World News

The Two-Way
11:21 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Interpol Issues Alert Following Al-Qaida-Linked Prison Breaks

Libyans gather near a burned-out vehicle after an attack outside the courthouse in Benghazi on July 28, the day after more than 1,000 inmates escaped during a prison riot.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:32 pm

A series of high-profile prison breaks linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan has prompted Interpol to issue a global security alert asking member countries to "swiftly process any information linked to these events."

The Lyon, France-based international police agency noted that because al-Qaida was suspected to be involved in the jailbreaks, it was urgent to determine whether the organization was directly linked and to capture the escapees.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Suicide Bombers Attack Indian Consulate In Afghanistan

Security officials investigate the scene of an attack near the Indian consulate in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Saturday.
Babrak Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:26 pm

A botched attack on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad has left nine civilians dead in addition to the three suicide bombers, security officials say.

NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul that the Taliban has disclaimed responsibility for the bombing in which two-dozen people were also wounded.

Sean says the explosion occurred outside the consulate but that most of the victims were at a neighboring mosque. Two other attackers died in a gun battle with security forces.

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Iraq
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

The Bob Dylan Of Iran

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Four years ago, Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo was touring in Italy when he learned when he learned he would not be able to go home. The Iranian Revolutionary Court had ruled that one of Namjoo's songs disparaged the Quran. He would have to serve five years in prison if he set foot back in Iran. But the music that concerned the court was somewhat unusual for Namjoo; most of his music actually steers clear of religion and politics.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

MOHSEN NAMJOO: (Singing in foreign language)

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Middle East
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Talks In Mideast May Hinge On Two-State Solution

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 6:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Africa
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Zimbabwe Election Ruled Fair By African Union

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. We begin in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe and his party are predicting a landslide victory in the election held earlier this week. But the opposition is crying voter fraud and threatening protests. From the capital, Harare, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

CROWD: (Foreign language spoken)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Parallels
2:44 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Bhutan's New Prime Minister Says Happiness Isn't Everything

Tshering Tobgay receives appointment as prime minister in the Bhutanese capital, Thimpu, last week.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 6:28 am

Sad but true, Bhutan's Gross National Happiness index is not immune to politics.

Much has been made in recent years of the measure preferred by the tiny Buddhist kingdom over such cold and utilitarian Western-style metrics as gross domestic product.

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World
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

U.S. State Department Cautiously On Alert

U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world will be closed on Sunday and possible for longer. The State Department says it is taking the step "out of an abundance of caution" and wouldn't say if they are receiving direct threats. Members of Congress say there are concerns about an al-Qaida-linked attack. Last year, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in Benghazi, along with three other Americans. At that time, there were also violent protests at U.S. embassies in Cairo and Tunisia.

Around the Nation
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Gay Bars Join Russia Protests By Boycotting Stoli

Gay bars from West Hollywood to London are condemning Russia's anti-gay laws by shunning one of its most iconic exports: vodka. The foremost brand affected by the boycott is Stolichnaya, or Stoli. The company says it's being wrongfully targeted.

Economy
3:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Weakening Yen Strengthens Toyota's Profits

Friday, Toyota announced that it nearly doubled its quarterly profit over one year ago. The robust earnings were largely due to the weakening of the Yen, brought on by the economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Political Crisis In Egypt
2:28 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

In Egypt, 'Third Square' Protesters Seek Middle Road

Activists from a group called "Third Square," which promotes a middle way in the rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the army's overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, shout slogans as they gather to oppose both parties at Sphinx Square in Giza on July 30.
Asmaa Waguih Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:05 pm

Tensions are running high in Egypt, as supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi continue their protests. But they aren't the only ones.

Barely two weeks after Morsi was toppled in early July, a new protest movement emerged on the scene in Cairo.

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Shots - Health News
1:13 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Could Hotter Temperatures From Climate Change Boost Violence?

A police officer guards Cambodia's famed temple of Angkor Wat. The powerful city-state collapsed in 1431 after suffering through two decades of droughts.
Heng Sinith AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:48 pm

Rates of homicide and other violent crimes often spike in cities during heat waves. People get cranky. Tempers flare.

So as the Earth gets hotter because of climate change, will it also become more violent?

Many scientists have thought so. And now a team of economists offers the first quantitative estimates for just how much weather changes might amplify human conflict.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Nepal To Clamp Down On Everest Expeditions

Mountaineers on the summit of Mount Everest in May.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:54 am

The Nepalese government says it will tightly monitor next year's ascents of Mount Everest after an embarrassing high-altitude brawl in April between a European climbing team and their Sherpa guides.

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Barbershop
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Barbershop Guys Take A Swing At Sports Controversies

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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National Security
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Bradley Manning: Whistleblower Or Traitor?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Faith Matters
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Pope Francis' Comments: 'A Bridge, Not A Barrier'?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the barbershop guys are in to talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. But first, it's time for "Faith Matters." That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. Today, we want to take a look back at Pope Francis' history making trip to Brazil. By now, you've probably heard that His Holiness made headlines with a comment about gays in the priesthood.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Fri August 2, 2013

State Department Issues Worldwide Travel Alert

The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert Friday, warning of potential terrorist attacks.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:28 pm

The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert because of an al-Qaida threat that is particularly significant in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," State said in a statement. "This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2013."

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Europe
6:14 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Berlusconi Vows To Fight Back After Tax Conviction

The front pages of the main Italian newspapers in Rome on Friday after Italy's top court upheld a jail sentence against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:08 am

After some 20 trials over two decades, Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi received his first definitive conviction Thursday for evading almost $10 million in taxes while he was prime minister.

After more than seven hours of deliberations, Judge Antonio Esposito read the ruling of the five Supreme Court judges: "In the name of the Italian people," the judge declared, "Berlusconi's conviction and prison term are irrevocable."

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Snowden Has Job Offers, Place To Live, Russian Lawyer Says

Edward Snowden has chosen where to live in Russia, which granted him asylum Thursday, his lawyer said. Here, Snowden is seen at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on July 12. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison.
Courtesy of Human Rights Watch

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:20 am

NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who spent more than a month at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport before being granted a one-year asylum Thursday, has picked out a place to live in Russia, his attorney there says.

Snowden is wanted on charges of espionage by the United States for leaking classified documents about secret U.S. surveillance programs. His departure from the Moscow airport ended, temporarily at least, weeks of uncertainty over his fate. He had applied to several other countries for asylum, as well.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Fri August 2, 2013

U.S. Embassies To Close Sunday, And Possibly Beyond, For Safety

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:46 pm

Few details have emerged about the U.S. plan to shut down embassies that would normally be open this Sunday. A senior State Department official says that the U.S. facilities may be closed for more days, as well. The closures are being described as "precautionary steps" that are being taken "out of an abundance of caution."

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Europe
3:48 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Cyclists Take Nighttime Ride Through Moscow's History

Cyclists honor Moscow's history while escaping the traffic during the annual Velonoch, or "Bike Night."
Mikhail Metzel AP

Moscow is a city steeped in history — and clogged with traffic. It's among the world's most congested centers, renowned for erratic drivers and dangerous roads.

In an effort to appreciate the history and avoid the gridlock, cyclists have been getting together since 2007 for an annual late-night tour to explore the capital by bike.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

In New Video Game, China Seizes Disputed Islands From Japan

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship Kurama leads other vessels during a fleet review amid heightened tension last year over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.
Itsuo Inouye AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 6:11 am

Chinese gamers may soon be able to settle by force a thorny international dispute between their government and Japan over who controls a small chain of islands in the East China Sea.

The basic platform of the newly released Glorious Mission Online was developed as a training tool for the People's Liberation Army. Game maker Giant Interactive Group (GIG) has expanded the "first-person shooter" game with a simulation of a Chinese amphibious assault on the Senkaku islands, as they are known in Tokyo, or Diaoyu, as Beijing calls them.

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Parallels
3:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

'Abenomics' Serving Up The Same Old Medicine In Japan?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans for reviving Japan's ailing economy are yielding mixed results so far.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

Ever since Japan's stock market bubble burst in the early 1990s, the country's economy has been stuck in a deflationary spiral. Wages and prices kept going down — and so did consumer spending.

After all, would you buy something today if you knew it was going to be cheaper tomorrow?

But when he came to power last December, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he could fix the problem, after two "lost decades."

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Europe
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Italian High Court Confirms Berlusconi's Conviction

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

Italy's top court has upheld a conviction and prison term for Italy's most prominent politician, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, on charges of tax fraud. This the first time he has been definitively convicted, after 20 years in which he was accused of multiple transgressions. However, the supreme court will now reconsider the law that would bar him from holding high office because of the conviction. This could allow the shaky coalition that governs Italy to remain in place.

Africa
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Morsi Supporters Stage Sit-Ins In Cairo As Tensions Rise

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

Tensions are growing among the thousands of pro-Morsi supporters camped out around a mosque in eastern Cairo. The government has ordered the protesters to disperse, sparking fears of fresh bloodshed.

Latin America
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

After Drug Policies Fail, Uruguay Tries Grand Pot Experiment

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

In the tiny South American nation of Uruguay, it's long been legal to smoke one's own homegrown marijuana. Now the government is getting close to putting the government in charge of producing and selling the nation's pot.

National Security
2:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

NSA Leaker Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 7:39 pm

Edward Snowden has been granted asylum for up to one year by Russia and has left the transit zone at Moscow's airport where he was holed up for more than a month. The Russian government says a condition for his amnesty is that he not reveal any more information that will damage the United States.

The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

U.S. Will Close All Embassies Sunday Over Security Concerns

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 4:43 pm

The United States will close all of its embassies on Sunday because of security concerns, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday.

AFP reports:

" 'The Department of State has instructed certain US embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4,' Harf told reporters.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Italy's High Court Affirms Berlusconi's Tax Fraud Conviction

Celebrations in Rome after the Italian Supreme Court's sentencing of Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

A tax fraud conviction against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been upheld by the country's highest court in a move that could imperil a fragile coalition government.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Kerry Says U.S. Plans To Stop Drone Strikes In Pakistan

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on Thursday.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

During a television interview Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States hopes to end drone strikes over Pakistan.

"The program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it," Kerry told Pakistan TV. "I think the president has a very real timeline and we hope it's going to be very, very soon."

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Calls Election 'A Huge Farce'

A Zimbabwean woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Domboshava, 37 miles north of Harare, on Wednesday.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 11:13 am

A day after Zimbabweans turned out heavily to vote in national elections, the main challenger to longtime President Robert Mugabe is calling the balloting "a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people."

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, ticked off a list of alleged problems, including thousands of citizens who he says were thrown off voter rolls, voters being moved to different polling stations, an excess of printed ballots, and voters being forced to accept "assistance" when casting ballots.

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