A suspected drug kingpin from the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was captured on the high seas by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this month, brought to Manhattan and is now awaiting trial.
The dramatic sting operation sheds light on what officials say is a growing national security threat: criminal networks teaming up with extremist organizations.
Soccer isn't just a sport in Brazil, it's a religion, and the main temple is the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
The venue is not only the biggest stadium in Brazil but the biggest in South America. Over the weekend, the newly renovated complex reopened to great fanfare, with stirring musical numbers, a light show and dignitaries including Brazil's president.
The headlines in the local media, however, focused not on the fanfare but on the many problems, from flooding in the VIP area to malfunctioning seats and turnstiles. The stadium was also four months late reopening.
Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:00 pm
A civilian cargo plane crashed in Afghanistan, killing all seven crew members, the U.S. military said Monday.
NPR's Tom Bowman is reporting on it for our Newscast team. He says:
"Officials say the crash killed all seven crew members. And there is no word yet on their nationalities.
"Emergency responders are still on the scene of the crash, at the sprawling base north of Kabul. Officials are still trying to determine the reason for the crash but say there's no indication of hostile fire.
Iceland has become the first country to elect members of parliament from the Pirate Party — an international online freedom movement.
Three Pirate Party MPs will take seats following historic polls in Iceland that saw a new coalition come to power on a promise of easing economic austerity measures.
According to The Associated Press:
"The conservative Independence Party and rural-based Progressive Party — who governed Iceland for decades before the 2008 [economic] crash — each had 19 seats in Iceland's 63-seat parliament, the Althingi. ...
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
The head of the U.N. refugee agency says aid workers are not prepared for the possibility of chemical warfare in Syria. And as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, that's just one of many concerns relief groups face in what they're calling the worst humanitarian disaster in decades.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
In Bangladesh today, crowds chanted hang him as the owner of a garment factory building was led into court. The eight-story building collapsed last week, killing some 400 workers. Hundreds more remain unaccounted for. It's the worst industrial accident ever in Bangladesh, and it comes just months after a factory fire there killed more than 100 garment workers.
Turkey and Israel are negotiating compensation for the families of nine activists. They were killed in 2010 when Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish aid ship off the Gaza coast. The talks are part of an effort to restore normal ties between the countries after a three-year chill. But some families of the aid ship victims say they won't accept compensation until Israel lifts restrictions on Gaza. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.
Three popular pesticides will soon be illegal in the European Union, where officials hope the change helps restore populations of honey bees, vital to crop production, to healthy levels. The new ban will be enacted in December.
"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion ($28.8 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected," said EU Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged on Monday that for the past decade or more, his office has been receiving secret cash payments from the CIA, but that it's only small amounts used for "operational" purposes.
Forget about the American dream. Nowadays, the next big thing is the Chinese dream. In Beijing, it's the latest official slogan, mentioned on the front page of the official People's Daily 24 times in a single week recently.
With this level of publicity from the official propaganda machine, the Chinese dream even looks set to be enshrined as the new official ideology.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. While Syria is the crisis of the moment in the Middle East, Iran looms as an even more difficult challenge in the months ahead. And these two issues are not unconnected. Iran remains the most important ally of President Assad in Damascus, and the survival of his regime is critical to Iran's larger struggle with its Arab rivals.
Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 1:08 pm
Elie Gardner and Oscar Durand moved to Lima, Peru, in 2010, and every time they flew in or out, they noticed a large farmland by the airport. The husband and wife photojournalists began to wonder why there was so much land in the middle of an urban area, and who lived there and why.
One night they saw a story about it on the news. The government was taking back the neighborhood called "El Ayllu" and relocating hundreds of families in order to expand the airport.
Holidays overseas were once so rare for the average person in this country, that families would throw parties to show their vacation photos as slide shows. It's hard to remember that time now when it's relatively unremarkable for Americans to jet off to far-flung locations. Traveling for pleasure was once a hobby for the well off. It's now a $6.5 trillion industry worldwide that employs one out of every 12 people in the world.
Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 9:59 am
"You are our witnesses because you will go beyond our lives," Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel told the world's young people Monday morning during an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's opening.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:19 am
Excitement is building in the Netherlands a day before Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will be named king. Queen Beatrix will abdicate the throne Tuesday, and when the prince is sworn in, he'll become the first Dutch king in 122 years.
The transition will take place April 30, a national holiday known as Queen's Day — a busy holiday in any year in the Netherlands and especially popular in 2013. It will be renamed King's Day during the reign of Willem-Alexander, and moved to April 27, the new king's birthday.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:57 pm
Several arrests have been made in connection with the collapse of an illegally constructed garment factory in Bangladesh last week that killed at least 380 people outside the capital, Dhaka. Meanwhile, rescuers say they have given up hope of finding anyone else alive.
Italy has a new government, now that a new prime minister has been sworn in to preside over a grand coalition of that country's political parties, among them, the party of Silvio Berlusconi, if not the man himself. It took a lot of wrangling, leaving Italy without a government for two months, and it still has to get past a confidence vote in parliament today. We go now to NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Rome. Good morning.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Mexico is considering changes to its collaboration with the United States in the war on drugs. That was the news at the top of the story in the Washington Post. But for many of us, some information further down in the article was more revealing because the article detailed just how deep and broad the U.S.-Mexico collaboration is.
Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt is on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1980s and '90s. The trial suffered a setback when a new judge was assigned to the case and ordered all the witness testimony of the past two years void. Filmmaker Pamela Yates, whose interview with Rios Montt from 1982 is used as evidence against the former dictator, offers her insight.
Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:06 am
Japan marked for the first time Sunday the end of the allied occupation of the country following its defeat in World War II.
"We have a responsibility to make Japan a strong and resolute country that others across the world can rely on," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a ceremony in Tokyo that was attended by dignitaries, including Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Iraqi officials have suspended the right of 10 satellite TV channels to operate in the country, as media regulators say the stations' coverage of sectarian conflicts incites more violence.
"Most of the channels, including local stations such as 'Baghdad' and 'al-Sharqiya,' are pro-Sunni and often critical of the Shi'ite-led government," Reuters reports. "Al Jazeera is based in Qatar, a Sunni-ruled kingdom."
It seems almost trivial at first: the latest Human Rights Watch report on Afghanistan says female police officers need their own toilets. Sure, who's going to argue with that. But why is it a big deal?
Here's how it unfolds.
Female police officers are experiencing high levels of harassment, sexual assault and rape — often at the hands of their male colleagues. Where is most of this activity taking place? In police station bathrooms and changing rooms.
Sokeel Park sees the effects of North Korea's repressive government every day. He lives in South Korea, but works for an NGO named Liberty in North Korea. His job is to debrief those who've managed to leave the North and help them start new lives in the South.
Park says that with so much focus on the country's nuclear weapons and leadership, it's easy to forget about the 24 million people going about their everyday lives. Those lives are heavily controlled by the North Korean government, citizens are told where to work, where to live, and are not allowed to leave.