Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:10 am
You think 21st century foodies will go to great lengths for a culinary thrill? (Lion meat, anyone?) Turns out, they've got nothing on 18th century English royals.
Frogs, puffins, boar's head and larks and other songbirds were all fair game for the dinner table of England's King George II, judging by a chronicle of daily meals served to his majesty and his wife, Queen Caroline.
A heart-rending moment came towards the end of President Obama's State of the Union Address last night, when he spoke of an Army Ranger who was grievously wounded in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg was on his 10th combat tour when he was hit by a massive roadside bomb. He spent months in a coma and endured many surgeries, but was able to be in the audience between his father and First Lady Michele Obama for the president's speech.
Some other news now. One if the longest-term inmates of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has had a parole hearing yesterday. He's a man from Yemen, allegedly a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden. Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald was among the reporters allowed to see a portion of parole hearing on a video screen.
CAROL ROSENBERG: We saw Abdul Malik Wahab al Rahabi, a man who arrived on the day that Guantanamo Prison opened, sitting at a table while his advocates made an argument that he should be allowed to someday go home.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:26 pm
East Timor, a small Pacific nation, will be represented at the Winter Olympics for the first time in history next month, when skier Yohan Goutt Goncalves, whose father is French and whose mother is Timorese, competes in the slalom ski race.
But before he could be sent to Sochi, Goncalves, 19, first had to take the unusual step of creating his country's national skiing federation, as Agence France-Presse reports.
Now to a debate in Europe over something called poverty migration. Recently, some countries in the European Union lifted work restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians. As a result, factions in Britain and Germany worry that poor and unskilled immigrants will flood in and collect welfare payments.
But Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, this debate isn't being driven by new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria. Instead, she says, it may involve prejudice against one particular group, the long-oppressed Roma.
The Chinese flag is seen in front of a view of the moon at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in December, when China's first moon rover touched the lunar surface. That feat was widely celebrated — but observers believe the rover has now run into serious trouble.
After losing a lot of ground, stock prices were back up a bit today. Investor anxiety about the state of the world's currency markets seemed to ease. The current turmoil is reminiscent of the 1997 currency crisis in Asia, which hurt economies all over the world.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, there are also some big differences.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
French police raided the Paris offices and home of a controversial comedian today. The comedian is known by his stage name of Dieudonne, he's been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during his performances, although he denies that. The French government has banned his current show, sparking a debate in France about the limits of free speech.
Former President Mohammed Morsi is just one of many Egyptians facing charges for opposing the country's military-led government. Another is former lawmaker and political scientist Amr Hamzawy. He's been charged with insulting the judiciary in a tweet that he sent back in June. In it, he criticized a ruling in which a judge convicted several dozen nonprofit workers for plotting to destabilize Egypt. And Amr Hamzawy joins us now from Cairo. Welcome to the program.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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In Cairo today, former President Mohammed Morsi appeared in court for the second time since he was ousted in a military coup last July. The Islamist leader wore a white prison uniform and stood in a glass-enclosed cage. As NPR's Leila Fadel reports, Morsi faces charges that could lead to the death penalty.
Ala'a Miqbel (shown here with his wife and their youngest son in their Gaza City apartment) was held for nearly four weeks in an Israeli prison, then released without charges. There, he met the "sparrows" — Palestinians who appear to be fellow prisoners but are actually gathering information for the Israelis.
Credit Emily Harris / NPR
This is the mosque closest to Miqbel's Gaza City home, where he has prayed. It's associated with Islamic Jihad, a militant group. Israeli security accused him of having ties to Islamic Jihad, which he denies.
Ala'a Miqbel phoned his wife and his boss on the morning of Aug. 26 last year, just to say he was almost at the Erez crossing. That's the checkpoint between the Gaza Strip, where Miqbel lives, and Israel.
The U.S. Consulate had invited Miqbel to attend a conference in the West Bank. Although he'd been to Ramallah for work several years ago, Israeli security wanted to interview him before granting a travel permit this time.
In a move that's being seen as retaliation for negative stories about its leaders, China's government has told a New York Times reporter that he must leave the country when his visa expires Thursday. The government has not granted a request for a new visa that was made last summer.
The development comes despite objections from Vice President Joe Biden, who has urged senior officials in Beijing not to punish U.S. journalists with de facto expulsion.
From Beijing, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports for our Newscast unit:
Now it's time for our Money Coach conversation. You've heard by now about the problems at a number of retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, where hackers were able to access supposedly private information from the millions of customers who used credit and debit cards at the stores. But now there are people trying to take advantage of that chaos and scam you again. Here to tell us more is Sheryl Harris who writes for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Welcome back. Thanks so much for joining us.
It has been more than a decade since Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Pakistan. On January 23, 2002, he left the house of his friend and colleague, Asra Nomani, for an interview but never returned.
Wuhan, in central China, is in debt to the tune of a reported $33 billion — nearly twice the city's GDP. This 17-mile highway sat dormant for two years after banks cut off funding as Wuhan's debt ballooned. Work on the road resumed last year, but the construction company still hasn't been paid.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
A scavenger pounds away at the rubble that was recently a neighborhood along the Yangtze River in Wuhan. The city is turning the area into a river drive.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Parts of Wuhan seem like an open construction site. Here, heavy machinery clears the way for a river drive while construction continues on a bridge across the Yangtze River.
In recent years, rampant borrowing has driven a significant chunk of China's economic growth. The bill is now becoming clearer — and it's big. Late last year, China revealed that local governments owe nearly $3 trillion – more than the gross domestic product of France, the world's fifth-largest economy.
The political unrest in Ukraine is spreading. Steve Inskeep talks to Steven Pifer, senior analyst at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, about the issues behind the upheaval in Ukraine.
Mexican authorities have arrested one of the top drug cartel leaders in the western state of Michoacan. Federal forces recently moved into the state to disarm civilian vigilantes who have been fighting to reclaim their communities from the cartel.
Now, to Egypt where there were more indications today that the country's top military chief is preparing to run for president. The armed forces announced on state television that Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi should, in their words, heed the call of the people and run for president in an election expected to be held within the next three months.
NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo. Hi, Leila.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Hi.
SIEGEL: And does this mean that Egypt's military chief is definitely running for president?
The meeting between Syrian government and opposition leaders also brings competing entourages to Geneva. Pro-government reporters and opposition journalists are covering the same events, often in the same room, and it's not pretty. They've sparred, traded insults and even thrown punches.
NPR's Deborah Amos reports on a media war that reflects the passions of the battlefield.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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At the Syria talks in Geneva today, government and opposition representatives held their first face-to-face discussion about a political transition. By the end of the day, United Nations' mediator Lakhdar Brahimi had no progress to report. He urged both sides to focus on the desperate humanitarian situation facing Syrians in several besieged cities.
Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.
Marvel is introducing a new character: Kamala Khan. She's a 16-year-old Muslim public high school student in Jersey City. She's also the new Ms. Marvel, and the first Muslim superhero to star in her own mainstream comic book series. Author G. Willow Wilson spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about her new series.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:58 am
Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. El-Sissi Should Run For President:
NPR's Leila Fadel sends us this update from Cairo:
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi should heed the calls of the people to run for president and that el-Sissi is free act as his conscience guides him. El-Sissi hasn't explicitly declared but what is clear is he will run for president.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:41 am
After three weeks in London, I'm finally starting to understand some local customs and mores. Yet I confess that political cartoons remain a challenge. They often reference obscure government ministers or historical practices in such an oblique way that I totally miss the joke.
So it was with some relief that I stumbled upon a cartoon over the weekend whose meaning was unambiguously clear. In the black-and-white drawing, a glutton with a gaping mouth full of sharp teeth steps on a poor, miserable man, who lies pinned to the floor.
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Kiev
Update at 5:23 p.m. ET. President Offers To Scrap Anti-Protest Law:
As the protests continued, Ukraine's president made another concession on Monday: He said he would scrap a law that made protesting illegal. The law fueled already violent protests and helped them spread into areas of the country that were loyal to President Viktor Yanukovych.