World News

National Security
1:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

U.S. Faces Fight At Intersection Of Crime And Extremism

Gen. Antonio Indjai (left), Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff, at the funeral of the country's late president, Malam Bacai Sanha, on Jan. 15, 2012. The U.S. says Indjai has been involved in drug trafficking, an allegation he denies. He recently eluded a U.S. sting operation that led to the capture of other officials from his country.
Mamadu Alfa Balde AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

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.

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Latin America
1:17 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Brazil Seeks To Avoid Own Goal Ahead Of World Cup

The renovated Maracana stadium hosts a game by the teams "Friends of Bebeto" and "Friends of Ronaldo" during the stadium's inauguration in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am

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.

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Environment
1:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

He Helped Discover Evolution, And Then Became Extinct

Poacher-turned-conservationist Karamoy Maramis, who works at Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park in Sulawesi, holds a maleo, a bird that exists in nature only on the Indonesian island.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Ask most folks who came up with the theory of evolution, and they'll tell you it was Charles Darwin.

In fact, Alfred Russel Wallace, another British naturalist, was a co-discoverer of the theory — though Darwin has gotten most of the credit. Wallace died 100 years ago this year.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Cargo Plane Crash In Afghanistan Kills Seven

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.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Iceland Elects Three Pirate Party MPs

Supporters of the German Pirate Party attend a meeting in Berlin in February.
Adam Berry Getty Images

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. ...

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

U.N. Aid Workers Not Prepared For Chemical Weapons In Syria

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 3:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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Asia
3:00 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Bangladesh Lacks Factory, Fire Inspectors For Huge Industry

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 3:48 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.

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.

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

U.S. Tries To Restore Ties Between Turkey And Israel

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Europe Bans Pesticides In Move To Protect Honey Bees

Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Afghan President Says CIA Cash Payments Were Small And Legit

Afghan President Hamid Karzai with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (center) and Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen on Monday.
Heikki Saukkomaa AFP/Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Chinese Dreams: Freedom, Democracy And Clean Air

Pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong sing and shout slogans during a January protest. Chinese leaders and the state-run media are now speaking often of the Chinese dream, though there's no real consensus on what it means.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:22 pm

"What is your Chinese dream?"

With Chinese leaders and the state-run media now talking about the notion of the Chinese dream, we posed this question on our NPR Weibo account. In China, Weibo is the equivalent of Twitter. Within several hours, we received more than 100 replies.

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Asia
12:47 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Chasing The Chinese Dream — If You Can Define It

A woman in downtown Beijing walks past a building adorned with a patriotic mural by Chinese graffiti artists on April 22.
Stephen Shaver UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:16 pm

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.

But what exactly is it?

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

High On Mount Everest, Climbers Clash With Sherpas

On Mount Everest, a fistfight allegedly broke out near Camp Three, between climbers and Sherpas. This file photo shows the view from Camp Three at 24,000 feet on the mountain's Lhotse Face.
Courtesy of Alan Arnette AP

Three climbers have halted their expedition on Mount Everest, after an argument with the Sherpas who were guiding them devolved into an alleged fistfight on the mountain.

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Middle East
12:13 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Diplomacy, Sanctions And A Nearing Red Line With Iran

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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.

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The Picture Show
11:54 am
Mon April 29, 2013

A Photographic Homage To Peru's Fading Past

Ricardo Galvez, Giovanna Meneses Pisco and Arely Betzabe pose for a photograph in front of their former home El Ayllu. The family was back in the neighborhood to gather some of their belongings, and Giovanna spent the hours teary-eyed. As soon as families moved out, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, with the help of paid community members, began to demolish the buildings.
Courtesy of Elie Gardner

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.

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Books
9:50 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Tourism Today: Trample, Disrupt and Destroy

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon April 29, 2013

At Holocaust Museum, Clinton And Wiesel Urge Young To Remember

In the Hall of Remembrance at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, visitors can light candles in memory of the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Netherlands Prepares To Welcome First King Since 1890

Tourists in Amsterdam wear orange Monday, one day before the investiture of the new Dutch king. Queen Beatrix, who ruled the Netherlands for 33 years, announced her abdication from the throne earlier this year.
Marcel Antonisse AFP/Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Bangladesh Rescuers Give Up On Finding Survivors Of Collapse

Bangladeshi rescue workers take a break Friday on the rubble of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh. By Friday, the death toll reached 300 as rescuers continued to search for injured and missing.
Kevin Frayer AP

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.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Gas Leak Suspected After Dozens Injured By Blast In Prague

Glass and other debris were scattered across the street Monday after an explosion in Prague. Authorities initially suspected a gas leak. Dozens of people were injured in the Czech capital.
Martin Mraz EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:34 am

An explosion at an office building in the the Czech capital on Monday injured at least several dozen people and may have left some victims trapped in rubble.

The early thinking was that a natural gas leak led to the disaster in the center of Prague, police spokesman Tomas Hulan said, according to The Associated Press.

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Europe
2:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

After Months Of Deadlock, Italy Gets New Government

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Latin America
2:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

U.S.-Mexico Alliance Against Dug Cartels In Jeopardy

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Latin America
4:38 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Trial Of Former Guatemalan Dictator Suffers Setback

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.

Author Interviews
2:56 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Iran's Political Scene Is Sketchy For Cartoonists

"War" by Touka Neyestani: Neyestani received a degree in architecture from Tehran's Science and Industry University, and has been a cartoonist for more than 30 years.
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:32 am

Iranian newspapers are rife with cartoons. They are a tradition, and play a big role voicing criticism of the country's authoritarian regime.

Increasingly, though, Iranian cartoonists have been imprisoned, received death threats, or gone into exile because of their work.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Japan Marks 'Restoration Of Sovereignty' For The First Time

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech Sunday in Tokyo as Emperor Akihito, third from right, and Empress Michiko, second from right, listen during a ceremony marking the day Japan recovered its sovereignty under the San Francisco Peace treaty in 1952.
Itsuo Inouye AP

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.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Iraq Pulls 10 Broadcasters' Licenses Over Sectarian Violence

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."

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Deadly Bangladesh Collapse: Building Owner Arrested

Sohel Rana, the fugitive owner of an illegally constructed building that collapsed last week in Bangladesh, killing some 377 people, is paraded by Rapid Action Battalion commandoes for the media in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday.
Palash Khan AP

Bangladeshi authorities arrested Sunday the owner of the building that collapsed last week outside the capital, Dhaka, killing more than 300 people.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Sun April 28, 2013

For Afghan Policewomen, Danger Often Comes From Colleagues

Afghan policewomen take part in a training exercise in the western province of Herat in 2011. Policewomen face frequent sexual harassment and assaults, often carried out by policemen, human rights groups say.
Sardar Xinhua/Landov

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.

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Asia
4:41 am
Sun April 28, 2013

N. Korean Refugees Tell Tales of Ordinary, Desperate Lives

Courtesy of Sokeel Park

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 4:40 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
3:29 am
Sun April 28, 2013

The Challenges Of Making A Film In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia film director Haifaa Al-Mansour (right) receives the award of best film for her movie Wadjda at Dubai International Film Festival in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Dec. 16, 2012.
Ali Haider EPA/Landov

The Saudi Arabian movie Wadjda has been on a winning streak.

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