World News

The Two-Way
5:12 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Kerry Warns North Korea, But Holds Out Hope For Diplomacy

A North Korean soldier on the bank of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, along the Chinese border.
Jacky Chen Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 11:00 am

Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.

"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Read more
Latin America
3:58 am
Fri April 12, 2013

In Venezuela, Democracy Is About More Than Voting

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:55 am

The late President Hugo Chavez appeared constantly on TV, and attacked media that criticized him. Now, only one opposition TV station remains. The left-leaning president called Globovision part of a right-wing conspiracy. Though Chavez is gone, the station's end may also be near.

Latin America
3:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue

Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:18 am

Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.

It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.

"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.

Read more
Latin America
3:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuela's Telenovelas

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, had a touch for the dramatic. He appeared on television all the time. It turns out, he also admired dramatic acting. In the 1990s, when he was in prison for an attempted coup, he never missed an episode of his favorite TV drama.

Once he gained power, a deeper drama developed. Venezuela was a huge exporter of Latin-American multi-episode dramas called telenovelas, until President Chavez's government changed that. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.

Read more
Asia
3:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Kerry In Seoul To Talk To South Korean Leaders

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:55 am

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Seoul, South Korea, at a time of escalating tension on the Korean peninsula. There are expectations that North Korea might soon launch a medium-range missile.

Africa
3:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Yoga Project Changes Lives In Nairobi's Slums

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The slums in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are among the biggest in Africa. There is crushing poverty, high unemployment, poor sanitation and rampant crime. It is not the kind of place where you'd expect a burgeoning yoga scene to take root, but that's what reporter Jill Craig found.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOGA SESSION)

UNIDENTIFIED MEN AND WOMEN: (chanting) Ohm...

Read more
Asia
4:07 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Report: North Korea May Be Able To Deliver Nuclear Weapons

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. A stunning revelation today from a member of Congress. It came from Republican Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, during an exchange on Capitol Hill with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lamborn cited a Defense Intelligence Agency report on North Korea's military capability, one that had not yet been released. Here's what Rep. Lamborn said.

Read more
Business
3:49 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Japan's Big Stimulus Move Shocks Globe's Market Watchers

Passersby watch share prices spike in Tokyo on April 4, the day Japan's central bank announced a massive purchase of government bonds. The bank hopes the scale of the effort will boost Japan's slow-moving economy.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.

Read more
Europe
3:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Louvre Employees Walk Off Job After Rash Of Pickpocketing

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Pickpockets closed Paris' famed Louvre museum. Staff went on strike seeking greater protection from pickpockets, including children, who have been targeting staff and tourists alike.

Latin America
3:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Presidential Candidates Wrap Up Campaigns In Venezuela

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Steve Inskeep of Morning Edition from Venezuela about the country's presidential election. Thursday is the last day for the candidates to campaign. Venezuelans will choose a new president, replacing the late Hugo Chavez, on Sunday.

U.S.
3:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Off-Limits Since Sept. 11, A Texas-Mexico Crossing Re-Opens

Catarino Oreste Vasquez, 70, says residents of Boquillas, Mexico, yearn for visitors now that the border crossing has reopened.
Lorne Matalon Marfa Public Radio

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:20 pm

Boquillas, Mexico, a riverside hamlet of 90 people, sits a minute by foot across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park in Texas, a boundless tapestry of rock and high desert. Mexicans used to cross to work, buy supplies in the park or visit family. Americans would wade across the river to savor Mexico for a few hours. The border, at least here, was an abstract one that people on either side ignored. But that was before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Afterward, this part of the border was sealed.

Read more
Business
2:36 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Joint Airbag Recall Affects More Than 3 Million Cars

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

More than three million cars and trucks worldwide are being recalled. Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Pontiac all say some of their vehicles made between 2001 and 2003 could potentially have faulty airbags.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Price Tag On Cyprus Bailout Goes Up

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:08 pm

It's going to cost more to bail out Cyprus than originally projected, with officials now saying the cost will be $30 billion instead of the original estimate of $23 billion.

"It's a fact the memorandum of November talked about 17.5 billion [euros] in financing needs. And it has emerged this figure has become 23 billion [euros]," government spokesman Christos Stylianides was quoted by the BBC as saying on Thursday.

Read more
Asia
1:51 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Symbol Of Korean Cooperation Becomes A Political Casualty

A South Korean soldier patrols as vehicles returning from the jointly run Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea arrive at a checkpoint in Paju, north of Seoul, on April 6.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:33 pm

This week, North Korea closed off the last avenue of economic cooperation with its rival, South Korea. Pyongyang says the closing of Kaesong — a joint North-South industrial complex — is temporary.

But the move is a big symbolic blow on the Korean peninsula and a potential disaster for some of the South Korean businesses that have invested there.

Read more
World
12:16 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

What's At Stake In Elections In Venezuela And Pakistan

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Elections come up in Venezuela this weekend and Pakistan next month, two very different places of critical importance to the United States and to their regions. More on Pakistan in a few minutes.

Read more
Books
11:59 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Oil, Chavez And Telenovelas: The Rise Of The Venezuelan Novel

Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969), circa 1950.
Edwin Karmiol Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:55 am

Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.

For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?

Read more
The Two-Way
7:51 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Japanese Car Makers Recall Millions Of Vehicles Over Faulty Airbags

The 2002 Toyota Corolla. At least some of them are subject to recall.
Jeff Kowalsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:14 am

Some 3.4 million vehicles produced by four Japanese automakers are being voluntarily recalled due to faulty airbag inflators.

The inflators were installed in some of Toyota's top-selling Camry and Corolla models produced since 2000. Certain Honda Civics and Mazdas are also subject to recall, which also reportedly includes the Maxima and Cube, according to Reuters.

The defective passenger-side airbag inflators were produced by Tokyo-based Takata at a Mexican plant, Reuters says.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:06 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Will North Korea Claim Victory And Stand Down?

On Wednesday, a North Korean soldier looked on from the banks of the Yalu River on the border with China.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:21 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula

As the world waits for what's expected to be another ballistic missile test by North Korea sometime in the next few days, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports there's reason to think that tensions on the Korean Peninsula might soon ease.

Read more
Latin America
3:15 am
Thu April 11, 2013

How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans

Maria Colmenares lives in a concrete-block house on a mountainside overlooking the presidential palace in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. Her story says much about the oil-rich and turbulent Latin American nation.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:46 am

In the days before elevators, there was no such thing as a penthouse on the top floor. The highest floors of a building had cheaper rents because the stairs were hard to climb.

Caracas, Venezuela, is organized roughly the same way, with many poor neighborhoods climbing up the sides of a mountain valley. Some of the poorest homes are among the most remote, accessible not by any road but by alleyways and long flights of stairs.

Read more
Asia
3:15 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Amid Korean Tensions, Kerry To visit Seoul

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's get an update now on those tensions on the Korean peninsula. South Korea's foreign minister has warned that North Korea could launch a medium-range missile at, quote, "any time." Also, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the North Koreans are skating close to a dangerous line. Both the United States and South Korea have put their forces in South Korea on heightened alert, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due in Seoul tomorrow to assess the situation.

Read more
Latin America
1:23 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Venezuela's Next Leader Faces Tough Choice On Oil Program

Venezuela's acting president, Nicolas Maduro, fist-bumps a worker of the state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., last month. Maduro faces opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in Sunday's presidential election. Whoever wins will have to tackle the legacy of Chavez's oil programs.
Miraflores Presidential Press Office AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:59 am

As Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez thought in grandiose terms, and his country's vast oil riches enabled him to act on his vision. But Chavez died before he had to deal with the flaws in his model, and some hard choices await his successor.

Key to Chavez's notion of "21st Century Socialism" was the redistribution of Venezuela's oil earnings. The country's oil reserves — estimated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to be the largest in the world — are worth tens of billions of dollars a year in potential revenue.

Read more
Movies
2:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Mexican Film Lampoons The Rich And Sparks National Discussion

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

In Mexico, people are rushing to see a new film that pokes fun at the country's rich. The movie has been breaking box office records. It's the first feature for the director who comes from Mexico's elite.

But as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City, he says he learned humbling life lessons during his time at an American film school.

Read more
The Salt
2:29 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

As Promised: Obama Wants To Overhaul Global Anti-Hunger Efforts

Palestinians unload bags of flour donated by USAID, or the United States Agency for International Development, at a depot in the West Bank village of Anin in 2008.
Mohammed Ballas AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 3:10 pm

The White House unveiled its proposal Wednesday for drastic changes in government programs that donate food to fight hunger abroad — and surprised no one.

As we reported last week, rumors of such an overhaul had been circulating for weeks, arousing both hope and anger among organizations involved in global anti-hunger programs.

Read more
Latin America
2:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Venezuelan Candidates Campaign In Chavez's Long Shadow

Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Valencia, Venezuela, on Tuesday. The country's voters go to the polls this weekend to choose a successor to longtime leader Hugo Chavez, who died last month.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:16 pm

For the first time in 14 years, Hugo Chavez is not on the ballot for a presidential election in Venezuela. The firebrand leftist died last month at 58 after a long fight with cancer.

Pollsters say the sympathy vote and the state's huge resources will translate into a big victory in Sunday's election for Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver turned government minister who had been a Chavez loyalist for 20 years.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Test-Tube Baby Pioneer Dies

Dr. Robert Edwards holds the world's first "test-tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978. A midwife stands in the center, with gynecologist Patrick Steptoe on the right.
Keystone Getty Images

The man whose research led to the world's first test-tube baby more than three decades ago, has died at age 87.

Robert Edwards, who later won the Nobel Prize, began experimenting with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in the late 1960s. His work, controversial at the time, eventually led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.

Since then, IVF has resulted in about 5 million babies worldwide, according to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Read more
The Salt
12:26 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Earliest Cookware Was Used To Make Fish Soup

Pots like this 15,000-year-old vessel from Japan are among the world's earliest cookware.
Tokamachi City Museum

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Roasted fish on a stick is OK, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to cook up some fish soup?

That's what might have crossed the minds of hunter-gatherers who made the world's first cooking pots. A new analysis of pottery made 15,000 years ago in what's now Japan reveals that it was used to cook seafood, probably salmon.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:28 am
Wed April 10, 2013

She Won $40,000! No, It Was $40 Million! Happy Dance Time!

The Windsor Star shows." href="/post/she-won-40000-no-it-was-40-million-happy-dance-time" class="noexit lightbox">
When Maria Carreiro found out she had won $40 million, she danced with joy. She recreated her "happy dance" for reporters, as a video posted by The Windsor Star shows.
The Windsor Star

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 10:58 am

Maria Carreiro of Toronto was thrilled when she thought she had won $40,000 (Canadian).

Read more
The Two-Way
9:14 am
Wed April 10, 2013

For Some Britons, Thatcher's Death Provokes Celebrations

Margaret Thatcher provoked great divisions and her critics have spoken out following her death. These graffiti appeared in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, a day after she died.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:41 am

A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."

In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.

Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.

Read more
National Security
9:07 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'The Way Of The Knife': Soldiers, Spies And Shadow Wars

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:10 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Russian Parliament Moves Ahead On Anti-Blasphemy Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in November.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:14 am

Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to an anti-blasphemy bill that would make it a crime to offend religious feelings.

The BBC reports that the bill was drafted last year after members of the punk band Pussy Riot used Moscow's main Russian Orthodox cathedral to perform a protest song against President Vladimir Putin.

Read more

Pages