World News

The Two-Way
5:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

In Algeria: Some Hostages May Have Escaped

Algerian men look at national newspapers headlining the terrorist attack and kidnapping in Amenas at a news stand in Algiers on Thursday.
Ouahab Hebbat AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 2:57 pm

Events are happening quickly at the gas facility in eastern Algeria where Islamist militants seized a large group of hostages — perhaps as many as 41 of them foreigners who apparently include some Americans — on Wednesday.

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Africa
3:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Mali Update

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In West Africa, the push to prevent militant Islamists from expanding beyond their base in northern Mali is shifting into a ground war. French and Malian troops are now directly engaging al-Qaida linked rebels in combat. They've surrounded a desert village that jihadists overran when they began pushing south toward Mali's capital. This escalates the battle that began last week, when France sent in fighter jets to attack the rebels.

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Africa
3:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Algeria Update

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 12:05 pm

In southern Algeria, Islamist militants are holding scores of Western hostages who were kidnapped from an oil refinery. The militants say the kidnappings are in retaliation for French intervention in the Mali crisis.

The Salt
4:29 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Jihadi Fighters Win Hearts And Minds By Easing Syria's Bread Crisis

A man makes bread as residents, background, stand in line in front of a bakery during heavy fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria, on Dec. 4, 2012.
Narciso Contreras Associated Press

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

In Syria, the staple of most meals is a thin, round, flat bread that we would probably call pita.

Back in November, as fierce fighting raged across Syria, people started to run out of this bread. Government forces were attacking bakeries in rebel-held areas and cutting off electricity so mills couldn't grind flour. By late last year, Syrians were desperate.

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Europe
3:11 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Police: Rush Hour Helicopter Crash In London Could Have Been Much Worse

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Investigators are trying to figure out why a helicopter crashed in Central London today. Two people were killed including the pilot. Yet the death toll could have been much, much worse. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, the aircraft came down in the heart of the British capital during rush hour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS WAILING)

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Middle East
3:11 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Explosions At Syrian University Kill More Than 80, Injure Hundreds

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL: The head of the United Nations has harsh words for whoever carried out an attack on Syrian University students, as they were taking exams. Two explosions at the university in Aleppo killed more than 80 people yesterday and injured some 200. Today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said such heinous attacks are unacceptable. And he added that deliberate targeting of civilians constitutes a war crime. But who carried out that attack is very much in question.

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NPR Story
2:57 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Taliban Militants Target Afghan Intelligence Center

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Afghanistan today, Taliban militants staged a brazen attack in the heart of Kabul. Their target was the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security or NDS - it's Afghanistan's equivalent of the FBI.

As NPR's Sean Carberry reports, the attack began with a suicide bombing, then five militants tried to storm the compound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS AND GUNFIRE)

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NPR Story
2:57 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Algeria Hostage-Taking Could Be Retaliation For France's Actions In Mali

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Algerian Islamists attacked an oil and gas field at dawn this morning in the desert on the border with Libya. They claim to have taken nearly 200 people hostage. In addition to Algerians, they claim to hold seven Americans, as well as French, British and Japanese citizens.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris reports the hostage-taking appears to be the first act of retaliation for France's actions in Mali.

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World
11:48 am
Wed January 16, 2013

The Way Forward With Iran

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:44 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Two high-profile cabinet nominations go before the Senate soon. Senator John Kerry is expected to face little opposition to become the next secretary of state. Former Senator Chuck Hagel may have more problems. But as mentioned earlier, his nomination as secretary of defense is also expected to win approval.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Reports: French Troops Fighting In Mali, Foreign Hostages Grabbed In Algeria

CIA World Factbook

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:32 am

After five days of airstrikes aimed at Islamist rebels, French troops are engaged in their first ground battles with those forces in Mali, according to several news outlets.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Fireball, Panic As Helicopter Crashes In London

A firefighter walks toward some of the wreckage at the scene of today's helicopter crash in London.
Andy Rain EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:00 am

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Latin America
4:33 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Mexico Wants U.S. To See Its Prosperity Not Violence

As President Obama prepares to start another term next week, Morning Edition has asked NPR's international correspondents to gauge worldwide expectations for the president's next four years. We begin in Mexico, where Mexicans hope to change the conversation between the two countries from drugs and violence to economics and prosperity.

Middle East
3:37 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Cold Weather Punishes Syrians In Refugee Camps

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:27 am

As the Middle East faces one of its harshest winters in decades, Syrian refugees are facing a humanitarian disaster. In the Zaatari refugee camp on the Jordanian border, heavy snow and rain flooded hundreds of tents last week.

Asia
3:37 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Japan Grounds All Boeing Dreamliners

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are also following a story in Japan that strikes a blow at one of the world's great aircraft makers. Japan has grounded its entire fleet of 787 Dreamliners. This move came after an electrical problem forced an All Nippon Airlines 787 to make an emergency landing. Here's NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

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Middle East
12:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

For Those Still In Syria, A Daily Struggle

A family crosses a street piled with rubbish in Aleppo, Syria, on Jan. 5.
Andoni Lubaki AP

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 6:16 pm

The situation for Syrian refugees is getting dire. Much has been reported about the worsening conditions for hundreds of thousands of Syrians taking up shelter just outside the country's borders, but inside Syria, the numbers are even higher. The United Nations says some 2 million people have been displaced from their homes in Syria, and most of them end up squatting in mosques and schools. NPR's Kelly McEvers spent a night in one of those schools, in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, and sent this report.

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Africa
3:45 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

France To Send More Troops To Mali To Combat Islamist Militants

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 6:22 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The French defense minister says France is preparing for a possible land assault in Mali, so it plans to increase its troop levels to 2,500. Back home in France, authorities are girding for possible terrorist attacks in response to their intervention. Eleanor Beardsley has that story from Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (French spoken)

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Africa
3:45 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

French Troops, Air Power Could Attract More Foreign Fighters To Mali

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Middle East
3:45 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Turkey Promises Peace Talks With Kurdish Militants, Despite Paris Killings

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The government of Turkey is vowing to push ahead with efforts to end its long-running conflict with Kurdish militants. That's despite the killings last week of three female Kurdish activists that were shot in Paris. The murders are seen as an effort to derail the peace talks before they gain traction.

As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul, Turkey, Turkey has pushed for peace before. But many wonder if the lessons from past failures have been absorbed.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

More Than 80 Killed In Blasts At Syrian University

More than 80 people are dead after twin blasts at a university campus in Syria's largest city.

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World
12:08 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

What's At Stake In Hotspots Across The Globe

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 12:27 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. The anxious eyes of world leaders are now focused on three areas. In Mali the French continue their airstrikes in the northern part of the country in hopes of stopping the advance of armed Islamist rebels. In Syria, the death toll rises, and the conflicts between the government and opposition enter what the International Rescue Committee calls a staggering humanitarian crisis.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Beijing's Pollution, Seen From Space In Before And After Photos

NASA Earth Observatory

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:54 am

We wrote earlier this week on the stifling pollution in Beijing that's being called "airpocalypse." According to an air monitoring station located at the U.S. Embassy there, particulate pollution was literally off the charts — with readings well into the 700s on a 0-500 scale.

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Africa
10:05 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Mali Reacts to Al-Qaeda Advances

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, if saving money is one of your new year's resolutions, then our next guest will probably interest you. He says saving is not just about what you buy, but when you buy. He's written a book called "Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00" - and we'll hear from him in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Tue January 15, 2013

In War-Torn Aleppo, Old Doors That Reflect A Grand Tradition

Syria door
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:37 am

Aleppo's storied old city, which dates to the 12th century, has suffered much in the fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels over the past few months. But parts of the city remain intact, as I saw on a recent walk through the winding, stone alleys on the way to the front line.

Centuries ago, it took Muslims from this area months in a caravan to make the pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, which is now part of Saudi Arabia.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Pakistan's Latest Political Crisis: Court Orders Arrest Of Prime Minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Waqar Hussein EPA /LANDOV

"The news that the [country's] Supreme Court had called for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf ran through Pakistan like an electric current Tuesday afternoon," The Christian Science Monitor writes from Islamabad.

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Middle East
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Grim Situation Starts To Lift In Aleppo, Syria

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 4:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Africa
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Mali Update

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:03 am

The French military continues its bombing raids in Northern Mali, where extremists, including an al-Qaida affiliate, have taken over. The French have pummeled rebel positions from the air, backing up Mali's beleaguered army on the ground.

Europe
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

French President's Bold Actions Transform His Image

French President Francois Hollande talks about the situation in Mali on Saturday at the presidential palace in Paris. Backed by French air power, Malian troops Friday unleashed an offensive against Islamist rebels.
Lionel Bonaventure AP

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:39 am

Since last weekend, France has been fighting Islamist radicals across Africa. In the west, it's sending troops to help overthrow rebels in its former colony, Mali; in the east, French special forces staged an unsuccessful but bold operation to free a French hostage in Somalia. While the fighting is far from over, French President Francois Hollande's show of force is producing some collateral benefits for him back home.

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Africa
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

How Mali's Conflict Affects Americans

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now a look at who's fighting in Mali and why that far away conflict might affect the United States. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered the most basic take on America's interests in Mali - al-Qaida is there.

SECRETARY LEON PANETTA DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: The fact is, we have made a commitment that al-Qaida is not going to find any place to hide.

MONTAGNE: And that includes Mali.

NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston joins us now to talk more about this. Welcome.

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Business
2:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Toyota Regains No. 1 Sales Position

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 4:43 am

After careening from back-to-back crises — recalls and the tsunami — Toyota is No. 1 in worldwide sales again. Toyota says it sold at least 9.7 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors reports it sold 9.3 million. Both companies say it doesn't really matter which one is in the top spot.

Africa
3:09 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

U.S. Considers Involvement In Mali As Extremists Seize Territory

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

The U.S. is mulling over ways to help France, as the French military continues its bombing raids in Northern Mali. The State Department says it shares the French goal of restoring order in part of that African country which is now overrun by extremists, including an al-Qaida affiliate. But the U.S. has long argued that the solution needs to be African-led, so the Obama administration — while offering France some "limited logistical support" — is also trying to speed up efforts to train an African intervention force for Mali.

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