Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:25 pm
On her daily route delivering laundry in her working-class neighborhood in southern Mexico City, Maria Carlotta Santa Maria, or Mari, as she is known, seems to know everyone: the mailman, the woman on the corner selling salty nuts, and her favorite greetings are for the guys at the corner gas station.
Mari is the kind of person that can make this inhospitable and overwhelming megacity seem almost small and friendly. But as a single mother, she says raising her 10-year-old daughter Jimena alone hasn't been easy.
Four retailers who represent the largest purchasers of clothes produced in Bangladesh announced Monday that they have will help finance safety upgrades at apparel factories in the South Asia country after the collapse of a garment complex killed more than 1,000 workers.
The news comes as the death toll in the April 24 collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza near Dhaka rose to at least 1,127, according to officials.
It's been three weeks since a factory collapsed in Bangladesh's garment sector, killing more than 1,000 people. Today, several major retailers that buy clothing made in the country signed onto an ambitious safety plan meant to prevent future tragedies. The agreement is being applauded by worker advocates around the world.
To tell us what's in it, we're joined by NPR's Jim Zarroli. And Jim, give us the details. What does the agreement say, and what does it actually commit retailers to do?
Zhang Ming lost her 5-year-old daughter, her parents and her home in the powerful earthquake that hit Sichuan provincefive years ago. She now operates a stall selling soft drinks, homemade tofu, popsicles and souvenirs. She and her husband had another child, a daughter who is now 4.
North Korea's hard-line army general, who is believed to have been responsible for attacks on South Korea in 2010 that killed 50 people, has been replaced by a relative unknown.
The move has analysts reading the tea leaves. The consensus is that the reshuffle at the top of the People's Armed Forces is part of a larger effort by leader Kim Jong Un to consolidate power over the military.
Five years after the massive Wenchuan quake in China's Sichuan province left about 90,000 dead and missing, allegations are surfacing that corruption and official wrongdoing have plagued the five-year-long quake reconstruction effort.
The official press is full of praise for how "all Chinese have a reason to be proud of what the concerted efforts of the entire nation achieved in creating a new life for the survivors."
In our wired and rapidly shrinking world, there is no distant war, no isolated economic crisis and no social trend that observes national borders.
When a building collapses in Bangladesh, photos of the dead and grieving appear instantly. When a battle takes place in Syria, YouTube videos surface in real time. You can even get tweets from North Korea.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. More than two weeks after a building collapse in Bangladesh, the number of bodies recovered stands at over 1,100. The building housed four factories that manufactured clothing. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest clothing exporter, in part because of a minimum wage of $37 a month, and in part because already lax fire and safety regulations were rarely enforced.
The prosecutor in former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's trial on charges that he had sex with an underage prostitute is seeking a term of six years behind bars and a lifetime ban on the former premier from holding public office.
On 'Morning Edition': British Prime Minister David Cameron talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "made a real breakthrough" last week in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they agreed there will be an American-Russian peace conference on Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron told NPR on Monday.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron is meeting with President Obama at this hour here in Washington. They're at the White House. A big topic on their agenda is what to do about the civil war in Syria. We spoke with Prime Minister Cameron earlier this morning.
Prime minister, welcome to the program.
PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON: Good morning. Great to be on. Thank you for having me.
On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
The last time Nawaz Sharif was prime minister of Pakistan, it did not work out so well for him. Sharif won a big election, moved to consolidate his power, and named a new army chief - only to see that same general overthrow him in a coupe in 1999.
Pakistan's election was the last news event covered by Declan Walsh before he was expelled from the country. The government cancelled the visa of the New York Times correspondent just as the campaign was ending. Declan Walsh is here to talk about the election and his experience. He's on the line now from London.
Welcome to the program.
DECLAN WALSH: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: What a strange way to cover the end of the campaign, having received this notice from the government. Why did they expel you?
You might remember the story of the uproar earlier this year over a piece of art by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London and ended up on the auction block in Miami.
In Turkey, officials have arrested nine people in connection with what authorities say were two car bombs that killed 46 people near the Syrian border Saturday. Turkish officials say the suspects are Turkish civilians who are loyal to the Syrian regime.
"The bombs exploded in the border town of Reyhanli, which has been a gathering point for refugees, aid workers and smugglers bringing supplies into Syria to aid the effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad's regime," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul for our Newscast Desk.
Nearly 14 years after being ousted from power by a military coup, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to lead the country once again. Unofficial results from Saturday's general elections predict a return to power for Sharif, 63.
Several media reports indicate the two-time former prime minister's Pakistan Muslim League will capture more than 100 of the 272 National Assembly seats directly elected in the vote. The final tally is still being conducted.
Four Filipino peacekeepers are now free, days after being abducted by Syrian rebels. They had been patrolling near the area that divides Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The rebels said Wednesday that the four had been held for their own protection. But Filipino officials say they were used as human shields.
Partial, unofficial election results in Pakistan show former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party as the clear victor. Defying militant threats millions of voters turned out and sent the incumbent Pakistan People's Party packing after five years of rule marked by corruption allegations and a failing economy. Host Rachel Martin gets more on the election from NPR's Julie McCarthy in Lahore.
NPR's Frank Langfitt and Gregory Warner have teamed up for a series about how myth and money are driving extraordinary slaughter of rhinos. They talk with host Rachel Martin about the issue, which has repercussions from the African continent all the way to Asia.
The office is immaculate, as you would expect in an upscale neighborhood in Sao Paulo — all sterile, white, modish plastic furniture and green plants. Behind the reception desk are pictures that would look more appropriate in a pop art gallery than a private maternity clinic.
The list of services at the clinic in Brazil's largest city is long: fertility treatments, specialized gynecology and, of course, obstetrics. But one thing they rarely do here is preside over a vaginal delivery.
Despite attacks in the days and weeks leading up to Saturday's voting — and deadly bombings and other attacks on the very day they're going to the polls — Pakistanis are showing they're willing to "defy the violence," NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Lahore.
So called no-fly zones have worked in the past, not always to change regimes but to help protect those trying to overthrow their government. Host Scott Simon talks with Kevin Baron of Foreign Policy Magazine's E-Ring blog about the possible imposition by the U.S. of such a zone in Syria.
Syrian rebels are on the defensive these days, losing ground to new offensives by government troops. Western diplomats are hopeful the rebel losses will persuade their leaders to attend an international conference being organized by the U.S. and Russia to chart a path to peace in the blood-soaked country. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Deb Amos.
Imagine you're flying in a two-seater plane over Africa, and, in an effort to see how elephants are faring, your job is to count all the ones you see. Over the savannah, that's easy. But how do you peer into the forests, where all you see is treetops?
For years, the zoologists who tried to do this just guessed. But in the late 1980s, conservationist Richard Barnes devised a method to take an elephant census in the densest of forests.
The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been in the Middle East, Rome and Russia this week trying to find some kind of diplomatic end to Syria's civil war. He's also been trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Mr. Kerry has been the U.S. secretary of state for just over 100 days, spending more than a third of that time overseas.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on how his tenure at the State Department seems to be shaping up.