World News

Iraq
2:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kerry Makes Stop In Iraq

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 6:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad. He's nudging the Iraqi government to stop letting Iran use Iraqi air space to send weapons into Syria. The United States does not have much leverage, however, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Europe
2:42 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Ex-President Musharraf Returns To A Different Pakistan

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf greets supporters upon his arrival at Karachi airport in Pakistan on Sunday.
S.I. Ali AP

After four years of self-imposed exile, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has come home. His plan is to run for office and reclaim political influence, but death threats and legal battles complicate his return.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sun March 24, 2013

U.K. Police Investigate Death Of Exiled Russian Oligarch

Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky talks to the media on Aug. 31, 2012, after losing his case against Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in London. Berezovsky was found Saturday dead at his home in Britain.
Sang Tan AP

Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who made headlines in 2000 after falling out with President Vladimir Putin and moving to the U.K., was found dead at his home on Saturday. He was 67.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Resigns In Frustration

Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib took on the presidency of the Syrian National Council after it was formed in November.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 1:55 pm

Update at 3:52 p.m. ET.: Kerry Reacts

Speaking in Baghdad, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to news of Khatib's resignation, saying it "is not a surprise."

"It's almost inevitable, in the transition of a group such as the opposition, for these kinds of changes to take place as it evolves," he said.

Here's more from his comments:

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Secretary Of State Kerry In Baghdad, With Concern Over Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Baghdad Sunday on an unannounced visit following President Obama's Mideast tour.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 11:46 am

Secretary of State John Kerry is on an unannounced trip to Baghdad Sunday, and according to an official, the buzzword of the trip is "engagement."

NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast Desk that Syria is on his agenda:

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Asia
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Musharraf Returns To Pakistan Amid Threats

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 3:59 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has returned home after four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London. Security was unusually tight as he arrived at Karachi Airport today. The Pakistani Taliban has issued threats to kill the former president. And a Pakistani court has named Musharraf for possible involvement in the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Joining us now from Islamabad is NPR's Julie McCarthy. Hi, Julie.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Hi.

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Middle East
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Kerry Lands In Baghdad With Syria In Mind

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 6:23 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry touched down in Baghdad today on an unannounced trip 10 years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops have left but there's plenty for the top U.S. diplomat to do. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with Secretary Kerry. She joins us. Michele, why take this trip now?

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Europe
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

New Bells Chime With Modern Pitch At Notre Dame Cathedral

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:15 am

For its 850th anniversary, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is getting new bells. Nearly all of its bells date from an 1856 renovation. Experts say the 19th century bells toll off key. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the new bells will join one original bell, known as Emmanuel, which remains in the south tower.

Africa
6:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Nigeria Mourns The Loss Of Chinua Achebe

Award-winning author Chinua Achebe, sometimes described as the grandfather of modern African literature, died this week at age 82. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton in Lagos, Nigeria.

NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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Middle East
4:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 2:27 pm

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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Middle East
4:07 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Obama Leaves Mideast With Better Relationship With Netanyahu

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Middle East
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

U.S. Pledges $200 Million To Jordan To Aid With Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And first up this hour, President Obama's tour of the Middle East. There are two headlines from that trip today - new aid for people fleeing Syria's civil war; and new diplomatic ties between two of Washington's key allies in the region, Turkey and Israel. First, the aid money. The president met with Jordan's King Abdullah today. He pledged $200 million to Jordan, to help care for the flood of refugees from Syria.

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Middle East
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

U.S. Stands Firm On Decision Not To Arm Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

France and Britain want the European Union to lift an arms embargo on Syria. The reason? They want to help Syria's rebels topple Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.S. says it won't stand in the way. But so far, the Obama administration has decided not to arm Syrian rebels and focus instead on diplomacy. Many analysts see this as a role reversal, as NPR's Michele Kelemen explains.

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The Picture Show
11:42 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Beta Israel: Snapshots Of The Ethiopian Jewish Community

Facilitated by the Israeli government, a young couple and their children are going on aliyah from Ethiopia — a purposeful ascent, or "going up" to Israel. The facial cross tattoos, often sought to hide their Jewish origins, are frequently removed once they have arrived in Israel.
Ilan Ossendryver

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:24 am

For South African photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver, photographing the Ethiopian Jewish community, also known as Beta Israel, started out professional but ended up personal.

His decades-long body of work is now represented in the exhibit "Beta Israel: Ethiopian Jews and the Promised Land," at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Ossendryver admits that he didn't know much about Ethiopian Jews before receiving an assignment years ago to cover their migration to Israel. Turns out that assignment wasn't so easy.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Congo Warlord Faces War Crimes After Turning Himself In

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:42 am

Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious warlord accused of crimes against humanity during Congo's civil war, is headed to an international court after turning himself in at the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda earlier this week.

NPR's Gregory Warner reports that the surrender of Ntaganda, nicknamed "The Terminator," came as a surprise. He's been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for crimes against humanity, including conscripting child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery allegedly committed in 2002 and 2003 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Britain Goes After Pot Growers With 'Scratch And Sniff' Cards

British police and the volunteer group Crimestoppers are sending out more than 200,000 of these cards with the scent of a cannabis plant.
Courtesy of Crimestoppers

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:05 am

For many years, across the world, the extraordinarily powerful noses of dogs have been successfully used to help detect crime.

Now, in Britain, moves are under way to recruit humans to perform the same subtle work.

Police are encouraging the British to step out of their homes, raise their nostrils aloft, and see if they catch the whiff of wrongdoing wafting from the next-door neighbors.

Visitors to these crowded islands are often charmed by the small redbrick terraced houses that are in every town and city.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Scientists Use Antacid To Help Measure The Rate Of Reef Growth

Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science takes a water sample during his experiment out on part of the Great Barrier Reef. The water is slightly pink because his team is using a dye to trace an acid-neutralizing chemical as it flows across the reef.
Richard Harris NPR

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 4: Richard catches up with one of the gurus of climate science out on the reef.

Ken Caldeira loves a challenge, and he has a big one right under his feet. He's standing on an expanse of coral reef out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's being washed with water as the tide streams over the reef, from a lagoon to the open sea.

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Remembrances
8:55 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Nigeria's Outspoken Writer Chinua Achebe Dies At 82

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, who played a critical role in establishing post-colonial African literature, has died. The author of Things Fall Apart was 82.

The Two-Way
7:19 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Moscow First Stop For New Chinese Leader

Chinese President Xi Jinping lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow on Friday.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:35 am

Newly installed Chinese President Xi Jinping is following in his predecessor's footsteps by making Russia his first official trip abroad.

The visits by Xi and Hu Jintao before him (in 2003), both meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reinforce how the Cold War rivals have grown closer as they seek to counter U.S. influence in Asia and Europe.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Cyprus Gets Cold Shoulder From Russia On Bailout Aid

An employee of Cyprus Laiki (Popular) Bank reacts as he takes part in a protest outside Parliament on Friday in the capital, Nicosia.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:47 am

As a deadline on Cyprus to come up with a financial bailout plan nears, a possible rescue from Russia looks to have fallen apart, leaving the island nation few options for staving off default.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said as far as Moscow was concerned "the talks have ended," but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev left the door open, saying aid from Moscow would be contingent on Cyprus gaining European Union backing for its other money-raising ideas.

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NPR Story
2:26 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Obama Asks Young Israelis To Push For Mideast Peace

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:24 am

President Obama is urging both Israelis and Palestinians not to abandon long-stalled peace talks. The president has been practicing some low-key shuttle diplomacy this week.

NPR Story
2:26 am
Fri March 22, 2013

'Tiny Fraction' Took Advantage During Iraq's Reconstruction

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All this week on MORNING EDITION, we've been marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That invasion was followed by years of war and reconstruction, the war and reconstruction taking place at the same time.

And today, to get a better idea of the monetary costs, we speak with Stuart Bowen once again. Since 2004, he has been the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. And earlier this month, he released the final report from his office.

Stuart Bowen is in Baghdad. Welcome back to the program.

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Iraq
12:58 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Revisiting Iraq: A Sister On The Edge

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:24 pm

It's been 10 years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. This week we're taking a look back, revisiting voices you first heard on NPR in 2007. We brought you the story of two sisters who had lost their parents. The older sister wore conservative clothes and recited poetry. The younger sister, just 13 at the time, appeared on the verge of becoming a prostitute.

Like so many stories in Iraq, especially sensitive ones involving shame and sex, this story has to be peeled away in layers, like an onion.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Syrian Mosque

Dozens of people, including a prominent pro-government cleric, are dead in the Syrian capital following a suicide attack inside a mosque.

Syrian TV reported 42 people were killed and 84 wounded in the attack on the Iman Mosque. The pro-government cleric was Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, a longtime supporter of President Bashar Assad and imam of Damascus' Ummayyad Mosque.

Here's more from al-Jazeera:

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Middle East
4:21 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Face To Face With Death In Iraq

Residents visit the tomb of a loved one at the New Kerbala cemetery in the holy city of Kerbala, Iraq, in 2007.
Mushtaq Muhammad Reuters /Landov

On the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, NPR is catching up with some of the people we encountered during the war. In 2006, at the height of the violence, we brought you the story of a woman who performed the Muslim ritual of washing and preparing the dead for burial. Kelly McEvers has this update on Um Abbas, who is now living in southern Iraq.

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Middle East
4:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Obama Calls On Israeli Students To Push For Renewed Peace Talks With Palestinians

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Indian Supreme Court Upholds Prison Sentence For Bollywood Star Linked To Blasts

The Indian Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed more than 200 people.
Chamila Karunarathne AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:52 pm

Twenty years after multiple blasts ripped through India's commercial capital, Mumbai, killing more than 200 people, the country's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a leading Bollywood actor for his role in the attacks.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Italian Marines Accused Of Killing Fishermen Headed Back To India For Trial

A December 22, 2012, photograph of Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) at Ciampino airport near Rome.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Two Italian marines are returning to India to face charges stemming from the 2012 deaths of two Indian fisherman, Italian officials announced Thursday.

As we recounted recently, disagreement over how to handle the case had resulted in a diplomatic confrontation between India and Italy.

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