World News

The Two-Way
11:33 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Flush With Oil, Abu Dhabi Opens World's Largest Solar Plant

Rows of parabolic mirrors at the Shams 1 plant in Abu Dhabi.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:34 pm

Abu Dhabi, the most oil-rich of the United Arab Emirates, is now home to the world's single-largest concentrated solar power plant.

The 100-megawatt Shams 1 plant cost an estimated $750 million and is expected to provide electricity to 20,000 homes, according to the BBC.

Why, you might ask?

Read more
The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Australia's Heron Island: A Canary In The Coal Mine For Coral Reefs?

Heron Island is located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 25 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.
Ted Mead Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:02 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 1: Richard gets a hefty dose of bad news.

I've seen the future, and it isn't pretty.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:19 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Dueling Claims In Syria After Unconfirmed Reports About Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:23 am

While state-controlled media in Syria are claiming that opposition forces are responsible for what may have been a chemical weapon attack Tuesday in the city of Aleppo, rebel spokesman Qassim Saadeddine is telling Reuters that the opposition was "not behind this attack."

Read more
Religion
5:52 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Installation Mass Launches Pope Francis' Papacy

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

INSKEEP: That's the sound of bells in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, as Pope Francis celebrated his inaugural Mass today. The ceremony was infused with meaning, both in the substance of what the new pope said and the symbolism of how he was presented.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Rome.

Hi, Sylvia.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:26 am
Tue March 19, 2013

For Pope Francis, A Simple Mass And A Call To Protect The Poor

Greeting the faithful: Pope Francis as he arrived in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square on Tuesday for his inaugural mass.
Valdrin Xhemaj EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:14 am

With less silk, lace and gold than many of his predecessors displayed, Pope Francis on Tuesday was inaugurated at a Holy Mass in St. Peter's Square during which he appealed to world leaders to be protectors of the poor and the environment, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast Desk.

Read more
Middle East
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Obama Trip Could Ignite Long-Stalled Peace Talks

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama lands in Israel tomorrow for his first visit to that key American ally as president. He'll also visit sites in the West Bank. The White House has tried to keep expectations low for this visit, but many Israelis are excited and have attached high hopes to Obama's trip.

NPR's Larry Abramson spoke with Israelis and Palestinians, and has this report.

Read more
Religion
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Pope Francis Endears Himself To Catholics, Vatican Watchers

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Pope Francis is formally inaugurated in a mass in St. Peter's Square Tuesday. Leaders from all over the world are attending. In less than a week, the pope has made himself known to the Catholic world and beyond for his direct and simple words and gestures.

Middle East
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Interim Prime Minister Elected By Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Syria's opposition coalition in exile has elected a prime minister who, until recently, hailed from Texas. The new leader is charged with putting together an interim government to oversee rebel-held areas of the country. After months of infighting, the coalition selected an information technology executive to do the job. NPR's Peter Kenyon has more from Istanbul on the challenges he'll face.

Read more
Iraq
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

U.N. Weapons Inspector Looks Back On Iraq War

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Ten years ago, missiles burst over Baghdad, lighting up the night sky as the aerial bombardment of Iraq began. It was the start of a U.S.-led invasion that would topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Read more
Middle East
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Obama To Visit West Bank

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Iraq
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

1 Decade Since The War, Where Iraq Stands Now

An Iraqi policeman stands guard at a checkpoint decorated with plastic flowers in Baghdad in 2008.
Ali Yussef AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:00 am

Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, NPR is looking at where the country stands now. NPR's Kelly McEvers recently visited Baghdad and offered this take on how the Iraqi capital feels today.

I think the single word that would best describe Baghdad these days is traffic. It can take hours just to get from one place to another. And I guess that's both good and bad.

Read more
Europe
2:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Confidence In Cyprus Banks Falters As Government Proposes Deposit Tax

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Cyprus is facing a run on its banks after the government proposed taxing bank deposits. The government has put off a vote on the plan in a bid to calm things down. Banks are set to re-open on Thursday after a bank holiday was declared on Monday.

Europe
2:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Cyprus' Bank Deposit Tax Would Hit Russian Wallets

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As Jim Zarroli mentioned, Russians are the main foreign depositors in Cyprus. They've used the island as an offshore haven, thanks to low taxes and lax regulations, same things that have lured some rich Americans to bank in, say, the Cayman Islands. Well, according to Moody's Investor Services, Russian banks and businesses have around $30 billion in Cypriot accounts and that's why today, Russian President Vladimir Putin lost no time in denouncing the tax on bank accounts as unfair, unprofessional and dangerous. Those were his words.

Read more
Media
2:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

After Investigation, No Evidence 'Wall Street Journal' Bribed Chinese Officials

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Science
2:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Internet Pioneers Win First-Ever Queen Elizabeth Prize For Engineering

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:54 pm

The winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering were announced Monday in London. Five Internet pioneers — Marc Andreessen, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Louis Pouzin — will share the honor and the one million pound prize. The new U.K.-based award aims to be a "Nobel Prize" for engineering. Robert Siegel talks to Lord Browne of Madingley about the winners.

Business
2:15 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Why The Crisis In Cyprus May End Up Hurting You Too

Cypriots protest an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on Monday. A proposed bailout deal would slap a levy on all Cypriot bank savings.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:28 am

Ask Americans to point out Cyprus, and most would have to spin a globe several times before noticing the small island nation, east of Greece and south of Turkey.

But whether or not you have ever given a thought to the 1.1 million people living there under the warm Mediterranean sun, Cyprus might send a chill up your spine this week.

Read more
Latin America
1:20 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Three Decades On, Ex-Guatemalan Leader Faces Genocide Charges

Guatemala's former dictator Efrain Rios Montt arrives in court Jan. 31 in Guatemala City to stand trial on genocide charges. On Tuesday, the prosecution will present its case in the trial.
Moises Castillo AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 7:44 pm

In a Guatemalan courtroom Tuesday, prosecutors will present their case against a former military dictator who ruled during one of the bloodiest periods in the Central American nation's 36-year civil war.

Efrain Rios Montt is accused of genocide in the murder of tens of thousands of Guatemala's Indians. Human rights advocates and the families of victims have struggled for years to bring him before the court, and they say it is the first trial in Latin America of a former president in the country where he ruled.

Read more
Iraq
12:16 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

A Decade Later, What Was Accomplished In Iraq

Transcript

TOM GJELTEN, HOST:

Ten years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. This is an NPR news special. I'm Tom Gjelten. Neal Conan is away. March 2003, U.S. troops sped up across the desert from Kuwait into Iraq. The goal was to topple Saddam Hussein, a brutal dictator. Resistance to the invasion was light. Within weeks, the Hussein regime had fallen.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:36 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Syrian Opposition Poised To Vote On Interim Government

Demonstrators wave Syrian opposition flags during a protest in Istanbul against the government of Syria's President Bashar Assad, on March 15.
Osman Orsal Reuters /Landov

As Syria's revolt enters a third year, Syria's political opposition is meeting in Istanbul this week to choose a rebel government, despite opposition from the Obama administration.

Twelve candidates are in the running to lead the efforts, including an economist, a former agriculture minister and an IT specialist who is overseeing the Syrian National Coalition's aid operation on the Turkish border.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:11 am
Mon March 18, 2013

China Edges Out U.K. As World's Fifth-Largest Arms Supplier

More than 200 companies attended an International Defense Exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan, in November, most from the U.S., China and Europe.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 8:46 am

The U.S. still leads the world in one area — arms sales. But even there, China is closing the gap.

Made-in-China weapons have moved into the No. 5 slot, displacing U.K.-manufactured arms, but the Asian giant still trails far behind the U.S. and Russia, whose weapons account for 30 percent and 26 percent of the market, respectively, according to a new report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:05 am
Mon March 18, 2013

After Helicopter Jail Break, Two Cons Recaptured In Canada

It was a real "James Bond moment," witness Francis Emond tells CNN.

And just like in the movies, the bad guys have been tracked down and brought to justice.

Read more
Afghanistan
2:27 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Grants To Rural Afghan Villages Pays off

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

About 80 percent of Afghans live in the countryside, so what happens there is key to that country's future. Let's go now and hear now about a successful effort at involving communities in their own development. It's called the National Solidarity Program. Funded by international aid, it distributes small grants to rural villages so villagers can choose what projects they need most. They do this through democratically elected community development councils, councils that include both men and women.

Read more
Middle East
2:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Young, Exiled Syrian Still Believe In Revolution

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're also marking a milestone today. Two years ago this week, the Arab Spring spread to Syria. Thousands of people took to the streets to protest against their government. Back then, they called it a revolution. Some still do. But Syria's uprising has become a civil war with tens of thousands killed. Many more Syrians are now living in exile, including the young Syrians NPR's Rima Marrouch found in Beirut.

Read more
Afghanistan
1:25 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Afghanistan's Forests A Casualty Of Timber Smuggling

An Afghan laborer works in a firewood yard at a market in Herat on Dec. 11, 2011.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:34 pm

Despite Afghanistan's fierce winter, it's rare to find a house with insulation or a modern heating system. So Afghans rely on bukharis, stoves that look like an oil drum with a big rusty pipe growing out of the top that bends off into a hole in the wall.

That fact keeps the hundreds of wood vendors around Kabul quite happy. This winter, NPR staff fed several tons of firewood into their bukhari — and that's just one house in a city of about 5 million people.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Cyprus President Tries To Calm Public After Anger Over Bailout Deal

People queue to use an ATM outside of a Laiki Bank branch in Larnaca, Cyprus, on Saturday. Many rushed to cooperative banks after learning that the terms of a bailout deal with international lenders includes a one-time levy on bank deposits.
Petros Karadjias AP

There's news from Cyprus that could have broader implications for Europe when the eurozone's banks open Monday.

It comes a day after officials from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund signed off on a $13 billion bailout for Cyprus. The money was needed because Cyprus' banks lost 4.5 billion euros on their Greek bond holdings, which were written down last year after Greece's second bailout.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:56 am
Sun March 17, 2013

The War Creeps Closer To Damascus

The scene of a car bomb explosion near the headquarters of Syria's ruling Baath party, in the center of Damascus, on Feb. 21. While the city is not involved in the fighting on a daily basis, the war is edging closer to the capital.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:59 am

Editor's Note: The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus and is not being further identified for safety concerns.

In Damascus, you can smell the scent of gunpowder that wafts in from shelling on the outskirts of the capital. You hear fighter jets buzzing above. Ambulance sirens wail throughout the day, and death notices are regularly plastered on city walls.

Damascus is not under direct bombardment, like many other places in Syria that have been ravaged by an uprising now two years old. But the war is creeping closer, and residents feel the heat.

Read more
Middle East
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Reframing The Argument: Brokering Middle East Peace

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:16 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his new book "Brokers of Deceit," he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Rashid Khalidi is with us now from our studios in New York.

Welcome to the program.

RASHID KHALIDI: Thank you, Rachel.

Read more
Middle East
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Fear And Daily Struggles: Reporter Reflects On Iraq War

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:32 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: It was early 2003: Doctors reported the first known case of the SARS virus; the musical "Chicago" won the Oscar for Best Picture; and Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush made their case for war.

DICK CHENEY: There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

Read more
Europe
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Maslenitsa Celebration Helps Russians Thaw From Winter

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 4:59 pm

Sunday is the final day of a week-long Russian festival that celebrates folk traditions, heroic eating and the distant promise of spring. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on Maslenitsa, or "pancake week," the last culinary blow-out before the austerity of Lent.

Middle East
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Low Bar Set For Obama's Mideast Trip

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:15 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Read more

Pages