It's hard to believe, but seven years ago no one had ever heard of a tweet. Thursday is the anniversary of the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. It wasn't profound. He wrote:
Since then the social media company has been an important communication tool in everything from the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, to its use as a megaphone for celebrities. Over the years, its relationship to its free speech principles has changed.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 5:05 pm
Pope Francis has now been installed and the world's Catholics are looking to see where he will lead the church. But one man in Rome has been trying to make sure the Vatican also deals with the church's troubled past.
David Clohessy, who says he was a victim of sexual abuse at a young age by a Catholic priest, is the director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. By his count, he held 15 news conferences in Rome in the weeks leading up to the conclave at the Vatican.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
(SOUNDBITE OF ISRAELI MILITARY BAND MUSIC)
BLOCK: A musical greeting today for President Obama, as he arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there, along with a military band. Israel is Obama's first stop on a four-day tour. Today, the president declared that despite big changes sweeping the Middle East, the U.S. alliance with Israel remains eternal.
Free Jonathan Pollard - that's something President Obama is expected to hear in Israel. In the 1980s, Pollard was a young, Jewish-American intelligence analyst who spied for Israel. He pleaded guilty; and after an alarming victim-impact statement from then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, claiming how much damage Pollard's spying had done, he was sentenced to life in prison.
George Butler lives between two worlds. One is his apartment in London, and the other consists of conflict-ravaged places like West Africa, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Syria.
The British illustrator recently returned from his second trip to Syria, and his reportage illustrations are a powerful account of life in the country's north, where the fighting is heavy and rebels now control many areas.
The illustrations are not just about the sorrows and pain of Syrian refugees and the wounded, but often about Syrians' stubborn insistence that life will carry on despite the pain.
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:21 am
When you think about the Gaza Strip, do you think "organic farming"? How about "family dairy"? Would you expect California pistachios to flavor made-in-Gaza baklava? Have you heard that Hamas has a 10-year plan to develop sustainable local agriculture?
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:25 pm
Who or what caused a takedown of computer systems at banks and broadcasters in South Korea on Wednesday is still a matter of speculation, but suspicion immediately and unsurprisingly fell on Seoul's archenemy to the north.
If true, it wouldn't be the first time that North Korea, often regarded as technologically backward, has successfully wielded the computer as weapon.
The red line is a form of ultimatum in diplomacy, one that's been used by kings, presidents, prime ministers to say do this and we will be forced to respond. Syria, as we mentioned, may have crossed one this week when chemical weapons reportedly killed dozens of people outside of Aleppo. Iran may cross another so-called red line this year over growing concerns the government is developing nuclear weaponry. A presidential threat carries grave weight. It also carries grave risk.
You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.
TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.
Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:43 pm
Um Ahmed holds her infant daughter outside a United Nations registration center for Syrian refugees in Al Mina, a northern Lebanese city near the Syrian border. She is among a group of dozens of Syrians waiting for their names to be called.
Um Ahmed tries to coax her screaming infant daughter to take a bottle. The baby is hot — the slight brown curls of her hair are matted to her head with sweat, and the bottle offers no comfort. She keeps crying. She's been here before.
"The first time I came they didn't accept us," Um Ahmed says. "They told us I need documents."
The Dominican Republic has always been a goldmine of baseball talent. Today, the D.R. can call itself the game's world champion. Last night in San Francisco, Team D.R. won the World Baseball Classic, beating Caribbean rival Puerto Rico three-to-nothing. The Dominicans also made history in the process. They became the first team to win the Olympic-style tournament without losing a single game.
Let's go next to Turkey, where the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, has released several captives. That development has given new hope to efforts to negotiate an end to Turkey's nearly three-decade battle against the PKK.
Now attention turns to hopes for a ceasefire and a new push to recognize Kurdish rights in Turkey, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.
As part of Morning Edition's coverage of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Renee Montagne talks to Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defense Department's Defense Policy Board. Perle was one of the most outspoken champions of invading Iraq, He explains his early support for the war and elaborates on the miscalculations of the last decade.
Let's hear now about a dramatic trial in Guatemala. That country's former dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from the killings that happened in the early 1980s. Seventeen hundred indigenous Guatemalans - the Ixils people - died during one of the bloodiest periods of the country's three-decade-long war, a war that ultimately claimed more than 200,000 lives. At the time the U.S.-backed strongman, Ephraim Rios Montt, ruled the country.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama is making his first visit to Israel since he's been in the White House. His past relations with Israel's government have not always gone well. Though the two nations insist they're reached new levels of security cooperation, they have publicly debated issues ranging from Iran to the Mideast peace process.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:19 pm
Bosco Ntaganda, the Congolese warlord and rebel leader wanted by the International Criminal Court, showed upatthe U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday in a taxicab. He was apparently unexpected.
"We did not have any prior notice or consultations with him to indicate that he would do that," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. "He was a walk-in, in the truest sense of the word."
She said the U.S. is now "working to facilitate his request" to be transported to the Netherlands to stand trial.
As we just heard, Palestinians have condemned the E1 settlement project, saying it would effectively cut the West Bank in two. Israeli officials dismiss that criticism, and they say that there are alternative routes for Palestinians who want to travel between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.
In Cyprus, the parliament is wrestling with a European Union-imposed plan that would seize at least 10 percent of the bank savings of wealthy people and possibly 7 percent from everyone else, to help defray the cost of bailing out Cypriot banks. On Tuesday, lawmakers voted against a modified version of the plan.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. It is the first all Caribbean final. Tonight, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are facing off in the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco. And for more on the big game and Major League Baseball's quest to make the sport more international, we're joined now by NPR's Tom Goldman, who is in San Francisco covering the event. Hi, Tom.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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The world must acknowledge that Syria is going through a revolution for justice and freedom, not a fight between two teams. That message today from the new interim prime minister of the opposition Syrian National Coalition. 50-year-old Ghassan Hitto will now attempt to form an interim government as violence continues across the country. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.
Ten years after the Iraq War began, NPR is catching up with people we encountered during the conflict. Back in 2008, NPR's armored car was targeted with a so-called sticky bomb in Baghdad. Ali Hamdani, an Iraqi who worked for NPR as a translator and producer, narrowly escaped. Shortly afterward, he left Iraq for the Unites States as a refugee.
In practical terms, a project known as E-1 would provide 3,000 or so new housing units for Israelis in an area between east Jerusalem — which the Palestinians hope will someday be their capital — and the large Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim.
But numbers can be deceiving: Palestinians are renewing their objections to the growing number of Israeli settlements, and many fear E-1 could tip the balance in a way that makes an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement impossible.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:42 pm
Cyprus lawmakers rejected a $13 billion bailout package that included controversial taxes on bank deposits. The proposed tax would have helped to pay for the bailout of crumbling banks. NPR's Marilyn Geewax explains how the events in Cyprus could affect the global economy and what may happen next.
Colin Wolfe was killed in Iraq in August 2006. A roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Anbar province just a few weeks after he arrived. He was one of almost 4,500 U.S. service members killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2012. Nearly seven years later, on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, his mother paid tribute to her son with a ballet.
"You're taking something which is horrible ... and turning it into something which is beautiful and life-affirming," Amy Wolfe tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "That's the way art is."