World News

NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

While Britain Votes No, France Still Backs Strikes On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The U.S. will not be acting alone if and when it launches military strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. French President Francois Hollande spoke with President Obama today. France and the U.S. will act together after congressional discussions.

As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, this Franco-American alliance is a complete turnabout from the lead up to the war in Iraq 10 years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE)

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Chemical Weapons And Civilians: The Invisible Threat

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

The chemical weapons attack in Syria on August the 21st was the first time in a quarter century that such weapons had been used against civilians during a conflict. In 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqi city of Halabja was subjected to a gas attack by Saddam Hussein. At least 5,000 people died.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Lawmakers Welcome President Asking For Their OK On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 2:10 pm

(This post last updated at 4:10 p.m. ET)

Lawmakers, many of whom had urged President Obama to seek authority from Congress before going ahead with a military strike against Syria, were largely positive about his decision to do just that.

The president, in a Rose Garden address on Saturday, said that the U.S. should respond militarily to Syria's Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people, but that he would first seek authorization from Congress.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
1:01 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Read And Listen: President Obama Turns To Congress On Syria

President Obama speaks about Syria from the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 1:24 pm

  • Listen To President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Remarks

A transcript of President Obama's remarks on possible U.S. military action in Syria, as released by the White House:

Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Jailed Leader Of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Suffers Heart Attack

Mohammed Badie, the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, at the group's headquarters in Cairo in January 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:32 am

Mohammed Badie, the top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, has suffered a heart attack while in jail, Reuters reports, quoting the state-run al-Ahram newspaper on Saturday.

However, state-run news agency MENA has denied a report by the private al-Nahar website, citing security sources, that Badie had died.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was quoted by Reuters as saying that Badie is "in good health" after the heart attack.

Many of the Brotherhood's leaders were imprisoned in recent weeks in the toughest crackdown the group has faced.

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Parallels
9:12 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Why Are U.S. Presidents Calling On The Military So Often?

U.S. forces transfer a missile for a fighter plane as the military prepared for war in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia in 1990. American presidents have been calling on the military frequently since the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago.
Gerard Fouet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:22 am

When the Cold War ended two decades ago there was a widespread belief that the greatest threat to U.S. troops would be boredom. It seemed they faced a future with little to do besides polishing their boots and staging the occasional military exercise.

Yet U.S. presidents are calling on the military more often than ever, with U.S. forces carrying out more than a dozen separate operations since the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Sat August 31, 2013

15 Killed In China Ammonia Leak

Police officers walk out from the main gate of Weng's Cold Storage Industrial Co. Ltd. at the outskirts of Shanghai, China, on Saturday.
Eugene Hoshiko Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:20 pm

A liquid ammonia leak at an industrial refrigeration unit in Shanghai has killed at least 15 people and left six others in critical condition.

NPR's Frank Langfitt says the leak occurred before noon on Saturday at a cold storage facility in the city's northern Baoshan District, which handles seafood.

Besides the six in critical condition, 20 others were injured, according to the Shanghai government.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Teen Gets Three Years In Gang Rape, Murder Of Indian Woman

A protester in India chants slogans as she braces herself against the spray fired from police water canons during a protest in December sparked by the gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:43 pm

An Indian teen has been sentenced to three years in juvenile detention for the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman who later died in the hospital, the first verdict in a case that has sparked international outrage over the brutal crime.

Police say the convicted 18-year-old was one of five men who lured the 23-year-old victim and her male friend onto a bus in the capital, New Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten in December.

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Afghanistan
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Marines Have Turned Helmand Fight Over To Afghans

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

The Taliban conducted a series of deadly attacks across Afghanistan this week, killing civilians, Afghan forces and several NATO service members. But they are targeting far fewer NATO troops these days, because those troops are focused on training and advising the Afghan army. NPR's Sean Carberry spent five days with U.S. Marines in one of Afghanistan's chronic hot spots and speaks with host Scott Simon.

Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How The Region Might React To An Attack On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

What would Iraq and Israel do if the U.S. launches military action against the Syrian government? Former analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency Joshua Foust speaks with host Scott Simon about the wider consequences for the Middle East.

Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

U.N. Inspectors Leave Damascus

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Middle East
2:58 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How A Reluctant Obama Ended Up Preparing For A Strike

President Obama discusses the situation in Syria on Friday from the White House Cabinet Room.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:06 am

Is President Obama falling into a trap of his own making?

The Obama administration has assiduously avoid intervening in Syria, where more than two years of conflict has left upwards of 100,000 people dead.

Even against that backdrop of so much suffering, there's a case to be made that the use of chemical weapons is an entirely different matter.

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It's All Politics
5:33 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

6 Things To Keep In Mind As Obama Confronts Syria

President Obama pauses after answering questions from the news media during his meeting with Baltic leaders at the White House on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 6:07 pm

As President Obama attempts to make good on his threats to punish Syrian officials for crossing a "red line" by allegedly using deadly chemical weapons, he's being buffeted by political crosscurrents.

Some arise from the structure of U.S. democracy itself, and the balance of powers between the branches. Others emerge from the nation's particular state of mind after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here are six points to keep in mind as Obama considers how best to demonstrate American resolve to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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Parallels
3:46 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

How Do You Say ...? For Some Words, There's No Easy Translation

Ella Frances Sanders Maptia

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Just as good writing demands brevity, so, too, does spoken language. Sentences and phrases get whittled down over time. One result: single words that are packed with meaning, words that are so succinct and detailed in what they connote in one language that they may have no corresponding word in another language.

Such words aroused the curiosity of the folks at a website called Maptia, which aims to encourage people to tell stories about places.

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Middle East
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

More Than 400 Children Among Those Killed In Syrian Attack

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

The U.S. intelligence community has released its declassified analysis of the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria. The analysis concludes that Syria's government is likely responsible for the attack, which, it says, killed some 1,400 people.

Food
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Following Spain's Roast Suckling Pig From Farm To Table

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 1:53 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

All summer we've been traveling the world hearing about what other cultures put on their grills. We call it the Global Grill. Today, reporter Lauren Frayer brings us a treat enjoyed throughout the Spanish-speaking world, but she offers her apologies. The Cochinillo asado isn't exactly cooked on a grill, but it is cooked on an outdoor fire in a clay pot. Lauren tells us the dish comes from the ancient kingdom of Castile in central Spain and has made literary appearances dating back hundreds of years.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Sports
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Li Na One Of Few Athletes To Break From China's Sports System

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The U.S. Open is underway in New York. The top tennis players from all over the world are competing. On the women's side, Li Na of China, the sixth ranked female player in the world, today advanced to the fourth round with a win over Laura Robson of Britain. Li Na has had a remarkable career. She won the French Open in 2011, making her the only athlete from Asia to win a Grand Slam singles title.

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Middle East
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

In Damascus, Army And Civilians Scramble For Safe Havens

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. U.N. weapons inspectors visited a military hospital in Damascus today. There, they saw the effects of what the Syrian government says were chemical weapons attacks by rebel fighters. The inspectors have already collected samples from a rebel-held suburb that was allegedly struck with chemical weapons more than a week ago, early on August 21st.

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World
2:44 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Examining Jamaica's Homophobia

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 10:03 am

Jamaica is known for beaches and warm weather, but for many gay and lesbian people living on the island, it's a place of hatred. A documentary, The Abominable Crime shines a light on homophobia and anti-gay violence in Jamaica. Host Michel Martin finds out more from filmmaker Micah Fink and human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson. This segment initially aired July 22, 2013 on Tell Me More.

The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

What's Next In Syria? A Sampling Of Opinion

A Tomahawk cruise missile lifts off from the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) in 2011. If a U.S. strike against Syria goes ahead, what comes next?
U.S. Navy Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:36 pm

As a U.S. military strike on Syria looks increasingly likely in the next few hours or days, various publications are weighing in on what such an attack would accomplish and what would happen next.

Here's a sampling of opinion:

The BBC's Tara McKelvey says:

"The US military would most likely use Tomahawk cruise missiles for an attack on the Syrian government forces. These missiles are now stored on destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Bag It, Trader Joe's Tells 'Pirate' Grocer In Canada

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. His store faces a lawsuit from Trader Joe's for infringing on its trademark and possibly confusing customers.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:24 pm

For the past year and a half, Mike Hallatt has been driving across the U.S.-Canada border and back, bringing loads of groceries back to Vancouver. There's no food shortage in Canada — but there's an absolute lack of Trader Joe's grocery stores, and that created an opening for an entrepreneur who doesn't mind making a long drive.

Originally called Pirate Joe's, Hallatt's store serves a niche market: Canadians who wish Trader Joe's was in their country and who will pay a bit extra for triple ginger snaps and fanciful trail mixes.

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Parallels
10:16 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Where U.S. Allies Stand On A Strike Against Syria

Anti-war protesters rally outside Downing Street in London on Wednesday. Britain's Parliament rejected the country's involvement in any military action against Syria. The U.K. government had been among those seeking a strong response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:15 pm

International outrage was palpable last week following reports that Syria used chemical weapons near the capital, Damascus. But now, as President Obama contemplates a strike against Syria, there's only limited support for military action.

Here's a look at countries that have criticized Syria and where they stand on intervention:

Britain

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Defectors Think Most North Koreans Approve Of Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Mr. Popularity?
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:45 am

While public opinion polling hasn't exactly caught on in North Korea, a survey of defectors estimates that more than half of the country they left behind approves of the job leader Kim Jong Un is doing.

Seoul's Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, as reported by Yonhap news agency, asked 133 defectors to hazard a guess as to Kim's actual approval rating in the country, which at least publicly buys into the absolute cult of personality surrounding its leadership.

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Middle East
2:46 am
Fri August 30, 2013

White House Presses On With Plans To Strike Syria

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Preparations for a military strike against Syria continue. The Obama administration says action is necessary, because the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people last week, killing hundreds.

WERTHEIMER: All week, the administration has been claiming their case is open and shut.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATEMENTS)

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Middle East
2:46 am
Fri August 30, 2013

If The U.S. Strikes, What Are The Targets Inside Syria?

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, one of the people urging President Obama to act on intelligence findings and strike against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is retired General Jack Keane. He served in an advisory role in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and he's now chairman of the board of the Institute for the Study of War. Keane says he has not been involved in the most recent talks about Syria, but he has a long history of military planning at the highest levels, and he gave us a window into the planning that's going on now.

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Middle East
2:46 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Iran Warns Against U.S. Military Strikes On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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World
4:24 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

U.K. Vote Against Syria Strike A Major Setback For Obama

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So where does this leave the Obama administration? For more on that, I'm joined by NPR's Mara Liasson. And Mara, what's the White House reaction been to this vote in the British Parliament tonight?

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World
4:19 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

U.K. Lawmakers Vote Against Syria Strike

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:04 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

British Parliament Closes Door On Syria Intervention

The Houses of Parliament are silhouetted against a setting sun as lawmakers debate possible British military action in Syria.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:35 pm

After debating deep into the night, the British House of Commons refused a precursory resolution on military strikes in Syria. The resolution, which failed 272-285, called for a second vote to authorize military action once the U.N. inspectors have issued their findings on whether the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against its own people.

"It is clear to me the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "I get that and the government will act accordingly."

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Middle East
3:34 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Why Syria Is More Complicated Than Libya

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:23 pm

The Arab spring has brought large-scale protests and violence to at least half a dozen countries in the past three years. Until now, the U.S. has only intervened militarily in one of them — Libya.

Now, as President Obama considers a strike on Syria, here's a look at some of the differences between the two scenarios:

1. Syria's Not Standing Alone

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