World News

The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Ex-Turkish Military Chief Gets Life In Prison For Coup Plot

Protesters wave posters of Turkey's first president, Kemal Ataturk, before a police barricade outside the Silivri jail complex in Silivri, Turkey, on Monday. Scores of people were sentenced for their roles in what's being dubbed the Ergenekon plot.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:15 pm

Turkey's former military chief was sentenced to life in prison and scores of others were given long sentences Monday for plotting against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Parallels
10:49 am
Mon August 5, 2013

World War II Researchers Say 'Italian Schindler' Was A Myth

The Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste was used during World War II as the only death camp on Italian soil. In the building's courtyard, the outline on the brick wall is where the crematorium was located.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

A group of Italian researchers who have studied troves of World War II documents have found no evidence that Giovanni Palatucci, a police official long credited as the "Italian Schindler," saved the lives of 5,000 Jews.

The findings are demolishing the Italian national icon and angering supporters of the man who has been honored at Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and who has been put on the track to sainthood.

'Unfounded' Claims Of Heroism?

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Parallels
10:28 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Why India's Next State Is Not Likely To Be The Last

Visitors ride in a carriage at the entrance of the Jewel of the Nizams "Falaknuma Palace," the former residence of Nizam Mehaboob Ali Khan in the old city area of Hyderabad. The legacy of these Muslim rulers — and the disenfranchisement of the Hindu majority — contributed to the economic gap in Andhra Pradesh.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 11:35 am

India's cartographers may soon be redrawing the country's map. If events go to plan, India will inaugurate Telangana, its 29th state, perhaps as early as next year — casting the spotlight anew on the challenges of governing a country as vast, and with a population as diverse, as India.

Telangana, on the arid Deccan plateau, is due to be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India's fifth most populous state, with a population of 85 million.

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Parallels
10:22 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A West Bank Spring At The Center Of Deadly Struggle

Palestinian Bashir Tamimi, 57, drinks water from a spring on land that he says belongs to his family. Teenagers from a nearby Israeli settlement built collection pools and brought in picnic tables when they saw no one using the spring. It has now become a source of conflict.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 8:00 am

There's a pretty little spring in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where fresh water has dripped from the rock, probably for centuries.

Now it is the center of a deadly struggle over land.

Israeli teenagers from Halamish, the Jewish settlement a short walk uphill, found the spring several years ago. It flows from a small cave.

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Politics
10:02 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Lack of Leadership Causing US Defense Issues Abroad?

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:44 am

A terror threat closes American embassies, and changes the political debate about intelligence gathering. Host Michel Martin talks politics with Republican strategist Ron Christie, and former Obama administration advisor Corey Ealons.

The Two-Way
8:26 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Bike Commuter Miffed By Notice Of 15-Minute-Only Parking

"So I got a ticket," bike commuter Molly Millar wrote in a tweet last week. The Vancouver cyclist had left her bike in a rack outside her office building.
Molly Millar Twitter

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 9:24 am

A cyclist who commutes to work in Vancouver, Canada, was surprised and angered last week when she found a note from her office building on her bike that threatened its confiscation. Her offense? Parking in the "15-minute-only" bike rack.

"So I got a ticket from #CadillacFairview for parking my bike outside their building/my office," tweeted Molly Millar, who works in the Vancouver Sun & Province Building, also known as Granville Square.

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Africa
4:23 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Why Gay Pride Celebrations In Uganda Were Discreet

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 11:44 am

Gay pride celebrations are held loudly each summer in New York, Paris and Berlin. But when Uganda held its version of the event this weekend, it was done very privately. It came as the Ugandan parliament considers a piece of extremely anti-gay legislation, and as discrimination against gays is widespread

Middle East
3:15 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Outlook For U.S.-Iran Relations Brightens With Rouhani

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:58 am

Iran inaugurated its new president over the weekend. President Hasan Rouhani is a moderate who has called for dialogue with the United States. Both countries have expressed an interest in talking again. Linda Wertheimer talks to Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, about U.S.-Iran relations.

Africa
3:06 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Secretary Kerry Adds His Voice To Disputed Zimbabwe Vote

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:38 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is weighing in on the Zimbabwe elections, saying the results do not reflect the will of the people. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton from the capital Harare on Kerry's statement, which details several reported problems at the polls. Longtime President Robert Mugabe was named with victor on Saturday.

The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Australian PM Calls September Elections

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addresses the media in Canberra after calling Sunday for a general election in September.
AFP/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called elections for Sept. 7, setting the stage for a parliamentary contest that he says will determine the future of the country's economy.

Rudd's challenge comes just six weeks after he wrested control of the Labor Party from Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He faces stiff competition from conservative opponent Tony Abbott.

But as The Associated Press reports:

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National Security
9:33 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Snowden Case Illustrates Decline In U.S.-Russia Relations

President Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Northern Ireland in June.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:38 pm

U.S.-Russia relations hit a new low this week, when Moscow ignored U.S. requests and gave temporary asylum to a man who leaked classified documents on U.S. government surveillance programs.

Many in Congress are complaining that the Edward Snowden case is just the latest example of how the Kremlin is thumbing its nose at the White House.

The Obama administration famously reset relations with Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was president. But now that Russian President Vladimir Putin is back in the Kremlin, it seems to be having a more difficult time.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Sun August 4, 2013

State Department Extends Closure Of Embassies

An American flag flies over the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:46 pm

Update At 4:40 p.m. ET:

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:

In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."

The statement says:

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Iran's New President: U.S. Wants 'Excuse' To Confront Tehran

Iran's new President Hassan Rowhani sits next to the national flag on his first official day in office in Tehran on Saturday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:42 am

Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, is being sworn-in on Sunday, succeeding the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose focus on the country's nuclear program proved a constant source of tension with the West.

Rouhani, 64, is viewed as a moderate and has pledged greater openness on the country's nuclear program. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran appeared late Saturday to be reading from the same script as his predecessor:

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Africa
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Activists Fight Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Uganda, local activists have been fighting a bill that might be one of the most punitive and anti-gay measures in the world. It's actually called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and that's just one vote away from becoming law.

NPR's Gregory Warner is in Kampala. Welcome to the program, Greg.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Rachel.

MARTIN: So, it's Gay Pride Week in many countries around the world. How is it being marked in Uganda, especially in light of this pending legislation?

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Middle East
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Musharraf's Return Fuels Chaos In Pakistan

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

The former president will be charged with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed at a rally in 2007. Host Rachel Martin talks to Hameed Gul, former director general of the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, about the political deterioration in Pakistan.

Asia
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

When Comedians Cross Borders

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Comedy is something we tend to think of as universal. If a joke's funny, it's just funny, right? Not really. Turns out humor can be really culturally specific. And today, we're going to look at what happens when comedians try to cross over from one cultural to another. Our next guest has some experience with that. His name is Ryan Ha. He's a Chinese-American who lives in Beijing. And he is the CEO of something called Comedy Club China. He's joined us in our studios this morning. Hey, Ryan. Thanks for coming in.

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National Security
5:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

U.S. Embassies In The Muslim World Closed Sunday

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:39 am

The Department of State has issued a travel alert over the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about the threat of more attacks.

Afghanistan
1:58 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Regimental Combat Team 7 Rolls Up Its Flag In Afghanistan

Regimental Combat Team 7 cases its flag during their mission's closing ceremony in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 12:42 pm

At the peak of fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, there were 20,000 Marines battling the Taliban. Now there are 8,000 — and more are heading home every month.

Among the latest to pack up was Regimental Combat Team 7.

At their mission's recent closing ceremony, several hundred Marines gathered in the scorching desert heat at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Their tan, pixelated fatigues blended in amidst the vast expanse of sand-colored tents and buildings of the largest Marine base in Afghanistan.

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Music
3:39 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

The Biggest Thing Out Of Thailand: An Elephant Orchestra

Thai Elephant Orchestra co-founder David Sulzer (bottom center, in red) poses with the animals and their mahouts, or keepers.
Jerry Alexander Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:01 pm

The Thai Elephant Orchestra is, remarkably, just what it sounds like. At a conservation center in Thailand, made for former work animals with nowhere to go, a group of elephants has been assembled and trained to play enormous percussion instruments, holding mallets in their trunks and sometimes trumpeting along.

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National Security
3:26 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Week In News: Terror Alert

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 4:29 pm

The U.S. State Department issued a warning to Americans traveling abroad this weekend, as well as to many embassies and consulates, that it has learned of the possibility of a terrorist attack. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic.

The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Mugabe Declared Winner In Zimbabwe's Presidential Poll

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. He's shown here at a July 30 news conference.
Tsvanigirayi Mukwazhi AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:06 pm

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. But the opposition says the vote was rigged.

Mugabe won by 61 percent, with his main challenger, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, trailing far behind in the official results from the July 31 vote. Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union, also managed a comfortable win in parliamentary elections.

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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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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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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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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.

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