World News

The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:58 am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

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Movie Interviews
9:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Pulitzer Winner's Personal Film About Being Undocumented

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
8:10 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Scientists Go Medieval To Solve Ancient Leprosy Puzzle

A woodcut from the 1800s, Healing the Lepers, depicts the common tableau of Jesus healing a leper as his disciples look on.
Images from the History of Medicine

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 12:51 pm

Look through a series of 15th-century woodcuts, and you'll find that the leper is as much an icon of medieval art as the crown or the cross.

Leprosy was so common in Europe during the Middle Ages that it's estimated 1 in 30 people was infected with the bacteria. But by the turn of the 16th century, after the Crusades had swept across Europe, the disease mysteriously disappeared. And it never returned.

This left scientists puzzled. Did the bacteria mutate to become less harmful, or did Europeans become resistant to the germs?

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Middle East
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

U.S. To Provide Military Support To Opposition In Syria

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The Obama administration has shifted policy on Syria with an announcement, last night, that it will step up support for rebels who've been losing ground in recent weeks. The White House says it will start providing direct military support to rebel commanders.

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World
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Talks In Turkey May Solve Violence Over Park Construction

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Latin America
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Venezuelan Joggers Find Safety In Numbers

Some participants run for a mile, while some run for up to six miles.
Meridith Kohut for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:05 pm

It's dusk on a recent day in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, and for many, that's a signal to get inside. Crime and violence have become so widespread here, many people simply shut themselves in.

"Your house becomes your own prison," says Arturo Hidalgo. After about 8 or 9 at night, he says, "you better be home because otherwise you can get in trouble."

Hidalgo would know: He's been robbed before. The result, he says, is a deep-seated fear. For an avid runner, that's a problem.

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Middle East
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Voters Cast Ballots In Iran's Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Syria's ally Iran, people are voting for president today. It is Iran's first presidential election since the stunning vote in 2009. Back then, a surprisingly early declaration of victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked a wave of protests, followed by years of government repression. This time around, six candidates are contending for power amid widespread skepticism about the election, and intensive security on the streets.

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Middle East
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Syrians React To U.S. Providing Military Aid To Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 5:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, BYLINE: And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The White House announced last night it will now give direct military aid to Syrian rebel forces. Administration officials say this follows intelligence assessments that indicate the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons repeatedly against opposition forces in the past year. For more on what this means, we go to NPR's Deborah Amos who is in Amman, Jordan. Deb, welcome.

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Parallels
1:20 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Friction Among Afghans A Threat To Post-U.S. Mission

A soldier from the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, Manchus, looks toward the tree line through his rifle scope while on a foot patrol to visit Afghan Local Police in the Panjwai District of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. Panjwai is one of the most dangerous districts in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 1:48 pm

The Afghan farmer in Panjwai District, outside the southern city of Kandahar, is finally fed up with the Taliban.

His name is Abdullah Razik. He's slight, with a trim beard and a dark green shirt that falls below his knees.

The Taliban plant roadside bombs in his fields, he says, and shoot near his house. The area is one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan — the birthplace of the Taliban.

Not long ago, something worse happened, Razik says.

"My friend ... lost his hand," he says. "The Taliban were putting IEDs in my village" four months ago.

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Middle East
5:37 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Chemical Weapons Use In Syria Crosses U.S. 'Red Line'

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Obama administration has now joined France and Britain in concluding that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people. That crosses a red line that President Obama has repeatedly warned would change the U.S. calculation in Syria.

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Parallels
5:29 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Where Things Stand In Syria – And Other Questions Answered

A man carries a boy badly wounded by the fighting between government forces and rebels on March 11, 2012. The U.N. says at least 93,000 people have been killed in the fighting.
Rodrigo Abd AP

The White House announced Thursday that Syrian President Bashar Assad had crossed a "red line" by using chemical weapons against the opposition. The announcement comes amid calls for greater U.S. engagement in the conflict. We take a look at what is happening in Syria and who the major players are.

Where Do Things Stand In Syria?

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Middle East
3:46 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Death Toll In Syria Jumps To Nearly 93,000

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The United Nations announced today that the death toll in Syria has jumped to nearly 93,000. Since last July, more than 5,000 people have been killed every month. And the numbers in reality are likely even higher.

They're compiled for the U.N. by a nonprofit group in San Francisco called the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. Researchers go through a complicated process, scouring eight different sources that document deaths. Megan Price led that study, and she joins us now to talk about it. Welcome to the program.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

U.S. Says It Has 'High Confidence' Syria Used Chemical Weapons

Syrian rebel fighters hold a position Thursday in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan. At least 93,000 people, including more than 6,500 children, have been killed in Syria's civil war.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:19 pm

The White House has "high confidence" that the Syrian regime is using chemical weapons against rebel forces, and the U.S. is prepared to offer military assistance to the opposition, a senior administration official said Thursday.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that an estimated 100 to 150 Syrians have been killed in attacks using sarin gas, although the figure "is likely incomplete."

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Religion
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Pope's Reference To 'Gay Lobby' Broaches Taboo Topic

Pope Francis leads rosary concluding Marian month of May on May 31, at St. Peter's square at the Vatican.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:35 pm

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are a grave sin. But the existence of active gay prelates in the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Roman Curia has been considered a poorly held secret for centuries.

Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the British Catholic weekly The Tablet, says the normal definition of a lobby as an organized group of people pushing a specific agenda does not apply here.

He prefers to call it a gay subculture.

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Parallels
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

As Sanctions Squeeze, Iranians Keep Improvising

Female supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, chant slogans at a campaign rally in Tehran on Wednesday, two days ahead of the election.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:59 pm

Iranians have lived with American sanctions for many years, and we could see the evidence of this when we stepped into a Tehran shop called GM Auto Parts.

It had the famous blue and white General Motors logo, though the sign, like almost everything in the spare parts shop for American cars, looked decades old.

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Asia
12:08 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

A Superpower And An Emerging Rival: A Look Ahead At China

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:19 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In an extraordinary step, President Obama and China's new leader, Xi Jinping, met at a California ranch last weekend to reset relations between the two largest economies in the world and between an established superpower and an emerging rival.

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National Security
11:57 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Hacktivists: Heroes Or, Well, Hacks?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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World
11:57 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Mau Mau Settlement: How Much Cash Fixes The Past?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parallels
11:52 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Mass Kidnapping Puts Mexican Legal System On Trial

Images from posters made by relatives show 10 of the 12 young people kidnapped in broad daylight from a bar in Mexico City on May 26. No one has claimed responsibility for the brazen abduction.
Marco Ugarte AP

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 3:00 pm

Josephina Garcia Rodriguez and Leticia Ponce Ramos sip coffee and console each other at a restaurant in front of Mexico City's prosecutor's office. They're about to head into a meeting with the lead investigator in the case of their kidnapped sons.

"We're going on three weeks since they were kidnapped," Garcia says. "It's been some difficult days, really hard for us mothers. We just want our sons back home with us."

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Chinese Astronauts Dock With Orbiting Space Lab

Chinese astronauts (from left) Wang Yaping, mission commander Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang gesture as they prepare to board the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft in Jiuquan, China, on Tuesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 11:54 am

A trio of Chinese astronauts has successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 space laboratory for what's expected to be a total of 15 days in orbit — the longest mission to date for China's burgeoning manned space program.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Israel's Rabbis Seek To Bend Pastries To Their Will

What's what? In Israel, the shape of a boureka pastry traditionally tells you what's inside. Now the country's chief rabbis want the shapes to get a lot more specific to help people keep kosher.
Emily Harris NPR

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

Anyone who follows a particular diet knows the challenge of eating out. How do you know exactly what's in the food?

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Turkey's Prime Minister Issues Warning To 'Lawbreakers'

A protestor with a gas mask uses a mobile phone to read the news on social media as demonstrators gather at midnight Thursday in Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:01 am

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a strong warning to the protesters camped out at Taksim Square in Istanbul.

He said that within 24 hours, the situation at the square would be resolved. As The New York Times reports, the tough talk was tempered with an olive branch of sorts: Erdogan hinted that a referendum could decide whether a mall would be built in place of a park next to the square.

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Parallels
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Iran's Election May Not Really Be About Picking A President

Female supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, hold up posters and national flags at a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on May 24. Jalili advocates for traditional roles for women and resistance against the U.S.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 7:55 am

When Iranians vote Friday for president, it will be an election unlike any other.

Clerics who hold supreme power in the Islamic Republic have allowed elections for decades.

But while the people vote, clerics and their allies make the rules. Those already in power choose who can run for office and limit what they do if elected.

Restrictions are tighter than ever after massive protests that followed a disputed election in 2009. In fact, the country has come to redefine the whole purpose of an election.

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Parallels
2:28 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Once Home To A Dreaded Drug Lord, Medellin Remakes Itself

Colombian army soldiers patrol Medellin's Loma de Cristobal neighborhood after warring gangs forced dozens of families to flee. Medellin used to be the most dangerous city in the world, but officials embarked on innovative projects designed to make life better in tough neighborhoods.
Paul Smith for NPR

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

Of all the violent cities of Latin America, one stands out as a great success story: Medellin, a metropolis nestled in the mountains of northwest Colombia.

Once the home of the cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, it recorded more than 6,300 homicides in 1991, making it the world's murder capital. Then, one city government after another built schools and libraries, parks and infrastructure. The police also received an overhaul and became more adept at going after violent trafficking groups.

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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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