World News

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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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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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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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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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Release Mubarak, Egyptian Court Orders

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits in the dock during a June 8 court hearing in Cairo.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:57 am

An Egyptian court has ordered that former President Hosni Mubarak be released from custody while he awaits a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters during the 2011 protests that led to the toppling of his government, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Cairo.

Peter adds that even though that case and others related to corruption charges are still active, Mubarak's release would "likely spark anxiety that the military-backed government now in charge is returning Egypt to the authoritarian state it was in before the Arab Spring."

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Middle East
6:54 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Syrian Government Accused In Gas Attacks On Civilians

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Parallels
5:30 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Japan Projects A More Assertive Image To The World

A Japanese tank fires during an annual training exercise at the foot of Mount Fuji in on Tuesday.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:22 pm

Japan's military held large-scale exercises at the foot of Mount Fuji on Tuesday as Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera cited "deepening uncertainties" in the region as justification for expanding the role of Japan's armed forces at home and abroad.

Onodera said Japan's military would increasingly be called upon to participate in international peacekeeping operations and bilateral activities with allies.

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The Two-Way
4:41 am
Wed August 21, 2013

New Reports Of Chemical Weapons In Syria; Many May Be Dead

Free Syrian Army fighters man an anti-aircraft gun on the back of a truck in Deir al-Zor on Tuesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 9:14 am

(We most recently updated this post at 9:10 a.m. ET.)

"Two Syrian pro-opposition groups are claiming that dozens of people were killed Wednesday in a poisonous gas attack near Damascus," NPR's Jean Cochran reported earlier this morning on our Newscast. The groups are blaming the attack on government forces, she said.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Since Crackdown In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood's Support Wanes

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Egypt's Political Crisis Is Creating Economic Trouble

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The crisis in Egypt has been devastating for that country's economy, and especially for businesses in Cairo. Shops that usually stay open late into the night are closing early because of a curfew imposed by the military. Many foreign companies have stopped operations altogether. For the time being, economists say that Egypt can avoid collapse with the help of a multi-billion dollar aid package from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

U.S. Discusses What To Do With Aid To Egypt

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The political crisis in Egypt could be on the verge of yet another dramatic turn: A judge in Cairo just ordered that former dictator Hosni Mubarak be released from jail.

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Media
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

'Guardian' Destroyed Hard Drives With Snowden Documents

Audie Cornish talks to Guardian editor in chief Alan Rusbridger. Rusbridger says he agreed to destroy hard drives containing information provided by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to be able to continue to report on the materials rather than surrender them to the courts. He says the newspaper has digital copies outside of the UK.

Latin America
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Mexico Schooled Over More Than 100 Mistakes In New Textbooks

In Mexico, as students head back to the classroom this week, their teachers will have extra work ahead of them. They're going to have to correct more than a hundred errors found in the free textbooks handed out to millions of students.

Africa
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Checkpoints And Curfews Complicate Life For Egyptians

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 7:22 pm

During the 2011 uprising in Egypt, police disappeared from the streets and were replaced by neighborhood watch committees. The groups have re-emerged during the violent stand-off between Egypt's military rulers and Islamist supporters of deposed President Morsi and people are reporting incidents of theft and harassment at checkpoints.

Middle East
3:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Pakistan's Former President Charged In Benazir Bhutto Murder

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been charged with murder in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf is back in Pakistan after a self-imposed exile. He denies the charges. Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at The Atlantic Council, speaks with Melissa Block about the implications of the case.

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