World News

The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Egyptian Author Sentenced To Prison For Book 'Where Is God?'

Egyptian author and human rights activist Karam Saber has been sentenced to five years in prison, after a court found his writings to have insulted religion, reports the Egyptian news website Aswat Masriya.

The complaint against Saber and his book Ayn Allah (Where Is God?) was initially filed in 2011, months after the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak's regime. Saber's was reportedly the first blasphemy case of its kind after Egypt's revolution.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Protesters Back In Taksim Square After Being Driven Out

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 4:20 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.

In Istanbul, crowds of protesters are once again gathering at Taksim Square, after being driven out last night by riot police.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING PROTESTERS)

BLOCK: Everywhere is Taksim, they chanted today, everywhere is resistance.

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Europe
2:20 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Greece Shutters Entire Public Broadcasting Network

Protesters wave flags outside the Athens headquarters of broadcaster ERT on Wednesday. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras shut down the network Tuesday, but workers are occupying the building.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:06 am

The Greek government has abruptly shut down the country's public broadcasting network and fired all of its staff.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wants to show the country's creditors, including the European Union and International Monetary Fund, that he's downsizing the public sector, which has been criticized for corruption and bloat. But many Greeks see the rushed closure as a dictatorial move that will compromise the country's troubled media.

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Parallels
10:53 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Iranian Women: New President Could Bring More Restrictions

An Iranian woman walks past posters of presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani, a former top nuclear negotiator, next to his campaign headquarters, in Tehran, Iran, on June 1. Many Iranian women are concerned about the erosion of their opportunities.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 12:00 pm

As Iran prepares to hold a presidential election Friday, many women say that their limited gains have been rolled back by the outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Since all of the presidential candidates have been officially approved by Iran's clerical leaders, women say most are conservative and would be likely to continue adopting policies that target the social and educational advances by women.

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Art & Design
9:42 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Designer Ozwald Boateng On Being The 'Statesman of Cool'

Oswald Boateng has designed for the rich and famous.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 2:49 pm

Ozwald Boateng was the youngest and first black tailor to have a shop on London's prestigious Savile Row, a street renowned for its fine tailoring, where the world's royalty come for their attire.

Boateng also dresses athletic and Hollywood royalty. Actor Laurence Fishburne once said, "When you wear an Ozwald Boateng suit, you become a statesman of cool." Boateng is also a statesman for something else: the future development of Africa.

He joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to talk about style and diplomacy.

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Parallels
8:31 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Tallinn: The Former Soviet City That Gave Birth To Skype

Residents of the Estonian capital of Tallinn can use public transportation for free after purchasing a special card for 2 euros.
Raigo Pajula AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 4:20 pm

The Baltic city of Tallinn hardly looks modern with its blend of medieval towers and Soviet-era architecture. Smoke-spewing buses and noisy streetcars look as if they have been plucked from the past.

Even so, the Estonian capital is one of the world's most technologically advanced cities. The birthplace of Skype has repeatedly been cited for its digital accomplishments. Last week, Tallinn once again made the short list of the world's most intelligent cities as selected by the Intelligent Community Forum.

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Middle East
2:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Turkish Police Remain In Control Of Taksim Square

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

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Middle East
1:28 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Despite Limited Election Choices, Iranians Eager To Be Heard

Supporters of Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and a candidate in Iran's June 14 presidential election, attend a street campaign after Friday prayers in Tehran on June 7.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

The day we arrived in Iran's capital, Tehran, billboards along the drive from the airport to the city center were already telling us something about what's happening in the country as it prepared for Friday's presidential elections.

We see typical highway signs for Sony Ericsson, but also billboards featuring the face of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. We also see and drive under giant signs that are from Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging people to vote.

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Parallels
1:26 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Honduras Claims Unwanted Title Of World's Murder Capital

Members of the 18th Street gang announce a truce during a press conference at a prison in San Pedro Sula, on May 28. The gang is involved in drug trafficking that has brought terror to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Loenel Cruz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 3:03 pm

Latin America is riddled with crime, and no place is more violent than Honduras. It has just 8 million people, but with as many as 20 people killed there every day, it now has the highest murder rate in the world.

It would be easy to blame drug trafficking. Honduras and its Central American neighbors have long served as a favored smuggling corridor for South American cocaine headed north to the U.S.

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Parallels
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Despite Critics, Russia Promises A Grand Olympic Spectacle

As Sochi, Russia, prepares to host the 2014 Olympic Games, workers walk past piles of dirt at the construction site of Fisht Stadium and Olympic Park on May 20.
Artur Lebedev ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:04 am

As Russia prepares to host the world for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, it faces a number of challenges: The weather is mild for winter sports; residents are complaining about being displaced; and the project is costing a huge amount of money.

Yet the Black Sea resort town, a favorite of President Vladimir Putin, is bustling with construction cranes. Workers are racing to complete high-rise hotels and state-of-the-art venues for figure skating, speedskating and hockey.

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Middle East
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Police Fire Tear Gas On Protesters In Turkey

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

Turkish riot police cracked down on ongoing anti-government protests in Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square on Tuesday.

Africa
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Mandela Remains In Hospital In Serious Condition

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized since Saturday with a recurring lung infection. The government says his condition is unchanged — serious, but stable. But his poor health and advanced age — 94 — suggest the former president's days are numbered. Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu described the anti-apartheid campaigner as an "extraordinary gift".

The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Egypt Said To Be In Talks With Ethiopia Over Nile Dam Plan

A May 28 photo shows the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, during a diversion ceremony for the country's dam project. Egypt says it is against the plan.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's leaders are negotiating with Ethiopia over a Nile River dam project the Ethiopians have begun building, according to reports. The news comes after a week of forceful talk about the dam project, including one session with Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi in which politicians discussed armed intervention, apparently not aware their words were being broadcast on live television.

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Animals
2:34 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

To Crack Down On Rhino Poaching, Authorities Turn To Drones

This young female rhinoceros, photographed in Kenya in 2011, was killed by ivory poachers a few months after this photo was taken.
Courtesy of Tom Snitch

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

A crowd of wildlife rangers gathered on a woody hillside in Nepal last year to try something they'd never done before. A man held what looked like an overgrown toy airplane in his right hand, arm cocked as if to throw it into the sky. As his fellow rangers cheered, he did just that. A propeller took over, sending it skyward.

The craft was an unmanned aerial vehicle, also known as a drone, though not the military kind. Its wingspan was about 7 feet, and it carried only a video camera that filmed the forest below.

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Shots - Health News
1:48 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Rises In Great Britain

A public health poster from 1952 encourages Americans to get checked for sexually transmitted diseases. Gonorrhea is the second-most-common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S., with more than 300,000 cases reported in 2011.
Images from the History of Medicine

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:31 am

Forms of gonorrhea that don't respond to the last line of antibiotics have rapidly spread in Great Britain, expanding the reach of drug-resistant disease.

The number of gonorrhea cases with decreased sensitivity to the front-line drug cefixime increased by nearly six times from 2004 to 2011 in England and Wales, a team from the U.K.'s Health Protection Agency reported Tuesday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Za'atar: A Spice Mix With Biblical Roots And Brain Food Reputation

Lebanese bread topped with za'atar, a spice mix ubiquitous in the Middle East.
Photostock Israel Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:27 am

NPR Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep recently traveled to Damascus for a series of reports on the ongoing war in Syria. He sent this postcard from the road.

Dear Salt:

On my first day in Damascus, I went walking in the ancient bazaar — narrow stone-paved streets surrounding a great stone mosque. The mosque is so old, it used to be a church during the Roman Empire, and before it was a church, it was a pagan temple. The bazaar is surely as old as the mosque, for Damascus is a historic city of trade.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Tue June 11, 2013

In Istanbul, Police Move Against Anti-Government Protesters

People run away from tear gas which is thrown by riot police during a clash at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.
Tolga Bozoglu EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:10 pm

Update at 8:42 p.m. ET. Unrest May Continue All Night:

As Tuesday night wore into Wednesday morning, Turkish riot police were clashing with demonstrators in Istanbul's Taksim Square. Barrages of tear gas were fired into the square, where several fires burned on vehicles and other material. Some protesters were equipped with gas masks.

Speaking on television Tuesday, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he will not bend to the protesters' demands. Here's a portion of that speech, from the BBC:

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Parallels
3:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Inmates In A Venezuelan Prison Build A World Of Their Own

At this prison in Barinas, Venezuela, the inmates are in charge.
Steve Inskeep NPR

In Latin America — home to the vast majority of the world's most violent cities — it's said the only part of a prison a guard controls is the gate, leaving convicts to fend for themselves inside, even running criminal networks from behind bars.

I wanted to understand how a prison like that worked, and I was in luck: A colleague knew a man serving time a Venezuelan prison. The prisoner got in touch with the leader of the inmates, who sent word that he'd be willing to see us.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Lawmakers Work To Gauge Public Mood On NSA And Leaker

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Edward Snowden in New York's Union Square Park, on Monday. Snowden, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:17 pm

When it comes to secrets leaker Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency's phone records and Internet snooping, some in Congress face a dilemma.

Namely, how to read public opinion.

Speaking off the record, aides for Republican and Democratic House lawmakers told me they are getting constituent calls on both sides: from those urging that Snowden not be prosecuted and those insisting he should be.

An aide for one congressman told me her boss's staff was holding off on issuing a statement until it had the chance to further gauge the voters' mood.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

World War II-Era German Bomber Raised Near English Coast

A Dornier 17 bomber, which Germany used in the first years of World War II, is lowered onto a salvage barge in the English Channel, 70 years after the craft was shot down.
RAF Museum

A rare Dornier 17, an aluminum-skinned German bomber that flew in the Battle of Britain, has been salvaged from the murky waters of the English Channel. The plane was shot down more than 70 years ago near the coast of Kent.

"The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce the successful lift of the only known example of the Dornier Do17," said the RAF Museum's director general, Peter Dye, Monday. He called the feat an "incredibly complex and delicate operation."

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Asia
3:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

China May Not Intervene To Keep NSA Leaker In Hong Kong

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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National Security
3:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

NSA Leaker Checks Out Of Hong Kong Hotel

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Investigators are trying to learn all they can about the American intelligence contractor who says he leaked sensitive documents to reporters. Edward Snowden is 29 years old, a former tech specialist for the company Booz Allen Hamilton, which does a lot of government intelligence work. Over the weekend, he took responsibility for disclosing details of two U.S. government surveillance programs.

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Africa
3:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Struggles To Live Up To Campaign Promises

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Egypt is settling in for what looks to be a hot and painful summer with power cuts, price hikes and political stagnation. All that could spark renewed protests against President Mohammed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians who believed in the promise of revolutionary reform are frustrated.

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Parallels
12:45 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

You Face A U.S. Legal Problem. Where Should You Run?

U.S. chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer, shown in 1971, a year before he won the world's most famous chess match, fled to Iceland in 2005 to avoid prosecution in the U.S. He remained there until his death in 2008.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:22 pm

Let's say you are an American facing prosecution and you want to escape the long arm of the American law. Where's the best place to go?

Iceland, perhaps, and we'll get to that in a moment.

Edward Snowden, who faces potential prosecution after declaring that he leaked details of a highly classified U.S. intelligence program, caught a flight to Hong Kong.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Mon June 10, 2013

For Bobby Fischer, WikiLeaks & NSA Leaker, Iceland Is Haven

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer in March 2005 as he left Japan for Iceland, where he lived out his final years.
Yuriko Nakao Reuters /Landov

Edward Snowden, the former CIA and Booz Allen computer security technician who says he leaked information about National Security Agency surveillance programs, has told The Guardian that he wants "to seek asylum in a country with shared values

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Politics
9:29 am
Mon June 10, 2013

How Serious Is The NSA Data Leak?

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parallels
5:15 am
Mon June 10, 2013

In Venezuela, A Family Blames The Police For Their Misery

Eloisa Barrios visits the humble graves of nine male family members in the Guanayen cemetery. She says all nine were killed by the police, in what was a vendetta against her family. Recently, a 10th member of the family was stabbed to death. He was 17.
Meridith Kohut for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 3:05 pm

The story of Venezuela's Eloisa Barrios is especially revealing because so many of her relatives have been killed. Revealing because of who she believes pulled the trigger.

Some weeks ago, Barrios climbed into our van for a drive to a cemetery. The burial ground is outside a village in the Venezuelan countryside. We went there to visit the Barrios family dead.

She told us nine relatives had been killed in shootings over the past 15 years. All nine were young men.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Syrian Government Limits Humanitarian Aid To Qusair

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The last remaining villages of the embattled Syrian region, Qusair fell to government forces and fighters from the Lebanese-Shiite militia, Hezbollah, over the weekend. The main concern now is what's happening to the civilians there. The Syrian government has severely limited humanitarian groups, like the Red Cross, from getting in and aiding the people of Qusair.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the story from nearby Beirut. She joins us. And, Kelly, what is the situation for civilians in Qusair?

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National Security
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

'Guardian' Reveals Source Of NSA Leaks

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:08 am

The Guardian newspaper says the insider who blew the whistle on the NSA's probing of major U.S. Internet and telecom companies is a 29-year-old analyst who's been working for the agency under a government contract. His name is Edward Snowden.

National Security
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Confessed NSA Leaker Hole Up In Hong Kong Hotel

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:08 am

The Guardian has identified its source for a series of reports it published in recent days on secret U.S. surveillance activity. The paper says the source is Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA who now works for a private-sector defense and technology consulting firm.

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