World News

The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Obama Says U.S. And South Korea Stand Firm Against Pyongyang

President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye after a news conference at the White House on Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

President Obama says the United States and South Korea are determined to stand firm against North Korean threats and that the days of Pyongyang manufacturing a crisis to get international concessions "are over."

In a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, Obama said the two leaders "very much share the view that we are going to maintain a strong deterrent" against North Korea.

"We're not going to reward provocative behavior, but we remain open to the prospect of North Korea taking a peaceful path," he said.

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The Salt
12:51 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Why Britain Has Gone Mad About Baking

Where the streets are lined with cake: This royal-themed cake was served during a street party in South London last June as part of celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:51 pm

The first rule of cake club is: You ONLY talk about cake.

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World
12:25 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

The History And Politics Of Humanitarian Intervention

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Gas Tanker Explosion Kills At Least 20 Near Mexico City

Burned cars sit on a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico City, where a gas tanker truck exploded Tuesday. The explosion caused at least 20 deaths and widespread damage in the area.
Victor Rojas AFP/Getty Images

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Middle East
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

White House Sorts Out Syrian Chemical Weapons Allegations

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I 'm David Greene. Our understanding of the role chemical weapons are playing in Syria is no clearer today than it was a week ago. That's when President Obama said while there is evidence of chemical weapons used in the Syria, there is none pointing to who is responsible.

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Afghanistan
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Afghan-Pakistani Forces Exchange Fire Along Shared Border

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news. For the second time in less than a week, Afghan and Pakistani forces have exchanged fire along their shared border. The countries clashed again yesterday over a gate that Pakistani forces have been building on what Afghans say is their side of the line. The roots of this problem run much deeper.

But as NPR's Sean Carberry reports,.

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Economy
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Portugal Struggles To Avoid 2nd Bailout

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Europe is debating whether austerity - with its deep budget cuts and tax hikes - is the right cure for the continent's debt crisis. But in Portugal, one of the first countries bailed out by the European Union, the austerity drive goes on. The government there is struggling to repay its loans, and has announced more steep job and benefit cuts, as the country struggles to avoid what was Greece's fate - a second bailout.

Here's Lauren Frayer reports.

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The Changing Lives Of Women
1:02 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Germany's Paradox: Family-Friendly Benefits, But Few Kids

German Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen (at left, shown here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel) has been the main government architect of measures aimed at helping women reconcile careers with having children.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Germany is regarded as one of the most generous countries in the world when it comes to helping women raise families. The government invests about $260 billion each year into 156 separate family-friendly benefits, including health care, generous parental leave, subsidized day care and tax breaks.

Yet on a continent with low birthrates, Germany has the lowest of all, with just 1.39 children per woman.

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Middle East
2:58 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Two Syrian Women, Two Very Different Perspectives On War

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

To Syria now and two views of the war that has claimed more than 70,000 lives over the past two years. Among the latest developments: Airstrikes over the weekend on a military complex outside the capital city, Damascus. Those strikes are presumed to have come from Israel, aimed at stopping weapon shipments to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

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Europe
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Crowdfunding Effort Seeks To Save Venice's Everyday Gondolas

Nicolo Zen, director of Traditional Boat Museum of Venice, launched a crowd funding project to save one of the last traghetto gondolas — everyday boats used by the city's locals.
Christopher Livesay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).

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Middle East
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

White House Still Divided On Further Action In Syria

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:27 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Pentagon: China's Government Hacked U.S. Networks

The 12-story building outside Shanghai that is alleged to be the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army's hacking group.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:53 pm

The Pentagon has for the first time fingered Beijing directly for cyberattacks against both U.S. government networks and commercial computers, calling the practice a "serious concern."

The new report says numerous U.S. diplomatic, economic and defense industry networks were hacked in 2012 at the direction of China's government and its military.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports: "In previous reports, the Pentagon has linked computer attacks to China, but not its government."

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Death Toll In Bangladesh Factory Collapse Surpasses 650

A Bangladeshi family member holds up the portrait of her missing relative, believed to be trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza.
AFP/Getty Images

The grim toll from the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh last month has risen to more than 650, as more bodies have been pulled from the rubble of the eight-story complex.

The number of people confirmed dead has now reached 657, CNN quoted Col. Sheikh Zaman, a military official overseeing the recovery operation in Savar, as saying.

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Middle East
12:04 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Could Syria's Civil War Become A Large Regional Crisis?

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a strange way, Barack Obama and Bashar al-Assad find themselves in the same dilemma today: initiate military action that both would prefer to avoid or look weak, even hypocritical. The American president faces a chorus of criticism after he decided to wait for more proof that Syria's government has crossed his red line on chemical weapons, while Syria's president must now decide whether to respond to Israeli airstrikes on his capital or leave his supporters to wonder why not.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Mon May 6, 2013

UPDATE: White House Doubts Syrian Rebels Used Sarin

Carla del Ponte, a diplomat and prosecutor who now serves on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 12:07 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: White House Is "Highly Skeptical":

At the White House this afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is "highly skeptical" of the comments made over the weekend by international prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who said there are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that rebels in Syria have used sarin gas.

We've been covering del Ponte's comments, and the reaction to them, through the day. Scroll down to see an earlier update and our original post.

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Around the Nation
3:29 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Mariela Castro Wins Gay-Rights Advocacy Award

Over the weekend in Philadelphia, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro received an award for her gay rights advocacy. To understand the significance of Mariela Castro's honor, you have to go back to the 1960's when gay people were sent to forced labor camps.

World
3:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Trip Update: Salopek Walks From Ethiopia To Saudi Arabia

Salopek has reported for years from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and has won two Pulitzer Prizes.
Rebecca Hale National Geographic

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:48 am

This winter I walked 400 miles up the Rift Valley of Ethiopia in the company of three grizzled Afar nomads, two taciturn camels and a barrel of powdered milk.

The milk was a tragedy.

Early on, I had asked a friend from Addis Ababa, via satellite phone, to resupply us with food — scarce vegetables in particular. But he was a thoroughly modern African, an urbanite. His idea of the outdoors was absorbed largely from TV commercials. So he brought us instead a 10-quart drum of powdered coffee creamer.

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Middle East
3:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Israel Targets Syria With Airstrikes

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. A story we have been closely following for months, the bloody war in Syria has taken a fresh turn. Syria is blaming Israel for a series of air attacks that rocked the Syrian capital, Damascus, over the weekend.

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Middle East
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Thousands Of Syrians Ride Buses To Refugee Camps

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:54 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Syria has accused Israel of flagrantly violating international law after a series of airstrikes on targets near the Syrian capital over the weekend. Now, Israel has not officially accepted responsibility, but Israeli sources say the targets included Iranian-made missiles bound for Hezbollah fighters in neighboring Lebanon.

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Europe
1:44 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Kerry's Visit To Russia A Chance To Talk Syria, Mend Fences

Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Russia on Monday — a trip he calls "long overdue."
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:47 am

Secretary of State John Kerry sets off for what he calls "a long overdue" trip to Russia on Monday, and Syria is likely to top the agenda.

But U.S.-Russian relations are frosty these days. The U.S. is imposing targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators, while Moscow is preventing American families from adopting Russian children.

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Europe
1:42 am
Mon May 6, 2013

German Terrorism Trial Puts Racism Fears In The Spotlight

Ismail Yozgat (right) and Ayse Yozgat pray at a memorial event on the seventh anniversary of the murder of their son Halit in Kassel, Germany.
Uwe Zucchi AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:24 pm

Emotions ran high as Germany's biggest terrorism trial in decades got underway Monday in Munich. The hearing is on the murders of 10 people who were the victims of a nearly decadelong neo-Nazi terror campaign against the Turkish community there.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Threat To Indonesia's Biodiversity, Foretold In The 1800s

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace was not only a key figure in developing the theory of evolution in the mid-19th century but also had the foresight to call for saving endangered species.

Wallace, who died 100 years ago this year, did his most important research in the rich biodiversity of Indonesia, and his plea for preservation is even more compelling than when he wrote it.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Malaysia: Entrenched Coalition Wins 13th Straight Election

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (second from left) celebrates his victory with a prayer on election day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His National Front coalition won a simple majority in the general election.
Nicky Loh Getty Images

The National Front coalition that has governed Malaysia for 56 consecutive years won a majority of parliamentary seats in a general election Sunday, extending its streak of victories that began in 1957.

Malaysian election officials reported a record voter turnout in Sunday's national election, as more than 10 million voters — or 80 percent of the electorate — cast ballots.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Sun May 5, 2013

British Member Of Parliament Says Rape Claim Is False

One day after being arrested over allegations that he raped one man and sexually assaulted another, a senior British legislator says the accusations are without merit. Britain's House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans says the claims were made by people "who until yesterday I regarded as friends."

The complaints made against Evans accuse him of abuse in a period from July 2009 to March of this year. The men who filed the complaints are believed to have been in their 20s in that time span. Evans says that the two men who made the accusations know one another.

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Middle East
4:38 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Syria's News Agency Blames Israel For Damascus Blasts

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:25 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF AN EXPLOSION)

MARTIN: A series of explosions shook the Syrian capital Damascus overnight. Syria's state news agency accused Israeli jets of carrying out the attack on a military research facility. There has been no official confirmation from Israel's government, though officials there have warned they will act to stop weapon transfers from Syria to Hezbollah. That's the Shiite guerilla movement based in Lebanon which is a staunch ally of the Syrian regime.

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Code Switch
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

How Different Cultures Handle Personal Space

Egyptians wander through a popular market in Cairo.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 10:03 am

Our perspectives on personal space — the distance we keep between the person in front of us at an ATM, the way we subdivide the area of an elevator — are often heavily influenced by the norms of the places we inhabit.

Jerry Seinfeld once focused an episode of his sitcom on the concept of personal space, giving us a new term: the "close talker."

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Latin America
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

In Latin America, Obama Stresses Partnership

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:38 am

President Obama traveled to Central America this weekend, to Mexico and then to Costa Rica, where he met with other leaders from the region. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Eric Olson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who attended the meeting.

Middle East
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

'Range Of Protagonists' Fighting Proxy War In Syria

Who has the most to lose if the fighting in Syria continues and the country becomes a failed state? Host Rachel Martin poses the question to Rami Khouri, a columnist and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut.

World
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Foreigners At Home: Turkey Beckons To Germany's Turks

The euro crisis and Islamophobia are making Turkey more appealing to the descendants of Turkish immigrants who have been living in Germany.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:39 pm

In 1961, desperate to increase its labor force, West Germany signed an employment agreement with Turkey and launched a wave of immigration that continues to have repercussions today.

Now, after years of being treated as second-class citizens in Europe's economic powerhouse, large numbers of Turks — descendants of the first wave of immigrants — are returning to Turkey.

In A Strange Land

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Latin America
3:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Violence, Hardship Fuel Central American Immigration To U.S.

Honduran Army soldiers patrol streets in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in April. Gang violence has many Hondurans fleeing to the U.S.
Orlando Sierra AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:03 pm

William Ordonez and his wife, Carolia, thought that starting a new business in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was a great idea.

But just two weeks after they started selling chips, candy and soda, gang members showed up and ordered them to pay about $25 a week.

"We tried explaining to them that we just opened, we aren't making that much, we can't pay you," Ordonez says.

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