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.
From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Barton Gellman on the NSA
"The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks," The New York Times reports.
Indian women dance around a bonfire as they celebrate Lohri festival in Jammu, India, Monday. Lohri is a celebration of the winter solstice in India.
Credit Channi Anand / AP
Dancers perform near a bonfire as they celebrate the Lohri festival in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on Monday. Lohri marks the culmination of winter in many parts of northern India and is celebrated on Jan. 13.
Credit Ajay Verma / Reuters/Landov
Singers take part in the Lohri festival in New Delhi, which marks the end of winter.
Secretary of State John Kerry is attending a donors conference in Kuwait to try to raise money for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Millions of people have been forced from their homes and the U.N. has struggled to gain access to many parts of the country.
Among those calling for the U.S. to take in more Syrian refugees is the International Rescue Committee.
SHARON WAXMAN: Enabling people to go home and rebuild their lives is always the first, second and third priority. But in many cases, there are Syrians - as there have been in other civil war situations - who will not be able to return home.
MONTAGNE: That's the group's vice president for public policy, Sharon Waxman. Her group says the U.S. could comfortably accept thousands more Syrians fleeing that civil war.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:01 pm
Reports of white smoke from a battery compartment have temporarily grounded a Boeing 787 in Japan, nearly a year after all the new airliners were grounded owing to a problem with batteries overheating. Today's incident happened on an airliner at Tokyo's Narita Airport that had no passengers aboard.
It was during a preflight checkout that a mechanic saw smoke emerging from the underside of a Japan Airlines 787, according to Japan's NHK TV News
The Arab Spring that brought those changes to Egypt began in Tunisia, exactly three years ago today. Tunisians overthrew their dictator, prompting a wave of uprisings across the region. But three years on, lawmakers are still struggling to ratify a new constitution and lay the foundations of their country's future. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in Tunis and sent this report.
The U.S. and Afghanistan are locked in a standoff over a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014. That's when the NATO mission there ends. Analysts say part of the reason the two countries can't close the deal is because they just don't understand each other.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds up a pair of Idaho potatoes as a gift for Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, standing right, at the start of their meeting at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris on Monday.
Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
An assistant shows the block with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a 2009 meeting in Geneva.
Credit Fabrice Coffrini / AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin plays with his dogs Buffy (right) and Yume at his residence Novo-Ogariovo, outside Moscow on March 24, 2013. Bulgarian shepherd dog Buffy was presented to Putin by his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov, while Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda offered Putin the puppy Yume as a gift during the G20 in Mexico in June.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:02 pm
India's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition Wednesday against one of its own retired judges over allegations that he sexually harassed a former intern — the second such case to be made public in as many months.
The alleged incidents have cast a cloud over the country's highest court and pressure has mounted for it to comply with its own 1997 rulings requiring panels in the workplace to hear harassment complaints. Critics say such a panel for the Supreme Court itself is long overdue.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second right, stands with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, left, Minister of International Relations Yuval Steinitz, second left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni at Netanyahu's office on May 23, 2013, in Jerusalem.
A Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 1. Official British documents released Tuesday suggest the U.K. helped India plan the deadly 1984 raid on the shrine where militants had holed up.
Thirty years ago, the Indian government was trying to suppress a bloody separatist rebellion by Sikh militants. Then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the army to raid the Golden Temple to remove militants holed up in Sikhism's holiest shrine. The move cost her her life, and its repercussions are still felt in Indian politics.
Civilians who fled the recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan compound, in the provincial capital of Bentiu, west of Malakal, on Sunday.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:34 pm
At least 200 refugees, mostly women and children, have drowned in South Sudan after a ferry sank as they were trying to cross the Nile River to escape fighting near the northern town of Malakal.
Army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the group was in an "overloaded" boat. The New York Times, which places the number of dead at between 200 and 300, reports that it is the worst such ferry accident to date as tens of thousands of residents have sought refuge.
Pope Francis continues to shake things up this week in the Catholic Church. Renee Montagne talks with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter about what the new appointments say about the direction the Pope is leading the church.
Tunisians wave their national flag and shout slogans on Tuesday in the capital, Tunis, as they attend a rally marking the third anniversary of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Credit Fethi Belaid / AFP/Getty Images
Parliament member Moez Belhaj Rhouma holds a copy of Tunisia's draft constitution, on Jan. 3 in Tunis. Lawmakers spent two years writing the new constitution, which is expected to receive final approval this week.
Egyptians go to the polls over the next two days to vote on a draft constitution. The military-backed government is pushing for a "yes" vote amid indications that military chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will soon announce his intention to run for the presidency.
Though most people rely on cellphones, not pay phones these days, the telephone boxes aren't obsolete. During an art exhibit in summer 2012, artist Benjamin Shine transformed one into a work called <em>Box Lounger,</em> on display here in Central St. Giles in London.
Credit Dave Catchpole/Flickr
The most photographed phone booth in London sits in front of Big Ben. The number of beloved crimson "telephone boxes" in the United Kingdom has fallen sharply in recent years, from 92,000 in 2002 to just 48,000 now.
Credit Ari Shapiro / NPR
An ATM has been installed in this phone box in Stratford-Upon-Avon, shown here on Aug. 12, 2012.
Russia's Soviet days are well behind it, but if you're headed to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, your dining options will still run deep red — as in borscht.
Organizers in Sochi expect to serve 70,000 gallons of this Russian staple — a hearty soup whose color comes from beets — to spectators. Borscht has graced both the high table of the Kremlin and the lowly tables of peasants across the former Soviet Union.
It was a violent weekend in Mexico's western state of Michoacan. Clashes erupted between so-called civilian defense groups and the Knights Templar drug cartel. The civilian defense group says Mexico's security forces are not protecting people from cartel kidnappings, murder and extortion. Among these groups, one man in Michoacan has risen to become a popular leader. He had immigrated to California but recently returned to his hometown. He found it had been overtaken by criminals and drug traffickers.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
In just a week, the U.N. plans to hold Syrian peace talks in Switzerland. In the meantime, the U.S. is leaning hard on opposition leaders to attend and talk face-to-face with a government they've been fighting hard to topple. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in meetings for the past two days in Paris, laying the groundwork for the conference.
Egyptians walk under a billboard with Arabic that reads, "yes to the constitution, Egyptians love their country," in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 11. Many Egyptians say there is no real choice in the country's referendum on a new constitution.
Credit Amr Nabil / AP
Cairo University students, who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, protest in front of security forces in Cairo on Jan. 10. The government has outlawed Morsi's political party and declared it a terrorist group.
Credit Mohammed Bendari / APA /Landov
A man carries a box full of voting ballots on Jan. 13 outside a school in Cairo that will be used as a polling station during the constitutional referendum this week.
Egyptian voters go the polls Tuesday and Wednesday in a constitutional referendum. The vote comes at a time Egypt is witnessing what many analysts call a full-blown counterrevolution. While the country remains dangerously polarized, the space for dissent is closing. The government continues a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, but now it's also targeting the youth activists whose names and faces are synonymous with the 2011 revolution.
Russian police officers detain a gay-rights activist during a protest outside the Winter Olympics organizing committee office in Moscow. Clashes over gay rights put NBC in a difficult position: Olympic officials insist that the games should not be politicized, while activists push the network to report on the issue as a journalistic enterprise.
The Winter Olympics next month, held in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, should provide mesmerizing athletic spectacle on ice and snow. But each Olympics also affords a brief global platform for dissidents in host countries to get the attention of the world — primarily through the media. And the exclusive American broadcaster, NBC, is coming under pressure to do more on behalf of gay rights and journalists there.