World News

The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

After Weeks Of Wrangling, An Israeli Government Takes Shape

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a meeting in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Thursday. Netanyahu has reached agreement with other factions to form a coalition government following an election in January.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 7:55 am

Israel appears to have a new government, nearly two months after parliamentary elections.

Since the voting in January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle that just would not fit.

If he included traditional allies, such as the religious parties, he would close out a chance of forming a government with a popular political newcomer, Yair Lapid.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis' Sister: 'I Prayed That He Wouldn't Be Chosen'

A man in San Salvador sells a newspaper with the announcement of the election of Argentina's cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new Pope Francis.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:24 pm

As the sun rose over Latin America this morning, we're getting a clearer picture of how Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — was viewed in his home of Argentina and what the first pope from the New World could mean for the continent.

We've read through dozens of news outlets from the region to bring you highlights:

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Religion
9:39 am
Thu March 14, 2013

New Pope, New Ground

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:03 am

Following celebrations for the historic election of Argentine Pope Francis, it's time to look at the business of leading the world's 1.2 billion Catholics — bureaucracy and all. Host Michel Martin discusses the Pope's future agenda with Reverend Jose Hoyos, of the Diocese of Arlington, and religion professor Anthea Butler.

The Papal Succession
9:24 am
Thu March 14, 2013

In Argentina, The New Pope Has Many Supporters, And A Few Critics

Pope Francis — then Argentine Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio — on Ash Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Feb. 13.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:18 pm

The 266th pope, and the first ever from Latin America, has one lung, rides the subway, reads Dostoevsky and has been described as both a moral compass and a silent accomplice to Argentina's former Dirty War leaders.

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The Salt
9:01 am
Thu March 14, 2013

It's Russian Mardi Gras: Time For Pancakes, Butter And Fistfights

A man dressed as a skomorokh, a medieval East Slavic harlequin, distributes bliny in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the last day of Maslenitsa, March 1, 2009.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 11:36 am

Nothing says party like pancakes and butter. At least, not if you happen to be in Russia this week.

The country is in the midst of celebrating Maslenitsa, an Eastern Slavic folk holiday that takes place the week before the start of Russian Orthodox Lent (this year, it starts March 18). Though now tied to the Christian calendar, Maslenitsa has roots in ancient Slavic sun worshippers — it originally marked the end of winter and advent of spring. And, like Mardi Gras, it involves a whole lot of feasting before the Lenten fast — with blinis, a Russian pancake, as the food of choice.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Co-Founder Of Khmer Rouge Dies; Ieng Sary Escapes Judgment For Genocide

Ieng Sary.
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

The death of Ieng Sary, co-founder of the Khmer Rouge that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and killed an estimated 1.7 million of that nation's people in the process, has dashed the hopes "among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes," The Associated Press writes.

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Asia
8:18 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Why North Korea Makes Everyone Nervous ... Except Dennis Rodman

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides on a boat near the sea border with South Korea in this March 11 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency. Bellicose rhetoric from North Korea has put other countries in the region on edge.
KCNA AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:58 am

North Korea's nuclear chest-beating has achieved the seemingly impossible by aligning the concerns of South Korea, Japan and even China, three Asian neighbors that have a long history of strained ties.

While all those countries have separate aims and interests, they share with the United States a mutual interest in containing the North Korean regime, restraining its rhetoric and keeping Pyongyang's nuclear option in a box, says Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Chávez's Body Probably Won't Be On Permanent Display, New Leader Says

March 6: In Caracas, many Venezuelans crowded the streets to see the coffin of President Hugo Chavez.
Xinhua /Landov

The decision to embalm the body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez so that it could be put on permanent display in the country's Museum of the Revolution was made too late, acting President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday in Caracas.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis Begins With Prayer, Turns To Challenges

Pope Francis on Thursday as he left Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:57 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli on the selection of a new pope
  • From 'Morning Edition': John Burnett profiles the new pope
  • From 'Morning Edition': Correspondent Hugh Bronstein

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Religion
5:29 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope 'A Fresh Start,' But Old Problems Are Waiting

Crowds at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican celebrate Wednesday after seeing white smoke billow from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of a new pope. The new pontiff, Francis, is the first from Latin America, a reflection that the Catholic Church is now strongest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:53 pm

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church made history twice Wednesday, electing the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Jesuit.

In choosing 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals signaled the growing importance of Latin America, Africa and Asia in the church's fortunes.

But they also affirmed their commitment to traditional church doctrine.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

U.S. Troops Train For Possible Mission To Secure Syrian Chemical Agents

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:03 pm

Several weeks ago, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said the U.S. is planning what to do about Syria's vast chemical weapons program once Bashar Assad's regime falls. The Syrians are believed to have hundreds of tons of chemical agents, including sarin, one of the deadliest chemical agents. A few drops can be lethal.

So the central question is this: How can those sites be secured so they don't fall into the wrong hands?

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Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: Cardinals 'Found One All The Way At The End Of The World'

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Cardinals elected a new pope on Wednesday — Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Melissa Block and Audie Cornish have more on the new leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis I.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Catholics Around The World React To Announcement Of New Pope

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

We have reaction from around the world to the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as pope.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

First Latin American Pope Known As A Humble Leader

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Sylvia Poggioli about the scene at the Vatican after a Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected as pope on Wednesday.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope Criticized For His Association With Argentina's Dirty War

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Ian Mount, a freelance reporter in Buenos Aires, for more on Catholicism in Argentina, the home country of Pope Francis I.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Jorge Mario Bergoglio Becomes First-Ever Jesuit Pope

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

At the Vatican on Wednesday it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio would be the first-ever Jesuit pope. Melissa Block speaks with Father Robert Ballecer of the Jesuit Conference of the United States about the significance of the first Jesuit pope.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis I Was 'Runner-Up' At Previous Conclave

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:55 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Matthew Bunson, senior correspondent of the national Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor, for some more background on Pope Francis, who was chosen Wednesday.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope's Selection Of 'Francis' Name Surprises Some

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

More now on the direction of the Catholic Church under the new Pope Francis. I'm joined here in the studio by theology professor Chad Pecknold of the Catholic University of America. Thanks for coming in.

CHAD PECKNOLD: Thanks for having me, Melissa.

BLOCK: You know, when we were listening to this announcement and the name Pope Francis came forth, you said wow. You read a lot into just that choice. He is Pope Francis I. Talk a bit more about the symbolism of that.

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The Papal Succession
3:12 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Transcript: Pope Francis' First Speech As Pontiff

Pope Francis blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: What Happens After A Papal Election

After Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th pontiff, he chose the name Pope Francis. His installation Mass could come early next week.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:53 pm

As news spread that the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel was billowing white smoke to signal the election of Pope Francis, anticipation built for the new pontiff's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

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Religion
2:18 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Cardinals Elect Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio As New Pope

Cardinals at the Vatican chose Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope. He will take the papal name Francis and is the first pope from South America. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about the significance of the event around the world.

Asia
12:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

North Korea's Threats Grow More Ominous

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:38 pm

North Korea scrapped the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, escalating fears of a preemptive nuclear attack on the U.S. Tuft University Korean studies professor Sung-Yoon Lee discusses this precarious moment for North Korea, its neighbors and the international community.

Europe
11:59 am
Wed March 13, 2013

German Prince Plans To Put Bison Back In The Wild

European bison, or wisents, keep a safe distance from human visitors to their enclosure on the property of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in Germany's densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:17 pm

A small herd of European bison will soon be released in Germany's most densely populated state, the first time in nearly three centuries that these bison — known as wisents — will roam freely in Western Europe.

The project is the brainchild of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. He owns more than 30,000 acres, much of it covered in Norwegian spruce and beech trees in North Rhine-Westphalia.

For the 78-year-old logging magnate, the planned April release of the bull, five cows and two calves will fulfill a decade-old dream.

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Music
10:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

African Diva Kidjo Empowered By 'Bad Religion'

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:10 pm

Grammy-winning singer Angelique Kidjo is considered Africa's greatest living diva. She says music is her outlet for pleasure and activism. Kidjo shares some of the songs that have inspired her over the years.

The Two-Way
4:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Day 2 Of The Conclave; Will There Be A New Pope?

Black smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at midday Wednesday in Vatican City. That means the cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 10:07 am

Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:

Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Middle East
2:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Syrian Cyber-Rebel Wages War, One Hack At A Time

Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:27 pm

The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.

The Syrian Electronic Army, an arm of the Syrian military, is in charge of the monitoring.

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Middle East
2:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

With Official Wink And Nod, Young Saudis Join Syria's Rebels

Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights and democracy activist, speaks at his home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2011.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Following a circuitous route from Saudi Arabia up through Turkey or Jordan and then crossing a lawless border, hundreds of young Saudis are secretly making their way into Syria to join groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, GlobalPost has learned.

With the tacit approval from the House of Saud and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a "jihad," or "holy war," against the Assad regime.

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Religion
2:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

First Day Of Catholic Cardinals' Conclave Rich In Ceremony

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 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.

As night fell over Rome, thick black smoke drifted from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. That means no new pope yet. Clearly, no candidate secured enough votes in the first ballot. That smoke signal completed a day that, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, was rich in ceremony.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: The process of electing a pope is officially now under way.

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Religion
2:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

With 1 in 10 Of The World's Catholics, Brazil Finds New Prominence In Papal Selection

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

One big question for the conclave is whether the cardinals will choose a pope from outside of Europe, and Brazil is one country that gets mentioned. It's home to more than one in 10 of the world's Catholics. It was the first country that Pope Benedict visited outside of Europe when he was elected, and a Brazilian cardinal is among those mentioned as possible contenders to be the next pope.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Business
2:10 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

The Reclusive Spanish Billionaire Behind Zara's Fast Fashion Empire

A notorious recluse, Amancio Ortega founded the Zara clothing chain and is No. 3 on Forbes magazine's billionaire list.
Inditex AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:18 pm

He's the richest man you've never heard of: Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish clothing chain Zara. He's a notorious recluse who is rumored to wear the same plain shirt every day, but his Zara empire has come to define the concept of fast fashion.

And now he's taken Warren Buffett's No. 3 spot on Forbes' billionaires list.

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