World News

Parallels
3:15 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

As Stigma Eases, Single Motherhood In Mexico Is On The Rise

Maria Carlotta Santa Maria is a single mother in Mexico and is the sole wage earner in her household. Women like her are becoming more common there, and the stigma once associated with having children out of wedlock is fading.
Carrie Kahn NPR

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.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Western Retailers To Fund Upgrades At Bangladesh Factories

Relatives on Sunday attempt to identify the bodies of loved ones following from the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 9:37 pm

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.

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Business
2:24 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Fashion Retailers Agree To Safety Plan After Factory Collapse

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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?

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Parallels
2:06 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

After The Quake In China: A Survivor's Story

Zhang Ming lost her 5-year-old daughter, her parents and her home in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. She now operates a stall selling food and drinks, and she and her husband have another daughter. But life is difficult. "We are facing the problem of how to survive, so we don't have time to think of anything else. If you have too much free time, you think about things too much."
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:25 pm

Zhang Ming lost her 5-year-old daughter, her parents and her home in the powerful earthquake that hit Sichuan province five 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.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

North Korea Replaces Hard-Line Defense Chief

Demoted Defense Chief Kim Kyok Sik (right) with the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in a 2007 file photo released by Korean Central News Agency.
AP

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.

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Parallels
1:05 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Vietnam's Appetite For Rhino Horn Drives Poaching In Africa

A Vietnamese rhino horn user displays her horn, which was a gift from her well-to-do sister. Last year, rhino horn sold for up to $1,400 an ounce in Vietnam, about the price of gold these days.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Africa is facing a growing epidemic: the slaughter of rhinos.

So far this year, South Africa has lost more than 290 rhinos — an average of at least two a day. That puts the country on track to set yet another record after poachers killed 668 rhinos in 2012.

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Parallels
1:05 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Five Years After A Quake, Chinese Cite Shoddy Reconstruction

The wife of Li Yiqian, Yang Liming, sits in their house, which is plastered with pictures of China's leaders, an attempt to help prevent local authorities from demolishing it. Her husband has been sentenced to three years in prison for organizing a crowd to create a disturbance; she believes it's for his work in helping dispossessed villagers petition.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

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."

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Parallels
1:04 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Welcome to 'Parallels,' NPR's International News Blog

NASA

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 8:39 am

Here's the paradox with international news.

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.

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Business
12:21 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Bangladesh Reveals Uphill Battle For Fair Trade Clothes

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Prosecution Seeks Lifetime Political Ban On Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi spoke Saturday at a rally in Brescia, Italy. The former prime minister could face a jail term of six years and a lifetime ban from holding political office in a sex-for-hire case.
Antonio Calanni AP

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.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Britain's Cameron Sees 'A Real Breakthrough' On Syria

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin viewed the Sochi Olympic Park along the Black Sea coast by helicopter Friday.
Nikolsky Alexei ITAR-TASS /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:17 am

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.

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Middle East
5:29 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Cameron: We Have To 'Step Up Our Help' To Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
4:52 am
Mon May 13, 2013

In Pakistan, Sharif Turns To Unstable Nation's Dire Problems

Nawaz Sharif, who will lead Pakistan's next government, at a campaign rally last week.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

With a commanding lead for his party in the vote count following Saturday's parliamentary elections, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is returning to power with a clear mandate to focus on the grave problems facing his nation, as NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Lahore for Morning Edition.

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Asia
2:21 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Nawaz Sharif Expected To Win Pakistan's Elections

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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Asia
2:21 am
Mon May 13, 2013

'Times' Reporter Ordered To Leave Pakistan

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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?

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Banksy Mural May Be Coming To U.S. After All

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over Slave Labour, an artwork attributed to Banksy, in London. This piece of art was put up for sale in Miami last February, but the ensuing outrage led to the auction's cancellation. The mural is now part of an exhibition in London, and is is expected to move to the U.S. afterward.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:00 am

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.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Turkey Arrests Nine In Investigation Of Deadly Bombings

A street is littered with debris on Sunday from one of the Saturday explosions that killed 46 people and injured about 50 others, in Reyhanli, near Turkey's border with Syria.
AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:01 am

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.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Pakistan Elections: Sharif Victory Seen, Completing Comeback

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, second from right, declares victory in Pakistan's general elections, as his brother Shahbaz Sharif, right, and others listen at the party's headquarters in Lahore.
Anjum Naveed AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:19 am

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.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Syrian Rebels Release U.N. Peacekeepers Near Golan Heights

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 8:31 am

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.

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Asia
4:55 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Early Results In Pakistan Point To Ex-Premier

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.

Animals
3:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Rhino Horns Fuel Deadly, Intercontinental Trade

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 4:55 am

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 Changing Lives Of Women
3:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

C-Sections Deliver Cachet For Wealthy Brazilian Women

Daniele Coelho holds her newborn daughter as doctors finish her cesarean section at the Perinatal Clinic in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 2. Brazil has one of the world's highest rates of cesarean births.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 5:11 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Experts Marvel At How Cyber Thieves Stole $45 Million

This week's massive cyber-heist was facilitated by the ease with which criminals have learned to hack the magnetic stripe on the back of ATM, debit and credit cards.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 5:00 pm

With a haul of $45 million, it's being billed as possibly the biggest cyber-heist in history. But in reality, experts and authorities say, it was thousands of small but highly coordinated thefts.

As we reported on Thursday, federal prosecutors charged eight people with being the just New York cell of an operation that allegedly encompassed criminal cohorts in 26 countries.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Pakistanis 'Defy Violence' To Vote In Landmark Election

Pakistani men lined up to vote in Rawalpindi on Saturday. Men and women cast ballots separately as millions went to the poll.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:17 pm

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.

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NPR Story
3:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

How Hard Would It Be To Impose A No-Fly Zone In Syria?

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

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.

NPR Story
3:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

What It's Like To Work In A Bangladeshi Factory

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Diplomats Hope Syrian Rebels' Losses Promote Collaboration

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

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.

Africa
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Media Focus On Ailing Mandela Is Not 'The African Way'

Congregants pray in front of a stained-glass window depicting South African statesman Nelson Mandela during Easter services at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in the Soweto of Johannesburg, South Africa, March 3. The church held prayers for Mandela, 94, who was in the hospital at the time.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

It's almost impossible these days to switch on South African radio or television, or read a local newspaper, website or tweet, and not hear Nelson Mandela's name mentioned.

Friday marked the 19th anniversary of Mandela's inauguration as South Africa's first democratically elected — and first black — president, four years after he was released from prison.

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Animals
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

To Count Elephants In The Forest, Watch Where You Step

Elephants gather at dusk to drink at a watering hole in Kenya.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:37 am

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.

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NPR Story
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Kerry's Agenda: Priorities Emerge With Travel

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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.

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