World News

The Two-Way
8:59 am
Fri June 20, 2014

U.N.: Number Of Displaced People Hits Mark Not Seen Since World War II

Afghan children gather at a special medical camp set up by UNHCR to mark World Refugee Day in Islamabad on Friday. The U.N. agency says there were 51.2 million displaced people at the end of 2013, 6 million more than the previous year.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:41 am

At least 51.2 million people are now living under forced displacement, a U.N. agency says, announcing its tally of people who are seeking refuge or asylum, or who are internally displaced. It's the first time the number has topped 50 million since World War II.

The figures mean that worldwide, the number of displaced people is roughly equivalent to the entire population of nations such as Spain and South Korea. If all of them were put into one country, it would be the 26th largest in the world, the U.N. says.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:57 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Leading Shiite Cleric Says Iraq Needs A New Government

Iraqi Shiites perform the Friday prayer in the shrine city of Karbala in central Iraq. Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for the country's next government to be "effective" and avoid past mistakes, in an implicit criticism of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Mohammed Sawaf AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:19 am

As Iraq struggles to cope with rapid advances by the Sunni militant group ISIS, the religious leader of the nation's Shiites says it's time for an "effective" government to take over.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments Friday add to criticisms of embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Read more
Iraq
4:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Political Solution Needed In Iraq, Obama Says

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

President Obama is sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to gather intelligence on the insurgency. He was adamant there will be no American combat operations on the ground in Iraq.

Iraq
4:12 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Iraqi Territory Lost To Insurgents May Be Tough To Retake

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

President Obama is sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to beef up intelligence efforts to try to counter insurgent activity in the northern part of the country.

Latin America
3:14 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Surge In Single Women With Children At The U.S.-Mexico Border

Amalia Diaz, a 22-year-old from Honduras, holds her 5-month-old daughter, Shilin, as they wait in Tequixquiac, Mexico, for a northbound train to pass. They plan to jump onboard and ride on top of the train all the way to the United States border.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:06 pm

The number of migrant children detained at the U.S. border has skyrocketed. At the current pace, it could hit 90,000 over the course of this year. But it's not just minor children rushing to the border. Large numbers of single women with kids are coming as well.

Read more
National Security
3:13 am
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S. Moves To Lock Up ISIS's Abundant War Chest

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

President Obama plans to slow the momentum of an extremist group that has seized much of northern Iraq. The group has funds that will permit it to sponsor attacks that could be aimed at the West.

NPR Story
3:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Ecuadoran Province Churns Out Top-Notch Soccer Players

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Soccer's World Cup always produces some great underdog stories. One of them, this year, comes from Ecuador. That tiny South American nation is making a rare World Cup appearance. And nearly half of its players come from the same poor and sparsely populated coastal province called Esmeraldas. John Otis has the story.

OMAR ESTUPINAN: (Reading) Segundo Castillo, Walter Ayovi...

Read more
Parallels
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Saddam's Ex-Officer: We've Played Key Role In Helping Militants

Kurdish peshmerga forces look at a checkpoint held by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Iraq's second city, Mosul, on Monday.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 1:00 pm

As they steamrolled across northern Iraq, Sunni militants had important help from an old power in the country — former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and his army.

One retired air force colonel said he is a member of a newly formed military council overseeing Mosul, the large city captured last week by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and its allies from Sunni Arab armed factions.

Read more
Europe
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

German Defense Minister On U.S.: We Have To Defend Common Values

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

More now, on Ukraine and other matters confronting the U.S. and its allies. We're going to talk with Ursula von der Leyen, who is the defense minister of Germany a very high-ranking member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union. Welcome to the program.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN: Thank you.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Injured German Cave Researcher Rescued After 2-Week Ordeal

Rescuers near the entrance to the Riesending cave at Untersberg mountain near Marktschellenberg, Germany, on Thursday. A seriously injured cave researcher was hauled out after spending two weeks underground.
Nicolas Arner DPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:53 am

An injured German cave explorer, who spent two weeks trapped underground in the Alps, has reached the surface after an operation involving hundreds of rescuers workers.

Johann Westhauser, 52, a researcher who was taking measurements of Germany's deepest cave system, hit his head during a fall more than 3,000 feet down. As we reported last week, it took one of the injured man's two companions 12 hours just to get outside and get help.

Read more
Sports
3:00 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Even If Their Team Loses, Japanese Fans Still Sweep The World Cup

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

It's common to hear of soccer hooligans taunting players and fighting in the stands. In Japan, though, it's a different story: Soccer followers there even have a tradition of cleaning up the stadium after matches. Melissa Block speaks with Japanese soccer fan Kei Kawai, who's attending Thursday's match between Japan and Greece.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Indians Caught In Middle Of Iraq's Worsening Crisis

Relatives hold up photographs of Indian workers who have been kidnapped in Iraq.
Adnan Abidi Reuters/Landov

The kidnapping of 40 Indian construction workers in Iraq by suspected militants has rapidly become the first foreign policy test for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, barely a month after he assumed office.

The workers are believed to have been captured by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) when the jihadist group overran the northern Iraqi city of Mosul this past week.

Read more
Iraq
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama Plans To Send Advisers To Iraq, Leaving Air Strikes On Table

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama announced today that the U.S. will send up to 300 special forces advisers into Iraq. He says they'll gather intelligence and assist Iraqi security forces. This comes as radical Islamists continue to march toward Baghdad. And as NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports, the president also is not ruling out airstrikes.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Obama is clear about this...

Read more
Latin America
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Off The Pitch, Brazilians Mark A More Political Clash

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

One year from million-strong protest marches in Brazil, Brazilians are marking the anniversary with more demonstrations. There are fewer protesters than a year ago, when Brazilians expressed their anger over World Cup costs and the government's neglect of housing, health, transportation and employment issues at home.

Iraq
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama Lays Out Iraq Proposals, But What Lies Beyond?

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Before the White House press corps Thursday, President Obama laid out his proposal for a U.S. military response in Iraq. He said he's prepared to send up to 300 military advisers to support Iraq's security forces, leaving open the possibility of targeted air strikes in the future. Melissa Block talks to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero about Obama's plan.

Afghanistan
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Before Votes Are Fully Counted, Fraud Claims Roil Afghan Election

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

It was not long before the legitimacy of Afghanistan's presidential election was called into question. Within hours of polls' close, candidate Abdullah Abdullah claimed the vote was rigged in favor of his opponent, Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah has suspended his cooperation with elections commissions and called for a halt to vote counting. His claims of fraud — engineered by former President Hamid Karzai, he says — set the stage for an impending political crisis.

Read more
Europe
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Ukrainian Rebels Reject Cease-Fire, As Russian Troops Line Border

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Parallels
1:11 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

New King Ascends Spanish Throne, With Hopes For A New Era

King Felipe VI greets well-wishers as he arrives at the Royal Palace in Madrid for his coronation ceremony on Thursday. His father, the former King Juan Carlos, abdicated after a 39-year reign.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

As police helicopters hovered overhead, Spain's new king rolled up to Parliament in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce.

Felipe VI saluted Spanish troops lined up outside, as the country's national anthem blasted from speakers. He wore a navy blue military uniform and a red sash, representing the highest rank in Spain's armed forces. It had been bestowed upon him an hour earlier, by his father.

He ducked inside Parliament, took an oath and was proclaimed king. It was the first-ever royal handover in Spain's democratic era.

Read more
Parallels
12:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Brutal Vigilante Attack On Roma Teen Shocks France

Women from the Roma community push a shopping trolley containing water toward their camp in Sucy-en-Brie, near Paris, in a photo from 2012.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

A vigilante attack against a Roma teenager has shocked France and put pressure on the French government to improve conditions for the ethnic minority. Human rights advocates say the rise of a xenophobic climate in the country may have contributed to the attack.

Read more
Parallels
12:07 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

How The Kurds Could Benefit From Iraq's Crisis

The Kurdish areas of northern Iraq have remained peaceful despite the recent surge in fighting. Here, a member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces directs traffic at a checkpoint in Kalak, in northern Iraq.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:01 pm

The current crisis in Iraq has focused on the Sunni-Shiite conflict, but relatively little has been heard from the other major ethnic group in Iraq, the Kurds. And that's just the way the Kurds would like it.

The Kurds have been seeking an independent state for a century but have been stymied at every turn. As the Shiites and the Sunnis slug it out, the Kurds are demonstrating, so far at least, that they can maintain peace and stability in their semi-autonomous region in the northeastern part of the country.

Read more
Iraq
10:13 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Iraq Turmoil: How Extremists Use Social Media To Gain Support

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
The Protojournalist
9:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

1,000 Words: Afghans Engage In A Dangerous Game

David P Gilkey NPR

The "Horsemen of Afghanistan" playing Buzkashi — a dangerous contest in which riders vie for a goat carcass — in the northern city of Sheberghan near the Tajikistan border.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Read more
The Two-Way
5:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Iraq Battles Militants For Key Oil Refinery In Beiji

Iraqi army soldiers parade during a recruiting drive for men to volunteer for military service in Baghdad on Thursday. The country's leaders are urging Iraqis to help battle insurgents who have mounted an aggressive campaign in the north.
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:54 am

In an attempt to stop the juggernaut advance of the Sunni extremist group ISIS, Iraq's central government says the fight for the country's largest oil refinery is far from over. A military official says 40 militants have been killed.

"Iraqi government officials say an elite special operations force is holding off ISIS militants at the Beiji refinery 160 miles north of the capital," NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Erbil. "But local police report ISIS is tightening a grip on the facility."

Read more
World
4:56 am
Thu June 19, 2014

United Nations Launches Review Of Peacekeeping Efforts

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

U.N. peacekeepers are in some of the world's most violent places. Linda Wertheimer talks to Herve Ladsous, U.N. under-secretary-general for Peacekeeping Operations about the changing mission.

Sports
4:16 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Spaniards Can't Hide Disappointment In World Cup Elimination

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

In a major upset, the world's champion soccer team, Spain, lost to Chile 2-0, and has been eliminated from the World Cup tournament. It was one of the worst performances for a reigning world champion.

Iraq
3:18 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Sunni Insurgency Threatens To Plunge Iraq Into Sectarian War

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

Islamist Sunni militants reportedly control most of Iraq's largest oil refinery, as they vow to push on to Baghdad. Meanwhile, there is a growing call for Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to step down.

NPR Story
3:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

U.S. Program Hopes To Inspire Young Africans To Be Tomorrow's Leaders

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

President Obama is organizing the first of its kind African summit in Washington. In the run-up to that high-level gathering, young African leaders are in the U.S. for a leadership training program.

The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Onetime Auschwitz Guard Arrested In Philadelphia On German Warrant

The Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I in Poland, circa 1945. Writing over the gate reads "Arbeit macht frei" (Work Sets You Free). Johann Breyer has admitted to working as a guard at the camp but says he only supervised work parties outside the gates.
Uncredited AP

An 89-year-old man accused of aiding and abetting the killing of 216,000 Jews as a Nazi camp guard at the concentration camp located in Auschwitz, Poland, during World War II, has been arrested in Philadelphia.

Johann "Hans" Breyer, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1952, was arrested by U.S. authorities Tuesday night. He is being held without bail.

The Associated Press says:

Read more
It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Iraq's Meltdown Troubles U.S. Political Waters

Before talking about the situation in Iraq, President Obama bantered with (from left to right) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:25 pm

Iraq has a long history of roiling American politics. And that doesn't appear about to change anytime soon.

With the Shiite-led Iraqi government losing control of large parts of its country to the Sunni extremist group known as ISIS, the question of who lost Iraq is starting to reverberate through Washington the way "who lost Vietnam" and "who lost China" did in earlier eras.

That all of this is happening during a midterm election stirs even more politics into the mix than if the current violence and ISIS inroads had occurred last year.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Defending Champ Spain Knocked Out Of World Cup

Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, fails to save an attempt by Chile's Charles Aranguiz at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:12 pm

Chile beat Spain, 2-0, in group play Wednesday, knocking the defending champs out of soccer's World Cup.

Both goals came in the first half: Eduardo Vargas scored in the 20th minute and Charles Aranguiz in the 44th.

Read more

Pages