World News

Asia
3:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Chinese Farmers Fight Against Government Land Grab

Smashed and overturned cars are shown Saturday after civil unrest in the village of Shangpu in China's southern Guangdong province.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:22 pm

The road that runs along the edge of Shangpu village in south China is littered with the hulks of burned-out cars. Farmers have built tents and simple barricades made of rocks and wire. Police have set up their own cordon in a standoff that is approaching two weeks.

The villagers are demanding free elections following yet another government land grab. They say armed thugs sent by their own village chief attacked the community to pave the way for a new factory on their farmland.

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Middle East
3:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Rebels In Syria Gather Momentum

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:35 am

Over the past several days, rebels in Syria have captured a city of more than a million people in one northern province. It the first time rebels captured a provincial capital. The rebels also have taken a step toward setting up a rebel government in another northern province.

NPR Story
3:10 am
Tue March 5, 2013

National People's Congress Opens, Prepares For Leadership Change

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. As he prepares to step down, China's prime minister today delivered his version of a state of the union address. He got a big boost in military funding, one that outpaces expected economic growth.

NPR's Louisa Lim has been gauging the mood of China's new leaders, both inside and outside of the Great Hall of the People.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Africa
3:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Kenyan Election Marked But Record Turnout, Limited Violence

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Votes are now being tallied in Kenya's presidential contest. The country has taken strides to avoid the kind of violence that followed the last election back in 2007, but today did not begin well. More than a dozen people were killed in attacks by separatists in Kenya's port city of Mombasa. But elsewhere, long lines and bureaucratic delays under a hot sun were the main obstacles for voters, who turned out in record numbers.

Here's NPR's Gregory Warner.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD)

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Religion
3:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Catholic Cardinals Meet To Prepare For Election Of New Pope

Roman Catholic cardinals gathered Monday to plan how they will select the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

The Salt
3:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

In Kazakhstan, No Horror At Horse Meat

Signs advertise the type of meat sold in each section of the Green Market in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Sly06/Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 4:24 pm

Though the thought of horse meat in British lasagna or Ikea meatballs may be stomach-churning to some people, in some cultures the practice of eating horse meat is not just acceptable, it's a treat. NPR's Peter Kenyon just returned from the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan and checked out the meat market at the Green Bazaar in Almaty.

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Middle East
2:43 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

'Conscience' of Syrian Revolution Faces Challenge from Islamists

Islamists from Jabhat al Nusra stage their own protest in the town. Until recently, the group has been reluctant to appear in public.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 4:00 pm

Kafr Nabl is surrounded by rocky hills covered with olive and fig trees. Located in northwest Syria near the Turkish border, it used to be a sleepy town of about 30,000 people. Then it rose up against the government in early 2011. More than a year later, the town was "liberated" by anti-government rebels who forced out soldiers and police who worked for the government.

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Author Interviews
10:32 am
Mon March 4, 2013

A Multimedia Journey Through 'The Persian Square'

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:51 am

You may be used to hearing about Iran in the news — about its strained relationship with the U.S., or its internal political unrest, or the possible nuclear threat Iran poses.

But you may not hear much about Iran's impact on America's culture — from poetry to Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.

That's why Tell Me More's senior producer, Iran Davar Ardalan, decided to write the new digital book The Persian Square.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Reports: Snipers Deployed To Kill Tehran's Cat-Sized Rats

Rats aren't only problem in Tehran. These were running free over the weekend in Luton, England.
Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Rats have been a problem for many years in Tehran. As the BBC reported in 2000, officials back then launched a poison control program that they hoped would kill many of the estimated 25 million rats in the city.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon March 4, 2013

French Commander Cautious About Al-Qaida Leaders' Deaths

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 10:10 am

There's uncertainty over the supposed death of two top al-Qaida-affiliated leaders reportedly killed in West Africa.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Leaves Hospital

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she left King Edward VII hospital in London on Monday.
Bogdan Maran EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 8:24 am

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was just seen leaving London's King Edward VII hospital, where she had been admitted over the weekend to be treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Dennis Rodman's Take On The North Korean Regime

"This Week" host George Stephanopoulos interviews former NBA star Dennis Rodman, just back from a visit to North Korea.
Lorenzo Bevilaqua Associated Press

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 9:06 am

If former NBA star Dennis Rodman's read on Kim Jong Un is correct, the CIA and State Department might be in need of a major overhaul in their assessments of the North Korean leader.

Rodman, the only American to have met and talked with Kim, appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos to talk about his two-day visit to North Korea last week.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Prayers, Oaths Of Secrecy As Catholic Cardinals Meet

Some of the cardinals as they arrived for today's meeting in Vatican City.
Claudio Peri EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 9:35 am

As they begin the process that will lead to selection of the next pope, the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals must first decide just when to officially start deciding, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reminds us from Rome this morning.

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Religion
3:01 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Cardinals At Odds Over When To Begin Choosing Next Pope

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:02 am

The College of Cardinals is holding its first official meetings at the Vatican on Monday. The top agenda item is choosing which day to start the closed-door conclave that will elect the new pope. With no clear front-runner, the conclave outcome is unpredictable.

The papal resignation has put the cardinals in an unprecedented situation in modern history.

"The real mood is of shock and disappointment — this resignation desacralized the figure of the pope," says Massimo Franco, author of several books about the Vatican. He says a pope cannot be treated like a company CEO.

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NPR Story
2:56 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Ethnic Violence Haunts Kenya's Presidential Election

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Kenya votes for a new president today for the first time in five years. It's an important election, in part because the country is still haunted by the ethnic violence that bloodied the last presidential election in 2007. More than 1,200 people were killed and the violence only ended after the international community stepped in. NPR's Gregory Warner is out visiting polling stations and talking to people in Nairobi. He joins us to talk about the election. Good morning, Greg.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Middle East
1:27 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Palestinians Still Feel The Squeeze Of The Restrictions On Gaza

A Palestinian laborer works at the site of a residential construction project funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Mar. 21, 2012.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:43 am

The streets of Gaza are busy, but they are also crumbling.

Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel has maintained tight limits on shipments of anything that could be used for military purposes. That includes basic building materials that could be used for bunkers and rocket launching sites.

Ask businessman Ali Abdel Aal what's the toughest thing for him to find, and he'll tell you "cement and gravel."

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Environment
10:52 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

After Keystone Review, Environmentalists Vow To Continue Fight

Demonstrators carry a mock pipeline as they pass the White House to protest the Keystone Pipeline, in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 18, 2012.
Rod Lamkey Jr. The Washington Times /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:33 pm

Environmentalists have a hope.

If they can block the Keystone XL pipeline, they can keep Canada from developing more of its dirty tar sands oil. It takes a lot of energy to get it out of the ground and turn it into gasoline, so it has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than conventional oil.

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Energy
2:20 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Turning It Down: Cities Combat Light Pollution By Going Dim

This summer Paris will start dimming its streetlights, though major landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, will not be affected.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 2:35 pm

Bright lights are part of a city's ecosystem. Think of Times Square or the Las Vegas Strip or right outside your bedroom window.

Electric lighting is ubiquitous in most urban and suburban neighborhoods. It's something most people take for granted, but appreciate, since it feels like well-lit streets keep us safer. But what if all this wattage is actually causing harm?

"We're getting brighter and brighter and brighter," warns Paul Bogard, author of the upcoming book, End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Blast Targets Shiites In Pakistan; Dozens Killed

Pakistanis check the site of a bomb blast in Karachi on Sunday. Pakistani officials say the blast has killed dozens of people in a neighborhood dominated by Shiites.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 1:18 pm

Dozens of people are dead in the Pakistani port city of Karachi following a blast Sunday near a Shiite mosque.

Update at 3:16 p.m. ET Toll Rises

Authorities now say at least 37 people were killed and another 141 wounded in the blast.

Our original post:

Here's more from The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Britain's Queen Hospitalized With Apparent Stomach Ailment

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has been taken Sunday to a hospital in central London. She's being treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis.
Matt Dunham AP

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is in hospital where she's being treated for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

NPR's Philip Reeves is reporting on the story for out Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Only Syrians Can Tell President When To Go, Assad Says

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 7:38 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad, in apparent response to Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks last week in support of opposition forces in Syria, says only the Syrian people can tell him to step down.

"Only Syrian people can tell the president stay or leave, come or go. No one else," he said in an interview to Britain's Sunday Times.

It was a rare TV interview for the Syrian president, whose regime has battled rebels as well as calls to step down for nearly two years.

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Europe
5:43 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Anxiety Befalls Vatican As Cardinals Gather

Cardinals from all over the world are gathering at the Vatican, as they take their first steps toward electing a new pope. They'll meet Monday for their first official meeting since Pope Benedict stepped down last week. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.

Middle East
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Miles From Home, Syrians Vote In Free Elections

As Aleppo residents in the Tariq al-Bab district recover from this week's attack by Syrian regime forces, delegates from the city are in Turkey holding an election for local officials.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 9:24 am

In Syria's northern province of Aleppo, the war is far from over. Yet civilians are planning a dramatic gesture: an election for a civilian government.

This weekend, delegates from across the province are taking part in the first free vote outside of the control of President Bashar Assad's regime. Its location: Gaziantep, Turkey.

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Middle East
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Amid Egypt's Divisive Climate, Kerry Urges Economic Action

Secretary of State John Kerry (center, right) meets with members of Egyptian political parties in Cairo on Saturday.
Khaled ElFiqi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 9:27 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walked into a chaotic situation in Egypt, the first Arab country he's visited in his new role. The country is in economic and political turmoil, and he is trying Sunday to encourage Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to open up the political process and carry out much-needed reforms. After their meeting, he announced the U.S. would release $190 million in aid to Egypt.

Kerry has also been hearing complaints from opposition figures, who have vowed to boycott upcoming elections.

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Africa
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

In Kenya, Political Puppets Give Voice To Satire

In this screengrab, three puppets debate one another on The XYZ Show's presidential debate, which aired in February.
The XYZ Show YouTube

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 1:22 pm

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

Al-Qaida Leader Reportedly Killed In Mali

In this image from video, Mokhtar Belmokhtar claims responsibility for a deadly attack on a BP gas facility in Algeria. The Chadian military reported its forces had killed him in a raid in Mali on Saturday.
Uncredited SITE Intel Group/AP

A senior commander for al-Qaida's wing in North Africa has been killed, Chad's military reported on Chadian state television Saturday. NPR could not independently verify the report.

The military said troops attacked an Islamist rebel base in the mountains of northern Mali, killing several militants, including Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

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The Two-Way
4:08 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Searching For Stability, Tunisia Stumbles

Tunisia's Prime Minister-designate, Ali Larayedh, speaks during a Feb. 26 press conference. His priorities will include forming a stable government and overseeing the writing of a new constitution.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 10:15 am

Tunisia took the lead in the Arab Spring back in 2011. Its revolution was swift and largely peaceful. Within months, an assembly was elected to write a new constitution.

As other Arab countries grew more violent and chaotic, Tunisia seemed to be showing the way for an orderly transition away from authoritarian rule.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Add 'North Korea Expert' To Dennis Rodman's Resume

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game at an arena in Pyongyang on Thursday.
Jason Mojica Associated Press

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 12:55 pm

Strange as it may seem, a pierced, tattooed and occasionally cross-dressing former basketball star is now one of the West's leading experts on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, following his improbable visit to Pyongyang this week, has become the only Westerner to have had a one-on-one with the reclusive Kim, who by all accounts enjoys basketball at least as much as testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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All Tech Considered
11:46 am
Fri March 1, 2013

A Kenyan Teen's Discovery: Let There Be Lights To Save Lions

There are just 2,000 lions left in Kenya, according to estimates. Their population is dwindling in part because they are killed in retaliation for attacks on livestock. Richard Turere's invention could help save the lions.
Karel Prinsloo AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:37 pm

One of the talks from the TED stage in Long Beach, Calif., this week came from Richard Turere, an inventor. He is a Maasai from Kenya. And he's 13.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Violent Street Clashes In Bangladesh Leave Dozens Dead

A truck burns on a street outside Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, on Thursday. Violence erupted, and dozens have been killed, after a court sentenced an Islamist leader to the death penalty for crimes dating to the country's 1971 war of independence.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:34 am

A wave of violence has rocked Bangladesh after a special war crimes tribunal Thursday imposed the death penalty on an Islamist leader for his role in the country's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Demonstrators for and against the convicted leader clashed with security forces, leaving dozens of people dead, including police.

The violence demonstrates the deep sensitivities that remain over the war of independence that played out more than 40 years ago.

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