World News

World
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Russia To Go It Alone On Nuke Disarmament

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:14 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Well, this past week, the Russian government announced that it is dropping out of the program.

NPR's Mike Shuster has more on the consequences.

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Europe
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Cyprus' Divided Capital A Last Vestige Of War

At the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia, Cypriots must show a passport to cross the border between the Turkish North and the Greek South.
Petros Karadjias AP

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 5:32 pm

There is one corner of the European Union where a kind of war still rages.

Nicosia, on the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, is the last divided capital city in Europe. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, taking over the northern part of the island — including half of the capital.

History teacher Maria Chrysanthou says she's blunt with students who ask her if the two sides of Cyprus — one Greek-speaking and Christian, the other Turkish-speaking and Muslim — will ever be united.

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Europe
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession

Supporters of independence for Catalonia gather in Barcelona on the Spanish region's national day, on Sept. 11.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 8:17 pm

On a recent day in Barcelona, the capital of northeast Spain's Catalonia region, José Maria Borras and his lifelong friend Antonio Canosa sip coffee in the same square where they went to grade school.

The two retirees — both in their mid-60s — grew up under Spain's military dictator Francisco Franco, who prohibited the Catalan language, festivals and any talk of independence.

"It's been a long struggle for freedom," Borras says. "Back in those years, if you were in this very schoolyard speaking Catalan you'd be punished."

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World
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

New French President Sees Popularity Crash

Just a few months ago, supporters rallied in the streets for the election of Francois Hollande. Now, some of the same people are protesting against the French president. Leftist parties and unions organized this anti-austerity protest in September.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 3:47 pm

Just five months after electing President Francois Hollande, many French are now despairing that he cannot deliver on the vision they voted for. What's worse, some wonder if Hollande has a plan at all.

The new president's ratings have plummeted, and his once-lauded "steady approach" is now perceived as dithering.

Protesters shouting "Resistance!" in the streets of Paris this month included people who voted for him and now feel betrayed. They were demonstrating against the European fiscal treaty, approved this week by the Socialist-dominated French parliament.

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Technology
4:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

One Child, One Laptop ... And Mixed Results In Peru

Students use a laptop at the Jose Maria public school in a shantytown on the outskirts of Lima, Peru on June 8. Peru has sent more than 800,000 laptop computers to children across the country, one of the world's most ambitious efforts to leverage digital technology in the fight against poverty. Five years into the program, there are doubts about its success.
Karel Navarro AP

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 8:15 am

Five years ago, Peru plunked down $200 million on more than 800,000 low-cost laptops to distribute to schoolchildren. The purchase was part of the global One Laptop Per Child initiative that aimed to end poverty with computers.

But now there are a lot of questions about how successful Peru's effort has been, especially in rural areas like the village of Lacachi.

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World
3:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Do Chinese Tech Firms Pose U.S. Security Threat?

Staff and visitors walk past the lobby at the Huawei office in Wuhan, China. Beijing has urged Washington to "set aside prejudices" after a draft congressional report said Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE were security threats that should be banned from business in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have become major players in the global telecommunications market. This week the House Intelligence Committee issued a report that could interrupt that growth. The committee warned American companies not to do business with two of China's main telecom manufacturers, saying they posed a security threat.

Huawei Technologies is the miracle story of the Chinese high-tech industry, says telecommunications consultant Roger Entner.

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Presidential Race
3:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Ryan Attacks Biden On Libya Post-Debate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

One day after Congressman Paul Ryan debated Vice President Joe Biden, Mitt Romney took to the campaign trail in Virginia and Ohio.

Middle East
3:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

American Documented Syria's War From Inside

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Obaida Hitto is 25 years old. He's from Murphy, Texas, although he was born in Indianapolis. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, Dallas. In May, Hitto put thoughts of attending law school on hold and he went to the country where his father was born, Syria. He went to the city of Deir al-Zour in the east of the country and he took up with a brigade of the Free Syrian Army, the rebel force opposing the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. He carried a camera, not a gun.

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World
3:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

European Union's Nobel Win Raises Eyebrows

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Michael Leigh, senior adviser to German Marshall Fund in Brussels. They discuss how the European Union was formed to prevent another war in Europe. The Nobel committee in Oslo named the EU the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

Law
3:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

MS-13 Gang Now A 'Transnational Criminal' Group

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

Audie Cornish talks with David S. Cohen, Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, for more about the gang MS-13's new designation as a transnational criminal organization.

NPR Story
2:41 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Cemetery For Hezbollah Martyrs Continues To Grow

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 6:29 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. In a cemetery in Beirut, Lebanon, new graves are appearing more frequently than usual. This isn't just any cemetery. It's where the martyrs of Hezbollah are buried. The Shiite militant group is backed by the governments of Iran and Syria. While it's not clear where these latest martyrs were killed, members of Syria's opposition accuse the group of sending fighters into their country to help its embattled government.

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National Security
1:40 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Russia No Longer Wants U.S. Aid To Secure Nukes

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has been backing away from U.S. aid. Russia now says it does not want to extend a U.S. assistance program that has helped secure and dismantle nuclear weapons dating to the Soviet era. The program has been in place for two decades and has been considered a big success.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm

When the Soviet Union splintered two decades ago, one of the biggest U.S. worries was how to ensure that the vast Soviet arsenal of nuclear weapons was kept secure.

The American response was the Cooperative Threat Reduction program of 1992. The U.S. provided money and expertise to lock down and track weapons of mass destruction and make sure they stayed out of the hands of rogue regimes or terrorists.

The program has been hailed as a great success, with thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons dismantled over the years.

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World
9:58 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, And Now The EU?

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This morning, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize and they chose the European Union.

THORBJORN JAGLAND: The European Union is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and (unintelligible) social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result, the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.

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The Salt
6:48 am
Fri October 12, 2012

The Secret To Genius? It Might Be More Chocolate

A Swiss cardiologist plots a cheeky graph that shows a country's chocolate consumption may predict its chances of winning a Nobel.
John Loo Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Nerds, rejoice! It's Nobel season — the Oscars for lab rats, peacemakers and cognoscenti alike. Every fall, big thinkers around the world wait for a middle-of-the-night phone call from Sweden, dreaming of what they might do with the $1.2 million prize.

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Asia
2:23 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Nobel Literature Prize Sparks Some Controversy

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 4:30 am

There's been celebration in China, after the Nobel literature prize was awarded to Chinese author Mo Yan. This is the first Nobel given to a Chinese not in exile or prison, and the author's relationship with the Chinese government has sparked criticism.

World
2:23 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Announced Friday

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next, let's follow up on today's surprise winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In effect, it went to most of a continent, the European Union. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it was a decision that was long overdue considering the EU's role in advancing and maintaining peace since World War II. Here's the chairman of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland.

THORBJOERN JAGLAND: The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform most of Europe from a continental war to a continental peace.

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Africa
2:23 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Egyptian Women Worry Constitution Limits Rights

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

An assembly dominated by Islamists is drafting a new constitution for Egypt. And controversy has broken out over a section on women's rights. The draft article guarantees equality between men and women, but only if it does not contradict the rules of Islamic law. Merrit Kennedy in Cairo reports that some women are asking what this mean, especially under a government-led by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

GROUP: (Chanting in foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Africa
1:25 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Forest People Return To Their Land ... As Tour Guides

In 1991, the Batwa forest people of Uganda were evicted from their land when two national parks were created to protect the shrinking habitat of the endangered mountain gorilla. A new program is trying to help them earn money and reconnect with their roots.
Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:55 pm

Like other hunter-gatherers of Central Africa who've been cast out of their jungle homes, when the Batwa forest people of southwest Uganda lost their forest, they lost their identity.

The Batwa were evicted from their rain forest kingdom in 1991, when two neighboring national parks, Mgahinga and Bwindi, were created to protect shrinking habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla.

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Middle East
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Turkey-Syria Tensions High After Plane Is Diverted

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

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Books News & Features
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Nobel-Winning Chinese Writer Inspired By Faulkner

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. This year's Nobel prize for literature was announced today. It went to Chinese writer Mo Yan. The Swedish academy praised what it called Mo's hallucinatory realism. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, Mo's work is also brutal, raunchy, funny and, unlike many Nobel literature laureates, relatively well known.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Mo Yan is probably best known for writing what would become the movie "Red Sorghum."

(SOUNDBITE OF TRUMPET BLOWING)

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Art & Design
3:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Satirical Art Brings Levity To London's Underground

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There's a new guerilla art form in London. As Vicki Barker reports, it is intended to bring some levity to the Underground.

(SOUNDBITE OF LONDON UNDERGROUND TRAIN ANNOUNCEMENT)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The next station is Holborne. Change here for the Picadilly line.

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Asia
12:42 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Shooting Foreshadowed By Taliban Threats

Malala Yousafzai is treated in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, after she was shot on Tuesday.
ISPR EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:00 pm

A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.

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Middle East
12:22 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Concerns Build Over Violence In Syria

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Columbus, Ohio, today. over the past week, the crisis in Syria deepened as the conflict spilled across the border with Turkey. While stray rounds from the civil war landed on Turkish soil from time to time, Ankara chose to look the other way until a mortar bomb struck a house last Friday and killed five civilians, including women and children.

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The Salt
10:58 am
Thu October 11, 2012

100 Years Ago, Maillard Taught Us Why Our Food Tastes Better Cooked

A tower of profiteroles like this one, known as croquembouche, was created in France to celebrate Maillard, the man credited with identifying a key reaction in food science.
Gavin Tapp via Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:36 pm

A few hundred scientists gathered in the small French city of Nancy recently to present scientific papers related to a chemical reaction. Now that may seem a bit humdrum and hardly worth mentioning in The Salt, but in this case, it isn't.

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Europe
10:25 am
Thu October 11, 2012

With A Database, Germany Tracks Rise Of Neo-Nazis

Neo-Nazis and their sympathizers march on Feb. 13 to commemorate the World War II firebombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied planes. Concerns about far-right extremism have grown in Germany after the discovery last year of an extreme far-right cell believed to have carried out a decade-long crime spree, including the murder of 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers, bank robberies and bombs.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

The spread of neo-Nazi influence in Germany came to light fully last year with the shocking discovery of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell responsible for the worst right-wing violence since World War II.

At least nine people of migrant origin were murdered, and there were bomb attacks and bank robberies.

In response, Germany last month established the first centralized neo-Nazi database, similar to those that existed for decades for Islamic and leftist extremists.

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Middle East
10:07 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Exile Defends Unity Of Syrian Opposition

Tensions are heating up between Syria and Turkey, as rebels and regime troops continue to battle it out. Host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict can spill over with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International and Radwan Ziadeh of the Syrian National Council, a coalition of exiles opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Books
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Nobel Prize For Literature Announced Thursday

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:22 am

Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.

Afghanistan
1:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Afghan Dreams: In New Film, Nation's Untold Stories

American director Sam French on the set of his short film, Buzkashi Boys, which was filmed in Afghanistan.
David Gill Courtesy of Afghan Film Project

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:59 am

When you hear the term "film premiere," you are likely to think of Hollywood or New York — not Kabul. But just last week, an award-winning short film was screened in the Afghan capital, and for a good reason: The movie was shot entirely in Kabul and tells the story of two Afghan boys dreaming about their future.

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Europe
1:26 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Vatican II: A Half-Century Later, A Mixed Legacy

Thousands of faithful Catholics carry torches in a procession in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on Oct. 11, 1962, the opening day of the historic Second Vatican Council. Over a three-year period, more than 2,000 bishops from around the world issued 16 landmark documents, which championed a more inclusive, less hierarchical and open church.
Girolamo Di Majo AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:23 am

At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.

Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.

As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.

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Europe
2:49 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Irish Bill Could Prevent Thousands Of Foreclosures

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to Ireland where the government is likely to pass a new law called the Personal Insolvency Bill. The legislation is meant to help people who are struggling to pay their mortgages by, in part, forgiving some of the debt that they owe to banks. It could prevent tens of thousands of foreclosures across the country, and here to tell us more about it is Charlie Weston, personal finance editor of The Irish Independent who joins us from Dublin. Welcome to the program.

CHARLIE WESTON: Thank you.

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