Epic.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:30 pm

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Reports: Obama To Limit Drones, Urge Action On Guantanamo

An American flag flying over Camp VI, where detainees are housed at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.
Bob Strong Reuters /Landov
  • From 'Morning Edition': Dina Temple-Raston reports

Ahead of his much-anticipated speech Thursday afternoon at the National Defense University, there's word that President Obama:

Drones

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Parallels
8:39 am
Thu May 23, 2013

As Myanmar Reforms, Indonesia Offers Some Lessons

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) walks with Myanmar's then-prime minister, Gen. Thein Sein, at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on March 16, 2009. Both men are former military officers, leading their Southeast Asian nations along a sometimes rocky path to democracy.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:48 am

As Myanmar's leaders push a series of political and economic changes, they are also having to deal with recent strife between the majority Buddhists and minority Muslims, or Rohingya.

Many countries making the transition from authoritarian rule to democracy have faced similar ethnic and sectarian conflicts, from Iraq to the former Yugoslavia.

But for Myanmar, perhaps the most compelling case study is also the closest.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'On Top Of The World' At 80: Japanese Climber Summits Everest

The world's highest sushi bar: On Tuesday, Yuichiro Miura, right, and his son made hand-wrapped sushi on the side of Mount Everest, at the fourth campsite during their climb to the top. The photo won many fans on Facebook.
Yuichiro MIURA Everest 2013

A Japanese mountaineer has become the oldest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, as Yuichiro Miura, 80, reached the 29,035-foot peak Thursday morning. The feat marks Miura's third time atop Mount Everest; he previously climbed the mountain at ages 70 and 75.

As in 2008, Miura's accomplishment is in danger of being surpassed by his main rival, Nepalese climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, 81. But that possibility didn't seem to bother Miura Thursday, who was joined by his son, Gota, on the climb.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'We Will Never Give In To Terror,' Britain's Cameron Vows

The victim: Drummer Lee Rigby.
U.K. Ministry of Defense

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:38 am

(Most recent update: 1:30 p.m. ET.)

One day after a British soldier was hacked to death on a busy southeast London street by two men who were heard claiming that they wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Prime Minister David Cameron declared Thursday that "we will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms."

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World
5:25 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Octogenarian Rivals Race To Top Of Mount Everest

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Five years ago, at the age of 75, a Japanese mountaineer raced a 76-year-old Nepalese climber to the top of Mount Everest. Japan's Yuichiro Miura lost. This morning, in an epic rematch, the now 80-year-old Miura won, becoming the oldest person ever to reach the summit. But that record may not last. Next week, his Nepalese rival, at 81, plans to make the ascent again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
3:16 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Attackers Hack To Death Man On London Street

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

London is no stranger to terrorist attacks. But yesterday's events had a peculiar horror. A British soldier was hacked to death on a London street. in broad daylight. His two attackers did not try to escape. They stuck around and made speeches to bypassers, trying to justify the brutal killing. Here's one attacker, addressing a passerby filming on a cellphone.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE VIDEO)

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Asia
3:14 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Poor Materials Cited In Bangladesh Building Collapse

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn to another story that we've been following, the aftermath of that factory collapse in Bangladesh last month. In a report out today, the Bangladeshi government says the Rana Plaza factory was, quote, "a disaster waiting to happen."

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Middle East
2:38 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Kerry To Meet With Netanyahu, Abbas

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Israel today. He's hoping to restart direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials. The secretary of State is holding two separate meetings, first with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and then with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

NPR's Emily Harris has been following these meetings and joins us from Jerusalem. Hey, Emily.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Hey, David.

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Parallels
3:53 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

A Decade In The Making, West Bank Barrier Is Nearly Complete

Ibrahim Shomali, a Palestinian priest, offers Communion under the olive trees of the Cremisan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This is part of a regular protest against Israeli plans to build a section of its West Bank barrier here, which would separate Palestinians from their agricultural lands.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:27 am

Israeli army Capt. Barak Raz climbs a metal staircase to the top of a high concrete wall that is part of Israel's West Bank barrier. From his perch, he overlooks both the Palestinian village of Bil'in and Modin Illit, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, with some 50,000 residents.

The barrier here used to be a fence. After many confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian villagers won a court case, and the fence was moved off some of their land. But since the barrier was moved closer to an Israeli settlement, it was rebuilt as a wall.

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Europe
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Murder In South London Treated As Terrorist Attack

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron says there are strong indications there was a terrorist attack in London today. A man was hacked to death in the street, close to a military barracks, and he may have been a serving British soldier. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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World
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

U.S. Non-Intervention In Syria Could Mirror Outcome In Congo

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

British Driver Says She's Sorry In 'Twit And Run' Case

A screen capture shows a tweet sent by Emma Way after she was involved in a collision Sunday. She has apologized for the incident.
@FSUSteve

A British driver who struck a cyclist with her car — and who then bragged about the incident on Twitter — has issued an apology. The incident caused an uproar after the collision Sunday.

"Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist," tweeted Emma Way, in a message that has been widely circulated despite her apparent attempts to delete it, and seemingly her Twitter account, @EmmaWay20.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Costa Concordia Captain To Face Manslaughter Charges

Francesco Schettino (left), the captain of the Costa Concordia, leaves court with his lawyer, Francesco Pepe, last month. A judge has ordered Schettino to stand trial in the wreck of the cruise ship last year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:04 am

A judge in Italy on Wednesday ordered the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last year, killing 32 people, to face charges of manslaughter.

Francesco Schettino, 52, is accused of negligence that led to the grounding of the ship and for abandoning the vessel while a rescue of the 4,200 passengers and crew was still underway.

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Parallels
12:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Riots In Sweden. That's Right. Sweden

Swedish firemen extinguish a burning car Tuesday after youths rioted for a third night in a row in the suburbs of Stockholm. The unrest began after police said they shot dead a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in an immigrant neighborhood.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 1:48 pm

Sweden is one of the wealthiest, most stable and smoothly running countries in the world.

Which would explain why the country's 9.5 million residents may be shocked by the events of the past few days.

For the past three nights, hundreds of youths have been rampaging through parts of the capital, Stockholm, torching cars, setting fires, and throwing rocks at police and fire trucks.

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Parallels
11:17 am
Wed May 22, 2013

China's Artist Provocateur Explores New Medium: Heavy Metal

The video for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's newly released song starts by re-creating the conditions of his captivity during the 81 days he was held in police detention in 2011, and later dissolves into a dystopian nightmare.
Courtesy Ai Weiwei

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:18 pm

The man ArtReview magazine named the most powerful artist in the world is trying his hand at rock stardom. In 2011, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention. He was later let go and charged with tax evasion.

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Shots - Health News
9:43 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Fifteen Years After A Vaccine Scare, A Measles Epidemic

Luke Tanner, 7, gets vaccinated for measles at a clinic near Swansea, Wales, in April. Wales is at the center of a measles outbreak that has been linked to one death.
Geoff Caddick AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:39 pm

Great Britain is in the midst of a measles epidemic, one that public health officials say is the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children after a safety scare that was later proved to be fraudulent.

More than 1,200 people have come down with measles so far this year, following nearly 2,000 cases in 2012. Many of the cases have been in Wales.

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The Salt
8:52 am
Wed May 22, 2013

How Genomics Solved The Mystery Of Ireland's Great Famine

This illustration from 1846 shows a starving boy and girl raking the ground for potatoes during the Irish Potato Famine, which began in the 1840s.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

An international group of plant pathologists has solved a historical mystery behind Ireland's Great Famine.

Sure, scientists have known for a while that a funguslike organism called Phytophthora infestans was responsible for the potato blight that plagued Ireland starting in the 1840s. But there are many different strains of the pathogen that cause the disease, and scientists have finally discovered the one that triggered the Great Famine.

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Planet Money
1:07 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Why Apple (And Lots Of Other Companies) Wound Up In Ireland

Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:35 am

Apple was criticized in a Senate committee hearing Tuesday for using complex accounting to minimize the corporate taxes it pays. One key piece of the company's tax strategy: It funnels lots of its profits through subsidiaries in Ireland.

Offering low corporate tax rates has been a fundamental part of Ireland's economic strategy for decades — a way to get foreign companies to set up operations in the country.

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