World News

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Benghazi Attack: Only Man Who Was In Custody Is Now Free, Lawyer Says

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:22 am

Ali Harzi, the only person who had been known to be in custody in connection with last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been released by authorities in his native Tunisia, the suspect's lawyer tell The Associated Press.

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Asia
4:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Editorial Ignites Freedom Of The Press Debate In China

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:47 am

A dispute over an editorial in a Chinese newspaper has widened into calls for more freedom of expression. Hundreds of people protested Monday calling for an open news media.

World
4:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

How Will New Administration Nominees Affect Foreign Policy?

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now two critical views of the foreign policy and national security team that President Obama is assembling for his second term. Yesterday, the president nominated his longtime aide John Brennan as director of the CIA. He named Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, as secretary of Defense.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Afghanistan
1:49 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Future Of U.S. Troops Looms Over Afghan Leader's Visit

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai greet each other during a May 20 meeting at the NATO Summit in Chicago. Karzai is in Washington, D.C., this week to meet Obama and other senior U.S. officials.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:06 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for meetings with President Obama and other senior administration officials. The talks are expected to help set the framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the bulk of American and NATO forces leave at the end of 2014. One of the key issues to be discussed is the number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after that date.

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Latin America
1:44 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Ill In Cuba, Chavez Likely To Miss His Swearing In

A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds a heart-shaped sign that reads in Spanish "I vote for Chavez!" and a picture of Chavez outside the National Assembly in Caracas over the weekend. On Thursday, Chavez is scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term. Government officials are suggesting the ceremony could be delayed as the president recovers from cancer surgery in Cuba.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 7:10 am

In the Bolivar Plaza of downtown Caracas, supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrive carrying photographs of their leader and singing songs urging him on. Music blares from loudspeakers, repeating over and over, "Chavez, my commander, is here to stay."

Chavez, however, is most definitely not here, and increasingly many Venezuelans wonder if he'll ever be back. He flew to Cuba, Venezuela's closest ally, for an operation that took place on Dec. 11. Before leaving for his fourth cancer surgery, Chavez named a successor.

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All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Is Google Exec Interested In North Korea?

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (left) arrives at Pyongyang International Airport on Monday. There is speculation that Schmidt's presence in North Korea could have an upside for Google by positioning Schmidt as the company's global ambassador.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:39 pm

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has landed in North Korea. His trip there is a bit of a mystery.

Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, has been a vocal proponent of providing people around the world with Internet access and technology. North Korea doesn't even let its citizens access the open Internet, and its population is overwhelmingly poor — so it's not exactly a coveted audience for advertisers.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Hagel? Let Us Count The Reasons

President Obama nominates former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be defense secretary Monday at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:02 am

So why did President Obama choose Chuck Hagel to be his new defense secretary?

First, Hagel is Obama's kind of Republican. The former senator from Nebraska is a realist and pragmatist who hasn't been afraid to buck the orthodoxy of his chosen party, for instance when Hagel opposed the Iraq War.

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The Salt
3:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

The $1.76 Million Tuna: Great For Publicity, Bad For The Species

Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo on Saturday. He paid more than $1.7 million for the fish.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 3:52 pm

It's become an annual tradition: bidding up an outrageous price for a Pacific bluefin tuna during the first auction of the new year at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market.

And on Saturday, a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi fetched a mind-boggling price: $1.76 million. That's about three times as much as last year's tuna and equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.

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Afghanistan
2:58 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

As Karzai Visits U.S., What Are The Prospects For Afghan Peace?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai will meet with President Obama and other senior U.S. officials in Washington this week. Many analysts remain skeptical about the prospects for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan. He's shown here speaking in Kabul last month.
Massoud Hossani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:16 pm

As Afghan President Hamid Karzai comes to Washington to meet with President Obama and other U.S. officials this week, there is renewed discussion in Afghanistan about the possibility of a negotiated end to the country's war.

Recent talks hosted by France have rekindled hopes for some sort of reconciliation between the Taliban and Karzai's government. But given the decades of war in Afghanistan, many think the prospect of a peace deal remains nothing but talk.

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Asia
2:07 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

China Pledges Reforms To Labor Camps, But Offers Few Details

Ren Jianyu poses for a photograph at a restaurant in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 19, 2012, after being freed from a labor camp. The village official was sentenced to a "re-education through labor" camp after he criticized the government.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:23 pm

China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.

Critics of the system greeted the announcement — which was slim on details — with cautious optimism.

Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.

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Europe
12:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Berlusconi Plots His Comeback: 'You Italians Need Me'

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) has returned to Italy's political scene in advance of next month's election. Also in the race is the current Prime Minister Mario Monti (right). They are shown here in November 2011 as Monti took over for Berlusconi.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:19 pm

With elections in Italy just weeks away, polls show leftist parties with a comfortable lead. Yet attention is focused on the battle between the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the current prime minister, Mario Monti, an austere technocrat.

Monti's platform calls for continued austerity, budget cutting and labor reforms.

While Berlusconi and Monti are the two big names in next month's race, the expected winner is the leader of the leftist Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani.

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Movie Interviews
9:24 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Mexican Reporters Take On Cartels Despite Risks

For decades, journalists at the Tijuana newspaper Zeta have doggedly covered government corruption and narco-trafficking. That's made them the target of violence and threats. Bernardo Ruiz tells their stories in his new documentary, Reportero. He talks with guest host Celeste Headlee.

Theater
9:24 am
Mon January 7, 2013

You're Invited: Verdi's 200th Birthday Celebration

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:17 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Health
9:24 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Concern Rises Over Hugo Chavez's Health

The Venezuelan president hasn't been heard from or seen publicly since undergoing cancer surgery last month. How is the uncertainty affecting Venezuelans and their relations with the US? Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with NPR's Juan Forero.

The Two-Way
9:08 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Amid Pandemonium, Court In Indian Rape Case Is Closed To Public

Inside the courthouse in New Delhi today, there were chaotic scenes leading up to a hearing for men accused in the rape and death of a young woman. Outside, Indian police stood watch.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

The five men accused in the rape case that has reverberated around the world were brought before a New Delhi magistrate for the first time today — but only after she sealed the proceedings.

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Europe
3:59 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Competitive Ambitions Could Force French Labor Changes

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:56 am

French President Francois Hollande has vowed to improve his country's competitiveness. But to better compete, France has to overhaul its labor market, and some hard-earned workers' rights and privileges could be lost.

World
2:06 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Australia's Mining Boom Creates Demand For Sex Workers

Supporters of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association demand better legal protections at a rally outside the New South Wales Parliament in September.
Greg Wood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 5:07 pm

It's 9 p.m. on a Wednesday, and the night shift has started work at Langtrees, a popular brothel in the Western Australia city of Perth.

Like other women at Langtrees, "Ruby," 25, uses a working name out of concern for her safety. Ruby is from Spain, and tonight she expects to earn at least $1,500.

"I work in many countries — in Europe, in Dubai, I work in Brazil," Ruby says.

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Middle East
6:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

After Assad's Speech, What's The Roadmap For Syria?

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For more on the crisis in Syria, I'm joined by Andrew Tabler. He's the author of "In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria." He's here with me in the studio.

Good morning. Thanks for coming in.

ANDREW TABLER: My pleasure.

MARTIN: So, as we just heard Kelly McEvers say the war in Syria appears to be in a stalemate. Assad appears to have has dug his heels in with this address. Where are we right now in this crisis?

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Latin America
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

What If Chavez Doesn't Show?

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Venezuela is facing a political crisis. Longtime President Hugo Chavez is being treated in Cuba for a recurrence of cancer and resulting complications. He is supposed to be sworn in to a third term as president this week, but he might not be well enough to attend the inauguration. What then?

Media
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Al-Jazeera Expands Its American Purview With Current TV

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Assad's Speech In Syria Includes Familiar Rhetoric

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad appeared before his people Sunday and delivered his first public address since early June. He remained defiant in the face of the uprising that has raged for two years, describing the rebels as al-Qaida terrorists. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Kelly McEvers.

The Two-Way
4:42 am
Sun January 6, 2013

The Tax Man Takes Aim At The World's Wealthy

Protesters demonstrate outside a Starbucks coffee shop in London last month. Protests were held at Starbucks throughout the U.K. after it was revealed that the coffee chain had paid almost no corporate taxes for the last three years.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:17 am

As 2013 begins with wealthy Americans in line for bigger tax bills, they're not alone. Tax fairness takes the spotlight worldwide this year, as cash-strapped governments look to impose more of the burden on well-heeled companies, individuals and institutions, and to catch and punish tax cheaters.

This week, as the U.S. Congress averted a plunge off the fiscal precipice, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight countries that make up about half of the world's economic output.

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Shots - Health News
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Mexico Aims To Save Babies And Moms With Modern Midwifery

Infants used to be born at home to traditional midwives.
Mónica Ortiz Uribe

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:04 am

In Mexico these days, the majority of babies are born in hospitals. That hasn't helped reduce the number of maternal deaths, though. So health officials are re-making the centuries-old tradition of midwifery. They are betting a new kind of midwife, one trained in a clinical setting, can offer a solution.

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Asia
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

After Fighting To Go To School, A Pakistani Woman Builds Her Own

Bachal recently starred in a documentary series which featured her efforts to educate children in her Karachi neighborhood of Moach Goth.
Courtesy of Humaira Bachal

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 8:32 am

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The Two-Way
3:06 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Fighting Reported In Syria Before Assad's Expected Speech

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:55 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed his country publicly for the first time in months on Sunday, maintaining his prior assertions that the violence estimated to have killed more than 60,000 of his citizens is the work of terrorists.

NPR's Peter Kenyon tells our Newscast Unit that Assad insisted he could win the battle. Kenyon reports:

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Asia
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Pakistani Cafe Is Oasis In Desert Of Civil Discourse

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Pakistan, there's a cafe called the Second Floor. It's listed in a local Karachi social blog as one of the coolest cafes in town. Since it opened its doors five years ago, it's become a haven in a city more known for its violence than its civil discourse. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston paid a visit.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: The artwork on the front stoop of the Second Floor Cafe in Karachi says it all.

SABEEN MAHMUD: I wanted something right at the entrance...

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Africa
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Congo's Tutsi Minority Enveloped In Complex Conflict

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's hard to tell whether the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo is a battle between rival ethnic groups or a fight for resources. There are so many militant groups in Eastern Congo with so many shifting alliances and demands. But a tiny ethnic minority in Congo has been at the center of this conflict for the past 20 years. NPR's Gregory Warner tells their story from the Eastern Congoli city of Goma.

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Middle East
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Post-Revolution, Egypt Seeks Financial Support

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Europe
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Greece's Inaction Over Wealthy Tax Evaders Fuels Fire

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

After the eurozone provided billions in bailout loans to Greece in December, the prime minister declared a new beginning for his country, despite a third year of wage cuts and tax hikes. But a scandal over a list of wealthy Greeks with Swiss bank accounts is roiling the country's fragile government.

World
3:28 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Germany's Housing Market Is Hot. Is It Overheating?

Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, like many others across the city, is experiencing a real estate boom. Housing prices have risen by as much as 20 percent in the past year in some German cities.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Few Western countries are as conservative about home ownership as Germany, where less than half the country's citizens own property.

German banks have tough lending rules. Would-be buyers are usually asked to provide hefty down payments to secure mortgages, meaning few Germans even think about buying a home until they are settled and financially secure.

But the European debt crisis appears to be changing the traditions around home ownership. The resulting surge in homebuying, some officials warn, is driving prices too high and threatens the nation's economy.

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