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