World News

The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Another Chinese Official Caught Up In Corruption Probe

Jiang Jiemin, left, is the latest Chinese official to come under scrutiny for possible corruption.
Kin Cheung Associated Press

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 5:52 pm

Another high-level corruption probe has begun in China even as the trial of former regional Chinese Communist Party boss Bo Xilai was apparently still underway.

Jiang Jiemin, the head of the commission that oversees state-owned companies, is suspected of a "serious violation of discipline" related to his top job at the China National Petroleum Corporation.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima Worse Than First Thought

This photo taken Aug. 6 shows local government officials and nuclear experts at Fukushima after contaminated water was discovered.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:48 am

Radiation surrounding Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has increased 18-fold following a report last month that radioactive water had leaked into the ground around the plant, which was badly damaged in a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reports that radiation around the site is at 1,800 millisieverts per hour, a level that Reuters says is "enough to kill an exposed person in four hours."

Previously, the utility, also known as Tepco, said the leaking water was at around 100 millisieverts per hour.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Kerry: Tests Indicate Sarin Used In Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a statement about the use of chemical weapons in Syria at the Department of State last week.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 2:46 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry says that tests have shown evidence of Syria's use of the chemical agent sarin in an attack on the opposition last month that the White House has blamed on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"I can share with you today that blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from East Damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin," Kerry told CNN on Sunday.

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National Security
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Obama's Sudden Shift On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:54 pm

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. Rachel Martin is away. Syrians and the world have spent the last week bracing for a U.S. attack on Damascus that seemed to be imminent. Now, President Obama has surprised everyone by pushing the pause button and by announcing yesterday in the Rose Garden that he will go to Congress for approval. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the White House.

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National Security
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Pentagon Is Cautious On Possible Syria Strikes

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:23 am

Military officials are concerned that a limited strike against Syria could prompt the Assad regime to target civilians with more conventional weapons. Guest host Wade Goodwyn speaks with NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.

The Two-Way
6:42 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Syrian Media Declares 'Historic American Retreat'

Syrian refugees pass through the Turkish Cilvegozu gate border on Sunday.
Gregorio Borgia Associated Press

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 7:09 am

Syrian state media on Sunday reacted to President Obama's decision to ask Congress for authorization to strike President Bashar al-Assad's regime, calling the move the start of a U.S. retreat.

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World
6:17 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Last Flight Of Ethiopia-To-Israel Jewish Migration Program

A boy waves the flag of his new homeland on the last flight of organized, large-scale emigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Moshik Brin Courtesy of Moshik Brin

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:54 pm

Last Wednesday, two jetliners flew 450 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

They were the last to arrive under an official program designed to bring to Israel all remaining Ethiopian Jews who are eligible for citizenship.

At the Tel Aviv airport just before the planes landed, everyone seemed excited. Relatives of people arriving from Ethiopia cheered when the plane doors opened.

Achenef Chekole arrived with his wife, two sons and two daughters. Family and friends who had already immigrated to Israel greeted them with hugs.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Ailing Mandela Is Sent Home In Critical Condition

Nelson Mandela photographed during a lunch to Benefit the Mandela Children's Foundation in April 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 5:51 pm

Nelson Mandela, still in critical condition with a chronic lung infection, was discharged from a hospital Sunday and taken by ambulance to his home in Johannesburg after three months of intensive care. The former South African president and anti-apartheid leader is 95.

The news comes a day after mistaken reports that he had already been sent home from a Pretoria hospital.

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Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama Asks Congress To Approve Action On Syria

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

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

It was a stunner today for pundits on the Potomac. President Obama announced in the Rose Garden that while he has the authority to unilaterally attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons, he won't use it. Only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for military action, the president made the case for congressional approval.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Republican Who Asked For Congressional Say Gets His Wish

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

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Tom Cole is a U.S. congressman from Oklahoma. He's a Republican and has served in the Congress since 2003. Congressman Cole, thank you for being with us.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Thank you.

LYDEN: Congressman, you signed a letter with more than 100 of your colleagues asking the president to consult with Congress before acting in Syria. Well, President Obama now says he will do exactly that. Are you happy with the president's approach?

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Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

On Syria, How Might Congress Vote?

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

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

With us now to talk about congressional reaction to the president's announcement this afternoon is NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang. Thanks for being with us.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: You're welcome. Good to be here.

LYDEN: So it seems the president has been listening to the rancor this week, Ailsa, from members of both parties. What's been the reaction from congressional leaders you've had a chance to speak to since the announcement?

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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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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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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
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.

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