World News

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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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Korean Tensions Aren't Spurring Foreigners To Evacuate

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:53 am

The phrase "tensions are rising" has been used a lot in recent days as North Korea continues to threaten the South and the U.S.

And there were new reasons Friday morning to use that phrase:

-- "North Korea Moves Missiles, South Korean Markets Roiled." (Reuters)

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Middle East
2:31 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Talks Over Iran's Nuclear Program Resume In Kazakhstan

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We have been hearing a lot about North Korea and nuclear weapons lately. Well, nuclear negotiators have just wrapped up a first day of talks on Iran's nuclear program. Tehran does not have nuclear weapons and insists it doesn't want them, but six world powers say the country must do more to assure the world that its program is entirely peaceful. We spoke earlier with NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the talks. Peter, good morning.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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Afghanistan
2:31 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Afghan Want U.S. To Clarify Troop Level Post 2014

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:30 am

The United States has pledged to remain committed to Afghanistan beyond the year 2014. That's when the U.S. and its NATO allies are set to hand over the security mission to Afghan forces. But the U.S. has not yet said how many troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014, and that is causing concern among Afghans.

Arts & Life
1:19 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Jewishness On Display: 'Truth' By Way Of Discomfort

Bill Glucroft, an American Jew living in Berlin, chats with visitors from his box in the most controversial portion of the Berlin Jewish Museum's exhibition "The Whole Truth."
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:16 pm

In Berlin's Jewish Museum, a new exhibit called "The Whole Truth" asks visitors uncomfortable and even absurd questions about Jews. One of the curators, Michal Friedlander, says it is intentionally provocative.

"The point is to get people talking about how they perceive Jews, particularly in Germany today," she says.

But some German Jews accuse the museum of going too far.

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Europe
3:02 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Britain's Class System More Complicated Than Once Thought

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The British have long mocked their own class system.

JOHN CLEESE: (as Commentator) Oh, it's certainly looks as though we're in for a splendid afternoon sport in this, the 127th upper class twit of year show.

CORNISH: Beyond "Monty Python," Americans have fallen in love with more romantic depictions of the vaunted upper class in TV shows like "Downton Abbey."

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Asia
3:02 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile To Its Eastern Coast

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 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.

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Asia
3:02 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Blocks South Korean Workers From Shared Facility

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Earlier this week, we talked about the Kaesong Industrial Complex with a North Korea expert, Professor Aidan Foster-Carter from Leeds University. When we first spoke, Kaesong was still open, and the professor said it's the best bellwether to get a sense of North Korea's intentions.

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Europe
2:42 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Emigre Artist Sculpted Exquisite Gems Of Russian Folk Life

Bosom Pals, an iconic sculpture by Russian artist Vasily Konovalenko.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

A team of American researchers is on a treasure hunt for jewels — of both artistic and historic value.

This month, researchers from Denver were in Russia to document the work of Vasily Konovalenko, a former ballet set designer turned sculptor, who created scenes from Russian folk life in semiprecious stones.

In the 1980s, Konovalenko emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union in search of artistic freedom. Now, his legacy is divided between the U.S. and Russia.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
11:55 am
Thu April 4, 2013

New Mortgage Program Helps Cambodia's Poor Find Better Homes

Sriv Keng (right) and her husband, Vet Vong, dish up bowls of rice for customers at her roadside food stall, which is situated in a garment manufacturing district.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

If you've applied for a mortgage recently, you know how hard it can be. The bank demands all kinds of obscure documents and wants proof of almost every asset you own. But an innovative mortgage program halfway around the world will evaluate your application without any extra documentation — and if you're approved, it will give you a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. There's just one catch: The mortgages are only for low-income people in Cambodia. The program is a throwback to the days when bankers got to know their customers — and trusted them.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Sky Isn't Falling Over The Korean Peninsula — Yet

In this photo released in March by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), leader Kim Jong Un is said to be using a pair of binoculars to look south during an inspection of army troops stationed on two islands.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:04 pm

Almost every day, there's some new threat out of North Korea.

It's hard to determine how seriously to take these threats. War on the Korean Peninsula could be catastrophic, so the bluster can't be dismissed. On the other hand, North Korea has a long history of hyperbole, of making threats it doesn't follow through on.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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World
5:10 am
Thu April 4, 2013

New Zealand Movie Goer Notices Lack Of Explosions

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

The action film "Jack Reacher" hit theaters in December, and it got some favorable reviews. But one New Zealand moviegoer didn't think it was action-packed enough. That's because the trailer featured an explosion that wasn't in the movie. Disappointed, the man complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. He said the explosion was one of the main reasons he went to see the flick in the first place. Paramount Pictures has now offered to refund the money for his ticket.

Middle East
3:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Risks Increase For Humanitarian Aid Workers In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:29 am

David Greene talks to Muhannad Hadi, the World Food Program's regional emergency coordinator for Syria, about the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The civil war there has entered its third year, and last month was its deadliest.

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