World News

Middle East
2:55 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

The Middle East: A Web Of 'Topsy-Turvy' Alliances

After a week of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli soldier stands on top of a mobile artillery unit in a position near the Israel Gaza border.
Ariel Schalit Getty Images

Writing for the New York Review of Books at the beginning of November, Robert Malley, the program director for the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group, and Hussein Agha described the current situation in the Middle East:

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Asia
2:45 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Arson Suspected In Massive Bangladesh Factory Fire

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Details are still emerging in the wake of a factory fire that killed more than 100 textile workers outside the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka. Melissa Block speaks with Reuters' South Asia bureau chief, John Chalmers, about the latest from Bangladesh, where protests have raged for three days.

Middle East
2:41 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

What Will It Take To Make The Gaza Cease-Fire Hold?

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:38 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to the fragile truce between Israel and Hamas. The fighting may have stopped but a lot of work needs to be done for the cease-fire to last. In Cairo, talks are underway mediated by Egypt, on key issues such as easing the blockade of Gaza.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports those talks are being followed closely by people on land and sea.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Syrian Rebels Claim They Shot Down Fighter Jet With A Missile

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Syrian rebels claim they shot down a MiG fighter jet not far from the Syrian-Turkish border on Wednesday. Along with the downing of a military helicopter on Tuesday, it would appear to be one of the first times rebels have successfully used a kind of weapon called a MANPAD, or portable, shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile that can hit a plane in fight.

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World
12:30 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

From 'JK' To 'Eye Gunk': Taking U.S. Slang To China

In one video on her hit video blog OMG! Meiyu, Jessica Beinecke teaches slang terms like "BTW," "JK" and "whatev."
OMGMeiyu YouTube Channel

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:29 pm

One of the most well-known American women in China is someone many Americans have never heard of. Jessica Beinecke is host of Voice of America's OMG! Meiyu, an English-language learning Web show that teaches American slang expressions to Chinese students.

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World
12:23 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

All Over The Map: Cartography And Conflict

A map in China's new passports shows disputed islands and territorial waters as belonging to China, which has angered several of its neighbors.
He Yuan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 10:28 am

Alexander Murphy recalls visiting a Guatemala museum some years ago and gazing up at a huge relief map of the country. Something about the borders struck the University of Oregon geography professor as out of place.

"And then I realized, 'Wait, all of Belize is shown as part of Guatemala,' " Murphy says. That's when he remembered a decades-old territorial dispute between the two Central American neighbors.

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Latin America
9:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Can Mexico's New President Turn The Corner?

Mexico's President-elect, Enrique Pena Nieto, is promising to work closely with President Obama. Pena Nieto was in Washington this week ahead of his inauguration on Saturday. Host Michel Martin speaks with Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, and Stephen Johnson from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Salt
9:27 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Milk: Symbol Of Purity, Symbol Of Conflict

European dairy farmers spray police officers with milk during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:19 am

Food fight!

Earlier this week, European Union dairy farmers decided to protest milk price controls by spraying police with high-pressure hoses filled with milk. It certainly wasn't the first time that food has been both subject and symbol of unrest (see food riots). But this one stands out because of the dramatic images.

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The Salt
6:54 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Guerilla Cartographers Put Global Food Stats On The Map

A detail of a map from Food: An Atlas that shows sources of food found at farmer's markets in Berkeley, California.
Cameron Reed Food: An Atlas

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:51 am

For the past five months, University of California, Berkeley cartography professor Darin Jensen has been collecting maps about food. They fill the walls of his office, each one telling a different story — about meat production in Maryland, about the international almond trade, about taco trucks in Oakland. Some are local, some are regional, some are global, but in a few days they'll all be bound together between the covers of Food: An Atlas.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Wed November 28, 2012

OK, North Korea's Leader Isn't 'Sexiest Man Alive,' Chinese Media Concede

Before it disappeared from the Web: Here's how People's Daily Online packaged its coverage of the "news" that Kim Jong Un is 2012's sexiest man.
People's Daily Online (frame grab of a page that has now been removed)

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:56 am

NPR Shanghai correspondent Frank Langfitt sends in an update on one of this week's more amusing stories:

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Cairo, Tensions Still High As 'Die-Hards' Continue To Protest

This protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square last night had a message for Egypt's president.
Khalil Hamra AP

Police have fired tear gas again in Cairo's Tahrir Square as authorities try to disperse several hundred protesters who are angry over President Mohammed Morsi's controversial grab for more power.

The crowd is much smaller than Tuesday's, according to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, as well as correspondents from other news outlets.

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Middle East
5:48 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Damascus Struck By Deadly Car Bombs

Renee Montagne and David Greene report on bombs in the Syrian capital that hospital officials say have killed 34 people.

Middle East
5:48 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Morsi And The Muslim Brotherhood

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:18 am

In Egypt, protests continue in reaction to President Mohammed Morsi's decree giving himself unchecked powers, even though Morsi has said the scope of those powers is limited. Questions remain over whether Morsi's powers are actually limited and whether he'll cede them if the country gets a new constitution, as he has promised. Renee Montagne talks with Tarek Masoud from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for insight into the political crisis in Egypt.

Middle East
5:48 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Opposition Protest In Cairo A Rare Show Of Unity

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's go now to Cairo, where demonstrators swarmed Tahrir Square last night to denounce the Egyptian president's recent decision to give himself unchecked power. This was the largest protest since Mohamed Morsi became president last summer. And it was notable because Egypt's secular opposition found a rare moment of unity. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was on the square and she sent this report.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting in foreign language)

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Africa
5:48 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Rebels Take Over Key City In Congo

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:13 am

Renee Montagne talks to Jason Stearns, author of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa, about the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Stearns is in the rebel-held city of Goma.

Middle East
5:48 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Syria, Aleppo Today Is Must-See TV For Survival

Aleppo Today broadcasts are simple but relay crucial information — from tank movements to Internet connectivity — to the people who remain in the embattled northern Syrian town. It relies on a network of 70 correspondents to provide a 24-hour news stream.
Aleppo Today

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:42 am

Every day, dozens of Syrians are killed and wounded in Aleppo, Syria's financial capital. Since July, President Bashar Assad's loyalists have mounted a relentless military campaign to dislodge rebels fighting for control of the northern city. Neither side can afford to lose.

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World
3:14 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Afghan Women Make Their Mark On The Soccer Field

Former U.S. Olympian Lorrie Fair hugs Zahra Mahmoudi, the captain of the Afghan women's soccer team.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:05 am

Afghanistan first established a national women's soccer team just five years ago, and while they aren't yet World Cup material, they are making strides.

Last week, they got a little help from former U.S. Olympic soccer player Lorrie Fair, who staged a clinic in Kabul that was set up by the State Department.

Clad in her blue U.S. national team sweatsuit, Fair led the Afghan women through a series of exercises on the tennis court at the U.S. Embassy.

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World
3:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Russia, Pro-Putin Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'

Activists from the Young Guard, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been protesting the Mormon church in Russia, calling it a "totalitarian cult."
Konstantin Zavrazhin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:48 am

Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI.

The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.

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Asia
3:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Will China's First Lady Outshine Her Husband?

A famous singer, a major general in the army and an AIDS activist, Peng Liyuan is expected to take on yet another role soon: first lady of China. Peng has been married for more than two decades to Xi Jinping, China's newly anointed leader.
Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:03 am

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Europe
4:12 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

For Cyprus' North And South, A Reversal Of Fortunes

Fikri Toros, a Turkish Cypriot businessman, says his family's company struggled for years because of embargoes and a weak Turkish lira. But its fortunes have improved with Turkey's economy.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Just a few years ago, Cyprus was considered a wealthy country, though that referred mostly to the Greek Cypriots on the southern part of the divided island. When Cyprus entered the eurozone in 2008, analysts were wondering what would become of the much poorer north, which has been occupied by Turkey since a 1974 war.

Now, the Turks in northern Cyprus have the booming economy, while Greek Cypriots, crippled by exposure to ailing Greek banks, are waiting for final approval on what will be the fourth sovereign bailout of a eurozone country.

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Latin America
3:55 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Mexico's Drug War Is Changing Childhood

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Since the drug war in Mexico began in 2006, more than 50,000 people have been killed and organized crime has infiltrated, in one way or another, virtually every part of society. Many children have lost family members or become victims themselves. Cartels have also begun recruiting kids to work, often as mules. Even those young people who don't feel the drug war directly have to confront its effects on TV and at school, where bullies imitate narco-traffickers.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Arafat's Body Exhumed In Poisoning Investigation

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:37 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Africa
3:13 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Protestors In Egypt Denounce President's 'Power Grab'

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Huge crowds thronged Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on Tuesday voicing their opposition to what they see as a power grab by President Mohamed Morsi. Robert Siegel talks to Leila Fadel.

The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Brazil Claims Success In Protecting Amazon Rainforest

A truck carrying hardwood timber drives along a rural road leading to Paragominas, Brazil, on Sept. 23, 2011. The city has become a pioneering "Green City," a model of sustainability with a new economic approach that has seen illegal deforestation virtually halted.
Andre Penner AP

The pace of destruction of the Brazilian Amazon is at its lowest rate in more than two decades, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research said in a new report released Tuesday.

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The Picture Show
11:00 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Afghanistan's Love Of The Big Screen

The audience at Pamir Cinema in Kabul watches a Pakistani film
Jonathan Saruk Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:07 am

Unless you've been to Afghanistan, your imagination probably conjures up a pretty bleak picture of what has been a war-torn country for decades. Photographer Jonathan Saruk hopes to change that.

"It is important for people to know that while Afghanistan is a war-torn country with a plethora of difficult issues it must overcome," he says, "people there still live, work and occasionally try to have fun."

Movies in Afghanistan were banned under the Taliban, who ruled from 1996 until 2001, and only in recent years has there been a little renaissance in theater culture.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Protests, Clashes Build Again In Cairo

A cloud of tear gas surrounds a protester earlier today near Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:43 am

As feared, the news that "Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not given any signal that he is backing down from most of his power grab" has lead to more protests and more violence in the streets of Cairo.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Arafat's Grave Opened, Samples Taken To Be Tested For Poison

Palestinians walking in front of a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:36 am

Claims that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance before his death in 2004 are now literally being put to the test.

Arafat's grave was briefly opened today so that samples could be taken from his remains.

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Iraq
4:25 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Iraqi Businesses Feel Pinch Of Iran's Economic Woes

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We've heard about how U.S. and European sanctions on Iran have caused that country's currency to plummet and how Iran is now buying up gold and trying to dump its own currency outside its borders. Well, Iran is part of a regional economy and the falling currency is starting to hurt at least one of Iran's neighbors. NPR's Kelly McEvers sent this report from southern Iraq.

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Media
4:04 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Journalist Deaths Hit High In 2012, Report Says

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:31 am

Steve Inskeep reports on new numbers from the International Press Institute, which says 2012 has been the deadliest year for journalists since it started keeping track in 1997.

Europe
4:04 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Britain's Central Bank Picks Canadian As New Chief

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:31 am

The new head of the Bank of England is a Canadian — Mark Carney, currently Canada's central bank chief. It's the first time Britain has chosen a noncitizen to lead its central bank.

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