World News

The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu March 21, 2013

It's 'Birds Gone Wild' Out On Australia's Heron Island

On Australia's Heron Island, buff-banded rails like this one have become the avian equivalent of a weed.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:01 am

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 3: Waiting for a boat to the next island, Richard meets some rowdy birds.

Weeds are not a true category of plant. A weed is simply a plant that's growing where a person wishes it weren't.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu March 21, 2013

CIA Drone Operations Could Be Handed To Pentagon

A Predator drone taxis in after a sortie over Iraq in 2004.
U.S. Air Force Getty Images

The responsibility for counterterrorism operations involving unmanned drones could soon begin shifting from the CIA to the Pentagon as part of Obama administration efforts to mollify critics who say the program lacks transparency, says NPR's Tom Gjelten.

A senior U.S. official tells NPR that while no decision has been made, the change is a "distinct possibility." The Daily Beast broke the story on Wednesday.

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Middle East
3:36 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Obama's 1st Day In Israel Was Rich In Symbolism

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Asia
3:10 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Solar Panel Maker Suntech Forced Into Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:55 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Not long ago, it seemed that China was on its way to owning the solar energy business. China was making solar panels far more cheaply than U.S. companies. Now things look a little more complicated. China's Suntech was forced into bankruptcy yesterday. It's one of the world's largest solar panel makers. Suntech has to reorganize after defaulting on a bond payment of more than half-a-billion dollars.

Its falls reflects problems in China's approach to the global solar industry. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

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All Tech Considered
12:57 am
Thu March 21, 2013

On Its 7th Birthday, Is Twitter Still The 'Free Speech Party'?

Egyptians use their mobile phones to record celebrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the popular revolt that drove Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011. Twitter was often used to record happenings during the Arab Spring.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:23 am

It's hard to believe, but seven years ago no one had ever heard of a tweet. Thursday is the anniversary of the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. It wasn't profound. He wrote:

Since then the social media company has been an important communication tool in everything from the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, to its use as a megaphone for celebrities. Over the years, its relationship to its free speech principles has changed.

From Trivial To Global Town Hall

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Critics Wait To See How Pope Francis Deals With Sex Abuse Scandal

David Clohessy, the head of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, holds a recent news conference in Rome. Clohessy says the newly installed Pope Francis needs to address the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 5:05 pm

Pope Francis has now been installed and the world's Catholics are looking to see where he will lead the church. But one man in Rome has been trying to make sure the Vatican also deals with the church's troubled past.

David Clohessy, who says he was a victim of sexual abuse at a young age by a Catholic priest, is the director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. By his count, he held 15 news conferences in Rome in the weeks leading up to the conclave at the Vatican.

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Africa
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

France Wants U.N. To Take Over Peacekeeping Mission In Mali

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:43 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Middle East
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Obama Stresses 'Unbreakable Alliance' On Visit To Israel

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:21 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

(SOUNDBITE OF ISRAELI MILITARY BAND MUSIC)

BLOCK: A musical greeting today for President Obama, as he arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there, along with a military band. Israel is Obama's first stop on a four-day tour. Today, the president declared that despite big changes sweeping the Middle East, the U.S. alliance with Israel remains eternal.

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U.S.
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Calls To Free Spy Jonathan Pollard Grow Louder

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:21 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Free Jonathan Pollard - that's something President Obama is expected to hear in Israel. In the 1980s, Pollard was a young, Jewish-American intelligence analyst who spied for Israel. He pleaded guilty; and after an alarming victim-impact statement from then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, claiming how much damage Pollard's spying had done, he was sentenced to life in prison.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Sketches From A War-Torn World: A British Illustrator In Syria

Ahmed, 10, was rocketed on Feb. 13., and lost his leg. There doesn't seem anything more mundane than drawing when you are standing next to a child that has lost his mother, his brother and his leg within the last 48 hours His father, Yassar's face, raked with worry sits in a clinic at Bab al Hawa. He keeps pulling his adult sized oxygen mask off his little face.
Courtesy of George Butler

George Butler lives between two worlds. One is his apartment in London, and the other consists of conflict-ravaged places like West Africa, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Syria.

The British illustrator recently returned from his second trip to Syria, and his reportage illustrations are a powerful account of life in the country's north, where the fighting is heavy and rebels now control many areas.

The illustrations are not just about the sorrows and pain of Syrian refugees and the wounded, but often about Syrians' stubborn insistence that life will carry on despite the pain.

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The Salt
1:24 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Recipes, Not Rockets: Cookbook Offers New Lens On Gaza

Fatema Qaadan prepares fatta, a meal of buttery rice and griddle bread served with roasted meat.
Courtesy of Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:21 am

When you think about the Gaza Strip, do you think "organic farming"? How about "family dairy"? Would you expect California pistachios to flavor made-in-Gaza baklava? Have you heard that Hamas has a 10-year plan to develop sustainable local agriculture?

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The Two-Way
11:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

When It Comes To Cyberwarfare, North Korea Is No Newbie

Members of the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) check on cyberattacks Wednesday.
Jung Yeon-je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:25 pm

Who or what caused a takedown of computer systems at banks and broadcasters in South Korea on Wednesday is still a matter of speculation, but suspicion immediately and unsurprisingly fell on Seoul's archenemy to the north.

If true, it wouldn't be the first time that North Korea, often regarded as technologically backward, has successfully wielded the computer as weapon.

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National Security
11:42 am
Wed March 20, 2013

The Value And Risk Of Drawing A Red Line

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

The red line is a form of ultimatum in diplomacy, one that's been used by kings, presidents, prime ministers to say do this and we will be forced to respond. Syria, as we mentioned, may have crossed one this week when chemical weapons reportedly killed dozens of people outside of Aleppo. Iran may cross another so-called red line this year over growing concerns the government is developing nuclear weaponry. A presidential threat carries grave weight. It also carries grave risk.

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World
10:26 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Imperfect Gentlemen Says Being Persian Is Hip

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 7:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.

TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.

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World
10:24 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Tupac Encouraged The Arab Spring

Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.

Iraq
10:24 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Iraq War: Retired Marine Faces The Past

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed March 20, 2013

The Stream Of Syrian Refugees Strains Lebanon

Um Ahmed, her husband, Abu Ahmed, and their two children sit inside a United Nations refugee registration center in Tripoli, Lebanon. They fled the northern Syrian city of Aleppo a month ago. "There was a lot of shelling," said Um Ahmed. "I wasn't thinking. I was just thinking of my children."
Nicole Beemsterboer NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:43 pm

Um Ahmed holds her infant daughter outside a United Nations registration center for Syrian refugees in Al Mina, a northern Lebanese city near the Syrian border. She is among a group of dozens of Syrians waiting for their names to be called.

Um Ahmed tries to coax her screaming infant daughter to take a bottle. The baby is hot — the slight brown curls of her hair are matted to her head with sweat, and the bottle offers no comfort. She keeps crying. She's been here before.

"The first time I came they didn't accept us," Um Ahmed says. "They told us I need documents."

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed March 20, 2013

South Korea Eyes Pyongyang After Possible Cyber Attack

Members of the Korea Internet Security Agency check on cyberattacks at a briefing room Wednesday.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 8:40 am

Computer networks at South Korea's three main broadcasters and major banks crashed simultaneously Wednesday, leading to speculation that it was caused by a North Korean cyberattack.

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency:

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Sports
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Dominican Republic Wins World Baseball Classic

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:16 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Dominican Republic has always been a goldmine of baseball talent. Today, the D.R. can call itself the game's world champion. Last night in San Francisco, Team D.R. won the World Baseball Classic, beating Caribbean rival Puerto Rico three-to-nothing. The Dominicans also made history in the process. They became the first team to win the Olympic-style tournament without losing a single game.

From San Francisco, NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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World
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Prisoner Release May Aid Ceasefire Between PPK, Turkish Government

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 7:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's go next to Turkey, where the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, has released several captives. That development has given new hope to efforts to negotiate an end to Turkey's nearly three-decade battle against the PKK.

Now attention turns to hopes for a ceasefire and a new push to recognize Kurdish rights in Turkey, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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Iraq
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Looking Back On The Start Of The Iraq War

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:16 am

As part of Morning Edition's coverage of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Renee Montagne talks to Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defense Department's Defense Policy Board. Perle was one of the most outspoken champions of invading Iraq, He explains his early support for the war and elaborates on the miscalculations of the last decade.

NPR Story
4:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Dramatic Testimony Marks Start Of Guatemalan Genocide Trial

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now about a dramatic trial in Guatemala. That country's former dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from the killings that happened in the early 1980s. Seventeen hundred indigenous Guatemalans - the Ixils people - died during one of the bloodiest periods of the country's three-decade-long war, a war that ultimately claimed more than 200,000 lives. At the time the U.S.-backed strongman, Ephraim Rios Montt, ruled the country.

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NPR Story
4:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Obama Begins Middle East Trip

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama is making his first visit to Israel since he's been in the White House. His past relations with Israel's government have not always gone well. Though the two nations insist they're reached new levels of security cooperation, they have publicly debated issues ranging from Iran to the Mideast peace process.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Will Congolese Warlord's Weirdly Civil Surrender Get Fellow Rebels A Free Pass?

Gen. Bosco Ntaganda addresses a news conference in Kabati, a village located in Congo's North Kivu province, on Jan. 8, 2009. He showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday and asked to be transferred to The Hague where is wanted on war crimes charges.
Abdul Ndemere Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:19 pm

Bosco Ntaganda, the Congolese warlord and rebel leader wanted by the International Criminal Court, showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali on Monday in a taxicab. He was apparently unexpected.

"We did not have any prior notice or consultations with him to indicate that he would do that," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. "He was a walk-in, in the truest sense of the word."

She said the U.S. is now "working to facilitate his request" to be transported to the Netherlands to stand trial.

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Egyptian And Syrian Presidents Find No Friend In Jordanian King

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Middle East
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Israel's E1 Project Could Disrupt Travel For Palestinians In West Bank

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:19 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As we just heard, Palestinians have condemned the E1 settlement project, saying it would effectively cut the West Bank in two. Israeli officials dismiss that criticism, and they say that there are alternative routes for Palestinians who want to travel between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.

Well, Sheera Frenkel explored those alternatives.

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Europe
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Cyprus's Lawmakers Reject Bank Deposit Tax, Tangling Bailout Negotiations

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

In Cyprus, the parliament is wrestling with a European Union-imposed plan that would seize at least 10 percent of the bank savings of wealthy people and possibly 7 percent from everyone else, to help defray the cost of bailing out Cypriot banks. On Tuesday, lawmakers voted against a modified version of the plan.

Sports
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Dominican Republican, Puerto Rico Face Off In World Baseball Championship

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. It is the first all Caribbean final. Tonight, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are facing off in the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco. And for more on the big game and Major League Baseball's quest to make the sport more international, we're joined now by NPR's Tom Goldman, who is in San Francisco covering the event. Hi, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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Middle East
2:58 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Syrian Rebels Describe Fight As Revolution For Justice, Not A Civil War

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The world must acknowledge that Syria is going through a revolution for justice and freedom, not a fight between two teams. That message today from the new interim prime minister of the opposition Syrian National Coalition. 50-year-old Ghassan Hitto will now attempt to form an interim government as violence continues across the country. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
2:44 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

What's Worked, And What Hasn't, In Gun-Loving Switzerland

Gun enthusiasts take part in a shooting competition at a club outside Zurich. The gun culture is deeply entrenched in Switzerland, where citizens as young as 10 learn to shoot.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 6:34 pm

Switzerland has an entrenched gun culture that is embraced by most of its 8 million citizens, some of them as young as 10 years old.

Every Swiss community has a shooting range, and depending on who is counting, the alpine country ranks third or fourth in the number of guns per capita.

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