Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, is in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted two weeks ago with a recurring respiratory infection.
A statement from South African President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old Mandela's condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.
"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," said Zuma, referring to Mandela by his clan name.
Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:05 am
(This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m. ET)
Armed assailants attacked a hotel at a Himalayan base camp in Pakistan, gunning down nine foreign climbers and a local guide as the group prepared for an ascent of one of the world's tallest peaks.
NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Ukrainians and Chinese climbers, as well as a Pakistani guide, were killed in the attack at 26,246-foot Nanga Parbat, about 150 miles northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
Every weekend, I rise at 7 a.m. to get on the subway to hunt for apartments. The cheapest two-bedroom homes in the suburbs of Shanghai cost $200,000 or more, which would take me more than 12 years to pay off â€” if I don't spend a dime of what I make.
This is the reality of China's boom. After decades of explosive growth, the cost of living in China's big cities has skyrocketed, and many young people have been priced out of the housing market.
Poached ivory is destroying wild populations of elephants and rhinos across Africa and Asia. The strong demand for ivory takes an estimated 25,000 elephant lives each year.
Now, the government of the Philippines is sending a message to poachers and smugglers, by destroying five tons of ivory confiscated in the country. On Friday, environmentalists, government officials, and the public gathered in Quezon City to witness the pulverization.
Host Jacki Lyden checks in with NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about the ongoing protests in Brazil. Despite comments of reassurance by the country's president Friday night, throngs of anti-government protesters continue to rally in cities across the country.
From Turkey to Brazil, tens of thousands of protesters are trying to get their voices heard. But what makes an effective protest? Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Bibi van der Zee of The Guardian and author of The Protestor's Handbook about the history of protests and strategies demonstrators use to broadcast their cause.
Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 12:16 pm
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has pledged a nationwide overhaul of public transportation, improved funding for schools and a crackdown on corruption in response to sometimes violent anti-government protests that have roiled the country for the past week.
In a 10-minute address broadcast on Friday, Rousseff broke her silence on the protests, saying she would spend more money on public transportation and divert some of the country's oil revenues to pay for education, The Associated Press reported. She also addressed widespread anger over government corruption.
Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 11:49 am
Update At 11:30 a.m. ET:
Secretary of State John Kerry called the current situation in Syria "unacceptable by anyone's standard" and lashed out at the government of President Bashar al-Assad for using Hezbollah in the fight against rebels.
"Assad chose to raise the stakes militarily," Kerry said. "He chose to attack the Syrian people, but this time using Iranian supporters and using Hezbollah, which is a terrorist organization.
It was once the cattle farm of a former congressman, but now his stately house in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul is a burned-out shell. Thatch huts are being built in the shade of flowering palm trees. Once the purview of one farmer's family, it now is occupied by dozens of indigenous ones.
Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.
Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.
The drip-drip of classified information has now moved overseas: Citing more classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Guardian newspaper reports that the British spy agency taps into trans-Atlantic fiber optic cables, sucking up vast amounts of data that includes communication sent by Americans and Britons.
The Greeks have been eating octopus since ancient times, and it's still on the menu of the country's many psarotavernes, or fish taverns.
On the islands, where the catch is often fresh, octopus is grilled over charcoal, seasoned with fresh lemon and served with ouzo. Friends and families often share this special summer meze during a hot day at the beach.
Every six months, one of my next guests ranks the 500 fastest computers in the world, the supercomputers, and back in November 2010, China took number one for the first time with a supercomputer called Milky Way 1. President Obama acknowledged China's feat in his State of the Union address a few months later and said we were facing a Sputnik moment.
By some estimates, about a million people marched in cities across Brazil on Thursday, airing a wide array of grievances. As O Globo frames it, it was a day marked by violent demonstrations, vandalism and intense clashes with military police.
Many are wondering whether Iran's newly elected president Hassan Rowhani will be able to change his nation's posture on nuclear enrichment and convince the West to end crippling economic sanctions. To find out, Steve Inskeep talks to Gary Samore, a former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction.
Alarm bells went off in China's financial system yesterday. That's because interest rates for loans that banks make to each other - like the loans we've just been hearing about - shot up, drying up credit as China's banks searched for cash. The effects reached markets here, where the Dow dropped more than 2 percent yesterday.
All of this seems to be caused by the Chinese government trying to send its banks a message. To explain what happened and why, we turn to NPR's correspondent in Shanghai, Frank Langfitt. Good morning.
Until recently, our correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was posted in the Middle East. She was an eyewitness to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. Now, she is NPR's South America correspondent, based in Brazil. And guess what's happening on the streets there?
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Last night, demonstrators spread all across that country, with a total of a million people estimated to have taken part. Some protesters clashed with police. One was hit and killed by a car.
U.S. and European officials meet on Saturday to decide how to increase their aid to the rebels in Syria. The U.S. is deepening its involvement in Syria's Civil War. Steve Inskeep, who recently was in Syria reporting for Morning Edition, has the story of two rebels.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
For the first time in modern history, Shiite fighters are crossing borders to wage jihad, much as Sunnis traveled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and to Iraq to fight Americans. These days, the draw is Syria. The cause is not a foreign invader but a rival sect. And some say, it's about fulfilling a thousand-year-old prophecy, as NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.
Tomorrow, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the Middle East and South Asia. In a week's time, he'll be meeting with Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis, hoping to advance the prospects for peace. Those prospects are not especially bright, even by the usual dim standards of Middle East diplomacy.
A flag and a nameplate: Those seemingly innocuous items were apparently the reason that Afghan President Hamid Karzai abruptly refused to participate in peace talks also involving the Taliban and the U.S.
The flag was the same white flag the Taliban used when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The nameplate bore the words "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the name used by the old Taliban government.