World News

Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mubarak's Release From Prison Cuts Across Egypt's Divisions

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:07 pm

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.

But the military appears to be consolidating its power.

There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.

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Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Week In Review: The Latest On Egypt And Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mubarak's move to house arrest was just one development in a tumultuous week in the Middle East. The civil war in Syria also took a stunning turn. It appears chemical weapons were used in an attack on a rebel area on a far larger scale than anything that's been alleged before.

To reflect on the state of the region we called Shadee Hameed. He's an analyst with the Brookings Center in Doha and a frequent guest on our program. Good morning.

SHADI HAMID: Hi. Thanks for having me.

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Asia
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

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Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Coach Insists Soccer Can Unite Egyptians

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our next guest says the only thing that can unite all Egyptians is soccer. American Bob Bradley is coach of Egypt's national soccer team. They're closing in on a spot in next year's World Cup, something Egypt hasn't done since 1990. We reached Coach Bradley earlier in Cairo. Good morning to you, Coach, thanks for coming on the program.

BOB BRADLEY: No problem. It's good to be with you.

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Planet Money
1:24 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Charity That Just Gives Money To Poor People

Bernard Omondi got $1,000 from GiveDirectly.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:41 am

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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Africa
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Release Sparks New Debate Over Egypt's Future

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and immediately flown to a military hospital in Cairo. The court-ordered release does not mean the end of his problems. The 85-year-old Mubarak is still facing charges of conspiracy and murder in a re-trial that could begin as early as this weekend. A small group of Mubarak supporters gathered outside the prison for his release, but overall the decision to transfer him to the hospital has not ignited any street protests.

Afghanistan
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Some Afghans Already Cynical About Next Year's Election

April 5, 2014 — that's the day Afghans are scheduled to head to the polls to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. He's constitutionally banned from running for a third term. But, in a country that loves a good conspiracy theory, many think that Karzai will find some way to stay in power. Even if he doesn't, there are still many questions about how free and fair next year's vote will be.

Asia
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Former Chinese Politician Has Spirited Defense At Trial

The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.

Middle East
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Syrian Doctor Describes Treating Chemical Weapons Victims

Hundreds of people are believed to have perished in an alleged government-launched chemical weapon attack earlier this week on the rebel stronghold of Ghouta, outside of Damascus. Melissa Blocks speaks with Abo Abdulrahman, a doctor from a field hospital there, who reports an enormous influx of patients coming into his clinic.

Africa
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Latest Clashes In Egypt Bloodier Than 2011 Revolution

Melissa Block talks to Heba Morayef, Director of Human Rights Watch's Egypt office, about their latest report on human rights violations.

Parallels
12:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

In Familiar Refrain, Syria Faces Criticism, Not Intervention

A Syrian man protesting an alleged chemical weapons attack in his homeland holds up a placard Wednesday in front of the United Nations offices in Beirut.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:43 pm

The international community once again rose in near unanimity to condemn a mass killing of civilians in Syria. But, as with so many previous episodes, no one proposed concrete action intended to prevent such bloodshed in the future.

The White House on Thursday expressed "deep concern" and urged a U.N. investigation into what the Syrian opposition says was a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Wednesday that left hundreds dead.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bo Xilai's Corruption Trial In China Kicks Off With A Twist

In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai appears Thursday on the first day of his trial in eastern China's Shandong province. Interestingly, he was photographed flanked by two very tall policemen.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:07 pm

In China, recent Communist Party show trials have featured cowed defendants acknowledging their crimes and offering apologies. Not this one.

The country's biggest trial in decades kicked off Thursday with the defendant, former politburo member Bo Xilai, denying guilt, claiming his confession was coerced and branding the testimony of one of his accusers — in this case his wife — "laughable."

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Parallels
11:33 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Case: What's The Best Approach With Ex-Dictators?

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and put under house arrest at a military hospital.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:38 am

When Hosni Mubarak was whisked out of prison by helicopter on Thursday, he did not become a free man. The former Egyptian leader, 85, was taken to a military hospital in Cairo, where he's under house arrest and still faces criminal charges.

But to many, the move was highly symbolic, the latest sign that the 2011 revolution is being rolled back and that the country's future is growing messier and more complicated by the day.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Thu August 22, 2013

VIDEO: Russian Hovercraft Storms Ashore, Surprises Beachgoers

Zubr-class air cushion landing craft "Kerkyra" seen in St. Petersburg, in 2004. A vessel similar to this one came ashore unexpectedly amid sunbathers on the Baltic coast.
Dmitry Lovetsky Associated Press

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:31 am

A giant Russian military hovercraft made an amphibious landing on a beach full of stunned sunbathers along the Baltic coast.

The massive 187-foot-long vessel, which rides on a cushion of air, is seen gently gliding up onto the sand as beachgoers in Mechnikovo, Kaliningrad, gawk and snap photos.

Russia's RT.com says no one was hurt in the incident.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak Released From Prison, Now Under House Arrest

A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak celebrates his release from prison on Thursday. He's still under house arrest while awaiting retrial on various charges.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:04 am

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from the prison where he's been held while awaiting a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters in 2011. The protesters lost their lives during the demonstrations that led to the topping of Mubarak's three-decade-old regime.

Earlier this week, a court ruled that after being held for two years while on trial and during his appeals, Mubarak could no longer be kept in prison. He's also facing corruption charges.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Chemical Weapons Claims Spur Calls For Force Against Syria

Gas mask in one hand and rifle in the other, a Free Syrian Army fighter sits inside a house in the city of Homs early Thursday.
Yazan Homsy Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:11 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: The BBC's Nick Bryant reports

Claims by the opposition in Syria that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons during an attack Wednesday near Damascus — killing scores of people, they say — are being followed Thursday by word that:

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Middle East
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

U.N. Inspectors Try To Get To Site Of Alleged Syrian Attack

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And we turn now to Charles Duelfer, a long-time U.N. weapons inspector. He was the author of the 2004 Duelfer Report, which confirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the U.S. invaded. Good morning.

CHARLES DUELFER: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, looking here at Syria and based on your extensive experience as a weapons inspector, do the scenes that we're seeing in these opposition videos, look to you consistent with what you would expect to see in a chemical attack?

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Middle East
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Opposition Accuses Syria's Regime Of Chemical Weapons Attack

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. And now to some horrific scenes in Syria.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHRIEKING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking in foreign language)

GREENE: This is the sound from one of the many videos uploaded onto the Internet yesterday showing Syrian civilians, including children, convulsing and gasping for breath in an area outside of Damascus that's a rebel stronghold.

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Asia
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bo Xilai's High-Profile Trial Gets Underway In China

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Parallels
12:55 am
Thu August 22, 2013

China's College Grads Face A New Reality: Fewer Jobs

Thousands descended on a job fair in Shanghai earlier this year. This summer nearly 7 million people graduated from Chinese colleges, but jobs are harder to find than in previous years.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:03 pm

It's been about two months since college graduation, and more than 3 million graduates from this year and last still don't have jobs, according to government officials.

That's not in the U.S., but in China.

China is home to the world's fastest-growing major economy. But with nearly 7 million college graduates this year, a record number, finding work is tough and a worry for the ruling Communist Party.

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Africa
3:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Morsi Opponent: Democracy The Path Out Of Violence

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

A court has ordered that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak be released from jail, at least temporarily. The news adds another coal to what is already a white-hot fire in Egypt. More than a thousand people have died, most supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in a brutal crackdown by government troops.

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Middle East
3:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Russia Defends Syria Amid Chemical Weapons Allegations

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The latest reports of chemical weapon attacks in Syria set off a tense debate in the United Nation Security Council. It met this afternoon in an urgent session. The U.N. has long been divided over how to deal with Syria. The United States and its partners are calling for a full investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons, but Russia is casting doubts on the allegations and is defending the Syrian government's position.

NPR's Michele Kelemen has our story.

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Middle East
3:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Syrian Government Accused Again Of Using Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Anti-government activists in Syria are accusing President Bashar al-Assad's forces of deploying a chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of the capital, Damascus. The government denied the attack, but the allegations have prompted the United Nations to call an emergency meeting. Melissa Block talks to Washington Post reporter Loveday Morris for more.

Parallels
3:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Israeli Politician Stirs Up The Religious-Secular Debate

Ruth Calderon, a religious scholar, recently became a member of Israeli's parliament and has been a leading voice on issues that often divide the country's religious and secular communities.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 6:19 am

When Ruth Calderon is nervous, she does her nails.

"It helps," she grins. "Did you ever try? It puts you together. If you really are nervous you do bright red."

Calderon, 51, is a scholar and teacher of Jewish religious texts. She is also a novice Israeli politician, part of the new Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) party that unexpectedly took 19 seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, last January.

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Asia
3:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Former High-Profile Chinese Politician Heads To Court

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A flamboyant politician in China, once considered a presidential contender, will go on trial in the eastern city of Jinan tomorrow. Bo Xilai is one of the highest ranking Communist Party officials to face trial in decades. Many Chinese believe he's being prosecuted for corruption because he lost an internal power struggle.

But as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Jinan, the root causes of Bo's dramatic downfall are unlikely to come out in court.

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Technology
3:22 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Facebook CEO's Internet Crusade Hopes To Bring Billions Online

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has teamed up with other tech giants to pursue the goal of providing Internet service to five billion people in the developing world. The group, called Internet.org, says data can be used more efficiently and participating partners can work cooperatively to make access to the web affordable in emerging economies. Zuckerberg makes the case on his Facebook page for how a global Internet infrastructure can be created. But the document doesn't have tangible commitments from Facebook or other participating companies.

Parallels
12:36 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Panning For Gold In South Sudan, A Gram At A Time

South Sudanese pan for gold in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of the impoverished country. Tens of thousands of informal miners are looking for gold, and the government is trying to attract international mining companies to carry out the search on an industrial scale.
Hannah McNeish AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 5:08 pm

Digging a trench under the punishing midday sun, Thomas Lokinga stops only when he needs to wipe the sweat from his face. He is determined to find a nugget of gold amid the hard-baked ground in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of South Sudan, the world's newest nation.

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Parallels
11:47 am
Wed August 21, 2013

India And Other BRIC Economies Now Facing Headwinds

The Indian rupee has fallen nearly 16 percent against the dollar since May. The drop comes amid a slowdown in the country's economy. India's troubles are mirrored in other emerging economies that drove global growth for the past decade.
Zheng Huansong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 3:21 pm

High food prices, a currency in free fall, battered investors and slowing growth: India is facing a host of problems that have taken away the sheen from an economy that's had a decade of mostly stron

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The Salt
10:38 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Forget Cronuts: London's 'Townies' Take On Hybrid-Dessert Craze

American baker Bea Vo, who runs Bea's of Bloomsburg, a string of bakeries in London, came up with this answer to the cronut: the townie, a tartlet-brownie with a gooey center and a crisp outer shell.
Courtesy Bea's of Bloomsburgy Helena Marie Fletcher

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:45 am

What's a baker to do when all foodies can talk about, on both sides of the Atlantic, is the cronut craze, a croissant-doughnut that NPR reported on earlier this year? Simple: Come up with an equally addictive hybrid dessert.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Wed August 21, 2013

No Positive Tests For Doping At This Year's Tour De France

There were no positive doping tests during the 2013 Tour de France, officials say. Here, Chris Froome, the overall winner, steps into the anti-doping control bus after a stage in the race.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of samples taken from riders in this summer's Tour de France found no signs of doping, officials say. The epic race, which was put on for the hundredth time in 2013, has been at the center of recent doping scandals.

Anti-doping officials say they took 202 blood and urine samples before the race began, and an additional 419 during competition. Nearly 200 of those samples were taken with the goal of creating a "biological passport" for riders, to establish a baseline of their body chemistry.

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