World News

Europe
12:58 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

German Catholics' Path To Heaven Comes With Taxes

Bavarian bishops walk in a procession to the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers near Bad Staffelstein, Germany, in May. A decree by the German bishops' conference warns that German Catholics who do not pay a state church tax will be denied sacraments.
Daniel Karmann EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:02 pm

Germany's bishops have a clear message for the country's 25 million Catholics: The road to heaven requires more than faith and good intentions; it requires tax payments, too.

Last month, German bishops warned that if members of the Catholic Church don't pay the country's church tax, they'll be denied the sacraments — including baptisms, weddings and funerals.

In increasingly secular Europe, Germany is one of the few countries where the state collects a special levy from tax-registered believers and hands it over to three organized faiths.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Taliban Say They Shot 14-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Who Exposed Their Cruelty

Malala Yousufzai on a stretcher as she was being taken to a hospital earlier today in Mingora, Pakistan.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:16 am

"Shooting attacks happen every day in Pakistan," as NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad.

But the shooting of a teenaged girl who became nationally known after she documented the Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan's Swat Valley has caused particular shock in that country, he tells our Newscast Desk.

The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue October 9, 2012

VIDEO: Australia's Prime Minister Doesn't Hold Back As She Rips Opponent

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivering her verbal takedown of the opposition.
ABCNews (of Australia)

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:59 am

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Risks Of Global Economic Slowdown Are 'Alarmingly High,' IMF Warns

In China's Anhui province, a worker unloads steel bars at a factory. A slowdown in China and other major nations threatens to pull the global economy into recession, the International Monetary Fund warns.
AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the global economic recovery "has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighs heavily on the outlook," the International Monetary Fund today warned that the probability of "recession in advanced economies and a serious slowdown in emerging market and developing economies" next year have gone up.

The fund said its research indicates the risk of those things occurring in 2013 "has risen to about 17 percent, up from about 4 percent in April 2012."

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

In Mexico: Cartel Leader May Be Dead, Key Lieutenant Captured

Sept. 1, 2010: Police stood guard by a truck containing some of the bodies of immigrants killed by members of the Zetas drug cartel in Tamaulipas state.
Jorge Dan Xinhua /Landov

"Top Zetas drug cartel leader Heriberto Lazcano has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern border state of Coahuila, the Mexican navy said late Monday."

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World
4:54 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Turks Protest Government's Hardline Against Syria

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nearly a week of attacks, back and forth across the border between Turkey and Syria is causing worry in the world's capitals, U.N. and inside Turkey itself. Turkey's leaders have been talking tough, which in turn has spurred some Turks to take to the streets in protest against a possible war with Syria. NPR'S Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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Africa
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Political Contest Plays Out In South African Court

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In South Africa, high stakes political drama is playing out in the courts and in the headlines there. A disgraced political firebrand expelled from the governing African National Congress for insubordination has worked himself back into the spotlight as a champion of striking mine workers. Julius Malema is denouncing the president, a man he once supported, as a fat cat growing rich on the backs of the masses. In turn, the rebel politician is facing money-laundering charges. From Johannesburg, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has this profile.

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NPR Story
4:27 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Palestinian Village's Beer Rocks Octoberfest

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Palestinian territories may seem an unlikely place to hold an Oktoberfest beer festival. But since 2005, one small West Bank village has been doing just that. During the festival, the village's largely Christian community swells to nearly 10 times its usual size. Thousands of visitors arrive to sample the many brands of beer produced by the local brewery. And as Sheera Frenkel reports, it also gives the territories a chance to show off a side of itself that many would not have guessed existed.

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NPR Story
4:27 am
Tue October 9, 2012

U.S., India Try To Boost Economic Ties

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a passage to India.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meet their counterparts in India today. The U.S. wants to boost economic ties with the country that it on its way to becoming the most populous in the world. Talks have been pushed forward by India's new liberalizing economic reforms.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Delhi.

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Africa
2:30 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Uganda's Leader: 26 Years In Power, No Plans To Quit

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled since 1986, speaks in January at Uganda's Makarere University in the capital Kampala. Uganda celebrates a half-century of independence next month, and Museveni has ruled for more than half of that time.
Ronald Kabuubi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:19 am

Rebel leader Joesphy Kony, head of the infamous Lord's Resistance Army, has achieved greater notoriety than any other Ugandan in the world today.

Idi Amin, who ruled the country through most of the 1970s, still stands as a symbol of African dictators who abused power and inflicted gross human rights abuses.

Yet as Uganda celebrated 50 years of independence on Tuesday, the man who has most shaped the country is far less known, at least in the West.

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Middle East
2:40 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Syria, Turkey Exchange Weekend Artillery Fire

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

More Syrian mortar fire struck inside Turkey today. That's the sixth consecutive day that Syrian artillery shells have exploded across the border. The Turkish military, once again, responded with artillery fire back into northern Syria. There is a growing international chorus of calls for restraint as this cross-border fires continues, amid fears that Turkey could be dragged into the Syrian conflict. NPR's Peter Kenyon is following the story from Istanbul.

Hi, Peter.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

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Latin America
2:35 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Chavez Wins Another Term As Venezuela's President

President Hugo Chavez waves a Venezuelan flag as he greets supporters at the Miraflores presidential palace balcony in Caracas on Sunday. Chavez won re-election and a new endorsement of his socialist project Sunday, surviving his closest race yet after a bitter campaign against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.
Fernando Llano AP

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 7:00 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has beaten his most serious political challenge in years. He defeated a young former governor handily in Sunday's presidential election. With this victory, Chavez has another six years to consolidate his socialist system in the country with the world's largest oil reserves.

It was the toughest challenge to his rule that he'd received in years — a young, vigorous candidate whose election would have ended Chavez's self-proclaimed revolution.

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Environment
2:35 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Scientists Watch Antarctica, Arctic Sea-Ice Levels

The ice covering the Arctic Ocean was at a record low, in keeping with a sharp warming trend in the far north. At the same time, the amount of the ocean around Antarctica covered by sea ice hit a record high. It's winter in Antarctica when it's summer in the Arctic. But why in a warming world is wintertime ice growing?

Business
2:12 am
Mon October 8, 2012

What's Going Wrong With China's Solar Industry?

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 2:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Which brings us to our next story. As Americans try again to heat up the solar industry, let's get an update on the competition. We reported last week on the West Coast solar power company that is trying to succeed where companies like Solyndra famously failed. American companies have struggled because they've been undermined by cheap imports from China. So it is meaningful to note that China's solar power industry is a mess.

We're going to talk about that with Beijing-based economist Patrick Chovanec. Welcome back to the program.

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World
1:07 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Piecing Together 'The World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle'

Roland Jahn, a former East German dissident, is now Germany's federal commissioner of the Stasi archives. His agency is painstakingly piecing together the shredded documents of the former East German secret police. Jahn is shown here in March 2011 at a former Stasi prison at Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 2:35 am

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, frantically tore up millions of files gathered during decades of spying on its own citizens.

More than two decades later, the vast array of secret papers collected by the Stasi is still in huge demand. So far this year, 70,000 people have applied for access to the Stasi archives.

Many are young Germans — some searching for information about relatives, others just eager to know more about their country's past.

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Latin America
2:51 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Venezuela Election Critical Test For Divided Nation And President Chavez

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 5:43 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Thousands of Venezuelans turned out to vote today in a presidential election that pits longtime leader Hugo Chavez against a younger, more moderate rival in Enrique Capriles. Chavez, the fiery left-wing leader, has irritated Washington with his anti-American rhetoric, but he's also won support among many poor Venezuelans for his social programs.

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World
2:51 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Cricket Star Imran Khan Leads Anti-Drone March Into Volatile Pakistan Region

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 5:43 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

We turn now to Pakistan where a big motor convoy has been snaking across the map. It was led by Imran Khan, a former cricket star who is now a top politician. Khan and his supporters set out yesterday from the capital Islamabad and headed for South Waziristan in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. The plan was to hold a demonstration there against U.S. drones. But as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, it didn't work out that way.

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World
12:22 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Stateless And Stranded On American Samoa

Mikhail Sebastian lived in Los Angeles before his fateful trip to American Samoa.
Courtesy Mikhail Sebastian

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 8:14 am

For many of us, no matter where we go, we'll always have a home. We'll always be from somewhere. But what if that somewhere no longer existed?

That is the strange position in which Mikhail Sebastian finds himself. Officially, he is from nowhere and has nowhere to go. The 39-year-old is stateless and stranded on American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the South Pacific.

Sebastian is an ethnic Armenian born in what is now Azerbaijan, but back then was part of the Soviet Union. When war broke out in the late 1980s, Sebastian says his aunt was stoned to death and he fled.

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Europe
5:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Scottish Dialect's Last Speaker Dies

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the tiny fishing village of Cromarty on the tip of Scotland's Black Isle, the last speaker of the local dialect has died. Bobby Hogg was 92 years old when he passed away last week, taking with him a language that had existed for some 600 years. Here's a snippet of Mr. Hogg speaking with his brother Gordon who died last year about acting out in school.

BOBBY HOGG: (Foreign dialect spoken)

GORDON HOGG: (Foreign dialect spoken)

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Europe
5:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

French Bees Produce Mysterious Technicolor Honey

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's been some funny honey coming out of the northeastern region of France lately. Beekeepers there have been complaining that their hives are producing a Technicolor product - mysterious shades of blue and green. The keepers began noticing in August that their bees were returning to their hives carrying bright substances. Their investigation determined that a nearby bio-gas plant has been processing waste from a factory about 60 miles away that produces M&Ms.

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Solve This
4:06 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Afghanistan Deadline Awaits Next U.S. President

Afghan children run to school on Sept. 24. Whoever takes over as the next U.S. president will have to determine how many troops will remain after the December 2014 deadline to help with long-term security.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:24 am

How does a president bring the war in Afghanistan to an end? There are 68,000 American troops serving in the country as the war enters its 12th year.

The war hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign, and polls show American voters are tiring of the war. But the next commander in chief will find the Afghan war among the most difficult of many foreign policy challenges.

Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney appear to agree on a date: the last day of December 2014. That's when the Afghan security forces are scheduled to takeover.

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Asia
5:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Former Cricket Star Leads Pakistan Drone Protest

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We spoke with Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan's Justice Party yesterday. We contacted him at his home in Islamabad before he set off on his march to protest drone attacks. Mr. Khan, thank you very much for being with us.

IMRAN KHAN: My pleasure.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Why are you leading this march?

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Asia
5:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Convoy Procession In Pakistan Protests Drones

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A mass protest is underway in Pakistan against CIA drone strikes. It is lead by one of Pakistan's top politicians, the former cricket star Imran Khan. Mr. Khan is leading a huge convoy, hundreds of people in dozens of vehicles, from the capital Islamabad to the tribal area along the Afghan border. He says he's on a peace mission.

Now, in a moment, we'll hear from Mr. Khan. But first, NPR's Philip Reeves has this report from the start of the convoy in Islamabad.

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Latin America
5:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Chavez's Socialism At Stake In Venezuelan Election

A picture of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was on display this week at a state-run market that provides subsidized food and basic goods in Caracas.
Eitan Abramovich AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:17 pm

On Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faces his most serious election test in 14 years of power. Though he has easily beaten his adversaries in the past, Chavez now confronts a 40-year-old former governor who has been electrifying the crowds.

The stakes are high. If Chavez loses, it could mean the end of his socialist experiment in the oil-rich nation.

In speech after speech, Chavez is like the Chavez of old — bombastic, loud, defiant, with grand dreams about projecting Venezuelan influence worldwide.

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Asia
3:58 am
Sat October 6, 2012

U.S. Drones Navigate Murky Legal Path In Pakistan

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones in Pakistan for years. The Pakistanis initially claimed the drone attacks as the work of their own military, but the strikes have become a source of friction.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:15 pm

The U.S. has been carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan for some eight years, but it's done so under a policy that has emerged piecemeal over that time.

"It started in 2004, when drones were really an oddity," says Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was on the State Department's policy planning staff when it all started during the Bush administration.

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Middle East
3:56 am
Sat October 6, 2012

A Whitewashed Wall Erases Egypt's Revolution

An Egyptian man waves a bullet casing in front of a mural that was painted on a recently whitewashed wall in Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:43 pm

A massive graffiti mural in Cairo's Tahrir Square documenting the political turmoil in Egypt was whitewashed earlier this month. The next night, several hundred artists and supporters were back, covering the wall in new images and anti-government slogans.

Medical student and painter Doaa Okasha, 20, was outraged when she found out the original mural was gone.

"It's our history there. This wall explains a lot of what happened in the last months, and it's very important to us," she says. "They easily come and erase everything, and we don't accept that."

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National Security
2:48 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Terrorism Suspects Face Extradition To U.S.

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In Britain, the radical cleric Abu Hamza has lost his final battle to avoid extradition to the United States. Britain's high court judges ruled today that Hamza and four other suspected terrorists must now be sent to the U.S. to face trial on terror charges related to al-Qaida. That ends a legal battle that, in Hamza's case, has lasted nearly 14 years. Vicki Barker reports from London.

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Africa
2:37 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Benghazi Attack Raises New Questions About Al-Qaida

U.S. authorities are investigating whether al-Qaida played a role in last month's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Here, a damaged vehicle sits outside the consulate one day after the attack.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:07 pm

For the past decade, al-Qaida has been a top-down organization.

Letters seized at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan showed that he was a hands-on manager, approving everything from operations to leadership changes in affiliate groups.

But there's early intelligence that al-Qaida may have had a small role in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11.

If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it may signal that al-Qaida has changed.

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World
11:20 am
Fri October 5, 2012

War And Violence On The Decline In Modern Times

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 1:37 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Suicide bombers explode themselves in the heart of Damascus; tens of thousands killed in that Syrian civil war and counting; the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans murdered in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11; in Minneapolis, a gunman kills four people at a local post office before shooting and killing himself; just a few of the recent headlines from a world seemingly afflicted by war and violence.

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Faith Matters
9:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Dalai Lama Appoints American To A Top Post

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we want to take a look at a different faith, Tibetan Buddhism. And if you wanted to predict just who the Dalai Lama might select to lead one of the faith's most important monasteries, you probably wouldn't think about a boarding school educated, globe-trotting New York photographer whose grandmother was one of the most celebrated fashionistas of her time, but that's just who the Dalai Lama did select, saying his, quote, "special duty is to bridge Tibetan tradition and the Western world," unquote.

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