World News

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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The Two-Way
10:57 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Facility Near Damascus Attacked By Israel, SANA Says

An image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows an airstrike hitting the area around Damascus, Syria, early Sunday.
AP

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

Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center near Damascus early Sunday, according to intelligence reports and Syrian state media. The attack prompted Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad to deem it a "declaration of war" by Israel, CNN reports.

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Middle East
3:28 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Syrian Rebel Leader: We Won't Share U.S. Arms With Extremists

Free Syrian Army fighters sit behind an anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo, Syria, in February. The rebels say U.S.-provided weapons would help in their fight against Bashar Assad's regime.
Abdullah al-Yassin AP

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 9:01 am

The Obama administration says it's considering providing arms to rebels fighting to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad if the U.S. can confirm his forces did in fact use the debilitating nerve gas sarin in recent attacks. Coupled with news that Israel reportedly launched an airstrike at a target in Syria to prevent a shipment of missiles from reaching Hezbollah, these events could represent a game changer in the conflict-ravaged nation.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Dream Wedding Is Now South Africa's Diplomatic Nightmare

The wedding party poses at the Sun City resort in South Africa, on Wednesday. South Africa's government announced the suspension of a slew of officials and military personnel on Friday as it tried to limit the political and diplomatic fallout from the lavish Indian wedding.
Gupta Family via AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:23 am

It's been dubbed Guptagate. The real-life story reads like a Hollywood — or Bollywood — script, and it's dominating the national conversation in South Africa.

It starts with a high-society wedding in South Africa, organized by three wealthy, well-connected and influential brothers named Gupta from India. Then the scandal begins: A private jet flies in 200 guests — including Bollywood stars — from India, landing at a restricted air force security base in Pretoria, allegedly without the appropriate clearance.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

To Silence Discontent, Chinese Officials Alter Workweek

Protesters demonstrate against plans for a factory to produce paraxylene, a toxic chemical used to make fabrics, in China's Yunnan province on Saturday. In nearby Chengdu, planned protests were thwarted.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:03 am

How do you prevent protests in China? Move the weekend.

That's the Orwellian step taken by local authorities in the southwestern city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. May 4 is a sensitive date commemorating an influential student movement in 1919. It's especially potent in Chengdu, where it marks the fifth anniversary of a protest against the construction of a $6 billion crude oil refinery and petrochemical facility in Pengzhou, 25 miles away.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Seven U.S. Troops Die In Attacks In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 7:30 am

A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan killed five members of the U.S. Army Saturday, according to military officials. The International Security Assistance Force says an improvised explosive device was used in the attack.

Update at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Another Deadly Attack:

An Afghan National Army soldier "turned his weapon on coalition troops in the west, killing two in the most recent of so-called insider attacks, the AP reports. NPR has confirmed that both victims of that attack are American.

Our original post continues:

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Sat May 4, 2013

World War II Code Is Broken, Decades After POW Used It

As a prisoner of war, Sub Lieut. John Pryor encrypted information and requests for supplies in letters sent from a German camp to his family in Cornwall.
Plymouth University

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:04 am

It's been 70 years since the letters of John Pryor were understood in their full meaning. That's because as a British prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, Pryor's letters home to his family also included intricate codes that were recently deciphered for the first time since the 1940s.

Pryor's letters served their purpose in World War II, as Britain's MI9 agents decoded the messages hidden within them — requests for supplies, notes about German activities — before sending them along to Pryor's family in Cornwall.

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The Salt
4:03 am
Sat May 4, 2013

As Syria Melts Down, Ice Cream Shop Sets Up In Jordan

Employees scoop ice cream, which is topped with pistachios, at Bakdash's opening in Amman, Jordan, this week. Bakdash has been a landmark in Damascus, Syria, since 1895. But the war there has made it hard to get supplies, so the owners have set up a new shop in Amman.
Nabih Bulos for NPR

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:15 pm

Bakdash is a landmark in the Syrian capital, serving the Arab world's most famous ice cream since 1895. Manually churned with wooden paddles, loaded with milk, sugar and a generous coating of pistachios, Bakdash ice cream is memorable treat for any visitor to Damascus.

But, when a branch opened this week in Amman, Jordan, it was seen as another casualty of the Syrian war.

"It means there is no sense of security and safety in Damascus," says journalist Fahd al Kheytaan, "which forced the company to move some of its operation to Jordan."

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Latin America
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

On Mexico Trip, Obama Maintains Economic Focus

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama is in Costa Rica today. He's talking with leaders of Central American nations about security and economic trade. Yesterday, the president wrapped up a two-day visit in Mexico, where he tried to steer the focus away from contentious issues like immigration and drug violence. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: During their quick visit, Presidents Obama and Pena Nieto stuck to their focus: the economy.

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Middle East
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Places Transformed: Syrian Refugees Overwhelm Camps, Towns

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Latin America
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

U.S.-Mexico Relations Complicated, Conditioned By Drug War

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In many ways, the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is complicated and conditioned by the long and the bloody war on drugs. It's difficult to say exactly how many people have been killed in that war, but Mexican media have estimated that around 70,000 people have died since 2006; many thousands more have been disappeared. The United States has been closely involved, providing money, technology and intelligence to the Mexican government.

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Afghanistan
3:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

An Unexpected Festival Paints A Different Version Of Kabul

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Several thousand young Afghans are attending a music and arts festival of their own this week in Kabul. NPR's Sean Carberry sent this postcard from the third annual Sound Central Alternative Music and Arts Festival.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Chanting in foreign language)

SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: While this is going on outside the French Cultural Center in Kabul...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND CHEERING)

CARBERRY: ...this is going on inside.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Code Switch
3:06 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Bollywood's Early Roots In A Silent Film

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (left), known as the father of Indian cinema, examines a filmstrip.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 8:35 am

Film festivals around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Indian films this year.

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Business
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

New U.S. Trade Representative Faces Big Challenges Abroad

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Expanding trade abroad is a high priority for President Obama. This week, he nominated a trusted adviser named Michael Froman to become the next U.S. trade representative. Froman is currently deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the challenges he would face as trade representative.

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Arts & Life
10:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Checkmate! Teen Chess Stars Make Their Move

The 2013 U.S. and Women's Chess Championships are under way in St. Louis, Missouri. Host Michel Martin speaks with two of the competition's youngest players. Kayden Troff is the current under-14 World Youth Chess Champion, and at 15, Sarah Chiang is the youngest woman competing in the Women's Chess Championships.

The Two-Way
8:44 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Murder Trial Of Alleged Neo-Nazi Has Germans On Edge

Activists in Munich protest right-wing violence last month.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 11:07 am

The trial in Munich of an alleged neo-Nazi woman accused as an accomplice in a string of murders of mostly ethnic Turks is, as The Associated Press writes, "forcing Germans to confront painful truths about racism and the broader treatment of immigrants in society."

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Bangladesh Fears Exodus Of Western Retailers

Relatives react after identifying the body of a loved one who was killed in last week's building collapse in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:46 am

The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to end its apparel production in Bangladesh after more than 500 people died in the collapse of a garment factory complex has sparked fears of a mass exodus of Western retailers.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Pakistani Prosecutor Investigating Bhutto Death Is Gunned Down

Pakistani police officials examine the bloodied, bullet-riddled car of slain government prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali after an attack by gunmen Friday in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 7:19 am

In Pakistan, police say two unidentified gunmen fatally shot the special prosecutor investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Friday's attack on Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali in Islamabad deepens the mystery surrounding one of the country's most politically charged cases, which remains open six years later.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Reports: American Refueling Plane Crashes In Kyrgyzstan

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:55 am

An American military refueling plane crashed Friday in Kyrgyzstan, according to that nation's emergencies ministry.

The Associated Press says "there was no immediate word on any casualties."

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