I'm Michel Martin. And this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, during his life he was revered as a towering figure in the world of letters and reviled as an anti-Semite and misogynist. And the division around his legacy continues after his death last week at the age of 79. So we wanted to take a closer look at the work and legacy of the late playwright Amiri Baraka. That's coming up later.
Indians participated in a candlelight vigil last month to mark the anniversary of the death of a young woman who was gang raped and murdered in New Delhi. Indian media dubbed the woman "Nirbhaya," or fearless. Now, after other high-profile rapes in the country, India has unveiled a handgun for women.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:14 am
Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese intelligence officer who for 29 years after the end of World War II continued to hide, fight and kill in the jungles of the Philippines because he did not believe the war was over, has died.
Japan's Asahi Shimbun says Onoda died Thursday in a Tokyo hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was 91. The newspaper sums up the story of Onoda's post-war years this way:
World powers will be gathering in Switzerland next week to look for ways to end Syria's brutal civil war. At this late date, though, representatives of the Syrian opposition are still deciding if they will come. For months now, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been cajoling opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to come to the Geneva conference, but the U.S. would allow Iran only a limited role on the sidelines, although Iran is a major player in the Syrian conflict.
Next, we'll hear from a man who was driven from his country, and who returned only to be driven away again. The country is South Sudan, formerly a part of Sudan. It became independent in 2011, part of the resolution to a decades-old conflict.
Many in the region of Catalonia in Spain are pushing to secede from the country, partly for cultural and partly for economic reasons. Naturally, the government of Spain opposes that. But yesterday, the regional parliament pressed the bid for independence a step further.
Palestinians (front and left) try to prevent fellow Palestinians from the village of Qusra from attacking a group of Israeli settlers after they sparked clashes upon entering the village near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on Jan. 7.
Credit Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian man stands on the doorway of a burned mosque in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya, on Wednesday.
Credit Nasser Ishtayeh / AP
Ziad Oday (left), a village council member and imam in Qusra, and Abdel Wadi, Qusra village council head, intervened in the recent clash between Jewish settlers and angry Palestinians. They're shown here on a hill in Qusra.
Credit Emily Harris / NPR
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings></xml><![endif]--> Pinahasi Baron is one of the Jewish settlers who were trapped by Palestinians last week in Qusra village and later arrested by Israeli police. He is shown here in Esh Kodesh, an Israeli outpost settlement across the valley from Qusra.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, incidents between Jewish settlers and Palestinians happen almost every day. Olive trees and grapevines are destroyed, tires are slashed, mosques are defaced. It's not just property destruction. Violence has cost lives on both sides.
NPR's Ari Shapiro, who recently moved to London and set up a bank account, reports that it can still be an expensive and time consuming process to transfer money internationally. Here, people pass by a branch of Lloyds Bank in London, on Sept. 17.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:39 am
When relocating to a new country, it's important to establish routines and traditions. My ritual here in London is spending an hour on the phone with the bank every day.
It's a strange thing about 2014 — we've got one collective foot planted squarely in the 21st century, while the other is stuck in back in the 19-something-or-others.
My email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts don't care whether I'm in Dublin or Dubai. I can jog along the Seine in Paris to the same music on Spotify that I listen to when I'm running along the Willamette River in Portland.
Back row from left, Judge Walid Akoum, Judge Janet Nosworthy, Presiding Judge David Re, Judge Micheline Braidy and Judge Nicola Lettier await the start of a trial at the courtroom of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Leidschendam, Netherlands, on Thursday.
The trial of four men accused of killing Rafik Hariri and 22 others began Thursday in Leidschendam, Netherlands, on Thursday nearly nine years after the former Lebanese prime minister was assassinated by a massive car bomb in Beirut.
Speaking outside the court, Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, who has also served as a prime minister, said his presence and those of family members is "proof that our stance, since the first moment, and every moment, was and will continue to be: seeking justice, not revenge, punishment and not vengeance."
Paul Lo spent part of his childhood in a refugee camp in Thailand. Now he has been appointed as a judge on the Merced County Superior Court in California. That reportedly makes him the first Hmong-American judge in U.S. history. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lo about his unusual path to the bench.
Teju Cole's novel Open City may have won him critical acclaim and many fans, but that doesn't mean he can stop thinking about how to connect with his readers. "I actually do have to work hard for whatever attention my work gets," Cole tells NPR's Michel Martin.
And he is using unconventional methods to get that attention.
After a recent, "much needed break from the hectic environment that Twitter sometimes can be," his 120,000-plus followers noticed some activity on his feed.
The U.S. Marine Corps "is attempting to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that the entertainment website says show Marines appearing to burn bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004," The Associated Press reports.
A light fog engulfs St. Peter's Basilica's dome at the Vatican on Saturday. The Vatican came in for tough public scrutiny over its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal at a U.N. hearing in Geneva on Thursday.
Credit Gregorio Borgia / AP
Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna, appearing at the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, on Thursday.
Credit Martial Trezzini / EPA/Landov
Bishop Francis Kane, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago, at a news conference on Wednesday in Chicago.
The Japanese drinks company Suntory plans to buy Beam Inc., which includes Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon. They are shown next to Suntory's Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies at Suntory headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. The deal makes Suntory one of the world's leading drinks companies in an industry where a handful of companies increasingly dominate the global market.
Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:18 pm
Liquor companies like to make drinkers think their favorite spirits always have been and always will be attached to a very particular place — Kentucky bourbon, Irish whiskey, Russian vodka.
But like many other industries, the liquor business has gone global, and a small number of players increasingly dominate the industry worldwide. The distilling may still be local, but ownership is definitely international.
It was one of the most stunning disasters of the last decade. The day after Christmas 2004, the Asian Tsunami killed nearly a quarter of a million people. Most of them, more than 175,000, died in the Indonesia's Aceh Province.
In the two years following that utter devastation, reporter Michael Sullivan spent time with several people, tracking, for MORNING EDITION, their recovery from the disaster. And he returned again, a few weeks ago.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
The warring parties in Syria are one week away from a peace conference. Rebels have been fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Rebels have also been fighting rebels. Syria's political opposition is fractured over attending the peace conference at all, raising the prospect that Assad may come out on top.
The prime minster of Thailand says she plans to go ahead with next month's elections, despite opposition protests that have blocked much of the center of Bangkok. The anti-government demonstrators want the current, caretaker prime minister to step down, to be replaced with an unelected "people's council". The political turmoil is also impacting the local economy.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:44 pm
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
Human rights advocates in Nigeria are reporting that dozens of gay men have been arrested under a new law that makes homosexual clubs or associations illegal. That law also criminalizes same-sex marriage. Gay men who have been arrested have reportedly been tortured into giving up the names of others. Michelle Faul with the Associated Press has been writing about this and she joins us now from Lagos.
When German farmers and activists descended upon Chancellor Angela Merkel's office building Wednesday morning, they brought along some special guests — 17 pigs. The stunt was the latest European backlash against a proposed free trade deal with the U.S. that could lift restrictions on American meat sold in Europe.
Under the watchful eye of German police officers, the pigs munched happily on straw strewn across the pavement to keep the herd from running amok.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:50 pm
Despite a $7 billion effort to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan, poppy cultivation there is at its highest level since the U.S. invasion more than a decade ago, sparking corruption, criminal gangs and providing the insurgency with hard cash, says John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.
In testimony before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, he warns Wednesday that Afghanistan could degenerate into a narco-criminal state.
Cawdor Castle is often called Macbeth's Castle because it's the place of a murder in Shakespeare's <em>Macbeth</em>. The castle was built long after Shakespeare died. Lady Liza Campbell, who was raised at the castle, is pushing to revise the law to allow women to inherit titles and estates.
Centuries before the U.S. was colonized, the British were handing down estates and titles from father to son. Never from mother to daughter.
Then came the royal pregnancy last year. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka William and Kate, had a boy, George. But before the prince was born and his sex known, Parliament changed British law so a first-born girl could inherit the throne. And a group of female aristocrats began fighting to apply the principle more broadly.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:50 am
Several donor nations have each pledged tens of millions of dollars for civilians affected by Syria's civil war.
The pledges, including $500 million from Kuwait and $380 million from the U.S., came Wednesday at the start of a conference in Kuwait City to raise money for the humanitarian suffering caused by the more than two years of fighting. The U.N. wants $6.5 billion for the effort to assist Syrian refugees. It's the largest-ever appeal for a single crisis.
Troops from the EU Naval Force warship FS Aconit intercepting a group of suspected pirates off Somalia in March 2012. Multinational naval patrols in the area have been partly credited with reducing incidents of piracy.
The maritime watchdog says there were 264 strikes against shipping worldwide last year — a drop of 40 percent since attacks peaked in 2011. And there were just 15 attacks off the coast of Somalia; by comparison, that same area saw 75 attacks in 2012 and 237 the year before.
A view of the Paharganj area is pictured in New Delhi on Wednesday. Police were questioning a group of men after a Danish woman says she was robbed and then gang-raped in the heart of the Delhi's tourist district.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:14 am
A 51-year-old Danish tourist was allegedly gang-raped in the heart of India's capital, and police said Wednesday that they've detained several suspects for questioning.
According to a police spokesman, the woman asked a group of men for directions back to her hotel Tuesday after she became lost. The Press Trust of India news agency reports that the men allegedly lured her to a secluded area near New Delhi's Connaught Place where she was robbed, beaten and sexually assaulted at knife-point.