World News

Europe
3:10 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Russia Tightens Stranglehold On Crimea

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. As Michele mentioned, Russia is tightening its control over Crimea. One sign of that: flights to other parts of Ukraine were cut off yesterday. The only flights available now are to Moscow.

Russian troops and pro-Russia militias are also taking over military installations. There is this referendum this weekend on whether Crimeans want to join Russia, but Moscow is sending a pretty clear message ahead of that.

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Europe
3:10 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Ukraine's Interim Prime Minister To Visit White House

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Parallels
1:43 am
Wed March 12, 2014

A Magnet For African Migrants, Italy Seeks A New Approach

Migrants sit in a boat during a rescue operation by the Italian navy off the coast of Sicily on Nov. 28. Italy is looking to revamp the way it handles the hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrive annually.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 9:37 am

With mild weather ahead, southern Europe is once again bracing for new boatloads of would-be migrants and asylum seekers from North Africa.

Italy has borne the brunt of this migrant flow for two decades, and it has responded with one of Europe's most repressive laws on illegal immigration.

But now the Italian parliament is trying to scrap a law that has made migrants vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuses. The existing law has also produced detention camps where undocumented migrants are held in harsh conditions.

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Parallels
1:40 am
Wed March 12, 2014

After A Downturn, Global Shipping Bets Big On Everything

A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry — anything from frozen chicken to computers.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:22 am

On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives, and the whole process starts again.

It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Two Words Complicate Push For Middle East Peace: 'Jewish State'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Asia
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Three Years From Meltdown, Japanese Nuclear Plant Still Struggles

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Three years ago today, a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed thousands of people. It also triggered the meltdown of reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The cleanup is ongoing and has been problematic, with power failures and leaks of contaminated water. And the technical difficulties involved in closing the facility are compounded by serious labor issues.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Religion
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

On Italian Newsstands, Pope Francis Gets His Own Fanzine

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This week, Pope Francis marks the first anniversary of his papacy. In his first 12 months, Francis has achieved the rank of a global pop star. His message of humility and proximity to the poor has won admiration from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He's attracting bigger crowds than his predecessor and, as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, he is now the focus of a new fan magazine.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)

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History
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

A World Without World War I, Featuring Health-Nut Hitler

Vladimir Lenin in 1900. In our counterfactual history, his career as the producer of the musical Pins and Needles is only a few years away.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:43 pm

This is part of an All Things Considered series that imagines a counterfactual history of World War I.

This summer marks 100 years since the start of World War I. Many argue that the conflict was inevitable — but what if it wasn't?

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The Salt
2:21 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Save The Escargot! Snail-Devouring Predator Rears Its Head In France

A specimen of Platydemus manokwari collected in a greenhouse at Caen in Normandy. You can see its white pharynx protruding from the underside, ingesting soft tissues of a specimen of the Mediterranean snail.
Pierre Gros/PeerJ

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:06 pm

Oh, no, not the escargot!

A vicious little worm with an appetite for snails has made its European debut. And that has some scientists worried about the future of France's famed mollusk appetizer.

The New Guinea flatworm (Platydemus manokwari) is the lone worm on the Global Invasive Species Database's list of 100 of the world's most dangerous invaders. And last November, it was discovered in a greenhouse in Caen, Normandy.

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Parallels
12:24 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Norway Takes The Lead In Electric Cars (With Generous Subsidies)

Jonette Øyen with her Nissan Leaf outside the National Archives in Norway, where she works. Next month Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric.
Sidsel Overgaard NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

When Jonette Øyen bought her first electric car, it turned heads. "Now nobody turns around!" she says with a laugh.

Sometime in April, Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric. One percent may not sound like a huge figure, but in the U.S., the equivalent number would be something close to .07 percent.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Libyan Premier Dismissed Over Oil Port Standoff With Rebels

The North Korean-flagged tanker "Morning Glory" is docked at Sidra's export terminal at Ras Lanuf earlier this week.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters/Landov

Libya's prime minister lost a vote of confidence and has been dismissed after his government was unable to stop a North Korean-flagged tanker from loading oil at a rebel-held port and reportedly breaking through a naval blockade.

Ali Zeidan was replaced temporarily by the country's defense minister, Abdallah al-Thinni, parliamentary spokesman Omar Hmeidan said.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Reporter For Swedish Radio Shot Dead In Afghanistan

A photo from last year of Swedish Radio journalist Nils Horner, who was killed Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Mattias Ahlm AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:08 am

A Swedish journalist was gunned down in a heavily guarded section of the Afghan capital that is home to Westerners working for aid agencies, embassies and news organizations.

Nils Horner, 51, who has dual British-Swedish nationality, worked for Swedish Radio and had been in Afghanistan for only a few days prior to Tuesday's attack in Kabul.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue March 11, 2014

'Ringing' Phones Do Not Mean Malaysian Passengers Are OK

In Beijing, anxious relatives continue to wait for word about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Beijing-bound jet disappeared on Saturday.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:18 am

Already heartbreaking images of grieving family and friends only become more poignant when you hear this:

Some family members and friends of the 239 people who haven't been heard from since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared Saturday say they've been calling their loved ones' cellphones and hearing rings — though no one picked up the calls.

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World
8:28 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Why Is Locating A Lost Airliner So Hard?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Crimean Parliament Passes 'Declaration Of Independence'

A masked man, believed to be a Russian soldier, holds a Crimean flag as members of a pro-Russian self-defense unit stand in formation Monday in the regional capital of Simferopol.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:51 am

"Crimea's regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a 'declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,' " The Associated Press reports. "The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote on Sunday in favor of joining Russia."

That's just one of several developments Tuesday as the crisis in Ukraine continues. Among the other news:

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Confusion Reigns Over Missing Jet's Final Location

As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has expanded, teams from many countries have been involved. This navigator was aboard a Vietnamese helicopter searching the waters off that nation's coast.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 4:23 am

This post has been updated.

There's no sign yet of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — the Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard that disappeared early Saturday while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

At the same time, there is confusion as to where authorities last spotted the jet.

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World
4:53 am
Tue March 11, 2014

New Zealand Man Wagers His Name In A Poker Game

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. And I'm looking for a Mr. Frostnova. He's a 22-year-old from New Zealand who lost a poker bet a few years ago. He wagered his name. And after losing, he had to change his name to one just shy of the hundred-character limit for new names in New Zealand; this came to light recently because his passport expired. His full legal name, a mouthful, wait for it: Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova.

Europe
4:48 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Weighs Heavy On Other Foreign Policy Issues

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our next guest is Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East policy advisor at the State Department. He came to our studio this morning to weigh in on the consequences of the Ukraine crisis on two other major foreign policy issues: The Syrian Civil War and the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Good morning.

AARON DAVID MILLER: Morning.

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Europe
4:46 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Examining The Relationship Between Obama And Putin

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

On Independence Square in Kiev this morning, a 62-year-old Ukrainian, Igor Voscovonyanko(ph), was venting his frustration. Russia is effectively occupying part of his country, Crimea, and he's not convinced economic sanctions or anything else can stop Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

IGOR VOSCOVONYANKO: It is not enough. They are not enough because Putin's will is only occupation.

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Asia
3:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Missing Passenger Jet Could Have Gone Off Radar

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Iraq
1:43 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Iraq, Anbar Faces Extremists Stronger Than Those U.S. Fought

Iraqi Shiite mourners carry the coffin of a soldier killed in clashes with anti-government fighters in Fallujah earlier this month. The government faces a months-long crisis in Anbar province, where it has lost the city of Fallujah as well as shifting parts of provincial capital Ramadi to anti-government militants.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there, says Brett McGurk, one of the State Department's top officials for Iraq.

The militants, who have drawn strength amid the war in Syria over the border, have taken over parts of Anbar over the last three months.

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Parallels
1:32 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Tsunami's Wake, Fierce Debate Over Japan's 'Great Wall'

Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Three years after the massive tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, the government is building the biggest anti-tsunami barriers ever.

The vast network of supersized sea walls, mocked by some as "the Great Wall of Japan," is already underway and would stretch 230 miles and cost nearly $8 billion.

The wall is designed to protect places like the small port city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. With its dramatic hills, white fishing boats and seafood market, Kesennuma has the pleasant nautical feel of Seattle.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:57 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Plane Lost, Uncertainties Regained

Uncertainty is the order of the day as officials in Kuala Lumpur brief the media on a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.
How Foo Yeen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:56 am

We are rarely lost anymore.

In a foreign city or just a drive out of town, our GPS-enabled smartphones pin our positions on digital maps to within a few meters. We are rarely without facts anymore. Any question that has an objective answer — from the last day of the Civil War to the maximum speed of a Boeing 777 — is as close as Google. For a broad class of experience in modern life we have become very used to "knowing." Events a world away may be subject to our opinions, but rarely anymore are they cloaked in an enveloping darkness.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

How An Aircraft Can Fall From The Sky Midflight

Brazil's navy sailors recover debris from Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean on June 8, 2009. It took until 2012 to detail what happened in that crash.
AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:54 am

There's always a risk in flying, but the phase in which a plane is cruising at high altitude is widely considered to be safe. And that's what makes the mystery of what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 so confounding.

"Whatever happened happened quickly and resulted in a catastrophic departure from the air," Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board who is now a consultant with CBS news, told NPR's Melissa Block.

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The Salt
3:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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History
3:10 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

QUIZ: What Came Out Of World War I?

World War I was when the old world became the new. Here, a German cavalryman wears a gas mask and carries a long spear or pole, from two different ages of war.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

World War I shook up the world in a dramatic way — and from that chaos emerged inventions, words and other things we still use today.

Can you identify them all?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Space
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Earthbound Tensions Don't Reach Russian-American Space Partnership

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 3:20 pm

U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins is expected to land in Kazakhstan, and despite diplomatic tensions the Russians plan to pick him up. It's another sign that U.S. and Russia remain tied at the hip in space.

Latin America
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Drug Cartel Boss Dies A Second Time

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 7:34 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Europe
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. This all complicates things on the diplomatic front.

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Europe
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

In Crimea, Public Relations Can Be As Dangerous As Politics

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Crimea votes this coming Sunday on whether to claim independence from Ukraine. Polls indicate the measure is sure to pass. But pro-Russian politicians are leaving nothing to chance. They've imposed a near total blackout on information from the government in Kiev.

And as NPR's Gregory Warner reports, volunteers are taking great risks to get that information into Crimea.

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