World News

The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Strong Quake Hits Southern Iran, Killing Or Injuring Dozens

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:55 pm

UPDATE at 3:40 p.m. ET: Death Toll Rises

Bushehr provincial governor Fereidoun Hasanvand tells state TV that the death toll has reached 37 people, with 850 injured, including 100 who were hospitalized.

We updated this post with new information at 12:15 p.m. ET

A strong earthquake in a sparsely populated area of southern Iran has killed at least 30 people and injured 800, according to Iran's state media.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Thatcher's Funeral Set For April 17

A Union flag flies at half staff over the Houses of Parliament, and next to the Big Ben clock tower, in honor of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday.
Luke MacGregor Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 8:09 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron's office announced Tuesday morning that "Lady Thatcher's funeral service will take place on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 at St Paul's Cathedral."

The "Iron Lady" — former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — died Monday in London following a stroke. She was 87.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Tue April 9, 2013

North Korea's Warnings More Boring Than Alarming To Those In South

Two women sit at a cafe Monday in central Seoul, South Korea. While North Korea has been issuing threats on a daily basis, many South Koreans say they're more bored than worried.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:25 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt reports from Seoul

There were more ominous-sounding words from North Korea on Tuesday. Pyongyang warned tourists and foreign companies in South Korea to leave for their own safety because a nuclear war may be imminent.

It was the latest in a string of threats in recent days.

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Asia
2:54 am
Tue April 9, 2013

South Koreans Ignore Threats From The North

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

Well, in recent weeks, we have heard that Seoul, the capital of South Korea, will become, quote, a sea of fire. North Korea has said its enemies' windpipes will be, quote, totally cut. Today, North Korea urged tourists and foreign companies to leave South Korea in case of war. These are just some of the threats North Korea has been hurling. But instead of scaring South Koreans, all this blood-thirsty rhetoric seems to be mostly boring them.

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Remembrances
2:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Britain's Only Female Prime Minister: Margaret Thatcher

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as we consider the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, the question arises about her significance as the only woman to serve as British prime minister, and the first woman to lead a government of a major Western nation. Kim Campbell, who briefly served as Canada's first woman prime minister in the early 1990s, put it this way last night on the "PBS NewsHour."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PBS NEWSHOUR")

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Asia
2:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Pakistan's Campaign Season Is In Full Swing

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

People in Pakistan will go to the polls next month to select a new parliament, and election fever is already building. The country faces chronic energy shortages, deepening economic problems and the specter of violence, as entrenched militants threaten to disrupt the vote. NPR's Julie McCarthy brings us this report from a very active campaign trail in Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Climate Change Could Equal Teeth-Rattling Flights

Fly the bumpier skies?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:23 pm

Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.

That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.

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Asia
2:05 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

North Korea's Threats: Predicable Pattern Or Provocation?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Tensions between North and South Korea show no sign of abatement. Today the North Korean government officially suspended operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and withdrew all of its more than 50,000 workers. Many consider the complex the last remaining symbol of North and South Korean cooperation.

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World
2:03 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

A Close-Up Of Syria's Alawites, Loyalists Of A Troubled Regime

Director Nidal Hassan spent a year filming in Tartous, a Syrian beach town made up mostly of Alawites who still support embattled President Bashar Assad.
Khaled Al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

The film on Syria's Alawite community isn't finished yet, but filmmaker Nidal Hassan's favorite scenes are beginning to take shape.

It opens with fireworks on New Year's Eve in Tartous, Syria. "May God preserve the president for us," one young man yells in a reference to Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Five Things To Know About Margaret Thatcher

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, in February 2008 in London.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:10 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the iconic former British prime minister, died Monday at age 87 after suffering a stroke. Although she was a towering presence on the world stage in the 1980s, often standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow conservative President Ronald Reagan, some people may have forgotten her contributions.

We decided to highlight five things you ought to know about her:

She helped break the glass ceiling in politics.

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Remembrances
12:16 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

How Margaret Thatcher Changed The World

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Margaret Thatcher spoke with utter conviction in her principles and absolute certainty in her actions. If she inspired passionate opposition, she couldn't care less. She reveled in her enemies and made them easily.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Britain's Thatcher An Unlikely Icon For American Conservatives

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:47 pm

As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.

Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Deadly Blast In Damascus Reflects Growing Danger In Capital

A deadly car bomb explosion rocked central Damascus, Syria, in front of the Finance Ministry building (center) and the Central Bank (right) on Monday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:18 pm

Editor's note: The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus and is not being further identified for safety concerns.

The major blast that rocked Damascus at midday Monday took place in what has come to be called the "Square of Security," an area of about a dozen urban neighborhoods or so that are under tight government security.

It's also home to major government buildings, including the Parliament, various ministries, major intelligence branches and foreign embassies, now mostly closed.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Mon April 8, 2013

'I Liked It,' Putin Says Of Protest By Topless Women

Russian President Vladimir Putin (far left) looks on Monday in Hanover, Germany, as one of three women who stripped off their tops protests his appearance at a trade fair. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the green jacket.
Jochen Luebke EPA /LANDOV
  • From the NPR Newscast: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the protest in Hanover

At a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, three women protesters got quite close to Russian President Vladimir Putin before stripping off their blouses and shouting expletives at the Russian leader.

Putin, who was joined at the fair by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, later sarcastically thanked the women for calling the news media's attention to the gathering.

"As to this action, I liked it," Putin said, according to a German translator. The Russian leader added that the protesters were "pretty girls" and said he couldn't hear what they were screaming.

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Remembrances
7:03 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Life And Legacy In Britain

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Monday, it is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Britain and the world are reflecting this morning on the life of Margaret Thatcher. The former British prime minister has died at the age of 87. Britain's current Prime Minister David Cameron remembered her this way.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Remembrances
6:57 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Britain's Iron Lady, Former Prime Minister Thatcher, Dies

Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister in 1979 and served until 1990. In 1992, she was elevated to the House of Lords to become Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. Thatcher died Monday at age 87 following a stroke, her spokesman said.
Harry Dempster Express/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:14 am

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died Monday following a stroke. She was 87. Despite many accomplishments during her 11 years in office, she was a divisive figure, and there is still much bitterness surrounding the woman who was dubbed the Iron Lady.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Former British Prime Minister Thatcher Dies

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981. She died Monday, at the age of 87.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:12 am

Margaret Thatcher, who as British prime minister in the 1980s became known as the "Iron Lady" for her tough economic policies, her partnership with President Reagan in standing up to communism and the short war with Argentina over the Falklands, has died.

Her spokesman, Lord Bell, tells the British Press Association that Baroness Thatcher died Monday following a stroke. She was 87.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Mon April 8, 2013

North Korea To Shut Jointly Run Factories, May Test Missile

Do not enter: Barriers, including spikes, at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the Gyeonggi province, South Korea.
Jeon Heon-kyun EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 9:28 am

  • Louisa Lim, reporting on the NPR Newscast

Monday's developments on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions have been running even higher than usual in recent weeks:

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Asia
3:34 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Visitors To North Korea See Nothing Out Of The Ordinary

Patrick Thornquist, a teacher from Chicago, says he didn't encounter any anti-American sentiment in the North. "You're trying to find that balance between what your media tell you and what they're telling you, because they're very far off," he said.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:22 pm

North Korea's recent campaign of bluster and escalation seems to be reaching new heights, but visitors to the reclusive country say there are few signs the capital is anywhere near a war footing.

International TV broadcasters have been repeatedly showing tanks trundling through Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square in a demonstration of North Korean national power.

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Europe
3:01 am
Mon April 8, 2013

J.R.R. Tolkien's Ring On Display At Estate's Exhibit

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In his epic saga of Middle Earth, the English author J.R.R. Tolkien creates a vivid land of elves and dwarfs, wizards and hobbits and at the center of it all is the one ring of power.

(SOUNDBITE FROM FILM "LORD OF THE RING: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING")

IAN MCKELLEN: (as Gandalf) Evil is stirring in Mordor. The ring has awoken. It's served its master's call.

GREENE: Yeah, this is quite a ring. It can make you invisible. It also can create separation anxiety.

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Latin America
3:01 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Chilean Poet Neruda's Remains To Be Exhumed In Murder Probe

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Chile today, the famed poet Pablo Neruda's remains are being exhumed. The official cause of the Nobel Laureate's death in 1973 was cancer. But a new investigation is looking into whether he might have been murdered by the regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Here's NPR's South American correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Outside of Chile, Pablo Neruda is better known for verses like this.

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Global Health
3:01 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Research:Dengue Underestimated By World Health Organization

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The tropical disease dengue is on the move, spreading far outside the tropics. There have been major outbreaks in places like Portugal, Russia and Australia. It even popped up in Florida. Now, according to a new paper in the journal Nature, scientists have been seriously underestimating the amount of dengue around the globe. The study estimates that there's three to four times more dengue infections each year than what was reported by the World Health Organization. NPR's Jason Beaubien has more.

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NPR Story
2:48 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Foreign Service Officer Died Doing What She Loved

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Over the weekend in Afghanistan, a suicide bomber took the life of five Americans. They were on a mission to deliver books to an Afghan school. They were military personnel, a Defense Department civilian, and the first State Department Foreign Service officer to be killed in Afghanistan.

She was 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff. NPR's Sean Carberry, in Kabul, sent this remembrance.

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NPR Story
2:48 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Religious Tensions Escalate In Egypt Amid Violence

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Steve Inskeep is reporting from Venezuela this week as that nation holds a presidential election. I'm David Greene in Washington. Over the weekend, Egypt suffered the worse religious violence it has seen since President Mohamed Morsi came to power last year. At least six people were killed, including five Coptic Christians. More than 80 others were wounded.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Young Staffer's Death Binds U.S. Embassy, Journalists

An Afghan police officer stands guard near the site where a suicide bomb attack took the life of five Americans, including 25-year-old Foreign Service officer Anne Smedinghoff, in Afghanistan on Saturday.
Arghand Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:50 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Remembering Anne Smedinghoff

Death comes with the territory when you work in conflict zones. On sometimes a daily basis, those of us who have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular have filed stories with headlines like, "Four troops killed during insurgent attack," or "IED kills 10 civilians and wounds six."

It's a blur of numbers and uniforms. When we get word of an incident, we scramble to determine what happened, the nationality of the victims and any other pertinent details. But it's all very anonymous and impersonal, most of the time. It's reporting. It's work.

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Europe
4:52 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Young Greeks Find 'The Math Just Doesn't Work' Amid Crisis

"In Europe, we're trying to save banks by sacrificing an entire generation — my generation," says Marios Kyriakou, 24.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:23 pm

The latest statistics show Greece and Spain with the highest unemployment rates in the eurozone, both at more than 26 percent. For young Greeks, the numbers are much worse: Nearly 60 percent of people under 25 are out of work, a figure that is expected to rise.

These aren't just numbers for 24-year-old Marios Kyriakou, who was recently sipping a sweet espresso freddo at an arty cafe in his neighborhood. He says he's even had to cut back on that small pleasure.

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Asia
2:55 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

The Extraordinary Lives Of Ordinary North Koreans

Amid a cascade of headline news from North Korea, often forgotten are the 24 million average citizens living under the most authoritarian regime in the world. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times on the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

Asia
3:13 am
Sat April 6, 2013

U.S. Parries N. Korean Threats With A Fresh Plan

South Korea conducts military exercises near the border with North Korea on Wednesday.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:32 pm

You might think alarm bells would be sounding in Washington, given the warnings coming out of North Korea. But when they talk about North Korea, U.S. officials are sounding like exasperated parents responding to a child's tantrum.

At the White House on Friday, spokesman Jay Carney said the United States "would not be surprised" if North Korea actually carries out a missile test.

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Africa
2:38 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

In Post-Coup Central African Republic, Instability Remains

Kadidja Mamath sells hot porridge made of rice, sugar and milk on the roadside in the capital city, Bangui. The 19-year-old says the people of CAR have suffered enough and are ready for the coups to stop.
Benno Muchler for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:04 pm

Tumult defines the Central African Republic. The landlocked nation in the heart of Africa is rich in natural resources such as diamonds, gold and uranium, but it remains one of the world's poorest countries. It has suffered from decades of misrule and coups.

The latest uprising occurred last month, when a rebel alliance seized control of the country and ousted the president. What followed were days of violence and looting, leaving the country in shambles: gas stations without pumps, hospitals without equipment, the university without computers.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Puzzling, Shaky Start To New Round Of Iran Talks

The negotiating table in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the U.S. and other nations are talking with Iran about that nation's nuclear ambitions.
Ilyas Omarov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 10:42 am

The first day of the latest talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group about the Persian nation's nuclear ambitions has ended with reports of a "shaky" start and Western diplomats saying they are puzzled by what Iran brought to the table.

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