World News

Africa
2:41 am
Tue December 25, 2012

U.S. Military Builds Up Its Presence In Africa

Gen. Carter Ham is head of the U.S. African command. An Army brigade from Fort Riley, Kan., will begin helping train African militaries beat back a growing terrorist threat posed by al-Qaida.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:22 am

An Army brigade from Fort Riley, Kan., some 4,000, soldiers, will begin helping to train African militaries. The idea is to help African troops beat back a growing terrorist threat posed by al-Qaida.

The American troops will head over in small teams over the course of the next year. The Dagger Brigade returned to Kansas last year from a deployment to Iraq, where it trained and advised that country's security forces.

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Middle East
2:14 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Dig Finds Evidence Of Pre-Jesus Bethlehem

The Israel Antiquities Authority says archeologists have found the oldest artifact that bears the inscription of Bethlehem, a 2,700-year-old clay seal with the name of Jesus' traditional birthplace.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:13 am

Thousands of Christian pilgrims streamed into Bethlehem Monday night to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's the major event of the year in that West Bank town. But Israeli archaeologists now say there is strong evidence that Christ was born in a different Bethlehem, a small village in the Galilee.

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Middle East
3:03 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

As Syrian War Grinds On, A Rebel Keeps Reinventing Himself

In March 2011, at the beginning of the Syrian uprising, protester Ibrahim Abazid made a massive white flag out of a sugar sack. This picture of him waving the flag in his hometown of Dera'a became a hugely popular image. Now Abazid hopes to serve on a city council in Dera'a.
Courtesy of Ibrahim Abazid

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Ibrahim Abazid had no idea he would be part of a nationwide revolt in Syria — or that his role would keep evolving.

It was March 2011. Some teenagers in his hometown, Dera'a, got arrested for spray painting anti-government slogans outside a school. Rumors began circulating that the teenagers were being tortured while in detention in the southern town.

In the broader region, Arab protesters had been filling the streets for months. Dictators in Tunisia and Egypt had already fallen. Abazid and his friends went to pray.

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World
1:56 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

U.S. Has Previously Called On Sen. Kerry In Diplomatic Crises

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 3:18 pm

Over the past few years, Sen. John Kerry has quietly made several trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan to help defuse diplomatic crises.

NPR Story
1:33 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

No Breakthrough In Sight For Peaceful Transition In Syria

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 3:18 pm

Amid continued bloodshed in several parts of Syria, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held another round of talks with President Bashar Assad in Damascus. But there was no sign of progress toward a peace deal.

All Tech Considered
11:24 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Kenyan Women Create Their Own 'Geek Culture'

Kenyan Susan Oguya created an app to help farmers in her homeland. Shown here in the office of her company, M-Farm, she also belongs to the group Akirachix, which seeks to bring more Kenyan women into the tech world.
Gregory Warner

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 3:18 pm

When a collective of female computer programmers in Kenya needed a name for their ladies-only club, they took their inspiration from the Japanese cult film Akira.

"So akira is a Japanese word. It means energy and intelligence. And we are energetic and intelligent chicks," says Judith Owigar, the president of Akirachix.

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Europe
10:06 am
Mon December 24, 2012

A Showdown In Italy Over A Polluting Steel Plant

The ILVA steel plant in Taranto, Italy, provides some 20,000 badly needed jobs in a country with a weak economy. But it also spews carcinogens. A court has ordered a partial shutdown, which the government has rejected.
Yara Nardi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

In an effort to safeguard some 20,000 jobs at a time of rising unemployment,
the Italian government has taken an unprecedented step. It has reversed a court order that called for the partial shutdown of Europe's biggest steel plant because it spews cancer-producing dioxins.

The ILVA steel factory in the southern port city of Taranto pits the government versus the judiciary in a battle over health issues and the need for economic revival.

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Asia
8:32 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Jakarta's New Governor Seen As A Rising Star

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo fields reporters' questions after meeting with residents of a Jakarta slum. Recent polls say Widodo is currently the most popular choice for Indonesia's president in 2014.
Yosef Riadi for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:24 pm

Residents give a boisterous welcome to Jakarta's newly elected governor, Joko Widodo, when he shows up for a town meeting with the residents of a Jakarta slum where residents' shacks overlook the muddy, garbage-strewn waters of the Ciliwung River.

The governor's administration plans to fix chronic flooding here by dredging the river and moving residents into subsidized apartments.

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Middle East
4:30 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Syria Airstrike Update

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 5:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with Syrian leaders today hoping to solve that country's bloody conflict, but the bloodshed goes on. There are reports of explosions in Damascus today, government forces are battling rebel fighters, and civilians continue to perish in large numbers. The relentless violence, including an airstrike yesterday on a bakery, is draining hope for any diplomatic solution. NPR's Peter Kenyon filed this report from Istanbul.

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Asia
4:30 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Indians Demonstrate Against Gang Rape

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 4:45 am

Police in the Indian capital New Delhi had to break up a second day of protests Sunday. Hundreds of people were demonstrating against the gang rape and beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus.

Europe
4:25 am
Mon December 24, 2012

In Cornwall, Lisa Simpson Rivals Queen Elizabeth

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 4:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, while our politicians are consumed with the deficit deadline, many leaders around the world are taking a step back, putting quill to paper and carefully composing their Christmas messages. In Britain, particular attention will be paid to Queen Elizabeth's message, because this year she's celebrating 60 years on the throne.

NPR's Philip Reeves sent this letter, musing about what it meant to be British as 2012 comes to a close.

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The Salt
1:18 am
Mon December 24, 2012

At Christmas, A Roman Holiday Revolves Around The Food

Christmas chocolate and sweets on display at a Christmas market at Piazza Navona on Dec. 20 in Rome.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:05 am

The city of Rome may be the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, but as far as bright, glitzy decorations, Christmas there has always been a rather sober affair.

And yet at Christmastime, there's one area where Romans pull out all the stops — the dinner table.

Even with the economic crisis, outdoor markets, grocery shops and fishmongers are crowded with customers.

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Middle East
3:02 pm
Sun December 23, 2012

Sifting Through Conspiracy: A Look At Yasser Arafat's Death

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:34 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was buried under so many feet of concrete in 2004 that it took gravediggers six hours to get to his body last month. And his body was exhumed because his widow suspects he was murdered, poisoned by the radioactive element polonium 210.

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Asia
3:02 pm
Sun December 23, 2012

Hitler's Hot In India

A clothing store in Ahmadabad, India, sparked controversy earlier this year, as reporter David Shaftel reports in Bloomberg Businessweek. The city tore down the store's name in October, flummoxing the owners who refused to change it.
Ajit Solanki AP

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:42 am

All over India, an unusual name has been popping up on signs in restaurants and businesses: Hitler.

Yes, Hitler. As in Adolph. Just last year there was even a Punjabi movie called Hero Hitler in Love.

To understand why a name generally associated with mass murder is turning up on storefronts around the country, reporter David Shaftel investigated and wrote about it in a recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Syrian Airstrikes Hit Bakery: 'Piles Of Bodies'

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:42 am

Syrian activists are reporting that a government airstrike has killed tens of people at a bakery near the central city of Hama.

A video posted by anti-regime activists could not be verified, but shows a mass of rubble and bodies in front of a charred building. Rescuers shout as they look for survivors among the dead.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Sat December 22, 2012

'Unprecedented' Public Rage Over Gang Rape In India

Protestors are storming central Delhi streets, calling for women's safety following a brutal attack on a young woman last weekend.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 4:25 pm

Waves of angry demonstrators were repelled by tear gas and water cannons in New Delhi on Saturday as they marched on the president's residence to protest the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a private bus last weekend.

With cries of "be ashamed," thousands flowed through central Delhi, trying to break through steel barricades as the seesawing battle lasted into the evening. It's the fourth straight day of protests that have shaken the government and taken police aback.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Sat December 22, 2012

Constitution Vote Seen As Referendum On Egyptian Brotherhood

Egyptians wait in line to vote on a new draft constitution in Giza, south of Cairo, on Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 6:22 am

Update Dec. 23, at 5:30 a.m.:

Egypt's constitution appears to have passed with 64 percent of Egyptians voting "yes," according to preliminary results issued by state-run media. But the document passed under a cloud of controversy as the opposition to the Islamist-backed document cried fraud.

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The Salt
9:58 am
Sat December 22, 2012

Survived The Mayan Apocalypse? Here Come The Radish People

Michael Benanav

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:02 am

While the rest of the world was in a tizzy over the Mayan apocalypse that wasn't, the residents of Oaxaca, Mexico, were busy preparing for the very real Coming of the Radish People.

This Sunday, they will descend upon Oaxaca's zocalo, or main plaza: giant root vegetables carved into human figures and other vivid forms.

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World
4:44 am
Sat December 22, 2012

Adoption Ban Puts Orphans At Center Of U.S.-Russia Dispute

Police officers detain a protester outside the lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday. This week, Russian legislators passed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children after the U.S. passed a law that rebukes Russia for human rights abuses.
Evgeny Feldman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 9:40 am

Russian lawmakers have approved a measure that would bar Americans from adopting Russian children, a move that comes in retaliation for a U.S. law that seeks to "name and shame" Russian officials who violate human rights.

President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the adoption ban, but it's not clear whether he'll actually sign the measure, which has potential pitfalls.

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Asia
3:06 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Japan's Economic Woes Offer Lessons To U.S.

Japan's economy has been struggling for two decades and faces some of the same problems the U.S. has. Here, a man in Tokyo passes an electronic board displaying falling global markets.
Yuriko Nakao Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 7:21 pm

In the 1980s, Japan appeared to be a world beater — the China of its day. Japanese companies were on a tear, buying up firms in the U.S. and property around the world.

But these days, Japan is considered a cautionary tale for post-industrial economies around the world. The country is facing its fourth recession in what are commonly known as the "lost decades."

Japan's story resonates this holiday season as American politicians try to reach a debt deal.

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Economy
3:06 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Failure To Avert Fiscal Cliff Could Damage World's Confidence In U.S.

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. It's time for Plan C. Washington's efforts to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts come January 1st seem to be in disarray. Last night, House Speaker John Boehner failed to get enough Republicans to go along with what he called his Plan B. NPR's John Ydstie talked with members of the business community about whether that failure is seen as a setback or clears the way for more productive negotiations.

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Latin America
3:06 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Maya Enjoy Tourism Boost From 'End Of The World' Travelers

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If you're listening to me say this then you've already figured out the world did not end today. It's been widely rumored that on December 21st, 2012, the world would seize to exist. Many point to a mistake in interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar as a source of that apocalyptic prediction that then caught fire on the internet. Modern day Maya scoff at such doomsday interpretations. But as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Merida, Mexico, they are enjoying a boost in tourism that's come with all the hype.

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Asia
3:06 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Australians Urge U.S. To Look At Their Gun Laws

After a 1996 mass killing, Australia tightened its gun laws. Here, graffiti covers the wall of the hospital holding the suspect of the massacre that left 35 people dead.
Rick Rycroft AP

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 7:21 pm

A the U.S. wages a debate on its gun laws, some Australians are urging Americans to consider their experience.

For Australia, the turning point came on April 28, 1996, when a lone gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle in Port Arthur, a popular tourist destination in the state of Tasmania.

Cathy Gordon was there that day, escorting six visiting musicians as part of her job with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. They were leaving a cafe just as the shooter, Martin Bryant, pulled out an AR-15 assault rifle.

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Europe
2:56 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Moscovites Window-Shop At GUMs For Holiday Ideas

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

If you ever wished the Christmas season could go on for an extra week or two, here's a suggestion: visit Russia, where the Christmas tradition is a little different than in the United States and is celebrated on a different calendar. Of course, a quick flight to Moscow is not convenient for everybody, so NPR's Corey Flintoff did it for us.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

In Christmas Message, Queen Elizabeth Returns To 3-D After 59 Years

Queen Elizabeth II wears 3-D glasses during a visit to the University of Sheffield, in 2010. This year, the queen's annual Christmas message will broadcast in 3-D.
WPA Pool Getty Images

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Middle East
3:07 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Local Opposition Councils Act As Government In Parts Of Syria

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 8:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To Syria now, where rebel forces are claiming a string of territorial gains, including six towns in the central province of Hama. As the fighting continues, there are also diplomatic efforts to establish leadership that could take over when Bashar al-Assad's regime falls. This month, more than 100 nations, organized as the Friends of Syria, backed an opposition coalition to replace Assad.

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Africa
3:06 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

State Department Concedes Errors In Benghazi Consulate Attack

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 8:18 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. We begin this hour with political fallout from the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died in that attack back in September, and this week, a scathing report set the stage for consequences.

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Latin America
2:36 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

'Lost Jews' Of Colombia Say They've Found Their Roots

Baruj Cano, 4, watches as his father and other men from Bello's Jewish community read from the Torah.
Paul Smith for NPR

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 10:38 am

They are called "crypto-Jews" or "lost Jews," and in recent years they have emerged in remote places as scattered as India, Brazil, the American Southwest and here in Colombia.

They were raised as Christians but believe they have discovered hidden Jewish roots, prompting many to return to Judaism. Many say their ancestors were Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain more than 500 years ago, as the Spanish crown embarked on a systematic persecution of Jews.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Former Official Sentenced To 35 Years For Role In Rwanda's Genocide

An international criminal court has found a former Rwandan government official guilty of genocide and other crimes, sentencing him to 35 years in prison for his role in the Hutu-led government's murder of ethnic Tutsis on an epic scale. The trial is the last stemming from events 18 years ago.

As Gregory Warner reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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National Security
12:10 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Preparing For The World Of 2030

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A new report for the National Intelligence Council describes the world of today as a transition point in world history, like 1815, 1919, 1945 and 1989, when the path forward was not clear-cut, the report says, and the world faced the possibility of different global futures.

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