World News

The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu March 6, 2014

U.S. Anchor For Russian TV Quits, Says Network 'Whitewashes' Crimea

A screenshot of RT anchor Liz Wahl during her final broadcast with the network.
RT/Daily Beast

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 4:11 pm

An American host for the Kremlin-backed Russia Today television has quit on air, announcing from the channel's Washington, D.C., anchor desk that she doesn't want to be "part of a network ... that whitewashes the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin."

Liz Wahl announced her resignation on Wednesday, saying Moscow's intervention in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula is wrong and that she feels "very lucky to have grown up in the United States."

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'We Are Ready To Protect Our Country,' Ukrainian Leader Says

Demonstrators carried a Russian flag during a rally this week in the western Crimean city of Yevpatoria.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:25 am

We're updating this post as the day continues.

While conceding that his nation can't come close to the military power of Russia, the interim prime minister of Ukraine said Thursday that "we are ready to protect our country" if Russia does not stop its "military aggression" in Crimea.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that the presence of Russian forces in that autonomous region of his nation "is unacceptable in the 21st century."

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Africa
3:32 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Affleck, Feingold Draw Attention To Violence In Congo

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

David Greene talks to actor Ben Affleck and Russ Feingold, U.S. special envoy to Congo, about what can be done to stabilize a nation where conflict has been the norm for almost two decades.

Europe
3:31 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Russia May Expedite Passports For Ukraine's Ethnic Russians

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

With no end in sight to the Ukraine crisis, Russian lawmakers say they're considering a bill to make it easier for ethnic Russians and other Ukrainians to obtain Russian passports.

Europe
3:27 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Asset Recovery Workers On The Case Of Ukrainian Kleptocrats

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The European Union announced yesterday that it is freezing assets held by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, along with the assets of more than a dozen other people believed to have embezzled state funds. Ukraine's new prime minister says $37 billion vanished from government coffers while Yanukovych was president.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Pakistan Agrees To Fresh Negotiations With Taliban Reps

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Pakistan, peace talks between the government and the Taliban came to a halt last month after militants executed 23 soldiers. Pakistan's military responded with airstrikes, and that led the Pakistani Taliban to declare a cease-fire. The government has now agreed to engage in fresh negotiations - even though attacks by splinter groups continue, underscoring just how decentralized these militants are.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Bin Laden's Brother-In-Law Goes On Trial In Manhattan

In this courtroom drawing, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, center, listens to a translator, in U.S. federal court on Wednesday in New York.
Elizabeth Williams AP

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who prosecutors say became a mouthpiece for al-Qaida in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, faced a jury for the first time on Wednesday in a Manhattan federal courtroom.

On the first day of the trial, jurors were shown a photo that prosecutors said was Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti, sitting side-by-side with Osama bin Laden the day after the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

India Sets Date For What Will Be World's Largest Vote

A wholesale shop in New Delhi was selling various Indian national and regional political party flags and campaign materials ahead of elections in India, the world's largest democracy.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:02 pm

India announced Wednesday that national elections for the lower house of Parliament will be staggered over nine separate days and begin April 7.

The voting to elect the 543-seat body will occur in stages to accommodate the scale of voters in what is expected to be the world's largest democratic exercise.

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Europe
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Baltics Eye Crimea Closely, Concerned Over Russian Intentions

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Russia's actions in Ukraine are raising alarm in other former Soviet republics, notably the three Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. All three are members of NATO and the European Union, and they're worried about what Russian aggression could mean for them. To talk about that, I'm joined by Lithuania's ambassador to the U.S., Zygimantas Pavilionis. Thanks for coming in.

ZYGIMANTAS PAVILIONIS: Thank you for inviting me.

BLOCK: What is the Russian threat as you see it, from the Lithuanian perspective?

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News
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Kerry And Russian Diplomat Talk Crimea In Paris

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Yesterday, he was in Ukraine. Today, it's Paris. Secretary of State John Kerry is logging a lot of miles these days, trying to find a diplomatic solution to the unfolding crisis in Crimea. In Paris, he met with Russia's foreign minister. Kerry said the discussions were substantive. Diplomatic sources tell NPR the results were inconclusive. But at least the talking had begun.

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Europe
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Kremlin Tells Reporters Not To Believe Their Eyes In Crimea

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow has not sent troops to Crimea, despite being authorized to do so. Russia's defense minister says reports of Russian forces fanning out across Crimea are complete nonsense. And yet, Ukrainian and Western officials, as well as witnesses and journalists in Crimea tell a very different story. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from the Crimean capitol of Simferopol.

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Iraq
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Splinters From Syria Reach Iraqi Kurds

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Israel Says It's Seized Iranian Arms Shipment Bound For Gaza

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say the video shows an Iranian shipment bound for Gaza.
Israeli Defense Forces

The Israeli military claims to have seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian-made weaponry bound for Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces "intercepted an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The operation took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning," the IDF said in a statement on its website.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin Reportedly Joins List Of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:13 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin is among the 278 nominees for a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, according to Peace Research Institute Oslo, an institution that closely tracks the Nobel committee's work.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

China To Boost Defense Spending Amid Regional Tensions

Delegates from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march from Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Tuesday in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:42 am

China said Wednesday that it plans to increase defense outlays by more than 12 percent, to nearly $132 billion, this year in the face of what a top military official described as increasingly severe security challenges for Beijing.

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Parallels
10:09 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Sanctions On Russia: Why The Europeans May Say Nyet

Ties between Russia and Europe are more than just gas.
Sergei Karpukhin AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:24 am

Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula brought with it threats of U.S. sanctions, but Europe, while condemning President Vladimir Putin's actions, has been more circumspect. Part of the reason: Europe's dependence on Russian money and energy.

"It is a matter of simple economics," Alex Melikishvili, senior Europe/CIS Analyst at IHS Country Risk, said in an email.

He noted that the EU is Russia's main trade partner; bilateral trade is in hundreds of billion of dollars annually, in contrast with much lower U.S.-Russia trade (see chart).

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Europe
5:32 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ukranian Flag Back On Goverment Building In Donetsk

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Andrew Roth, a correspondent for The New York Times, tells David Greene some of the demonstrators in Donetsk were actually Russian citizens — sent into Ukraine by Moscow.

The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Time For Tense Negotiations In Ukraine, Kerry Says

Armed men in unmarked military uniforms — who witnesses believe are Russian troops, but who Russian leaders say are "local self-defense" forces — stand outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the Crimean village of Perevalnoye.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:15 am

This post was updated at 5:10 p.m. ET.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said all sides agree that the crisis on the Crimean Peninsula must be resolved through dialogue, but he acknowledged there has yet to be one-on-one discussions between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart.

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Europe
3:06 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ukranian Soldiers Trapped In Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Ukrainian troops have been inside their bases in Crimea with sizable numbers of Russian troops and Crimean self-defense units blocking the entrances.

Europe
3:05 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Before Paris Stop, Kerry Talks To Protesters In Kiev

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The stage is set today for what could be a very tense meeting in Paris between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

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Europe
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Will Scotland Go Independent? A Primer On The Secession Vote

A bakery in Edinburgh recently launched an independence referendum poll using Yes, No and Undecided cupcakes.
Andrew Milligan PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:06 am

An intense campaign is underway for the future of the United Kingdom. On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become an independent country. Here are answers to a few key questions about the issue.

1. Why would Scotland want to leave the U.K.?

There are some reasons grounded in logic and others based in emotion.

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World
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Zello App Gains Popularity With World's Protesters

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

From Caracas to Kiev, protesters are organizing with the help of a social media tool called Zello. The walkie-talkie-like app allows smartphone users to send short voice messages from person to person or to a small group of people. And one key factor that's making Zello the go-to app among protesters, anonymity, something they don't get from Facebook or Twitter.

BILL MOORE: We've had multiple requests from authorities for information. And one way to solve it, in fact the way we solve is we just don't, we don't retain information.

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Latin America
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Venezuela Marks 1 Year Since President Chavez's Death

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

The government tries to control protests fueled by middle-class Venezuelans, who blame Chavez for inflation, food shortages and crime. David Greene talks to Girish Gupta, a reporter based in Caracas.

Africa
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Nigeria Pressed To Do More For Civilians Caught In Insurgency

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Militants seeking to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria have killed 150 people in attacks in the last 4 days. The Boko Haram sect launched its uprising in 2009 but has ramped up its violence.

Middle East
1:08 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Iranian Women Make A Push For Greater Opportunities

Iranian women, shown here in downtown Tehran, are among groups in the country pushing for social and economic change.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:02 pm

Iran is starting to see a re-launch of activist groups following the election last year of President Hassan Rouhani. Social movements were scarce after the government crushed public protests known as the Green Movement following the 2009 elections. After the decisive vote for Rouhani, a surge of hope in Iran has attracted activists back to the political arena. Iranian women, in particular, are seizing the opportunity.

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News
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Putin Speaks, Decries U.S. For 'Experimenting On Rats' In Ukraine

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his position on Ukraine. In a news conference, Putin denied that Russian troops are in Crimea but reserved the right to use force in Ukraine.

Europe
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Why Is The Ukrainian Economy Such A Mess?

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Among the delegations heading to Kiev this week, a team from the International Monetary Fund. Its task: to come up with a plan to help Ukraine's ailing economy. And Ukraine's interim government says it needs a lot of help. There are fears it will default on its debt. And that government pensions and state salaries could soon go unpaid.

Joining us is Anders Asland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Welcome to the program.

ANDERS ASLAND: Thank you.

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Europe
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Deep Ties Between Russia And The West Make Sanctions Risky

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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News
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Kerry's In Kiev And He Comes Bearing Gifts — One Billion Of Them

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kiev Tuesday, offering $1 billion in American loan guarantees and promises of technical assistance to the new Ukrainian government.

Latin America
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

World Cup Woes Loom For One Brazilian City

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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