World News

News
5:54 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Israel Agrees To Release Palestinian Prisoners

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

An Israeli cabinet member said today that officials plan to release some Palestinians who have been in prison in Israel for decades. This appears to be part of the diplomatic dance around restarting peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. After six visits to the region in six months, Secretary of State John Kerry, announced yesterday that there is enough agreement to begin initial talks next week or soon after in Washington, D.C.

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Parallels
5:54 am
Sat July 20, 2013

The Spanish Aristocrat Who Works For North Korea

Spanish aristocrat Alejandro Cao de Benos is believed to be the only foreigner working for the North Korean government. He divides his time between North Korea and Europe, where he organizes university conferences on North Korean ideology. He's shown here with a North Korean military officer in Panmunjon, on the border with South Korea.
Courtesy of Alejandro Cao de Benos

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:51 pm

The sun-soaked Spanish Riviera isn't where you'd expect to find a faithful foot soldier of North Korea. But that's exactly what Alejandro Cao de Benos calls himself.

Cao de Benos, 38, is believed to be the only Westerner ever employed by the North Korean government. He's a Spanish aristocrat, born to a family of landed gentry in northeast Spain, where he agreed to meet NPR for an interview one recent afternoon.

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NPR Story
5:23 am
Sat July 20, 2013

European Films In Russia's Heartland

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. For the past few years, in July the Russia provincial town of Vologda has hosted a European Film Festival. Vologda is a sleepy city far from the Russian metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and every year the arrival of European filmmakers and actors to the Russian heartland is a very special event.

This year, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley attended the festival.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

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Shots - Health News
4:44 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens

A Yemeni child receives a polio vaccine in the capital city of Sanaa. The Yemen government launched an immunization campaign last month in response to the polio outbreak in neighboring Somalia.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Somalia hadn't had a case of polio for nearly six years. But in the past few months, the virus has come back. Now the East African country has the worst polio outbreak anywhere in the world.

Twenty new cases of polio were reported this week in Somalia by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. That brings the total number of cases in the Horn of Africa to 73. The rest of the world combined has tallied only 59 cases so far this year.

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Middle East
2:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Transitions From Rulers To Protesters

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, in cities across Egypt, supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsi filled streets and squares. They've been demanding his release from custody and his reinstatement as president. Opponents of Morsi also took to the streets, raising fears of fresh violence. NPR's Leila Fadel paid a visit to the headquarters of the pro-Morsi camp. She sent this report.

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World
2:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Ex-CIA Officer Heads To U.S. After Italy Issues Warrant

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Former CIA officer Robert Seldon Lady is on his way back to the U.S. after being briefly detained in Panama. An Italian court had convicted the agent in the first trial anywhere involving the practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which a terrorist suspect is kidnapped and transferred to a country where torture is practiced.

The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

John Kerry: A 'Basis' For New Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on Friday. Shortly afterward, Kerry announced a "basis" for the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations.
Fadi Arouri Pool/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 6:45 am

Nothing ever seems to come easy in the Middle East, but Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that there was "a basis" for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which would be the first such talks in several years.

Kerry made the announcement in Amman, Jordan, after a series of discussions with Palestinian and Arab leaders.

"We have reached an agreement that establishes the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Kerry said. "This is a significant and welcome step forward."

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Parallels
1:06 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Brazil's Highflying VIPs Face Backlash Over Air Travel

A helicopter carries VIPs to the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in 2010. Politicians taking expensive helicopters and government planes have generated controversy in Brazil.
Jefferson Bernardes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:57 pm

Unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who often takes the subway to work, some prominent politicians in Brazil have a far more impressive way of getting around: private helicopters and government planes.

Perhaps the most over-the-top example of the trend is that of Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral. A recent magazine expose showed that his commute to work is only about 6 miles.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Ex-CIA Agent Detained In Panama Reportedly Returning To U.S.

Egyptian cleric Osama Mustafa Hasan Nasr, photographed in 2007. Better known as Abu Omar, he was allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy in 2003 and taken to Egypt for interrogation.
Amr Nabil Associated Press

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:55 pm

The Washington Post reports that a former CIA operative detained in Panama at the request of Italian authorities was on a plane headed to the U.S. Friday.

Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, Italy, was arrested Thursday in Panama in connection with an extraordinary rendition in 2003.

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The Salt
11:20 am
Fri July 19, 2013

France Aims To Net New Drinkers With Cola-Flavored Wine

Fancy some soda with your wine?
Courtesy Haussmann Famille

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 7:56 am

Brace yourselves, Francophiles.

First, we broke the news about fast food overtaking restaurants in France. Then we reported the shocker that more than a third of French restaurants serve frozen meals. If these revelations ruin your impression of France as a bastion of culinary tradition, you may not want to read further.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Fri July 19, 2013

China Scraps Some Controls On Lending Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:00 am

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

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The Salt
6:35 am
Fri July 19, 2013

The Ramadan Challenge: Shop And Cook While Hungry And Thirsty

Jehad Outteineh shops at a market near the Damascus gate in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Around the world, hundreds of millions of Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. Outteineh is shopping for the family's iftar, the meal that breaks the fast.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:31 am

Around the world, hundreds of millions of Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began last week and continues until Aug. 7. That's 30 days of avoiding food and drink all day. But in many families, someone still has to prepare a hearty, and sometimes festive, dinner every night.

"Ramadan is a big change in routine," says Jehad Outteneh, a Palestinian in Jerusalem who shops and cooks for her family of eight.

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World
5:39 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Pitch-Drop Worse Than Watching Paint Dry

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if you have been bored watching paint dry or grass grow or water boil, you have nothing on these scientists. An experiment that began in 1944 at Trinity College in Ireland just now has a definitive result - to test whether a thick substance called pitch flowed and dripped. A funnel with the stuff was placed over a jar. Seventy years later students saw a drip forming, set up a camera, and witnessed the drip drop. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:00 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Russian Opposition Leader Convicted Amid Controversy

A Russian court has convicted one of the country's most prominent opposition leaders of embezzlement. Alexei Navalny faces a sentence of five years in prison in a controversial case that he says was trumped up to derail his political career. Navalny was instrumental in organizing mass protests against the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sports
3:42 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Tour De France Racers Want To Leave Shadow Of Doping Behind

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

After three weeks and more than 2,000 miles, the Tour de France finishes up on Sunday in Paris. The race is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It's also the first year in many that no former winners are suspected of doping. Seven-time tour winner Lance Armstrong finally admitted to doping this past spring, ending a years-long saga.

But even after all that, doping is probably not fini - as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris.

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National Security
3:42 am
Fri July 19, 2013

U.S. Worries NSA Leaker's Files Could Be Hacked

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

The Russian lawyer for NSA leaker Edward Snowden predicts his client will soon get temporary asylum in Russia. Snowden and his allies say his laptops contain files that could be highly damaging to NSA operations. Security experts say it would be challenging but by no means impossible for Russian (or Chinese) cyber technicians to gain access to the files Snowden has with him, in spite of his promises to safeguard them.

Planet Money
1:18 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Will Robot Nannies Save Japan's Economy?

The key to Japan's economy?
Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:40 am

More than half of all Japanese women quit their jobs after giving birth to their first child. That's more than double the rate in the U.S., and it's a problem for Japan's economy.

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Africa
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Africa Honors Still-Ailing Mandela On His Birthday

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, South Africa marked the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela. The former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been hospitalized in Pretoria for six weeks because of a lung infection.

Around the country, South Africans marked Mandela Day with songs, tributes and volunteer work, as NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

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World
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Russians Protest Sentencing For Anti-Corruption Activist

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

A Russian judge delivered an unexpectedly harsh sentence on an anti-corruption campaigner who led the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin since he took power in 2000. Alexei Navalny was sentenced to five years in jail for theft. Protesters chanted "Shame! Disgrace!" outside the court in Kirov.

Europe
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Investigators Take Action Following Heathrow Fire

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Nearly one week ago, a fire erupted inside a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow Airport. Thursday, the British Air Investigation Branch issued a bulletin urging the deactivation of an emergency transmitter on all 787s. The British investigators stopped just short of blaming the Emergency Locator Transmitter for the fire. But they did recommend that the Federal Aviation Administration order the deactivation of beacons on 787s under FAA authority. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

The Salt
2:00 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sweet And Savory: Finding Balance On The Japanese Grill

Reprinted with permission from The Japanese Grill.
Todd Coleman © 2011

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

If you're looking for grilled Japanese food, chef and cookbook author Harris Salat recommends you head over to Fukuoka, a city where yatai, or mobile food carts, line up by the riverside.

The carts became popular after World War II, Salat says, when Japanese were looking to rebuild their lives and find new sources of income.

"You can kind of pull up a stool, and there's a cook, you know, grilling yakitori very carefully over charcoal," he tells Melissa Block, host of All Things Considered. "It's a lot of fun."

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Study: U.S. Viewed As 'Favorable', China As Rising Superpower

A Chinese boy passes a photo of China's first aircraft carrier during an exhibition entitled "Scientific Development and Splendid Achievements" in Beijing in 2012.
Feng Li Getty Images

More people around the globe view the United States positively than do China, but most of them also believe that Beijing is set to eclipse Washington as the world's dominant Superpower, according to a new Pew Research survey.

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World
10:03 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Is Cartel Leader Capture Really A Win For Drug War?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we go to Mexico where this week brought a major development in the drug war. Authorities there captured the man they believe is the leader of the Zetas, a group that's been described as a paramilitary drug cartel responsible for some of the most grotesque violence connected to Mexico's drug war.

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World
10:03 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Sharing A 'Profound' Mandela Encounter With Morehouse Men

Today is Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, and his legacy is being celebrated around the world. John Silvanus Wilson Junior, the president of Morehouse College, met Mandela in 1992. He tells Michel Martin about how that meeting changed his life, and fueled his commitment to educating African-American men. He also talks about the lessons he might share with his students in light of the George Zimmerman verdict.

Parallels
9:47 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Global Survey: China Will Surpass U.S. As Leading Superpower

In a global survey, many respondents believe that China has overtaken or eventually will overtake the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. Chinese are shown here walking in Shanghai's financial district in March.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:56 am

China has supplanted or soon will supplant the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. That's the headline from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which put this proposition to people around the world.

In 23 of the 39 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said China has overtaken or will overtake America.

In China, the verdict was clear: Two-thirds believe their country already has supplanted or eventually will supplant America.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Charges North Korean Ship's Crew

View of what seems to be weapon parts aboard a North Korean-flagged ship on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:57 am

The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.

The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.

According to the BBC:

"[Panamanian] Prosecutor Javier Caraballo accused the 35 crew members of endangering public security by illegally transporting war material.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Russian Court Convicts Opposition Activist

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife, Yulia, look at a mobile phone Thursday during his trial in Kirov, Russia. A Russian judge found Navalny guilty of embezzlement.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:02 am

We have news this morning from Russia that opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison.

"The judge found Navalny and his business partner guilty of embezzling nearly a half-million dollars' worth of timber from a state-owned company in 2009," NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit. "The case was previously dismissed for lack of evidence but later reinstated after Navalny published embarrassing revelations about the foreign assets owned by the head of Russia's investigative committee."

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Asia
3:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Book Examines Who Sowed Seeds For China's Economic Boom

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for Americans trying to understand how China has risen so far so fast, we turn now to Orville Schell and his fellow China scholar John DeLury. Their new book is "Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the 21 Century." It looks back at the original documents and writings that reveal the thinking of 11 key figures in China's modern past, from a famous satirist to a dowager empress to Mao. And it zeros in on the reformers who sowed the seeds of the current boom.

Good morning to both of you.

JOHN DELURY: Good morning.

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NPR Story
2:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Police In India Probe Poisoning Of School Children

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Searches Impounded North Korean Cargo Ship

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.

Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

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