World News

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope's Selection Of 'Francis' Name Surprises Some

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

More now on the direction of the Catholic Church under the new Pope Francis. I'm joined here in the studio by theology professor Chad Pecknold of the Catholic University of America. Thanks for coming in.

CHAD PECKNOLD: Thanks for having me, Melissa.

BLOCK: You know, when we were listening to this announcement and the name Pope Francis came forth, you said wow. You read a lot into just that choice. He is Pope Francis I. Talk a bit more about the symbolism of that.

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Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: Cardinals 'Found One All The Way At The End Of The World'

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Cardinals elected a new pope on Wednesday — Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Melissa Block and Audie Cornish have more on the new leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis I.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Catholics Around The World React To Announcement Of New Pope

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

We have reaction from around the world to the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as pope.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

First Latin American Pope Known As A Humble Leader

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Sylvia Poggioli about the scene at the Vatican after a Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected as pope on Wednesday.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope Criticized For His Association With Argentina's Dirty War

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Ian Mount, a freelance reporter in Buenos Aires, for more on Catholicism in Argentina, the home country of Pope Francis I.

Religion
3:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Jorge Mario Bergoglio Becomes First-Ever Jesuit Pope

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:44 pm

At the Vatican on Wednesday it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio would be the first-ever Jesuit pope. Melissa Block speaks with Father Robert Ballecer of the Jesuit Conference of the United States about the significance of the first Jesuit pope.

The Papal Succession
3:12 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Transcript: Pope Francis' First Speech As Pontiff

Pope Francis blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, gave his first speech as pope Wednesday on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. Here is a transcript of his speech, which was made in Italian, according to Vatican Radio.

Brothers and sisters, good evening.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: What Happens After A Papal Election

After Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th pontiff, he chose the name Pope Francis. His installation Mass could come early next week.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:53 pm

As news spread that the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel was billowing white smoke to signal the election of Pope Francis, anticipation built for the new pontiff's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

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Religion
2:18 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Cardinals Elect Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio As New Pope

Cardinals at the Vatican chose Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope. He will take the papal name Francis and is the first pope from South America. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about the significance of the event around the world.

Asia
12:17 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

North Korea's Threats Grow More Ominous

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:38 pm

North Korea scrapped the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, escalating fears of a preemptive nuclear attack on the U.S. Tuft University Korean studies professor Sung-Yoon Lee discusses this precarious moment for North Korea, its neighbors and the international community.

Europe
11:59 am
Wed March 13, 2013

German Prince Plans To Put Bison Back In The Wild

European bison, or wisents, keep a safe distance from human visitors to their enclosure on the property of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in Germany's densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:17 pm

A small herd of European bison will soon be released in Germany's most densely populated state, the first time in nearly three centuries that these bison — known as wisents — will roam freely in Western Europe.

The project is the brainchild of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. He owns more than 30,000 acres, much of it covered in Norwegian spruce and beech trees in North Rhine-Westphalia.

For the 78-year-old logging magnate, the planned April release of the bull, five cows and two calves will fulfill a decade-old dream.

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Music
10:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

African Diva Kidjo Empowered By 'Bad Religion'

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:10 pm

Grammy-winning singer Angelique Kidjo is considered Africa's greatest living diva. She says music is her outlet for pleasure and activism. Kidjo shares some of the songs that have inspired her over the years.

The Two-Way
4:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Day 2 Of The Conclave; Will There Be A New Pope?

Black smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at midday Wednesday in Vatican City. That means the cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 10:07 am

Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:

Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Middle East
2:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Syrian Cyber-Rebel Wages War, One Hack At A Time

Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:27 pm

The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.

The Syrian Electronic Army, an arm of the Syrian military, is in charge of the monitoring.

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Middle East
2:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

With Official Wink And Nod, Young Saudis Join Syria's Rebels

Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights and democracy activist, speaks at his home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2011.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Following a circuitous route from Saudi Arabia up through Turkey or Jordan and then crossing a lawless border, hundreds of young Saudis are secretly making their way into Syria to join groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, GlobalPost has learned.

With the tacit approval from the House of Saud and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a "jihad," or "holy war," against the Assad regime.

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Religion
2:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

First Day Of Catholic Cardinals' Conclave Rich In Ceremony

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

As night fell over Rome, thick black smoke drifted from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. That means no new pope yet. Clearly, no candidate secured enough votes in the first ballot. That smoke signal completed a day that, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, was rich in ceremony.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: The process of electing a pope is officially now under way.

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Religion
2:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

With 1 in 10 Of The World's Catholics, Brazil Finds New Prominence In Papal Selection

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

One big question for the conclave is whether the cardinals will choose a pope from outside of Europe, and Brazil is one country that gets mentioned. It's home to more than one in 10 of the world's Catholics. It was the first country that Pope Benedict visited outside of Europe when he was elected, and a Brazilian cardinal is among those mentioned as possible contenders to be the next pope.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Business
2:10 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

The Reclusive Spanish Billionaire Behind Zara's Fast Fashion Empire

A notorious recluse, Amancio Ortega founded the Zara clothing chain and is No. 3 on Forbes magazine's billionaire list.
Inditex AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:18 pm

He's the richest man you've never heard of: Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish clothing chain Zara. He's a notorious recluse who is rumored to wear the same plain shirt every day, but his Zara empire has come to define the concept of fast fashion.

And now he's taken Warren Buffett's No. 3 spot on Forbes' billionaires list.

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Can Kidney Transplants Ease Strain On Gaza's Health System?

A Palestinian dialysis patient is treated at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City in 2010. Many kidney patients in Gaza struggle to get proper dialysis therapy because machines are often overbooked.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 7:54 am

It's no picnic being a kidney patient even in the best conditions. But coming in for dialysis in a place like the Gaza Strip calls for a special kind of patience.

Years of war have placed a constant stress on the health system there. Thanks to a host of factors, Gaza's main hospital, Shifa Hospital, regularly faces supply shortages of medications that kidney patients need to manage nausea and other symptoms.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

5 Things About Popes And Their Names; Like, Why Do They Change Them?

Pope John II, whose name at birth was Mercurius. When he became pope in 533 he changed his name — starting a tradition that continues.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Update at 5 p.m., March 13: The new pope's name will be Francis — one that hasn't been used before.

Our original post, written before Pope Francis was chosen:

It's not required, but it's almost surely going to happen:

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

In Secular Syria, Top Muslim Cleric Picks Sides In Civil War

Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun (right) prays with President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Feb. 5, 2012. The grand mufti has called on Syrians to join the army and fight for the government, his most partisan statement since the country's uprising began two years ago.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:28 pm

This story was written by a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

In a surprising religious decree, Syria's government-appointed grand mufti has issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to fight on the side of President Bashar Assad's regime against the rebels who have been waging an uprising for two years.

In a televised statement Sunday, Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun said: "I urge the sons of Syria to join the army and fight for the unity of this great country."

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Africa
10:05 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Kenyans Select President, But Opponent Vows Fight

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will talk about the Reverend Al reboot - Reverend Al Sharpton, that is. For some people he's still just a loud-mouth provocateur, but for others he's become a trusted analyst, activist, and ally. NPR correspondent Corey Dade recently spent a very busy day with him and he'll tell us what he found out in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ahmadinejad Touched And Consoled Chávez's Mother, To Clerics' Dismay

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his condolences to Elena Frias, mother of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chávez, last week. This image was provided to news services by the Miraflores Palace — the office of the Venezuelan president.
Reuters /Landov

A photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holding the hand of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's mother and appearing to brush his face against her cheek as they consoled each other last week has him "mired in a fresh controversy" in Iran, as the BBC writes:

"Conservative critics, already irked by Mr Ahmadinejad's effusive eulogy for the leftist leader, reminded him that he has not only committed a sin, but also behaved in a way inappropriate for the president of an Islamic state."

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Smoke Is Black: No Pope After Cardinals' First Vote

As the black smoke rose from the Vatican chimney Tuesday, some of the nuns and others gathered in St. Peter's Square were singing.
Eric Gaillard Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:25 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli on the latest from Rome
  • Philip Reeves on the princes of the church

Update at 2:43 p.m. ET. No Pope Today:

Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI. As the cardinals' ballots are burned, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, chemicals are added to a fire in a second stove to turn the smoke black if there's no pope elected and white if there is.

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World
3:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

What Happens When The U.S. Arms Rebels Abroad?

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama's administration plans extra aid to Syrian rebels. As we heard yesterday, some analysts see hints in the statements of Secretary of State John Kerry that the U.S. could take even stronger steps.

James Dobbins hopes the U.S. does. The former envoy to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo argues U.S. policy is finally moving in the right direction.

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Latin America
1:58 am
Tue March 12, 2013

In Upcoming Venezuelan Vote, Hugo Chavez Looms Large

An image of late President Hugo Chavez hangs behind acting President Nicolas Maduro, as he speaks to supporters after registering his candidacy outside the national electoral council in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:17 am

The tall and imposing Nicolas Maduro stepped forward last week to be sworn in as Venezuela's interim leader following the death of President Hugo Chavez.

Before the country's packed congressional hall, he swore to complete Chavez's dream to transform the OPEC power into a socialist state, allied with Cuba and decidedly opposed to capitalism and U.S. interests in Latin America.

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Religion
3:36 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

No Clear Frontrunner For Next Pope On The Eve Of Cardinals' Conclave

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is a big week at the Vatican. The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church will enter the Sistine Chapel tomorrow for a conclave to elect the next pope. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is in Rome and has been talking with the faithful.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Small groups of people wander through St. Peter's Square. There's a sense of excitement, but also trepidation. These pilgrims came all the way from Brazil. Sister Paola Schneider is praying the cardinals will be inspired to make the right choice.

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Asia
3:36 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

North Korea Severs 'Hotline' Communication With The South After Sanctions

North Korean authorities cut off their "hotline" communication with South Korea on Monday as part of their announced withdrawal from the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953. The move came amid a flurry of bellicose North Korean threats, coinciding with the beginning today of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises. The White House also vowed anew to protect U.S. forces and South Korean allies against any threats from the North. Analysts say it is among the most dangerous moments on the Korean peninsula in several years.

Asia
12:07 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Japan's Broken Coast Struggles To Recover

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 1:53 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
9:36 am
Mon March 11, 2013

With Withdrawal Looming, U.S. Troops Shift Their Aim

An Afghan policeman stands guard near the scene of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 27
Musadeq Sadeq AP

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:36 pm

The NATO campaign is now in a new phase. After years of fighting the Taliban and bolstering anemic local governance, NATO troops are handing those responsibilities over to the Afghans. NPR's Sean Carberry recently embedded with U.S. troops in the southern province of Kandahar as they worked on this new mission.

The fertile Arghandab Valley in Kandahar province is considered one of Afghanistan's breadbaskets. For years it was also a valley of death for NATO troops.

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