World News

Europe
12:43 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

How A Spanish City Went Boom, Then Bust

Valencia spent more than $1.5 billion to build the City of Arts and Sciences, the museum complex shown here in a photo from summer 2011.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

The Spanish region of Valencia has been called the "California of Spain" for its gorgeous Mediterranean coastline and modern architecture.

But now Valencia epitomizes the worst of Spain's problems. It had the country's most inflated property market and the biggest crash. Its landscape is littered with empty and half-finished buildings. Valencia has also had an unusually high number of politicians indicted for corruption.

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Middle East
12:04 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

The Challenges To Democracy In Egypt

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Today, Egypt's defense minister warned that rising conflicts and chaos in the country could result in the collapse of the state and that it poses a threat to the future of coming generations, this after days of violent anti-government protests and demonstrations in cities across Egypt, including Cairo, the capital, and Port Said, just north of the Suez Canal.

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The Impact of War
11:56 am
Tue January 29, 2013

War And Foreign Policy Through The Eyes Of Vietnam Veterans

During the Vietnam War, more than 58,000 Americans died, as well as more than 2 million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 1:25 pm

Sen. John Kerry was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate to become the next secretary of state. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel awaits his turn before the Senate Armed Services Committee to become secretary of defense.

Both men are decorated Vietnam War veterans, and their critics and supporters point to their experiences in Vietnam as essential to their qualifications.

Hagel volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was wounded twice. Kerry commanded a swift boat in the Mekong Delta, and on his return home, he angrily threw away his decorations to protest the war.

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Latin America
11:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

For Your Next Caribbean Vacation, Haiti ... Maybe?

Mont Joli Hotel looks out over Cap-Haitian in northern Haiti. The owner says he's usually fully booked and plans to double the hotel's capacity. Haiti is trying to expand its tourism infrastructure and tap in to the multibillion-dollar Caribbean travel market.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

Haiti used to be a tourist hot spot in the Caribbean. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton regularly recounts how he and Hillary honeymooned in Haiti in 1975. There used to be a hopping Club Med just outside Port-au-Prince, but it closed in the '90s.

Now, the Haitian government is trying to revive some of its former allure, launching an aggressive campaign to market the poorest country in the hemisphere as a vacation hub.

President Michel Martelly says tourism could be a major driver of economic growth and could help lift Haitians out of poverty.

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World
10:57 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Here To Timbuktu: Myth And Reality At The World's Edge

Timbuktu was once considered so remote that the Paris-based Societe de Geographie offered 10,000 francs to the first non-Muslim to reach the city and report back.
Chris Kocek iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:16 pm

Timbuktu conjures up images of long camel caravans out on the edge of the sand-strewn Sahara — a remoteness so legendary that the ancient city is still a byword for the end of the earth.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Reports: Dozens Of Bodies Found In Syria; Young Men Apparently Executed

CIA World Factbook

Activists and rebels in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo are reporting today that "the bodies of dozens of young men, all apparently summarily executed" have been found in and around the Quwaiq River, the BBC writes.

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Africa
3:22 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Africans Must "Own The Solution' In Mali

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

British troops will be supporting the French mission in Mali to drive rebels and Islamist militants out of the West African country. British Foreign Secretary William Hague says it is important to support an ally. He tells Renee Montagne the prime way of dealing with the crisis in Mali is through African governments and forces.

Africa
3:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Timbuktu Freed From Islamist Fighters

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The city of Timbuktu is free...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...

INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.

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Africa
3:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Retreating Rebels Said To Have Destroyed Ancient Texts

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

French troops entered the legendary outpost of Timbuktu in Mai to push out Islamist militants. Many valuable artifacts were destroyed when militants first took the city last summer. There is now concern for the fate of tens of thousands of manuscripts, which capture the cultural history of the region. Renee Montagne talks to Shamil Jeppie, senior researcher with the University of Cape Town's Institute for Humanities in Africa, about what historical treasures were at risk in Timbuktu.

Africa
1:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Asia
1:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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National Security
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Threat Emerges At Intersection Of Terrorism, Syndicated Crime

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This month's hostage taking at a natural gas plant in Algeria shows how international terrorism is evolving. Groups such as al-Qaida have long been motivated by radical ideology. What's happening now in North Africa is a little different. For groups there, there's also a financial motive.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports on the dangerous intersection of terrorism and syndicated crime.

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Africa
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

At Least 40 People Dead In Egypt As Violent Protests Continue

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

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Europe
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Queen Of Netherlands To Abdicate Throne To Her Son

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Following tradition, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is stepping aside to give the throne to her son, Prince Willem-Alexander. Her mother did the same for her.

Afghanistan
2:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Women In Combat: What Do Troops In Afghanistan Think?

U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear to have mixed feelings about the decision lifting the ban on women in combat positions. Some women already operate in combat zones. Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley is shown here with her Marine Corps team in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:17 pm

The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.

And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.

"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."

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Author Interviews
11:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Anything That Moves': Civilians And The Vietnam War

Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm

On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.

The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.

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Asia
11:45 am
Mon January 28, 2013

North Korea's Rhetoric And Nuclear Capabilities

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:48 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Late last week, North Korea responded to new U.N. sanctions with hyperbolic language. A statement described the new measures as a declaration of war. Pyongyang deserves special vitriol for the United States, our sworn enemy, it said. A new nuclear weapons test would target the United States, and it described its new long-range missile as designed to strike U.S. territory.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Feeling All Cooped Up In The Syrian Capital

Many Syrians in the capital Damascus are feeling cooped up by the ongoing war. Here, a woman and her child who fled the fighting in their home area take refuge at a school in Damascus last September.
Muzaffar Salman AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:43 am

The author, a Syrian citizen, is not being identified due to safety concerns.

Rami is buff and athletic. For the past few years, he has supported himself and his wife working as a full-time personal trainer in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Now, he complains that his daily routine has been reduced to spending hours at home watching television.

"I end up watching the sultan's harem with my in-laws," he said, referring to a popular Turkish soap opera set in Ottoman times and dubbed into Arabic. "It's driving me crazy."

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

VIDEO: Look Out! Car Suddenly Emerges From Foam On Highway

On Australia's "sunshine coast" over the weekend, storms whipped up sea foam. It was so thick it covered this car. Thankfully, as it emerged the people who had been watching were able to get out of the way.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:46 am

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Africa
10:11 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Zimbabwe Activists Won't Back Down To Mugabe

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we keep hearing about the trouble kids can get into and cause with their online identities, but new research suggests that there are some advantages, too, and we will talk about that in our new miniseries, Social Me, and we'll start that series in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Iran Claims 'Major Achievement;' Says Monkey Was Sent Into Space

An image from Iran's state-controlled Press TV showing the monkey that was reportedly sent into space today strapped into its seat.
Press TV

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Brazilian Nightclub Disaster: Toxic Smoke, Barriers Blamed For Horrible Toll

Mourners at the coffin of one victim of the fire at the Kiss nightclub in southern Brazil.
Marcelo Sayao EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:59 am

Survivors and authorities are telling harrowing tales of what it was like early Sunday inside the Kiss nightclub in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria, where more than 230 people died as a fire swept through the building.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

French And Malian Forces Take Airport In Timbuktu; Islamists Burn Library

A French soldier in central Mali on Sunday.
Nic Bothma EPA /LANDOV

While French and Malian forces have taken control of Timbuktu's airport in what NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports may be a turning point in their fight against Islamist extremists, there's also word that before the Islamists fled the ancient city they set fire to a library that holds "thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts."

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Africa
4:46 am
Mon January 28, 2013

French-Led Forces Poised To Retake Timbuktu

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. When Islamist militants and rebels took over the vast desert region of Northern Mali last year, the big prize was the fabled city of Timbuktu. This morning, French-led forces are poised to take back Timbuktu. They've reached the airport outside the city, which a joint force of French and Malian troops took over the weekend.

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Africa
4:11 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Egypt's Morsi Declares State Of Emergency

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Just under two years after Egyptian protesters overthrew their government, Egypt's new government faces spreading protests. These demonstrations have led to violence near the Suez Canal; and they've prompted Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, to do what former Egyptian presidents used to do - declare a state of emergency. NPR's Leila Fadel is covering this story. Hi, Leila.

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Middle East
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Syrian Opposition Fears Waning Western Support

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk next about the uprising in Syria, where many people are asking, what happened to the United States? The U.S. promised practical help to the Syrian opposition, but NPR's Deborah Amos reports that help has not arrived.

DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: This was the scene last month in Morocco, at the Friends of Syria meeting. The Obama administration recognized the Syrian National Coalition; so have 130 other nations.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

WILLIAM BURNS: Good afternoon, everyone.

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Asia
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Experts Warn North Korean Rhetoric May Be Serious

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

North Korea has ratcheted up its rhetoric about the U.S. to a level that has even surprised seasoned observers. Last week, after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea, its new young leader called for, quote, "all out action against America." The U.N. sanctions came in response to North Korea's successful long-range missile tests last month.

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Africa
1:30 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Egypt's Salafis Emerge As Powerful And Controversial Political Force

A protester holds a Quran at a Salafi rally for the enforcement of Islamic Shariah law last fall in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Repressed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, the country's ultra-conservative Salafis have seen a resurgence since the Arab Spring uprising.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis. These ultra-conservative Muslims aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

To their critics, the Salafis are religious fanatics who are trying to drag the region back to 7th-century Arabia. But the Salafis maintain that they are offering the purest alternative to the dictatorships that have long dominated the region.

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World
2:58 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

Egyptian President Declares State Of Emergency

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 4:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SMITH, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Smith.

Friday was the second anniversary of the uprising in Egypt, the topple of the president there, Hosni Mubarak. The anniversary sparked massive protests against the new government, the Islamist government. The violence has left more than 40 people dead.

In a forceful address to the nation earlier today, Egypt's president declared a 30-day state of emergency in three Egyptian cities. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us to discuss the latest. Hey, Leila.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Mass Funeral Held For Riot Dead In Egyptian Town

Relatives of the Egyptian policemen who were killed in Port Said grieve during their military funeral in Cairo on Sunday.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Update at 6:10 p.m. ET Morsi Declares State Of Emergency

In a televised address Sunday night, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi declared a 30-day state of emergency and night curfew in three provinces hit hard by recent violence.

NPR's Leila Fadel says it means that during this time the government can arrest anyone they want if they look "fishy," and they can use the full force of the state to try and quell the city.

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