World News

Middle East
2:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Syria's Chemical Weapons Include Sarin, Mustard Gas

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The intelligence that we have causes serious concerns - that warning yesterday from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Those concerns are that Syria's government not only has a stockpile of chemical weapons but that it might use them against rebels moving in on the capital, Damascus. The past few days have brought a flurry of reports from multiple news outlets that the Syrian regime is indeed preparing chemical weapons, and we wanted to know what those might include so we reached out to former U.N. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer.

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Middle East
2:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Hamas Leader Visits Gaza Strip Fro The First Time

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:14 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We go overseas now to the Gaza Strip, where the leader of Hamas visited today for the first time. Palestinians are still cleaning up after last month's ferocious week-long fight with Israel. Khaled Mashaal's visit to the Hamas-ruled strip is being seen as both symbolic and politically significant. NPR's Philip Reeves is in Gaza and reports the Hamas leader got a hero's welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Europe
2:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Nurse Who Took Prank Call At U.K. Hospital Is Dead

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

A nurse at a London hospital who took a hoax call about Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge was found dead on Friday. Jacintha Saldhana let through a call from an Australian radio station purporting to be the Queen calling about the ailing Duchess.

Middle East
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Egyptian Protesters Display Newfound Unity

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Protests in Egypt rage on, despite President Mohammed Morsi's offer in a televised speech last night to meet with his opponents. Demonstrators filled Cairo's streets again today. The opposition in Egypt is confident and they're displaying a newfound unity, something Egypt hasn't seen since the early days of the revolution that ousted Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, many question whether this unity will last beyond the ongoing political crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Middle East
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Fighting In Syrian Capital Remains Intense

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:54 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held an emergency meeting with her Russian counterpart in Dublin Thursday to try to reach new consensus on how to end the Syrian conflict. A prominent human rights group has put the death toll in Syria at 42,000 people killed in the nearly two years of fighting there — which began with a series of political protests, and turned into an armed rebellion.

Environment
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

World Bank Issues Alarming Climate Report

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:20 am

Countries attending U.N. climate talks were not able to come up with any major agreements on reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming. This comes after the World Bank issued a report predicting global temperatures could rise by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century — possibly sooner if current promises to curb emission are not kept. Renee Montagne talks about this with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Business
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Starbucks Agrees To Pay British Corporate Taxes

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:24 am

After resisting for some time, Starbucks has agreed to pay corporate taxes in Britain. It was revealed earlier that the coffee company has paid no such taxes in the past three years.

The Salt
12:50 am
Fri December 7, 2012

In Farmers Market, A Free Market Rises In Cuba

Cuba has relaxed some business rules, allowing street vendors to sell produce and a large wholesale produce market to open at night on the edge of Havana.
Greg Kahn Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:30 pm

Cuba has no shortage of fertile farmland, but the country spends $1.5 billion a year importing about 70 percent of its food.

The communist government's chronic struggle to get farmers to produce more is forcing authorities to grudgingly accept a greater role for market principles and the profit motive.

Now authorities seem willing to go another step further, tolerating the rise of what might be described as Cuba's "free-est" market.

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Africa
3:21 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Morsi Calls For Consensus Amid Escalating Protests

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi is on the defensive. He went on state television late today and appealed for an end to the violence between supporters and opponents of his government. Last night, the two sides clashed outside the presidential palace. Six people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

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Middle East
3:21 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Syrian Militia Leaders Depend On A Terrorist Faction

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:40 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, we're taking a broader view of the Syrian conflict, asking if the Assad regime has reached a tipping point, and if so, what might follow. Yesterday, I talked with Syria expert Andrew Tabler, and today we'll hear from Joshua Landis, who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Landis, welcome back to the program.

DR. JOSHUA LANDIS: It's a pleasure being with you.

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Middle East
3:21 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Young Protesters Turn To Militant Tactics In Bahrain

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We turn now to the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. For the past 22 months, protestors have taken to the streets there demanding reform. For the most part, the demonstrations have been peaceful, but amid greater repression by the security forces, some of the younger protestors have turned to violence, and that has prompted a rift in the ranks of the opposition. Independent producer Reese Erlich paid a visit to Bahrain's capital, Manama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken)

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Middle East
2:54 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

U.S., Russia Try To Find Common Ground On Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a speech at Dublin City University in Ireland on Thursday. She also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss Syria.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:40 pm

As Syrian fighting intensifies in Syria, diplomatic efforts are also heating up.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the main international envoy to Syria were all in Dublin for an international gathering Thursday. The meeting came as Syria's opposition tries to get better organized to offer a real alternative to President Bashar Assad's regime.

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Middle East
2:54 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Syria Could Become A Failed State If Assad Falls

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

What is the endgame to the bloody crisis in Syria? That question is ringing from Washington to Dublin to Damascus today. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the U.S. is very concerned the Assad regime might resort to chemical weapons. He warned of serious consequences if that were to happen.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Thu December 6, 2012

With Looting, Syria's Army Isn't Winning Hearts And Minds

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. Syrian soldiers have been taking over private homes and apartments, and have sometimes looted and trashed them, according to Syrian civilians.
HOPD AP/SANA

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 12:35 pm

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country. In this report, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

As the Syrian military struggles against rebel fighters, it seems the army has not been paying a lot of attention to winning the hearts and minds of civilians.

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The Salt
10:29 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Fruitfly Nose Says Steer Clear Of Deadly Food, Human Nose Not So Reliable

Now we know why we'll never see a common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) sitting on a beet.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:10 pm

The earthy smell of a fresh beet may spark delicious thoughts for us, but for a fruit fly, that smell screams danger.

Geosmin, a naturally occurring chemical that gives beets, fresh soil and corked wine their distinctive smell, is also cranked out by bacteria deadly to fruit flies. And it turns out that the tiny flies have a direct pathway from nose to brain made just to detect that smell — and avoid the toxic microbes that produce it.

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The Salt
7:57 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Hours After A Meal, It's The Memory That Matters

In an experiment, people who saw a picture of a big bowl of soup before eating lunch were less hungry a few hours later than those who saw a smaller bowl, regardless of how much they ate at the meal.
stuart burford photography iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:50 am

It's no surprise that how much a person eats determines how full they feel right after a meal. But it's the memory of that meal, and not the meal itself, that matters a couple of hours later. So does this mean you trick yourself into thinness? Probably not. But it does tell us something about the role that manipulating memory may play in calorie intake.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Panetta Warns Syria: 'Whole World Is Watching'

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:27 pm

In one of the sharpest warnings so far to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today "the whole world is watching" and that if Assad uses chemical weapons against his people, "there will be consequences."

Without saying specifically that the U.S. and its allies would take military action, Panetta said it is "fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line."

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World
5:09 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Perfume Evokes Smell Of Pizza Box Opening

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
4:48 am
Thu December 6, 2012

In Cairo: Several Killed, Hundreds Injured, As President Calls For Dialogue

Egyptian policemen protect an opposition demonstrator after a scuffle with members of the Muslim Brotherhood outside the presidential palace in Cairo.
Mahmoud Khaled AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:26 pm

Update at 4:00 p.m. ET. Morsi Calls For National Dialogue:

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for national dialogue in a televised address today.

Morsi spoke amid escalating violence over a draft constitution and a presidential decree that granted him near-absolute power.

"I call for a full, productive dialogue with all figures and heads of parties, revolutionary youth and senior legal figures to meet this Saturday," Morsi said according to Al Arabiya.

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National Security
3:20 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Arab Spring Provides Opportunities For Al-Qaida

The Pentagon's top lawyer has talked about how the U.S. would deal with terrorism after al-Qaida's core was defeated. But experts say the talk is premature. The Arab Spring has helped al-Qaida affiliates proliferate over the past year. And while they might not be able to pull off large scale attacks, they are still a very real threat.

World
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Software Pioneer John McAfee Arrested In Guatemala

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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Middle East
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Hamas Prepares For Major Event In Gaza Strip

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Middle East
2:04 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Germans OK Patriot Missiles To Defend Turkey

Germany's Cabinet on Thursday approved sending German Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect the NATO member against possible attacks from Syria, in a major step toward possible Western military role in the Syrian conflict.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that two batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened.

The decision must be endorsed by the German Parliament, but approval is all but assured.

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Middle East
1:33 am
Thu December 6, 2012

'It's A Disaster': Life Inside A Syrian Refugee Camp

Mothers and their children sit among their washing in a refugee camp on the border between Syria and Turkey near the northern city of Azaz on Wednesday. The internally displaced faced further misery as heavy rain was followed by a drop in temperatures.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 8:20 pm

It's early afternoon when the sun is bright, and it's finally warm enough to come outside. This tent camp on a hill overlooking the Turkish border, near the Syrian town of Atma, houses more than 14,000 displaced Syrians.

The water here is trucked in, and it's the only source. Women line up with plastic jugs to haul the daily delivery back to the tents. What is striking are the children — in dirty clothes and summer shoes, faces red and raw from the cold.

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Africa
1:31 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Why No One's Going To Timbuktu These Days

A woman walks by the Grand Mosque of Djenne on market day in Djenne, Mali, on Sept. 2. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed town is among the Malian tourist sites suffering from a huge drop in visitors after a coup took place in March and Islamist rebels seized control of the country's north.
Joe Penney Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 8:41 am

Tourism, the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in the West African country of Mali, has ground to a halt. Since the coup in March and the subsequent occupation of the north by militants linked to al-Qaida, Mali has virtually become a no-go zone for visitors. The impact on the economy and people's lives is profound.

In the historic city of Segou, about 150 miles north of the capital, Bamako, the effects are obvious.

On a recent day, the engine of the brightly painted pinasse, a wooden boat handcrafted with a swooping wicker canopy, slowly starts up.

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Middle East
2:55 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Syrian Conflict May Be At A Turning Point

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The State Department said today it is aware of informal offers of asylum for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his family, offers coming from the Middle East and elsewhere, though a spokesman said he couldn't vouch for the offers' sincerity. There is a lot of talk now about a post-Assad era as the bloody civil war wears on in Syria.

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Middle East
2:29 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Israel, Christians Negotiate The Price Of Holy Water

Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem (center), splashes holy water toward worshippers after the washing of the feet ceremony in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in 2009, during Easter celebrations. A crisis was narrowly averted recently when the church's $2.3 million water bill was waived.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:13 am

One of the holiest sites in Christendom has also been one of the most contested. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem lies on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried.

Multiple Christian denominations share the church uneasily, and clerics sometimes come to blows over the most minor of disputes. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox all have a presence in the church.

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Middle East
12:22 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Chemical Weapons And The Syrian Civil War

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:12 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As more and more of Syria slips out of government control, concern deepens over what's believed to be an enormous stockpile of chemical weapons. Last weekend, several reports cited suspicious activity at some chemical weapon sites in Syria.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Wed December 5, 2012

China's Communists Declare War ... On Boring Meetings

Must ... stay .... awake: A Chinese paramilitary police officer yawns and his colleagues fall asleep while then-President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Dec. 18, 2008.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:14 pm

Suffer from insomnia? The droning rhythm of a Chinese Communist official reading a work report out loud will likely do the trick.

It certainly does for many party members: Just 10 minutes into any party meeting, look down the serried ranks of the attendees, and you'll spot the dozers and snoozers, napping away, heads lolling lazily toward their neighbors.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Hundreds Dead, Hundreds Missing After Typhoon Slams Philippines

A woman carries a child through a flooded road on the island of Mindanao.
AFP/Getty Images

"The death toll from a typhoon that ravaged the Philippines jumped to 238 Wednesday with hundreds missing, as rescuers battled to reach areas cut off by floods and mudslides," The Manila Times writes.

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