World News

The Two-Way
5:39 am
Mon June 16, 2014

In Escalation, Russia Cuts Gas Supplies To Ukraine

Naftogaz Chairman Andrew Kobolev speaks to reporters Monday outside the government building in Kiev, Ukraine.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:31 am

Escalating a long-running conflict, Russia said it has decided to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on Monday.

The move comes after the two sides failed to find common ground on the price of natural gas in light of Ukraine's outstanding gas bill. Perhaps more importantly, it marks another chapter in the conflict between the two countries, which flared after a popular uprising in Ukraine ousted pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

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Afghanistan
5:20 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Afghan Voters Defy Taliban Threat; Vote In Presidential Runoff

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:46 am

Afghans went to the polls on Saturday to vote for a successor to Hamid Karzai who's ruled since 2001. Former foreign minister Adbullah Abdullah faced off against former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

Iraq
4:39 am
Mon June 16, 2014

In Iraq, Conflict Involving Sunni Militant Group Escalates

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 5:56 am

A Sunni militant group has captured swaths of Iraq including Mosul and the province surrounding it. Late Sunday, there were reports that the group had also seized Tal Afar.

Environment
3:37 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Kerry Gathers World Players To Focus On Protecting Oceans

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Government officials, scientists and business leaders from more than 80 countries are gathering at the State Department today and tomorrow. They're there to figure out ways to protect the world's oceans and commercial fisheries. Secretary of State John Kerry says this is an issue he's been working on for a long time, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: When Secretary Kerry talks about his hopes for this conference he reaches back deep into his childhood in Massachusetts.

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Sports
3:22 am
Mon June 16, 2014

U.S. World Cup Team To Take The Field Against Ghana

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:45 am

After months of analysis about America's chances in Brazil, it's time for the U.S. men's soccer team to play. Monday's game against Ghana begins a U.S. campaign through the so-called group of death.

Africa
3:18 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Satao, Legendary Tusker In Kenya, Killed By Poachers

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 5:56 am

The beloved elephant was killed by ivory poachers despite monitoring efforts. Renee Montagne talks to Richard Moller, the founder of Tsavo Trust, which works for the survival of Africa's elephants.

Asia
3:16 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Pakistan Launches Military Operation To Root Out Militants

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:48 am

The offensive is in North Waziristan, a tribal area in the mountains bordering Afghanistan, and a haven for the Taliban and other militants. Tens of thousands of residents are pouring out of the area.

Iraq
3:15 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Gulf Neighbors Struggle To Deal With Militant Advance In Iraq

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:43 am

The takeover of much of Iraq — one of the hubs of the Middle East — by extremist militants has shaken the region. How do Iraq's neighbors see the conflict rippling throughout the area?

NPR Story
3:10 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Maliki Government Blamed For Militants Advance In Iraq

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 5:56 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Reuters Baghdad Bureau Chief Ned Parker about Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's time in office, and how his policies have contributed to deteriorating security conditions.

History
3:13 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

On The Field And In Politics, Socrates' Legacy Lives On

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 4:38 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Iraq
3:13 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Fighting Across Iraq Creates Fear Of Sectarian War

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 4:38 pm

NPR's Arun Rath speaks with correspondent Leila Fadel in Erbil, Iraq, about the advance of forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS.

Iraq
7:38 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Militants' Advance In Iraq Agitates Oil Markets

Cars pack a Kurdish checkpoint as residents flee Mosul in northern Iraq. The city was overrun by Islamic militants last week.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

When Sunni militants began seizing broad swathes of territory across northern Iraq last week, global oil markets shrugged it off. After all, instability in Iraq is nothing new.

But that all changed on Wednesday, when the insurgents swept into the oil refinery town of Baiji, says Robert McNally, president of the Rapidan Group, an energy consulting firm. The price of oil climbed nearly 4 percent in just a few short days.

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Commentary
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Afghans Are The Winners In Their Presidential Elections

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

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Iraq
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

The Pros And Cons Of U.S. Air Strikes In Northern Iraq

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

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Africa
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Dorm Living For Staff Of New British Embassy In Somalia

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Obama administration says that it will soon appoint a U.S. ambassador to reopen the mission in Somalia. Now the U.S. embassy closed its doors in 1991 when the Somali government collapsed and warlords took over the country. The danger sharpened two years later when Somali fighters shot down two U.S. helicopters, killing 18 U.S. soldiers in an incident that came to be known as Black Hawk Down.

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Middle East
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Three Factions Vie In Iraq's Growing Crisis

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Shiites in Iraq appear to be joining militias to defend themselves against Sunni insurgents. NPR's Scott Simon gets the latest from NPR's Leila Fadel in Erbil.

Parallels
2:35 am
Sun June 15, 2014

In London, An Underground Home For The World's Mosquitoes

Dr. James Logan, an entomologist, studies mosquitoes from around the world in an effort to make them less dangerous. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine keeps them in a cavern beneath the streets of London. The bowls contain mosquito larvae in water, while the boxes are where the adults live.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:37 am

You can't hear it over the noise of London's traffic. But it's there. That faint, whining hum. Right under my feet, thousands of mosquitoes are dining on human blood.

To visit them, you have to go through a sliding glass door into the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This school started as a hospital on the Thames River, where doctors treated sailors returning from faraway places with strange parasites.

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Iraq
3:31 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Military Strongmen: Seeding Chaos In The Name Of Power

Iraqis inspect destruction in the street following an explosion in Sadr City, Baghdad's northern Shiite-majority district in May.
Ali al-Saadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 6:11 am

In a region torn apart by violence, a leader who promises security above all else can be appealing. Three years after the chaos of the Arab Spring, these strongmen types are rising again in the Middle East.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is one of them, though he has yet to overcome the disaster now unfolding in Iraq. Iraqi lawyer Zaid al-Ali tells NPR's Arun Rath that Maliki is partly to blame for the crisis.

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Iraq
3:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

As ISIS Advances, Iraq's Military Melts Down

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 4:17 pm

Forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, now control much of Iraq, as the country's military has disintegrated in the face of the group's radical troops. NPR's Arun Rath talks to The Guardian's Martin Chulov in Baghdad about the latest.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Iraq
3:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

To Explain Iraq's Crisis, Some Lawmakers Point To 2011 Withdrawal

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:25 pm

The Obama administration is drawing criticism from Republicans for its handling of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with national political correspondent Mara Liasson about the administrations choices and the possible political consequences for the President.

Iraq
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Kurdish Forces Step In Behind Fleeing Iraqi Troops

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As many Iraqi forces abandon their posts in the far north of the country, the Kurdish Regional Government has moved in to try to fill that vacuum. The flag of the autonomous region now flies over the oilfields in Kirkuk. Now this move widely expands the territory that is claimed by the Kurds.

We are joined now by the foreign minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, Falah Mustafah Baktir. Mr. foreign minister, thanks very much for being with us.

FOREIGN MINISTER FALAH MUSTAFAH BAKTIR: Thank you. It's my pleasure.

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Latin America
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Ecuador Fights 'Bad Left' Notoriety

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hillary Clinton calls for a new approach to Latin America in her new book out this week, and she told NPR that that began with an attempt to try to normalize relations with Cuba so the issue wouldn't get in the way of relations with others.

HILLARY CLINTON: It's really important that we pay more attention to our own hemisphere. And there's some great opportunities that we can pursue if we take a more creative, more collaborative approach to working with the rest of the hemisphere.

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Iraq
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Is ISIS Violence A Sign Of A Permanent Sunni-Shiite Rift?

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:16 am

The conflict in Iraq is rooted in long-running ethnic and religious divisions. Middle East analyst Phebe Marr tells NPR's Scott Simon why political reconciliation appears nearly impossible.

Iraq
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Militants Advance Toward Iraq's Capital

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama is weighing a range of options to try to respond to the rise of radical Islamist fighters in Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, now controls a wide stretch of territory in Iraq's Sunni heartland, and they are threatening to march on Baghdad. Now this is a group that is so extreme, even al-Qaida's leadership has distanced itself from them.

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Latin America
6:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Why Cuban Ballet Dancers Risk Defecting

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:24 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Afghans Head To Polls Despite Violence

An Afghan woman inks her finger during the presidential election at a polling station in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 11:19 am

Afghans chose between two former government ministers in a presidential election that will be the first transfer of power by ballot in Afghanistan's history.

The winner of Saturday's balloting, as Arab News puts it, "will inherit an unfinished war and an economy in the doldrums."

Abdullah Abdullah, an ophthalmologist and former foreign minister, is the presumptive frontrunner, earning 45 percent of the vote in April's first round of voting.

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Iraq
3:05 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

With Iraq In Turmoil, Kirkuk's Leader Says Region Is Calm

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: As ISIS militants have rolled south through Iraq, closing in on Baghdad, there's a very different story in the northern city of Kirkuk. There Kurdish peshmerga soldiers have taken over after the Iraqi army fled.

Kirkuk is a huge prize. It's got rich oilfields, and for years, the city has been hotly contested between Kurds and the Iraqi government. I'm joined now by the Kurdish governor of the Kirkuk province, Dr. Najmaldin Karim. Dr. Karim, welcome to the program.

GOVERNOR NAJMALDIN KARIM: Thank you.

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Latin America
2:12 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

For Mexico, Action On The Pitch Means Stillness In The Streets

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:06 pm

Mexico took to the field on the second day of the World Cup, and the nation shut down to watch. Nearly everyone, from vendors to politicians, took the day off to watch their team beat Cameroon 1-to-0.

Afghanistan
2:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Fledgling Afghan Media Seek Line Between Journalism And Activism

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:20 am

When a popular Afghan journalist was killed shortly before the April election, his colleagues stopped reporting Taliban statements and downplayed violence on election day. Some say it was an acceptable display of nationalism; others see it as a sign that the young media need to get tougher and more objective in covering the runoff election.

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Iraq
2:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Obama Rules Out Ground Troops; What Else Can U.S. Do In Iraq?

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:23 pm

President Obama said that he will help the Iraqi military break the momentum of the militants on the march to Baghdad. The Pentagon said that one possible option could include airstrikes. But the president said that any military help must include political solutions from the Iraqi government, which has helped fuel the unrest by failing to reach out to its Sunni minority.

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