World News

The Salt
1:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Many Cups Of Tea: The Business Of Sipping In Western Sahara

A high-end tea set in a Saharawi home in Western Sahara.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:16 pm

If you want to get anything done in Western Sahara, be prepared to drink tea — very, very sweet tea.

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Africa
12:13 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Options For Intervention In Mali's Growing Crisis

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Many of us may not be able to point to Mali on a map, but this landlocked nation in West Africa has emerged as a crisis. Here's a quick synopsis: A government once hailed as a model of democracy collapses in a coup last March. Three northern provinces, an area the size of Texas, break away and declare themselves independent.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu December 13, 2012

From A Life Of Crime To Designing Jewelry, All In A Nairobi Slum

Zakale Creations is a jewelry-designing operation that employs 30 young people who were previously involved in crime. The Nairobi-based operation is the brainchild of John Mucheru, himself a former mugger.
John Burnett/NPR

After covering East Africa for five months, a profound problem I encountered in every country was what will happen to the continent's exploding cities.

The U.N. predicts that by 2040, six in 10 Africans will live in cities — an estimated 1 billion people. One of the pressing questions for African leaders is how to occupy all the idle young men who turn to crime because there are no jobs.

In Nairobi's Huruma slum, I came across a point of light — one man's attempt to take in thieves and prostitutes and give them honest work, of all things, making jewelry.

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Games & Humor
9:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Arab American Comedienne: No Apology For Jokes

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, the issues of Palestinians, both in the U.S. and abroad, are often in the news, but not, I think it's fair to say, because of the comedy scene, which is where Maysoon Zayid comes in.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:33 am

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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Africa
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Egyptians Remain Divided Over Draft Constitution

Egyptian clerics from Al-Azhar University hold a national flag as they shout support for President Mohammed Morsi and a new constitution at a rally in Cairo on Dec. 1. Secular and Islamist Egyptians disagree on the constitution, which critics say gives too much power to the clerics of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni Islam learning.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Egyptians are deeply divided over a draft constitution that will be put to a nationwide referendum starting Saturday. The document was drafted by an assembly dominated by Islamists. Most secular members of the panel, along with women and Christian representatives, walked out in protest before the draft was complete.

Critics say the draft gives key Islamic scholars too much power on a broad range of legislative issues, but it's still unclear what that would mean in practice.

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Analysis
2:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Blogger Analyzes Turmoil In Egypt

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For more analysis, we turned to Issandr El Amrani. He is a journalist living in Cairo, whose blog is called The Arabist. We've been talking with El Amrani since the early days of the Egyptian revolution. He's in Washington, D.C. this week and we asked him into our studio to get his view on the latest turmoil in Egypt.

Welcome to the program.

ISSANDR EL AMRANI: Hi, Renee.

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Asia
1:24 am
Thu December 13, 2012

A Rare Visit Inside A Chinese Courtroom

An NPR reporter recently was allowed to watch legal proceedings at Hongkou District Court — a rare opportunity for a foreign correspondent in Shanghai.
Courtesy of Hongkou District Court

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

After years of covering China, I finally set foot in a Chinese courtroom last week. Foreign reporters need government permission to enter Chinese courts and past attempts had gone nowhere.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

'Complex And Difficult Days' Without Chavez, Venezuelan Vice President Warns

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, center, addresses the nation flanked by Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, left, and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday.
Efrain Gonzalez AP

Venezuelans must prepare for "complex and difficult days" after President Hugo Chavez' cancer surgery, the country's vice president says.

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Europe
3:28 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

British Army Aided In Killing During 'Troubles' Period

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. British Prime Minister David Cameron stood up in Parliament today and apologized for one of the most notorious killings of Northern Ireland's sectarian troubles. But unlike past official apologies, this one may have reopened more wounds than it closed. Vicki Barker reports from London.

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Asia
3:27 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

South Koreans Wary After Rocket Launch From North

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

North Korea's missile launch comes at a sensitive time for South Korea, which will hold national elections in a week. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us from Seoul now to discuss how the launch is affecting politics on the Korean Peninsula. And Anthony, have we heard any more news out of North Korea about how this success is being received by people there?

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Asia
3:26 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

North Korean Rocket Launch Adds To Nuclear Fears

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

The U.N. Security Council has condemned Tuesday's missile launch by North Korea. The North Koreans say their rocket put a satellite into space — but the move violated U.N. resolutions aimed at curbing North Korea's attempts to develop ballistic missile technology.

Middle East
3:21 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Syrian Government Fires Scud Missiles At Rebels

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma, about the recognition by the Friends of Syria of the Syrian opposition. He says it's an important step, but the longer the group of exiles go before naming officers in the transitional government, the harder it will be to exert any authority over the small local governments and militias that have sprung up all over rebel controlled Syria.

Middle East
3:20 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

'Friends Of Syria' Recognize New Opposition Coalition

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:29 pm

The U.S. now recognizes the newly formed National Syrian Coalition. The announcement came at a meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group in the Moroccan city of Marakesh.

The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Means — And What It Doesn't

This image from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows the long-range rocket Unha-3 as seen at a satellite control center prior to Wednesday's successful launch.
KCNA via KNS AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:31 pm

North Korea's successful rocket launch may conjure up visions of nuclear missiles in the hands of one of the planet's least predictable regimes. But building a satellite launch vehicle doesn't directly translate into an ability to rain warheads on distant enemies.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:50 am

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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Business
10:40 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Chinese Firm Buys Massachusetts Tech Company

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Late today a federal bankruptcy judge gave the nod to a Chinese firm to buy a Massachusetts technology company. A123 Systems makes batteries for electric cars, but some in Congress are fighting to block the deal. Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR in Boston.

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Wisdom Watch
9:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Africa's Wisdom, Woes Occupy Soyinka's Existence

Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.
Glen Gratty Yale University Press

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:28 am

"First of all, it meant for me money, which I had never had."

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that being the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1986 was extremely lucky, especially for his pocket. The $290,000 in prize money gave him a life he had never dreamed of before. But that fame came with a cost.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Spain's Infamous 'Art Restorer' Hits EBay

Cecilia Gí­menez's handiwork: the Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man") fresco of Christ, left, and the "restored" version, dubbed Ecce Mono ("Behold the Monkey") at right. Now, the artist is trying her hand at selling her own art work.
AP

Cecilia Gímenez strikes again.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed December 12, 2012

'Global Chorus Of Condemnation' After North Korea's Rocket Launch

A North Korean military band performed today in Pyongyang to celebrate the country's rocket launch. Other nations, though, condemned the launch.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:52 pm

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

"The global chorus of condemnation has been loud and clear," after North Korea's successful launch of a long-range rocket that carried a satellite into space, NPR's Louisa Lim said today on Morning Edition.

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Middle East
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Protests Against Egypt's Constitution Dwindle

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's protest movement against the controversial draft constitution appears to be losing steam. The opposition had hoped to fill the streets last night with protestors, but calls to demonstrate only generated a lackluster turnout. Voting on the new constitution begins today for Egyptians living abroad. Voters in Egypt are expected to begin casting ballots on Saturday as President Mohammed Morsi plans. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has this report from Cairo.

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Europe
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Russia's Defense Shuffle May Tarnish Its Military

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:32 am

The Russian military is plagued by problems: A top heavy senior officer corps and a defense industry that churns out obsolete equipment, to name just two. Analysts in Russia say the U.S. should be worried about a weaker Russia, which may be becoming a front line in the battle against Islamist extremism.

Asia
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:45 am

Defying international warnings, North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket on Wednesday. The launch was something of a surprise because Pyongyang had indicated technical problems might delay it.

Middle East
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Obama Adds Legitimacy To Syrian Rebel Group

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:55 am

President Obama said the U.S. will recognize a newly formed Syrian opposition group as the country's legitimate representative. That will allow the group to channel international aid money into Syria as well as draw-up plans for a transitional government if the regime of Syrian President Assad falls.

The Salt
1:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:39 am

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Obama Recognizes Rebels As Legitimate Representatives Of Syrian People

Rebel fighters take part in a demonstration against the Syrian regime after Friday prayers in Aleppo on Friday.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:58 am

President Obama said Tuesday that his administration now formally recognizes the Syrian rebels who are fighting President Bashar Assad.

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Africa
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

New Draft Constitution Divides Egyptians

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery was elected to the now disbanded Egyptian parliament as a candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party. That's the party aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Egyptian President Morsi. Dr. Dardery is a member and spokesman for the Foreign Relations Committee of the party, and he's in Berlin today.

Welcome back to the program. And is it fair to say that you're among the more liberal members of the Freedom and Justice Party?

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Latin America
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Venezuela's Chavez Headed For More Cancer Surgery

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Africa
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Egyptians Stage Rival Demonstrations In Cairo

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery was elected to the now disbanded Egyptian parliament as a candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party. That's the party aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Egyptian President Morsi. Dr. Dardery is a member and spokesman for the Foreign Relations Committee of the party, and he's in Berlin today.

Welcome back to the program. And is it fair to say that you're among the more liberal members of the Freedom and Justice Party?

Read more

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