From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
In a few hours, Israel will release 26 Palestinian men from prison. These are men who were jailed for attacks that killed Israelis in the 1980s and early '90s. They're being freed before they finish serving their full sentences. The release of these prisoners is part of a deal to resume peace talks with the Palestinians.
One of the participants of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay runs near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, on Oct. 8. Controversies surrounding costs, security and gay rights swirl around the games, to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city.
Credit Mikhail Mordasov / AFP/Getty Images
The main Olympic stadium, under construction at the Olympic Park in Adler, outside Sochi, in August.
Credit Kostas Tsironis / AP
Activists protest an event ahead of the handover ceremony of the Olympic flame, in Athens, Greece, on Oct. 5.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:02 pm
In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:
"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.
Maria Souta (center), a Roma grandmother in her 50s, lives in a shack in the Roma camp near Corinth, Greece. She supports her family by picking aluminum cans out of the trash. "I really want my children to get an education and get out of here," she says.
Credit Joanna Kakissis for NPR
The poorest families in the Roma camp build shacks from plywood and scrap metal salvaged from the trash.
The boys are nervous. A big parade at the local Greek public school is coming up, and they can't afford the uniform: navy pants and a white shirt.
But the boys, all Roma from an impoverished camp near the city of Corinth, are desperate to attend.
"They want to be proud," says Maria Larsen, their teacher, as she reaches into a box of donated clothes. "They have been told over and over again at school that they are less worthy than other children. But Greece is their home, and they want to fit in."
Japan's Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said it had punished a total of 54 current and former executives over its loans to organized crime groups, but a third-party panel found no sign of a deliberate cover-up. Mizuho Bank president Yasuhiko Sato said his salary would be cut for six months and other executives would step down from their posts or face pay reductions.
OK. The United Arab Emirates is about to take a big leap forward in its plan for regional economic domination. No, the plan is not to host another "Sex and the City" sequel, or install more vending machines that dispense gold.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The details are a bit more lofty - and today's last word in business is: up in the air. The boom city of Dubai is building the world's largest airport and it recently celebrated its first commercial flight.
From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
The U.S. and Russia don't agree on much when it comes to Syria. But the deal they reached to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons seems to be paying off. Syria met its deadline to declare all of its stockpiles to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the OPCW announced today that it has visited nearly all of the sites it needs to see.
To Turkey now and the fragile, seven-month cease-fire between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government. The long-running conflict has claimed some 35,000 lives, and the peace deal that stopped the bloodshed is now in jeopardy. The problem, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, is that both sides want the peace process to speed up.
In England today, one of the highest profile criminal trials the country has seen in years got underway. Eight people are on trial, most notably Rebecca Brooks, a former top executive for Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper empire, and Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor. Coulson also served for a while as Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief.
The case grew out of a scandal over allegations that staff at the News of the World hacked into thousands of voicemails, including celebrities, politicians and crime victims.
The leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are still trickling out. The latest reports include allegations that the U.S. is collecting data on millions of citizens in countries such as Spain and France. The steady stream of NSA revelations has drawn attention to an intelligence-sharing agreement known as Five Eyes.
Demonstrators who are critical of the Catholic Church and favor abortion rights take part in a protest in Rio de Janeiro during Pope Francis' visit to Brazil on July 27. Abortion is illegal in Brazil with rare exceptions. Some lawmakers are attempting to make it even more restrictive.
The doctor's office is clean and white and comfortingly bland in an upscale neighborhood of Sao Paulo. We were given the address by a health professional who told us one of the doctors here gives safe abortions in a country where they are illegal.
The doctor agrees to speak on condition of anonymity after we prove we are not there to entrap him. He does not admit on tape that he terminates unwanted pregnancies. But he says openly he favors legalizing abortions.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:40 pm
What's being described as the worst storm in years hit Britain before moving across the English Channel to lash the Netherlands, France and Germany. It's claimed as many as 13 lives, The Associated Press reports, and has caused flooding as it whips the region with wind gusts of nearly 100 mph.
That mansion in Limburg, Germany, where about $40 million was spent on renovations for the since-suspended cleric now known as the "bishop of bling" may soon be "turned into a refugee centre or a soup kitchen for the homeless," according to reports from The Independent and other European news outlets.
President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a news conference in Berlin in June. A German newspaper reported Sunday that Obama had known since 2010 that his intelligence service was eavesdropping on Merkel. The story came a day after reports alleged Obama told Merkel he was not aware she was being spied on.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:37 am
Disclosures about the National Security Agency's spying on U.S. allies, including France and Germany, have sparked outrage in Europe and created tensions in trans-Atlantic relations. But just how widespread is such spying? Here are four things to know.
1. Who spies on whom?
Spying on adversaries is common — as is spying on your allies.
News organizations in France, Germany and Spain have reported wide-spread monitoring by the National Security Agency in their countries. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with journalists from Der Spiegel and Le Figaro, about the recent revelations.
The U.S. ambassador to Spain, James Costos, leaves the Spanish Foreign Ministry after being summoned to a meeting in Madrid on Monday. He was called in following reports that the NSA was tracking millions of phone calls in Spain.
We begin this Monday with more spying by the National Security Agency on U.S. allies. The country is different this time — Spain — but the reaction isn't.
The NSA tracked 60 million Spanish phone calls between Dec. 10, 2012, and Jan. 8, the newspaper reported, citing the work of Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who has revealed details of much of the agency's surveillance activity.
Preparing For The Big One, Whisper Campaigns, 'Frankenstein'
In this weekend's podcast of All Things Considered, host Arun Rath explores the power of Hollywood whisper campaigns, learns what some people are doing to prepare for "the big one," and talks to first time composer Alexander Ebert.
Over the past week, prosecutors gave closing arguments in the case against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, two top members of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime. Host Arun Rath speaks with journalist Elizabeth Becker about the U.N. tribunal trying the Khmer Rouge members for war crimes. Becker covered the conflict in Cambodia in the 1970s and was one of the few journalists to enter the country while the Khmer Rouge was in power. She is the author of When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 6:27 am
From the list of things a person with multiple sclerosis can't do, we must erase "skydive onto Mount Everest." That's because Frenchman Marc Kopp, 55, reportedly jumped from an aircraft at an altitude of some 32,000 feet before landing on the mountain this weekend.
Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:16 pm
Several recent cases of suspected kidnapping involving the Roma in Europe have had some some odd but peculiar resonances for 21st-century American life.
In one case, the police received a tip that a blond, blue-eyed girl was living with a Roma family in a Dublin suburb. The tipster believed that the 7-year-old didn't look like the Roma family with whom she lived. The police came and removed the child from the home, despite protests from the Roma family that the child was part of their family.
The process of cataloging and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile took another stride Sunday, as the country met a deadline for submitting a formal declaration of its chemical arsenal. Weapons experts must also complete their inspection of all 23 storage and production sites today.
Journalists who were once among the most powerful in the United Kingdom go on trial in London on Monday. The trial is the result of a 2011 hacking scandal that electrified the media on both sides of the Atlantic and sank Rupert Murdoch's News of the World.
The trial is expected to reveal details of the uncomfortably cozy relationship between the media and political elites, says former Murdoch executive Ken Chandler.
George Polk may have been born to make history. He was descended from the American president who led the conquest of Texas and much of the Southwest. But for George Polk, Texas was too small, says his brother William.
In the 1930s, "Texas was a little backwater at the time, and very few people even knew where other countries were — what the names were, what the languages were that were spoken," William Polk says. "And he had a tremendous sense of curiosity."
Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 7:44 pm
A lawsuit against Egypt's former interim vice president has been dismissed, as a misdemeanor court says there weren't sufficient grounds for a suit against Mohammed ElBaradei to proceed. He had been accused of betraying the national trust.
The lawsuit was filed by a law professor who opposed the rule of President Mohammed Morsi, according to Gulf News. ElBaradei had been a co-leader of the secular National Salvation Front, which supported Morsi's ouster this summer.
News of U.S. surveillance in Europe has met with distrust and anger; officials are heading to Washington to discuss matters next week. Here, members of an artists' group paint a mural called "Surveillance of the Fittest" on a wall in Cologne, Germany, on Thursday.
Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 7:43 pm
Anger, distrust and possible punishments are the defining themes of Europe's reaction to news that a U.S. spy agency monitored the phone calls of millions of European citizens and some world leaders. The details are the latest to emerge from leaks attributed to former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden.
Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 7:37 pm
Iran has hanged 16 militant prisoners in what is being called retaliation for an attack that killed more than a dozen Iranian guards near the country's border with Pakistan, according to Iran's state-affiliated media. The country is also blaming Pakistan for what it calls lax security.
NPR's Peter Kenyon filed this report for our Newscast unit: