Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has become a symbol of hope for change in Pakistan and the world. Since her near-fatal shooting in 2012, her voice and reach has grown, as she speaks out against the Taliban's influence, and advocates for education for Pakistani youth.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:27 pm
In China, countless television soap operas have been based on the adventures of Emperor Kangxi, a Qing ruler in the 17th century who, according to legend, would slip off his yellow dragon-embroidered silk robes to travel incognito among his people.
For several hours Thursday, a story went viral on the Chinese Internet that the new Communist equivalent of the emperor, President Xi Jinping, had pulled the same trick.
War photographer Tim Hetherington said he thought war was wired into young men. And he risked, and ultimately gave, his life to capture these young men in photographs and video — in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and other war zones. Hetherington was killed by shrapnel from a mortar round while taking pictures in Libya in 2011, during the uprising against President Moammar Gadhafi.
At the 2011 Academy Awards, the film Restrepo was among the documentaries nominated for an Oscar. It follows an American platoon on a remote mountaintop in what was, at the time, the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.
To make the film, writer Sebastian Junger teamed up with British photojournalist Tim Hetherington — who, walking the red carpet that night at the Oscars, might as well have been a young actor straight out of central casting: tall, handsome, charismatic.
Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest in a funeral attended by dignitaries from around the globe as well as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on Wednesday. It's the first funeral of a British politician attended by the Queen since Sir Winston Churchill's in 1965.
The front page headline on today's Financial Times is ominous - "Warning On Out-Of-Control China Debt." It's about an influential figure in Chinese financial circles, the head of a big accounting firm there and his warning follows similar expressions of concern by the International Monetary Fund and by bond rating firms. Simon Rabinovitch of the Financial Times wrote today's story and he joins us now from Beijing. Welcome to the program.
Two high-school sophomores — Ethan Wynkoop and Ti-Anna Chen — sneak away from their homes in suburban Washington, D.C., and fly to Hong Kong. They're searching for Ti-Anna's father, a Chinese emigre and dissident who believes that China is just a spark away from democratic revolution.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:52 pm
Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."
With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Hugh Heffner's empire has run afoul of conservative politicians in India, who have decided to halt plans for the country's first Playboy Club.
PB Lifestyle, the Indian firm with rights to the Playboy brand, had hoped that the club in the southwestern state of Goa would be the first of eight to be constructed over the next three years. They were hoping for as many as 120 such clubs in the coming decade.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:54 am
Processed food packed with salt, fat and sugar has been making incursions into the traditional diets of countries around the world. Even Italy isn't immune to the reach of junk food. But hard economic times are spurring Italians to rediscover home cooking, and especially bread making.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:39 pm
China on Tuesday detailed the structure of its military force in a special national defense report that also took a swipe at the United States for what it described as stoking tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 10:30 am
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for global economic growth, including in the United States, citing sharp cuts in government spending and the struggling eurozone.
The Washington, D.C.-based international lender's World Economic Outlook shaved its 2013 forecast to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent. It also trimmed its projection for 2014 to 4 percent from 4.1 percent.
OK, Venezuela's presidential election is not precisely tied, but remains in dispute. The government declared Nicolas Maduro the winner on Sunday night. He's the man picked by the late President Hugo Chavez to become his successor. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is challenging his narrow defeat, less than a percentage point, and Capriles' supporters clashed with police yesterday.
NPR's Juan Forero is on the line from Caracas. And, Juan, what is the opposition case here that something was wrong with the election?
In The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy In Retreat, former State Department adviser Vali Nasr describes veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke being all but frozen out by President Obama's inner circle, for whom Nasr believes diplomacy was a "lost art."
Instead of engaging civilians to find political solutions in Afghanistan and beyond, they would look first to the military and intelligence agencies for solutions that were politically popular — that includes getting U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
Each year, the town of Verona, Italy — home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet — receives thousands of letters of heartache and unrequited love addressed to the play's star-crossed heroine.
The tradition of sending letters to Juliet very likely goes back centuries. People started by leaving notes on a local landmark said to be Juliet's tomb. Later, many started sending mail directly to the city. By the 1990s, Verona was receiving so many letters, it created an office to deal with it. And each letter — the Juliet Club office gets more than 6,000 a year — is answered by hand.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 6:20 am
Germany is preparing for its most important terrorism trial in decades.
Ten people — eight of them of Turkish descent, one of Greek extraction and one a German policewoman, were gunned down between 2000 and 2007. For years, German authorities failed to see a link between the crimes, even though the same gun was used in all of the shootings. They also rejected any link to right-wing extremism.
More than 23,600 people were victims of human trafficking in Europe during a recent three-year period, according to a new European Union report that says the problem is growing worse. Its authors say the official figures do not come close to describing the crime, which has "hundreds of thousands of victims."
North Korea is celebrating the birthday of its founder, Kim Il Sung. The North's leader has been dead nearly 20 years but is treated like a god. And of course, his son; now, his grandson; have both succeeded him. As part of this year's festivities, North Korea sponsored a marathon in the capital, Pyongyang, that drew athletes from around the world; an event that came even though the North has been threatening a nuclear strike against the United States.
Tensions have been increasing between the United States and Russia, and things unraveled even more over the weekend. Russia named 18 Americans who will be barred from entering Russia because of an alleged involvement in human rights violations. Here's NPR's Corey Flintoff.
It's widely known that the world's icecaps are melting. While most people are focused on what we're losing, some have considered what might be gained by the disappearance of all that ice.
In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report estimating that 13 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the remaining undiscovered natural gas could be in the Arctic.
Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 9:30 am
Health officials in China say they've confirmed 11 new bird flu diagnoses, bringing the number of H7N9 infections to 60, with cases spread across several provinces, the official Xinhua news agency reports. The virus, which first infected people in Shanghai and eastern China, has now sickened at least one person in Beijing, along with two others in the central province of Henan.