World News

Middle East
12:20 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

With Syria In Shambles, The Uncertain Future Of Hezbollah

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. So far, the fighting in Syria's bloody civil war has almost entirely been contained inside Syria. But plenty of outsiders are involved there, including al-Qaida in Iraq, Iran's al-Quds Force, and the Israel Air Force. No country is more deeply involved than Syria's smallest and most vulnerable neighbor, Lebanon.

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The Salt
10:29 am
Tue February 26, 2013

To Build An Empire, Hold The Anchovies

Located north of Lima, Peru, the Caral-Supe settlement was the ancient home of the Norte Chico people, a civilization almost as old as the Egyptians.
Courtesy of Chris Kleihege

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:47 am

Megalomaniacs, consider yourselves warned. Anchovies will not help you build your empire. To rule long and prosper, serve corn.

That's the word from archaeologists who say they've solved a mystery that has been puzzling their colleagues for the past 40 years: How did some of the earliest Peruvians manage to build a robust civilization without corn — the crop that fueled other great civilizations of the Americas, like the Maya?

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue February 26, 2013

'Pope Emeritus' Benedict XVI Will Wear White, But Trade In Red Shoes

A church group prepares to pray for Pope Benedict XVI on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

It's settled. When the pontiff steps down Thursday, he'll still be known as Benedict XVI and have the title of "pope emeritus." In public, he'll wear an understated white cassock and stylish brown shoes from Mexico.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Scientists Trace Origin Of Destructive Russia Meteor

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake, where the Chelyabinsk meteor reportedly struck on Feb. 15.
Uncredited Associated Press

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:52 am

Scientists from Colombia believe they have pinpointed the origin of the giant meteor that smashed into a remote region of Russia earlier this month, injuring more than 1,000 people.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Tue February 26, 2013

'The Worm' Turns Up In North Korea: Dennis Rodman Is On Visit

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, in the departure hall of Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to North Korea.
Andy Wong AP

This comes from The Associated Press, not The Onion:

"PYONGYANG, North Korea — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman brought his basketball skills Tuesday and flamboyant style — neon-bleached hair, tattoos, nose studs and all — to the isolated communist country with possibly the world's drabbest dress code: North Korea.

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World
5:33 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Female Sherpa Makes Record Climbs

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Few can say they've reached the summit of Mt. Everest, and even fewer can say they've done it twice. And only one woman can say she's done it twice in one month. Her name is Chhurim, a 29-year-old Sherpa from Nepal. She made the climb last May, came down for a few days and then turned around and went up again. This week, she climbed into the Guinness Book of World Records.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:17 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Tourist Tragedy In Egypt: Hot Air Balloon Catches Fire; Many Aboard Killed

The wreckage of a hot air balloon and its gondola lay in a field near Luxor, Egypt, on Tuesday. A fire and subsequent crash killed many of those who were aboard the tourist flight.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:08 pm

The final death toll has not yet been determined, but the number is high. A hot air balloon carrying tourists on a flight over historic sites around the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor caught fire Tuesday. It then plunged to the ground.

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Europe
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Italian Election Results Cause Market Jitters

The Five Star Movement's Beppe Grillo is shown on TV Monday at the Democratic Party press center in Rome. The prospect of political paralysis hung over Italy as election results showed the upstart protest campaign making stunning inroads, and mainstream forces of center-left and center-right wrestling for control of Parliament's two houses.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 10:43 am

Italian elections have hurled a tsunami against the system: An upstart anti-establishment party that rejects European Union-dictated austerity measures is now the single biggest party in Parliament. Newspaper headlines proclaim the country ungovernable, and world financial markets are spooked by the prospect of gridlock in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

Thanks to a byzantine election law, the center-left Democratic Party came in first by a slim majority. But it can't govern alone.

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Religion
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Sex Scandals Threaten To Mar Selection Of Next Pope

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As Italians struggle to form a new government, another political transition is underway - inside the Vatican. Pope Benedict's historic resignation takes effect on Thursday, giving way to a papal transition that will be unlike any before. But even in the pope's final week, new sex scandals threaten to overshadow the upcoming conclave where his successor will be chosen.

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Europe
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Kerry Stops In Berlin On European Tour

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Syrian opposition leaders say they plan to attend a conference this week in Rome. They want to see what the new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has to offer to help them bring an end of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The opposition leaders had been threatening to boycott the meeting, but Kerry is promising he won't leave them dangling in the wind. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with Kerry this week on his first trip overseas as secretary of state. She filed this report from Berlin.

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Religion
1:24 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:15 pm

Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.

This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.

His name is Celestine V.

Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.

Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Italian Elections Produce Murky Result, Financial Jitters

Workers open ballots in a polling station in Rome on Tuesday following Italy's general elections. The initial results showed a close race with no clear-cut winner, a development that made financial markets jumpy.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:41 pm

As Italy's elections results came in Monday, the country appeared headed toward political gridlock, a development that rattled financial markets hoping for a clear result.

A center-left coalition, headed by Pier Luigi Bersani and favored in pre-election polls, looked like it would win the lower house of Parliament, according to partial results.

But in a surprise, the center-right grouping, headed by the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, appeared to be ahead in the upper house.

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Religion
3:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Senior Catholic Cleric Resigns After Allegations Of 'Inappropriate' Behavior

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

It was yet another turbulent day for the Vatican as Great Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation. That means he will not be taking part in the election of a new pope. Cardinal Keith O'Brien has been accused of behaving inappropriately toward several priests. His immediate departure comes as the pope himself prepares to retire. Benedict XVI stands down Thursday.

We're joined from London by NPR's Philip Reeves. Hi there, Philip.

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Afghanistan
3:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Afghan Government Bans Some American Forces For Links To Killings And Torture

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Afghanistan's president is demanding that American Special Forces, Green Berets, withdraw from a key province. It's located near the capital, Kabul. Hamid Karzai says the Special Forces are linked to allegations of kidnapping, killing and torture. What actually happened, however, is not clear. And to try to make sense of this, we're joined by NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.

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Africa
2:08 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Fearing Election Turmoil, Kenyans Seek A Tech Solution

Kenyan authorities are trying to guard against fraud and violence when they hold a presidential election on March 4. Here, voters register on biometric equipment last December in Nairobi.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:22 pm

As Kenya prepares for a presidential election next Monday, it's trying to prevent a recurrence of the last such poll, in December 2007, when more than 1,000 people were killed in postelection violence.

Last time, technology helped incite that violence. This time, the hope is that technology will help prevent a similar outburst.

Last time around, a text message came on Dec. 31, 2007, four days after a presidential election that many people in the Kalenjin tribe thought was rigged.

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Media
12:28 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

The Media Frenzy Surrounding Oscar Pistorius

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:52 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. More than a week has passed since Olympic athlete and South African sports hero Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He faces charges of premeditated murder. On Friday he was granted bail and left jail.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Mon February 25, 2013

At Nuclear Talks: West Will Float 'Sanctions Relief;' Iran Will Take 'Hard Line'

Talks between the U.S., its allies and Iran about the Persian giant's nuclear ambitions are due to begin Tuesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan. As the time draws near, we're seeing stories about how each side will approach the discussions.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Mon February 25, 2013

South Korea's New Leader Aims For Middle Path In Relations With North

President Park Geun-hye salutes during her inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday.
Lee Jin-man Associated Press

The new South Korean president, Park Guen-hye, steps into office at a particularly challenging time, with archnemesis North Korea's own recently installed leader rattling missiles and nuclear weapons in an apparent attempt to solidify his hold on power.

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The Salt
7:59 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Horsemeat Found In IKEA's Meatballs

For many, Swedish meatballs are part of the allure of shopping at Ikea.
Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:36 am

Bad news for those whose shopping trips at Ikea are partly motivated by the allure of the store's famous meatballs: The giant Swedish furniture retailer on Monday said it had recalled a batch of frozen meatballs sent to more than a dozen European countries after tests detected traces of horse meat.

Food inspectors in the Czech Republic discovered the horse meat DNA last week in 2.2-pound packs of frozen meatballs labeled as beef and pork and sold under the name Kottbullar.

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Pope Moves Up Start Of Conclave; British Cardinal Resigns Amid Allegations

Then-Cardinal Keith O'Brien, archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City last week.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:46 am

On the Monday of Pope Benedict XVI's final week as leader of the Roman Catholic Church begins, there's word that:

-- Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric has resigned and will not be taking part in the conclave of cardinals that will select the next pope. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports from London, "Cardinal Keith O'Brien's decision was announced a day after revelations that he behaved inappropriately with several priests."

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Business
3:38 am
Mon February 25, 2013

E.U. Governments Cautioned Against Cutting Technology Budgets

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

European budget problems prompted governments to cut back on investments in digital services and broadband networks. Industry officials say this damages Europe's ability to compete.

Terri Schultz reports from Brussels.

TERRI SCHULTZ, BYLINE: The European Union's own officials acknowledge there's a serious disconnect between what Europe is doing and what it needs to do to stop falling behind in the telecommunications industry.

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Latin America
3:38 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Raul Catro Says New 5-Year Term Will Be His Last

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. There's now a timeline to the end of the rule of the Castro family in Cuba. President Raul Castro said on TV he will step down after one final five-year term. And he named a replacement. Nick Miroff reports from Havana.

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Europe
3:38 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Germany Called On To Evolve Its Gobal Military Role

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:53 am

For decades after the devastation of World War Two, Germany recoiled from any prospect of military engagement. Now the country is under pressure to get involved in foreign military conflicts as the U.S. cuts back its role as the world's policeman. Germany's growing military role is now being debated in government and academic circles.

Interviews
2:59 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

The Language Of Empires Faces Extinction

Esho Joseph stands in front of the Nemo Delale bridge in Zakho, Iraq. Joseph, a former translator, grew up speaking Aramaic.
Jacki Lyden/NPR

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 6:40 pm

For centuries, Aramaic was the language of an entire empire. It was the language of Christ, of biblical scholars, and of the Middle East. And for that reason, Esho Joseph, a former translator for the Iraqi regime who now lives in the U.S., is saddened by its slow disappearance.

"This language ... is ... [of] historical importance," says Joseph, who grew up speaking the language. "... And now it ... [is], you know, dying. It is really painful."

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Europe
11:25 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Irish Women Emerge From Shadows Of 'National Shame'

Candles burn outside grounds of Leinster House, placed by relatives of victims of the Catholic-run work houses known as the Magdalene Laundries in Dublin, Ireland, on Feb. 19.
Peter Morrison AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:45 am

In post-independence Ireland, thousands of women found themselves incarcerated in church-run laundries. For the first time, the state has apologized for their treatment.

These women were a diverse group: former prostitutes, unwed mothers, orphans, homeless women, convicts and industrial school transfers put in the care of the Catholic Church.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Auction Halted Of Banksy Mural Removed In London

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over an artwork attributed to Banksy in London. The stencilled image depicts a poor child making Union Jack flags on a sewing machine and is located on the wall of a Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green area of north London.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 12:18 pm

Last week we told you about the uproar surrounding the auction of a piece of art by mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Karzai Asks U.S. Forces To Leave Key Afghan Province

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 11:08 am

We're getting word that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered U.S. special forces to leave Wardak Province within two weeks amid allegation of torture and disappearances centering on Afghans who are part of the U.S. forces.

Update at 1:07 p.m. ET. Order Came After Report

NPR's Sean Carberry is reporting on the move for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Delivers Final Sunday Blessing At Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing Sunday during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Pope Benedict XVI has given his final blessing before he steps down from the papacy on Thursday.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Benedict told the crowd that God is calling him to dedicate himself 'even more to prayer and meditation,' which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City's ancient walls.

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Middle East
3:46 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Israel Restores Wetlands; Birds Make It Their Winter Home

Cranes fly at sunset above the Hula Valley of northern Israel in January. Millions of birds pass through the area as they migrate south every winter from Europe and Asia to Africa. Some now stay in the Hula Valley for the entire winter.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:45 am

Like many countries, Israel tried to drain many of its swamplands, then realized it was destroying wildlife habitats. So the country reversed course, and has been restoring the wetlands of the Hula Valley in the north.

The effort has had a huge and rather noisy payoff. Unlike many birding sites, where the creatures take off when you approach them, you can practically touch the cranes that inhabit the Hula Valley.

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Europe
3:06 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Greeks Ask Themselves: Who's A Greek?

Stephanos Mwange, a Greek-born citizen of Ugandan descent, says his love for Greek history and mythology have inspired him to act ancient Greek tragedies such as Hecuba. He's a well-known actor, though his positive experience as a naturalized Greek citizen is exceptional. Most from a similar background say they've been made to feel like foreigners.
Courtesy of Sotiria Psarou

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:36 am

When it comes to immigration, Greece faces a dilemma: The country needs new, young people because like the rest of Europe, it faces a falling birth rate and an aging population.

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