A baby hatch that is fixed in a window at Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin. Mothers can bring unwanted babies and leave them anonymously. Baby boxes are a revival of the medieval "foundling wheels," where unwanted infants were left in revolving church doors.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 3:30 pm
For centuries, European mothers who felt they were incapable of caring for a newborn could leave the baby in a "foundling wheel," a rotating crib set up at the entrance to a convent or a place of worship.
Today, there's a debate over the modern version of the practice: the baby box.
At least 11 European countries, as well as Russia and India, now have baby boxes, sometimes known as baby windows or hatches.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week's cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was supposed to lead to more substantial discussions, but there's been little to no movement so far. So after eight days of bombs and rockets, what's changed? The dead, of course: six Israeli and over 160 Palestinians and destruction, also one-sided.
NPR still stubbornly refuses to pay for our travel — something about "sullying NPR's image abroad" and "Ian, how many times do we have to tell you, you don't really work here" — so we had to make our own version.
A disclaimer: We tried putting one together according to the specs of the image above, but no one could get down even a single bite. We lowered the butter content slightly.
Peter: I like the crunch of the sugar. It's like your teeth start decaying immediately.
A Syrian rebel fighter is shown in the northeastern Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn on Nov. 11, several days after the rebels captured it. The rebel takeover has created friction with the town's Kurdish population.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:49 pm
When Syrian rebels seized the border post at Ras al-Ayn on Nov. 8, they celebrated the victory and went on to "liberate" the town, a place where both Arabs and Kurds live on Syria's northeast border with Turkey.
But the Kurdish inhabitants quickly saw their "liberation" as a disaster. Within days, dozens were dead in clashes between Kurdish militias and the rebels.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:19 am
Horrific is a word that quickly comes to mind about the news from Bangladesh concerning a fire Saturday in a garment factory where clothes were made for retailers around the world, including some in the U.S.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has granted himself almost absolute power, but has not been able to win anything like unanimous approval. The new president faces criticism for a decree stating he can do anything he thinks will advance Egypt's revolution, and that courts cannot review his decisions. Egyptians have taken to the streets in protest. Markets have reacted badly, and the country's top judges are paying Morsi a visit today to discuss this turn of events.
Now let's catch up on a vote in Catalonia, Spain's most economically powerful region. That region gave overwhelming support to pro-independence parties in elections on Sunday. This election is seen as a threat to Spain's political and financial stability, so we're going to talk about this with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. She is in the most famous city in Catalonia, Barcelona.
And, Sylvia, we did say that there were pro-independence parties. Who exactly won these elections?
Now let's remember another man who was resilient in a struggling country. Ardeshir Cowasjee has died at the age of 86. He was a newspaper columnist in Pakistan, though that phrase does not quite capture him. He was old enough to recall his country's independence in 1947. He was the offspring of a wealthy family and the owner of a shipping line which the government nationalized in the 1970s.
And now let's move a little bit to the east. The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip seems to be holding for now, which means both sides can turn their attention to the most innocent victims of the conflict: children. A lot of psychological damage gets done to small children when missiles and rockets fly. And in Gaza, they also suffered a big physical toll. Palestinian officials say at least 40 children were killed, and 10 times that number were injured.
For more on the changing dynamic in that region, we're joined live in the studio by P.J. Crowley. He served as assistant secretary of state for public affairs in the Obama administration between 2009 and 2011. He also served on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration. P.J., thanks for coming in this morning.
Voters in Spain's northern region of Catalonia go to the polls Sunday in a parliamentary election that is shaping up as an unofficial referendum on secession. The current Catalan president has pledged to pursue a move toward independence if re-elected.
The region, which holds 8 million people, is the country's industrial engine. Catalans are resentful that their taxes are being siphoned off for poorer regions. The prospect of secession is opposed both by the Madrid government and the European Union.
Congolese flee the eastern town of Sake, just west of Goma, on Friday. Fighting between rebel and government forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has displaced at least 100,000 people.
Credit John Burnett / NPR
Tariq Riebl, Oxfam humanitarian coordinator in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, meets refugees at the Don Bosco Catholic School, where thousands of displaced persons are setting up camp.
The rebel movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo has set off another humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of displaced villagers who fled the fighting are on the march with their belongings, and someone has to take care of them.
Into this sea of need wades Tariq Riebl, a tall 34-year-old German with a shaved head. He is the humanitarian program coordinator for the international charity Oxfam in the rebel-held city of Goma.
"Basically, what we're going to do, we have two teams," Riebl says.
Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 4:26 pm
JACKI LYDEN, HOST:
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Guy Raz is away.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi stunned the nation by announcing an extraordinary set of new presidential powers Thursday that essentially nullifies judicial oversight. His critics say that for now, he has unchecked power.
We'll take a look at what this means for the democracy movement in Egypt in a minute. But first, let's get the latest from NPR's Leila Fadel, who's in Cairo. Hi there, Leila. Thanks for joining us.
Cairo's Tahrir Square was nearly empty as the sun rose Saturday. A few demonstrators camped out overnight after mass protests on Friday condemned controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.
Earlier this week, Morsi gave himself unchecked powers until a constitution is written and passed by a popular referendum — in about two months. He also decreed that neither the body writing the constitution nor the upper house of Parliament could be dissolved by the courts.
While President Morsi deals with the fallout from his power-grab at home, the cease-fire that he helped broker in Gaza survives, at least so far. For more on the latest from Israel and Gaza, we're joined by Anthony Kuhn in Jerusalem and Philip Reeves in Gaza City. Gentlemen, thanks very much for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.
France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Credit Emmanuel Foudrot / Reuters /Landov
Guests attend a wine tasting in the cellar of Hotel Dieu before the wine auction.
For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.
To escape fighting, thousands of civilians flee the town of Sake in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Rebels captured Sake and made other advances in the area this week. Eastern Congo and the larger region have been the scene of frequent fighting over the past two decades.
Credit Phil Moore / AFP/Getty Images
Congo rebels from the group known as M23 run toward the town of Sake in the eastern part of the country on Thursday. The rebels captured the town as part of their gains this week.
It's a scene that's become wearily repetitive in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo: An uprising drives out poorly trained government troops, creating havoc and sending large numbers of refugees fleeing for their lives.
This time the rebel group is M23, or March 23. Their revolt began this spring, and earlier this week they took Goma, an important town on the country's eastern border, just across Lake Kivu from Rwanda. The rebels then proceeded to take the next town over, Sake.
Rebel gains in northern Syria have forced out President Bashar al-Assad's army. One by one, villages and towns have slipped from government control. And now, Syrians are struggling to transform the country on their own through local councils and committees. NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Jerablus, near the Turkish border.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Egypt today, some in support of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, others condemning what they called a power grab by the president that puts Egypt on the path to one-man rule. It is, in short, a nation visibly divided today. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo.
Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about life in many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.
Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Credit Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP/Getty Images
Children play in an orphanage in Moscow. While some Russian officials are critical of foreign adoptions, the U.S. and Russia are finalizing an agreement designed to improve the safety and quality of adoptions of Russian children by American families.
Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.
Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.
Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.
Up next, some food for thought as you chomp your Thanksgiving leftovers. Recycling paper and plastic, as you know, is an effective way to save money and energy. So why not recycle all the uneaten food that goes to waste? And there is an awful lot of it. Forty percent of the food in the U.S. today goes uneaten, which means Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion worth of food each year. But that's not all. Food waste, as it decays in landfills, also produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.
Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:49 pm
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor scientific research that, in the words of Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think." This year's prizes, awarded in late September, include citations for research into mysteriously green hair, potentially explosive colonoscopies, and the creation of equations that model the back-and-forth swing of a ponytail in motion.
Already this year, 105 women in Italy have been killed by husbands or boyfriends –- present or former.
Vanessa Scialfa, 29, was killed by her partner in Sicily. Alessia Francesca Simonetta, 25, was pregnant when she was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Milan. Carmella Petrucci, 17, was stabbed in the throat as she tried to defend her sister from her ex-boyfriend.
Police inspector Francesca Monaldi, who heads the gender crime unit in Rome, says the names and the cities change, but the stories are very similar.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The streets of Egyptian cities are flooded with demonstrators today. In Cairo and Alexandria, Portside and Suez, thousands are protesting the president for issuing a decree that gives him immense power over all the branches of government. There are street fights in some places, between opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi. He spoke earlier today, saying he was acting on behalf of god and the nation.