World News

Parallels
1:31 am
Mon June 3, 2013

For Young Somali Journalists, Work Often Turns Deadly

Reporter Donna Ali, 18, awaits her turn to go on air. Shabelle hires reporters as young as 15.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 7:05 pm

Shabelle Media is Somalia's largest news outlet — and a very dangerous place to work. Of the 12 journalists gunned down in the country last year, four were reporting for Shabelle.

A number of the reporters are teenagers, some as young as 15. The reporters almost never venture out of the office, which is outfitted with sleeping quarters and a kitchen.

Why are Shabelle's young journalists being targeted more than others?

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Egypt Court Says Upper House Of Parliament Elected Illegally

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 12:37 pm

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Sunday that the country's upper house of parliament — the so-called Shura council — was illegally elected.

As CBS News reports, that is a serious blow to President Mohammed Morsi's Freedom and Justice party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It will essentially cast a pretty big question mark over the constitution the Shura Council drafted and will no doubt embolden the opposition. CBS News explains:

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Parallels
10:41 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Greece Has A PR Problem. Can It Be Fixed?

A protester burns an effigy depicting a Greek worker, in front of parliament in Athens on April 28. A few hundred public servants protested peacefully as lawmakers voted on a new austerity bill.
Kostas Tsironis AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 11:06 am

Greece used to be a place with a positive global image: gorgeous islands, friendly people, great food and stunning history.

Then came the financial meltdown. Three years ago, when Greece became the first eurozone country to receive a multibillion-dollar bailout, many international media organizations portrayed Greeks as corrupt tax-evaders who liked to riot instead of work.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Sun June 2, 2013

After Two Violent Days, Protesters In Turkey Return

Protesters clash with riot police between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul, on Sunday.
Gurcan Ozturk AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 1:00 pm

This morning central Istanbul was quiet. It was still reeling from two days of anti-government rallies that led to violent confrontations with police. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Turkey that some 900 people were arrested across the country and several hundred were wounded.

Peter said officials "are beginning to ask questions about who ordered the fierce police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators that triggered the massive anti-government reaction."

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Parallels
3:49 am
Sun June 2, 2013

U.S. Tourists Become Israeli Commandos For A Day

Businessmen from Philadelphia practice with wooden cutouts of rifles at Caliber 3, a counter-terrorism training center amid Israeli settlements south of Jerusalem. Millions of tourists visit Israel each year and for those interested in Israel's security, for a price they can spend a few hours learning commando techniques.
Emiliy Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 6:29 am

After two hours of yelling, shooting and getting tough with a group of American businessmen one hot spring afternoon, Steve Gar turned to storytelling.

Gar is an instructor at Caliber3, a private counterterrorism training center in an Israeli settlement area south of Jerusalem that offers short shooting courses for tourists. Wrapping up the Americans' two-hour session, he called them all to gather around.

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Parallels
3:24 am
Sun June 2, 2013

A City Of Assad Supporters In War-Ravaged Syria

The port city of Tartous is in a region loyal to President Bashar Assad. The city has been a refuge for supporters to vacation and seek work.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 12:33 pm

Many people in Syria are accustomed to the sound of daily gunfire. It is normal in battle-scarred cities like Damascus or Qusair.

But along the beaches and in the cafes of Tartous, an area that is a center of support for the embattled President Bashar Assad, the sounds are a bit more peaceful.

Near the water's edge of the Mediterranean, tables, chairs and umbrellas sit upon huge stones. At one of these tables sits a brother and sister on vacation.

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Parallels
3:20 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Nodding Syndrome: A Devastating Medical Mystery In Uganda

Most of the children in the nodding syndrome ward at the Atanga Health Center in the Pader district in Uganda are severe cases, who first showed symptoms as early as 2002, or children who have been neglected by their parents. Staffers here treat these patients with a generic anti-convulsant drug called sodium valproate. They also provide the children and their caretakers with food.
Matthew Kielty for NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 10:11 pm

It starts with the nodding — otherwise normal children begin to nod their heads, pathologically. Then come the seizures. The children stop growing and stop talking. Ultimately, the disease wrecks the children, physically and mentally.

The strange and deadly illness known as nodding syndrome affects only children, and only in a small pocket of East Africa. It has affected more than 3,000 children since the late 1990s, when it first appeared in what was then southern Sudan. And for more than three years, the cause of nodding syndrome has eluded epidemiologists around the globe.

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World
1:52 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Violence In Turkey Casts Shadow On Olympic Bid

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:11 pm

The city of Istanbul for the fifth time is bidding to host the 2020 summer Olympics. It pitched itself as "an emerged nation" to the Olympic Committee. But at the same time, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells guest host Wade Goodwyn, images of police firing tear gas canisters and water cannons at anti-development protesters seemed to send a different kind of message this week.

World
4:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Sandwich Throwing: Australian For Protest

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:07 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

People might not want to stand near Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard if they want to keep their suit clean, but if they want a snack.... Earlier this month, someone hurled a sandwich slathered in Vegemite, the yeast extract that's Australia's national spread, at the prime minister. It missed by a wide mark. A student was suspended for 15 days, but he denies being the culprit.

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Parallels
3:30 am
Sat June 1, 2013

After Years Of War, Ugandan Children Face New Deadly Threat

Grace Aber stands in the shade of a mango tree with her children in the remote village of Tumangu in northern Uganda. Four of Aber's nine children have been diagnosed with nodding syndrome, starting with Partick (front), who first showed symptoms in 2002.
Matthew Kielty for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 6:27 am

The village of Tumangu, in northern Uganda, defines remote. It's hard even to find on maps. But it shows up frequently in news stories. Grace Aber is about to show me why.

She leads me down a narrow dirt path, passing a couple of clay huts. We get to a big mango tree. Aber's 17-year-old son, Patrick, sits under it. His shoulders are slouched. His eyes look like glass.

Aber tries to get him to say his name. A small grunt is the only sound he makes.

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The Salt
3:21 am
Sat June 1, 2013

France Sells Presidential Wines To Update Palace Wine Cellar

French President Francois Hollande's palace has decided to dive into its wine cellar and sell some of its treasures to raise money and replenish its collection with more modest vintages. About 1,200 bottles, a 10th of the Elysee's wine collection, are being sold at the Drouot auction house in Paris this week.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:46 pm

Prized Burgundies and Bordeaux once served at the presidential palace in France were sold for the first time ever as the wine cellar at Elysee Palace gets an overhaul.

Some 1,200 bottles, or 10 percent of the palace wines, went on sale this week at the famous Drouot auction house in downtown Paris. On the block were vintages from 1930 to 1990, including famous names such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Montrachet.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

U.S., Russia At Odds Over Moscow's Plan To Arm Syria

A MIG-29 and its armaments on display at the military aerodrome at Vasylkiv near Kiev, Ukraine.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:48 pm

Russian media has hinted that Moscow could speed up delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Syria if the U.S. and its allies decide to impose a no-fly zone to aid rebels there. Meanwhile, a Russian airplane maker says Syria is discussing the purchase of additional MiG-29 fighters.

A Russian arms industry source quoted by Interfax news agency says Moscow could hasten delivery of the S-300 to Syria, even though the missiles would still take months to arrive.

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Remembering Heroes Of The Second World War
3:04 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Army Nurse Mildred Manning: An 'Angel' POW With A Job To Do

Mildred Manning, then Mildred Dalton, was serving as a U.S. Army nurse in the Philippines when she was taken prisoner by Japanese forces in 1942.
U.S. Army

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

Sixteen million men and women served in uniform during World War II. Today, 1.2 million are still alive, but hundreds of those vets are dying every day. In honor of Memorial Day, NPR's All Things Considered is remembering some of the veterans who died this year.

There were no "typical" tours of duty in World War II, but U.S. Army nurse Mildred Dalton Manning's was particularly extraordinary. Manning, along with six dozen other nurses, was held captive by the Japanese for almost three years. The group became known as the "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor."

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Turkish Police, Anti-Government Protesters Clash

Demonstrators flee from a water cannon during clashes with riot police Friday during a protest against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, in Taksim Square in Istanbul.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:03 pm

Turkish police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannons to break up what are being described as the worst anti-government protests in years.

Reuters reports:

"Thousands of demonstrators massed on streets surrounding Istanbul's central Taksim Square, long a venue for political unrest, while protests erupted in the capital Ankara and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir."

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Report Of Liquid Woolly Mammoth Blood Prompts Clone Talk

A file photo from 2011 shows a man touching a giant bronze sculpture of a mammoth in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk. A team of Russian and South Korean scientists who found a well-preserved frozen woolly mammoth carcass this month say it also included blood.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 2:38 pm

Scientists in Siberia say they've extracted blood samples from the carcass of a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth, reviving speculation that a clone of the extinct animal might someday walk the earth, if scientists are able to find living cells. But researchers say the find, which also included well-preserved muscle tissue, must be studied further to know its potential.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Top Khmer Rouge Leaders Apologize For Regime's Atrocities

A Cambodian survivor of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison (known as S-21) poses by a picture of "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea last year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The top two surviving leaders of Cambodia's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime have expressed remorse for their actions while in power and acknowledged a degree of responsibility for the atrocities committed in their names.

Nuon Chea, the chief lieutenant of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, and Khieu Samphan, who acted as head of state for the Maoist regime, are currently on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity.

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The Salt
11:53 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Nordic Diet Could Be Local Alternative To Mediterranean Diet

A typical Swedish meal of fried herring and lingonberries includes some of the local ingredients of the healthy Nordic diet prescribed in a new study.
iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:02 pm

The Mediterranean diet has long been a darling of nutrition experts as a proven way to prevent some chronic diseases. Heavy on olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish, the diet most recently has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and dying compared with a typical low-fat diet.

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Parallels
11:48 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Rio Goes High-Tech, With An Eye Toward Olympics, World Cup

Rio's Operations Center brings together more than 30 agencies and allows them to coordinate on daily issues such as traffic, as well as on emergencies such as the frequent flash floods in hillside slums.
Raphael Lima Courtesy of the Operations Center, City of Rio De Janeiro

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:27 am

We are standing in front of a huge bank of screens, in the middle of which is a glowing map that changes focus depending on what the dozens of controllers are looking at.

The room looks like something straight out of a NASA shuttle launch. The men and women manning the floor are dressed in identical white jumpsuits. With a flick of a mouse, they scroll through dozens of streaming video images coming into the center.

This is Rio de Janeiro in real time.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Is This Faint Line Below The Sea Amelia Earhart's Plane?

That line below the surface might be pieces of Amelia Earhart's plane, researchers say.
TIGHAR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:12 am

The group that's been searching for the remains of aviator Amelia Earhart and her long-lost plane has released what it calls "exciting ... frustrating ... maddening" evidence of where her Lockheed Electra might be.

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Planet Money
3:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:34 pm

If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.

Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.

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Middle East
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Watching Battle For Qusayr From A Syrian Rooftop

A Syrian soldier walks through the hotly contested city of Qusair on May 22. The Syrian army, backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, has been waging a fierce fight with rebels in the key western city for the past two weeks.
STR STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:42 am

Syria's government appears to be making gains this week in a battle against rebel forces in the key city of Qusair, along the border with Lebanon. NPR's Steve Inskeep traveled to the edge of the city, and we hear from him first, followed by Kelly McEvers, who reports from just across the frontier in Lebanon.

A Syrian provincial governor told us this week that the government army has largely retaken Qusair, though a battle continues for the airport. We asked to see for ourselves.

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Middle East
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Hezbollah Sends Fighters To Qusayr From Lebanon

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's Kelly McEvers has also been reporting on the fight, and the involvement of Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. She sends this report.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: So, we're just on the other side of the border from where Steve just was. We're in Lebanon. We're standing on top of an unfinished house. It's basically bare concrete with rebar sticking up. And I can see into Qusayr. Just beyond a berm that forms the border between Lebanon and Syria is the city of Qusayr.

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Europe
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Kremlin Critic Claims Mass Corruption Ahead Of 2014 Olympics

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:29 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With the Olympics set to begin in Russia this coming winter, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling the preparations, quote, "a monstrous scam." That language comes from a report just released that alleges massive theft and corruption. It estimates that contractors and government officials may have already stolen as much $30 billion dollars as they build Olympic venues in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

NPR's Corey Flintoff joined us on the line with us from Moscow. Good morning.

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Parallels
1:19 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:57 pm

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

A Kiss Is But A Kiss, But To French Kiss Is 'Galocher'

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault kisses his wife, actress Salma Hayek, in Paris in 2009.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:29 pm

It might come as a surprise that for centuries the French have been sans a term for "French kiss."

But, voila! The newest edition of the Petit Robert 2014 dictionary has rectified that with a new verb — "galocher," meaning "to kiss with tongues." It's a clever derivation of la galoche, a word for an ice-skating boot, and so evokes the idea of sliding around the ice — or the lips and tongue.

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Remembering Heroes Of The Second World War
2:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Public Servant Herman Boudreau, Heroic Under Enemy Fire

Herman Boudreau served in the U.S. Army in World War II, then rose to the rank of command sergeant major in the Maine Army National Guard.
Courtesy of the Boudreau family

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:51 pm

When Herman Boudreau joined the U.S. Army in 1941, he set in motion a lifetime of public service. Boudreau, who died in April at age 93, served in the Army in New Zealand and the South Pacific during World War II.

He spent more than two years fighting the Japanese, and years later shared many of his war experiences with his daughter, Nancie Smith. In one incident, she says, he had to secure an airfield while removing the last Japanese resistance on three occupied islands.

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World
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

El Salvador Upholds Abortion Rules In Highly Charged Case

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:22 pm

Melissa Block speaks with New York Times reporter Karla Zabludovsky about El Salvador's national policy restricting abortions under any circumstances — a decision that puts one 22-year-old at particularly high risk.

The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Father Of Chechen Killed In Florida Says His Son Was Executed

Abdul-Baki Todashev, father of Ibragim Todashev, shows pictures he says are of his son's bullet-riddled body, at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:18 pm

The father of the Chechen immigrant who was killed in Florida during an FBI interrogation over his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says his son was killed execution-style.

At a news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed reporters 16 photos he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue.

"I want justice. I want an investigation," Todashev said. "They come to your house like bandits, and they shoot you."

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Four Men In A Small Boat Face The Northwest Passage

A European Space Agency photo of the McClure Strait in the Canadian Arctic. The McClure Strait is the most direct route of the Northwest Passage and has been fully open since early August 2007.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 1:23 pm

Only a few years ago, even large commercial vessels wouldn't take on the ice-bound Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific via the Canadian north — but climate change has changed all that.

Now, a group of hearty adventurers hopes to be the first to row the 1,900-mile route this summer.

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Middle East
12:29 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

As Hezbollah Vows Support, The New Calculus In Syria

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Over more than two years, the conflict in Syria progressed from protest to civil war, opposition aims from reform to revolution, and the nature of the fighting became increasingly sectarian. Now another important turn as foreign troops openly join one side.

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