World News

The Two-Way
10:49 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Will Chemical Weapons Change U.S. Policy Toward Syria?

The White House said this week that it believes Syria has been using chemical weapons, but President Obama has not said how the U.S. might respond. Here, rebel fighters in Syria prepare to launch of a rocket in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 21. The rebels have also accused the Syrian government of employing chemical weapons.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 pm

The U.S. has remained at arm's length during two years of bloodletting in Syria that has claimed some 70,000 lives. But when the White House said Thursday it believed Syria has used chemical weapons, even in small quantities, it immediately set off a renewed debate on whether the U.S. might pursue a more aggressive policy.

Here are some of the key issues now under discussion:

-- Is the U.S. sure that Syria used chemical weapons?

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri April 26, 2013

South Korean Workers To Leave Industrial Zone In North

South Korean soldiers stand beside barricades as cars drive on the road leading to North Korea's Kaesong industrial complex on Friday.
Jung Yeon-je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:44 am

South Korea has ordered the withdrawal of its workers from a jointly run industrial zone in North Korea, in a further sign of how relations have gone from bad to worse between the two countries in recent weeks.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Rescuers Still Hope For Survivors In Bangladesh Collapse

Bangladeshi volunteers and rescue workers at the site of the factory on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:20 am

Rescue workers are still hoping to find survivors from the collapse of an eight-story garment factory in Bangladesh that has killed more than 300 people and left hundreds missing.

Meanwhile, angry relatives of the missing have clashed with police, blaming authorities for the catastrophe at Rana Plaza in Savar, an industrial suburb of the capital, Dhaka.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Dozens Dead After Fire In Russian Psychiatric Hospital

Firefighters battling the blaze at a psychiatric hospital north of Moscow early Friday.
Jiang Kehong Xinhua /Landov

An estimated 38 people died early Friday at a psychiatric hospital north of Moscow when a fire swept through the facility.

The state news agency RIA Novosti says it has been told by a "police source" that most of the victims "died in their sleep [from] inhaling the fumes as they were likely sedated by prescribed medicine."

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NPR Story
3:17 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Spain To Unveil Economic Overhaul Plan

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Spain has lived through years of punishing budget cuts and austerity. This morning, its government unveiled a new economic plan which eased budget targets but acknowledged that recovery was still a long way off. Thousands took to the streets in Madrid overnight, protesting the country's past measures and tax hikes that have left many without jobs.

Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Middle East
3:17 am
Fri April 26, 2013

U.S. Wants More Proof Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Here's the problem faced by President Obama's administration: When the United States says it's going to do something, it will face pressure to actually do it.

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NPR Story
3:17 am
Fri April 26, 2013

In Bangladesh, Search For Building Collapse Survivors Presses On

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. A frantic search for survivors continues near Dhaka, Bangladesh, where an eight-story building collapsed two days ago. The building mostly housed garment factories that make low-cost clothing for Western customers.

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Shots - Health News
1:00 am
Fri April 26, 2013

A $5.5 Billion Road Map To Banish Polio Forever

A health worker marks a baby's finger after giving her a polio vaccine in Moradabad, India.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Polio isn't going easily into the dustbin of history.

The world needs to push it in, throw down the lid and then keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't escape.

That's the gist of a new plan released Thursday by the World Health Organization and other foundations at a vaccine meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

It's a six-year, $5.5 billion program, and its goal is to wipe out polio for good.

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Media
3:15 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

China's CCTV America Walks The Line Between 2 Media Traditions

Before joining CCTV America, Phillip T.K. Yin was an anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Television.
CCTV America

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.

CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country's ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up

Courtesy of Kazuki Yamamoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Clovers? Hearts? That's small fries, guys. It's time you met The Cat:

That 3-D creation is the work of Japanese latte artist Kazuki Yamamoto. The 26-year-old resident of Osaka creates ephemeral works of art in espresso and foam.

From whimsical monsters crafted from milk froth ...

... to adorable homages to favorite childhood cartoon characters ...

Yamamoto's art makes you regret the need to consume the canvas.

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Politics
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Sen. Corker Calls On U.S. To 'Step Up' Efforts In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker is the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and joins us now. Welcome to the program, Senator.

SENATOR BOB CORKER: Glad to be with you.

SIEGEL: You said in light of what the White House said today, we should step up our efforts. What does that mean, we should step up our efforts in Syria?

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Evidence Of Syria's Chemical Weapons Use Questioned

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Saying that Syria has used chemical weapons is a major step for the administration. But as we've heard, there's still a lot we don't know about the evidence the White House is relying on.

Joining us now to discuss those uncertainties is NPR's Larry Abramson. And, Larry, what is known about the evidence that the administration is citing and how the U.S. got a hold of it?

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

White House Undecided On Action For Syria Crossing 'Red Line'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Has the so-called red line been crossed in Syria? Today, the Obama administration said it believes the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons and, as President Obama has said in the past, that is a red line that would trigger serious consequences. But as NPR's Mara Liasson reports, the administration says it still has to evaluate the evidence and decide what actions to take.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Monkeys Also Want To Eat Like The Locals

The blue corn's just as tasty as the red corn, but it's not what the locals like.
Erica van de Waal Science

When you travel, do you want to drink Bellinis in Venice and yak butter tea in Tibet? Well, so do monkeys.

Monkeys will eat new, different food if they travel to a new place and want to fit in with the locals, according to a new study. But back home, they'll eat what Mama eats, shunning perfectly good food if it doesn't get her approval.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu April 25, 2013

White House: Evidence Syria Used Chemical Weapons

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates after reading a statement on chemical weapon use.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:55 pm

Update at 5:45 p.m. ET. 'All Options' On The Table

A White House official reiterated much of what was in the letter sent to Capitol Hill, but added that "all options were on the table in terms of our response."

The official said that reports of the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in March was one of the incidents being examined.

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The Salt
10:04 am
Thu April 25, 2013

EU Embraces 'Suspended Coffee': Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Joe

A barista serves coffee at a cafe in Naples, Italy. The Italian city's long-standing tradition of buying a cup for a less-fortunate stranger is now spreading across Europe.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Tough economic times and growing poverty in much of Europe are reviving a humble tradition that began some one-hundred years ago in the Italian city of Naples. It's called caffè sospeso — "suspended coffee": A customer pays in advance for a person who cannot afford a cup of coffee.

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Asia
10:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Rape Of Five-Year-Old Incites Rage In India

The brutal rape of a five-year-old girl in India has caused public outcry there, and led to the arrest of two men. Host Michel Martin explores what the case says about how India handles sexual assault cases. She speaks with Anand Giridharadas, a columnist at The New York Times.

Africa
10:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Mo Ibrahim: The 'Bill Gates Of Africa'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's where we learn from people who've made a difference through their work.

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The Salt
1:28 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Step Aside, Gents. Witness The Rise Of Women In Coffee

Three women in coffee leading the way: Stephanie Backus of Portland Roasting, coffee farmer Miguelina Villatoro of Guatemala, and coffee exporter/processor Loyreth Sosa. Here they discuss coffee prices as they survey beans ready for milling.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:49 pm

The inspiration for NPR's Coffee Week arrived in an email last summer. I had just reported on the growing Third-Wave Movement in Coffee, and the burgeoning interest in coffee cuppings.

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Author Interviews
1:26 am
Thu April 25, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'

Knopf

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:25 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Investigators Trace Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Activities Abroad

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing continues. Investigators have spoken with the parents of the suspects in Russia. Audie Cornish talks to Dina Temple-Raston about the latest developments.

The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Bolivia Takes Chile To Court Over Access To Sea

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks last month at an event in La Paz to mark Sea Day, when the country lost access to the coast in a war with Chile more than 100 years ago. On Wednesday, Bolivia filed a lawsuit against Chile at the International Court of Justice to reclaim access to the Pacific Ocean.
Juan Karita AP

Landlocked Bolivia is turning to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to reclaim access to the sea that it lost to Chile in the 19th century.

The Santiago Times reports:

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Middle East
2:34 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

U.S. Hesitant Act On Claims Of Chemical Weapons In Syria

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 7:52 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In this segment, Syria, sarin and Israel. The Israelis have joined France and Britain in concluding that Bashar al-Assad's forces have used sarin, a lethal nerve agent, on Syrian rebels.

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Europe
2:34 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Investigators Question Parents Of Boston Bombing Suspects

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Now, a rare, joint effort between American investigators and Russian security services. They're working together trying to turn up more information on the two suspects in last week's Boston Marathon bombings.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports that a team of U.S. investigators is now in the southern Russian Republic of Dagestan and they've talked to the parents of Dzhokhar a Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

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World
2:29 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

As Myanmar Reforms, Old Tensions Rise To The Surface

A Myanmarese girl carries away a tin roof in Meiktila, Myanmar. Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in March destroyed large areas of the town and left thousands of Muslims homeless.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

The town of Meiktila in central Myanmar presents a tranquil scene on a hot April day: A woman presses juice from sugar cane while customers loll around in the midday heat. The town is right in the center of the country, on a broad and arid plain where white cows graze among palm trees and pointy pagodas. It's a bustling trading post on the road between the capital, Naypyidaw, and the country's second-largest city, Mandalay.

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It's All Politics
2:12 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Rand Paul Elaborates: Armed Drones Not OK For 'Normal Crime'

Remember when Rand Paul held the Senate floor for 13 hours last month because of his concern that President Obama would use drones to target alleged terrorists on American soil?

That concern, apparently, does not always extend to alleged common criminals on American soil.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Wed April 24, 2013

In the Golan Heights: Stray Bullets And Spring Cleaning

Israeli students snap photos of the Syrian landscape from Mount Bental in the Golan Heights, which is occupied by Israel. Israelis have even watched Syrian troop and rebel movements from here.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 7:52 am

Spring in the Golan Heights is beautiful. The hills are light yellow-green. The scrawny arms of young cherry trees are covered with small blossoms almost all the way back to their thin trunks.

Apples, from last season, are ridiculously cheap and starting to soften, but if you put your nose close to a bagful and inhale you'll breathe their fragrance. The views are uncluttered by desert dust.

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Wisdom Watch
10:04 am
Wed April 24, 2013

From The Border To The Fortune 500

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's where we speak with people who've made a difference in their fields.

Today, we hear from one of the most influential tech executives you probably have never heard of unless you're in that field. Not only that, his personal story is just as - if not more - interesting than those of the superstar CEOs you may have heard about in high tech.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed April 24, 2013

China Calls Planned U.S.-Japan Drills 'Provocative'

File photo from China's Xinhua News Agency, of one of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands that are in dispute.
Uncredited Associated Press

China says Japan's decision to participate in joint military exercises with the United States will not dampen its resolve to defend its claim to a disputed island chain that has been a recurring source of tension between the Asian neighbors.

In reference to the joint drills, planned for June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "foreign pressure" cannot sway China from protecting its territorial sovereignty in the East China Sea.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Dozens Killed In Collapse Of Bangladesh Garment Complex

Relatives mourn a victim at the site of the building collapse.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 11:27 am

More than 85 people are dead and scores injured in Bangladesh after the collapse of an eight-story building on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.

The building, called Rana Plaza, housed several garment factories in the town of Savar. A firefighter at the scene told Reuters that about 2,000 people were inside when the upper floors jolted down on top of each other Wednesday.

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