World News

Afghanistan
1:32 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Afghan Woman Carves Out An Entrepreneurial Niche

Fatima Jafari, owner of Bamboo Wood Industries, listens to a worker in her factory in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jafari is one of the few female entrepreneurs in an industrial trade in the country, despite international efforts to support women in business.
Sultan Faizy NPR

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:49 am

Behind a tall metal gate in a nondescript nook of Kabul sits the Bamboo Wood Industries factory. It's not a place you're likely to stumble across by accident. Inside, a handful of men are cutting, painting and assembling desks and cabinets. The pieces being made are chocolate brown and quite modern looking.

Sitting in a spartan, unheated office above the factory floor is Fatima Jafari, the owner of the company. The 30-something woman started the business a little over a year ago.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Egyptian Constitutional Referendum Appears To Have Passed

Polling station officials count ballots in Cairo on Dec. 15, at the end of the first day of vote in a referendum on a new constitution.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:24 am

In Egypt, voters appear to have approved the controversial draft referendum on a proposed constitution in the first stage of the referendum held across half of the country yesterday.

The outcome is unofficial at this point as the government has said it will not announce official results until the referendum concludes in the rest of Egypt next Saturday. The vote is being held in two stages because a boycott by many judges who were supposed to supervise the elections. Those boycotting say they reject the constitution because it doesn't have a national consensus.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Early Polls Show Japan's Conservative Party Has Regained Majority

Japan's major opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba adds a rosette on the name of one of those elected in parliamentary elections at the party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday.
Junji Kurokawa AP

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:26 pm

Japanese voters went to the polls on Sunday, and according to early exit polls, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party appears to have won a clear majority.

The Associated Press is reporting that public broadcaster NHK projects the LDP has won between 275 and 300 seats in the 480-seat lower house of Japan's parliament.

The party's leader, Shinzo Abe, is slated to become prime minister for the second time. Abe first led the nation for a one-year stint in 2006-2007, but had to quit due to an illness.

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NPR Story
3:11 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Egyptians Vote On Contested Constitution Draft

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 5:04 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

We're going to turn to other news for a moment and a story out of Egypt. Voters in that country began to turn out for the first phase of a controversial constitutional amendment. Opponents of that Islamist-backed draft constitution have been mounting protests for weeks. Some of those clashes turned deadly. Reporter Merrit Kennedy is in Alexandria, and she sent this report.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Mandela Recovering After Gallstone Surgery

Former South African President Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu, South Africa, in February. The 94-year-old underwent surgery to remove gallstones on Saturday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 3:49 pm

Former South African President Nelson Mandela was recovering Saturday after surgery to remove gallstones, the government said. There was no indication when the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader would be released from the hospital, though the government said he was recovering well.

Mandela was admitted to the unnamed hospital in the capital, Pretoria, a week ago. As the BBC's Karen Allen told our Newscast Unit, there's been much concern about his health and limited detail about his medical condition.

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Europe
3:20 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Ready. Set. Memorize!

Argh, it's on the tip of my tongue! Contestants in the Names and Faces competition focus at last year's World Memory Championships held in Guangzhou, China. A new field of mental athletes is currently vying for the 2012 championship.
Peng Tong Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 11:43 am

In the gymnasium of a South London technical school, site of this year's World Memory Championships, Norwegian Ola Kaere Risa checks his stopwatch.

Risa is Norway's only contestant this year.

"I hope to defend the glory of my country," he says, laughing.

The 21st World Memory Championships are under way in London this weekend. About 75 competitors from some two dozen countries are vying to see who can memorize the most numbers, faces, playing cards or random words in a set amount of time.

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The Two-Way
3:17 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Egyptians Hurry To Vote On Draft Constitution

Women wait in line outside a polling station to vote on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Saturday.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 11:43 am

Update at 2:54 p.m. ET: Voting Hours Extended:

Voter turnout on the first day of a referendum on Egypt's controversial draft constitution was so high in Cairo and nine other governorates that election officials decided to extend poll hours from 7 until 11 p.m. local time.

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Asia
2:40 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Nationalist Rhetoric High As Japanese Head To Polls

Supporters hold up posters of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a rally in Osaka on Thursday. Considered a nationalist hawk, Abe is expected to become prime minister for a second time after parliamentary elections Sunday.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 8:27 am

As Japanese head to the polls Sunday, Shinzo Abe is expected to become Japan's prime minister for the second time.

The election takes place as nationalistic rhetoric is on the rise, and while the country remains locked in a bitter dispute with its chief rival, China, over islands both countries claim.

'Pride And Honor'

The battle over the islands heated up last summer.

In mid-August, boats filled with about 150 Japanese activists approached one of the islands, part of a chain that the Japanese call Senkaku; the Chinese, Diaoyu.

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Middle East
10:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Who Benefits From Syrian Civil War?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:20 am

Egyptians are voting on a new constitution - but the vote is polarizing the country. Meanwhile, in Syria, the main opposition group is now recognized by the U.S., but there are questions about al-Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside them. To make sense of the developments, host Michel Martin talks with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International.

Faith Matters
7:14 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Nigeria's Jews Celebrate Hanukkah

A handmade menorah in Abuja.
William Miles Markus Wiener Publishers

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:51 am

"Being welcomed by and embraced by Igbos, who take Judaism so seriously ... it raises the question of what it means to be a Jew," says William Miles.

Three years ago, Miles, a self-proclaimed semi-practicing Jew, decided to celebrate Hanukkah in Africa's most populous country. He wrote about his experience in a new book called Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey. He tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that he found "a very Jewish community, but also a very African community."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

In Repeat Of Disturbing News, Man With Knife Attacks School Children In China

Wei Jingru, one of the students injured in today's attack, is being treated at a hospital in central China's Henan Province.
Li Bo Xinhua /Landov
  • NPR's Louisa Lim on the NPR Newscast

Twenty-two children and one adult are reported to have been injured at a school in China today by a man wielding a knife.

It happened in a village about 500 miles south of Beijing. As NPR's Louisa Lim tells our Newscast Desk, the attack is the latest of what has been a disturbing series of such incidents in recent years.

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Asia
1:25 am
Fri December 14, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Tells Us About Iran's Role

This monitor screen image shows a graphic of the orbit of the satellite carried by the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea launched this week. The image is from the Korean Central News Agency, distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:03 am

U.S. officials say the satellite put into orbit by North Korea's rocket launch this week is wobbling, but that doesn't necessarily mean the launch itself was unsuccessful.

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World
1:18 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Families Of Spain's 'Stolen Babies' Seek Answers — And Reunions

Antonio Iniesta demonstrates in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square last month. He's searching for a younger brother he believes is one of Spain's bebes robados, or stolen babies.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:20 am

Allegations of the existence of a secret network of doctors and nuns who stole newborn babies and sold them for adoption are reviving a dark chapter in Spain's recent history.

More than 1,000 people have gone to court hoping to track down sons and daughters or brothers and sisters they were told died in childbirth.

In Madrid's Puerta del Sol square last month, Antonio Iniesta stood next to a poster with the words bebes robados (stolen babies). His demonstration is intended to publicize his search for a brother he's convinced is alive.

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Europe
3:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

E.U. Votes To Have A Single Regulator For Its Banks

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

European leaders have taken a big step forward in their efforts to address the continent's debt problems. At a meeting today in Brussels, they approved the idea of a single regulator who would have power over most of Europe's banks. Officials say such a regulator could have averted the kind of credit bust that has crippled the economies of Spain, Greece and Ireland.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has that story.

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Africa
3:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Divisions Over Draft Constitution Continue In Egypt

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Egypt, the road to democracy is anything but easy. President Mohammed Morsi has set a vote on a new constitution to begin this Saturday. But Egyptian rights groups are warning of possible election fraud.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports
3:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

With 88 Goals, Lionel Messi Celebrates A Record Year

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (in dark blue) shoots on Cordoba's goalkeeper Mikel Saizar (left) during the Spanish Copa del Rey football match in Cordoba on Wednesday.
Cristina Quicler AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:42 am

Stop anyone on the street in Europe, Latin America, Africa and even Asia, and chances are they'll know the name Lionel Messi — and they'll probably know what he did this week. The soccer phenom scored his 88th goal of the year, which is widely thought to be a world record.

And the year's not over yet.

On Sunday, Messi, 25, scored his 86th goal of the calendar year in a Spanish league game against Real Betis, in Seville. The goal, Messi's second of the game, gave Barcelona a 2-1 win over Betis, with the announcer booming, "A new goal king!"

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National Security
2:22 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Chronology: The Benghazi Attack And The Fallout

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:31 am

A look at the events surrounding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and the controversy that followed.

Before The Attack: February 2011-Sept. 10, 2012

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Many Cups Of Tea: The Business Of Sipping In Western Sahara

A high-end tea set in a Saharawi home in Western Sahara.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:16 pm

If you want to get anything done in Western Sahara, be prepared to drink tea — very, very sweet tea.

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Africa
12:13 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Options For Intervention In Mali's Growing Crisis

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Many of us may not be able to point to Mali on a map, but this landlocked nation in West Africa has emerged as a crisis. Here's a quick synopsis: A government once hailed as a model of democracy collapses in a coup last March. Three northern provinces, an area the size of Texas, break away and declare themselves independent.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu December 13, 2012

From A Life Of Crime To Designing Jewelry, All In A Nairobi Slum

Zakale Creations is a jewelry-designing operation that employs 30 young people who were previously involved in crime. The Nairobi-based operation is the brainchild of John Mucheru, himself a former mugger.
John Burnett/NPR

After covering East Africa for five months, a profound problem I encountered in every country was what will happen to the continent's exploding cities.

The U.N. predicts that by 2040, six in 10 Africans will live in cities — an estimated 1 billion people. One of the pressing questions for African leaders is how to occupy all the idle young men who turn to crime because there are no jobs.

In Nairobi's Huruma slum, I came across a point of light — one man's attempt to take in thieves and prostitutes and give them honest work, of all things, making jewelry.

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Games & Humor
9:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Arab American Comedienne: No Apology For Jokes

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, the issues of Palestinians, both in the U.S. and abroad, are often in the news, but not, I think it's fair to say, because of the comedy scene, which is where Maysoon Zayid comes in.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:33 am

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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Africa
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Egyptians Remain Divided Over Draft Constitution

Egyptian clerics from Al-Azhar University hold a national flag as they shout support for President Mohammed Morsi and a new constitution at a rally in Cairo on Dec. 1. Secular and Islamist Egyptians disagree on the constitution, which critics say gives too much power to the clerics of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni Islam learning.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Egyptians are deeply divided over a draft constitution that will be put to a nationwide referendum starting Saturday. The document was drafted by an assembly dominated by Islamists. Most secular members of the panel, along with women and Christian representatives, walked out in protest before the draft was complete.

Critics say the draft gives key Islamic scholars too much power on a broad range of legislative issues, but it's still unclear what that would mean in practice.

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Analysis
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Blogger Analyzes Turmoil In Egypt

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For more analysis, we turned to Issandr El Amrani. He is a journalist living in Cairo, whose blog is called The Arabist. We've been talking with El Amrani since the early days of the Egyptian revolution. He's in Washington, D.C. this week and we asked him into our studio to get his view on the latest turmoil in Egypt.

Welcome to the program.

ISSANDR EL AMRANI: Hi, Renee.

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Asia
1:24 am
Thu December 13, 2012

A Rare Visit Inside A Chinese Courtroom

An NPR reporter recently was allowed to watch legal proceedings at Hongkou District Court — a rare opportunity for a foreign correspondent in Shanghai.
Courtesy of Hongkou District Court

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

After years of covering China, I finally set foot in a Chinese courtroom last week. Foreign reporters need government permission to enter Chinese courts and past attempts had gone nowhere.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

'Complex And Difficult Days' Without Chavez, Venezuelan Vice President Warns

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, center, addresses the nation flanked by Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, left, and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday.
Efrain Gonzalez AP

Venezuelans must prepare for "complex and difficult days" after President Hugo Chavez' cancer surgery, the country's vice president says.

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Europe
3:28 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

British Army Aided In Killing During 'Troubles' Period

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. British Prime Minister David Cameron stood up in Parliament today and apologized for one of the most notorious killings of Northern Ireland's sectarian troubles. But unlike past official apologies, this one may have reopened more wounds than it closed. Vicki Barker reports from London.

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Asia
3:27 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

South Koreans Wary After Rocket Launch From North

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

North Korea's missile launch comes at a sensitive time for South Korea, which will hold national elections in a week. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us from Seoul now to discuss how the launch is affecting politics on the Korean Peninsula. And Anthony, have we heard any more news out of North Korea about how this success is being received by people there?

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Asia
3:26 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

North Korean Rocket Launch Adds To Nuclear Fears

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

The U.N. Security Council has condemned Tuesday's missile launch by North Korea. The North Koreans say their rocket put a satellite into space — but the move violated U.N. resolutions aimed at curbing North Korea's attempts to develop ballistic missile technology.

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