I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, it's time for "Faith Matters." That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. In a few minutes, we will hear from an American monk who has been tapped to lead one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism, and we think you will be interested to hear of his unusual path to his current place.
The U.N. Security Council is likely next week to approve Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's recommendation that the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti be extended for one more year. The mission has been there since 2004 when a violent uprising forced the then president into exile.
The U.S. is backing its ally Turkey — saying it was right to respond by twice firing on Syrian military positions after a Syrian mortar shell killed five Turkish civilians. The U.S. hopes the Turkish action and strong U.N. and NATO statements will deter Syria from any further provocations.
Venezuelans go to the polls Sunday in an election that will decide if President Hugo Chavez remains in power. Polls indicate it's his most serious electoral challenge since taking office nearly 14 years ago, and it's mobilizing large numbers of voters in Venezuela — and in the U.S.
Nearly 20,000 Venezuelans living in Florida are registered to vote, and most arrived in the past decade, since Chavez took power. He upended the old power structure, installing a socialist government that seized property and nationalized industries.
American billionaire, casino mogul and Republican donorSheldon Adelson has a new project: a $35 billion gambling megacity in Europe. He has chosen debt-ridden Spain as the location for "EuroVegas," which is expected to bring up to 250,000 much-needed jobs.
But many Spaniards are divided over whether they want casinos in their backyard.
In Haiti, two different humanitarian groups have built new factories to make this product, which is used to treat severe malnutrition and maybe someday prevent it. The problem is, Haiti doesn't appear to need two of them. Each factory, all by itself, could satisfy Haiti's current demand.
Tensions remain high along the Turkish-Syrian border, a day after an exchange of artillery fire that left five Turkish civilians dead. The Turkish parliament has authorized cross-border operations if there are any further provocations from the Syrian side. Damascus is appealing for restraint and says it is investigating Wednesday's mortar attack on Turkey. Peter Kenyon talks to Audie Cornish.
Shehzad Roy, one of Pakistan's most popular signers, rocketed to fame in the 1990s singing sweet songs about love. He was a favorite among Pakistani elites who like to dance to secular tunes but don't otherwise rock the boat.
So those fans might be slightly shocked by the Roy of today, who has traded candy-coated pop for fiercely political songs.
How much extra would you pay for local food? It's a familiar question. We face it practically every time we shop for groceries, either at the store or at the farmers market. But what about food that can save the lives of severely malnourished children?
If you want to gain a good insight into Pakistan's economic situation, just look at a few of the country's newspaper headlines on any given day. The language says it all: prices soar, stocks plunge, budget deficit swells, foreign investment evaporates — and the list goes on.
Now, analysts are increasingly worried that the faltering economy could join Pakistan's pervasive insurgency and repeated political upheavals as another serious threat to the country's stability.
Nicole Kotovos was searching for a way to start a new life when the idea struck her: She would go to her ancestral homeland of Greece and open an American-style bakery cafe. She would bring the cupcake fad to Athens.
What she didn't figure on was the historic downturn in the Greek economy.
The former New York TV producer arrived in 2008, just as the country's debt-mired economy was falling into a deep recession it still hasn't emerged from.
When the Libyan consulate was attacked and the American ambassador killed, the immediate word from the administration was that the strike was a spontaneous reaction to a controversial film. In the immediate aftermath, Republican challenger Mitt Romney harshly criticized the Obama administration and soon found himself at the center of controversy. In the weeks since, however, the administration story has evolved and now a congressional hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week.
Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 7:41 pm
Economic sanctions have a reputation for being the international equivalent of a slap on the wrist. But in Iran, there's evidence that they are working, and that the country's flamboyant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might pay the price.
In the past year, Iran's currency has shed 80 percent of its value against the dollar, dropping by 25 percent in just the past week. That's caused a scramble for the few U.S. dollars available in the black market as people seek a safe haven against the free-falling rial.
We're following up this morning on the collapse of Iran's rial, it's currency which is leading to major developments today. Over the past week, Iran's currency has lost about 40 percent of its value or more, falling to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar, this as a result of U.S. and other sanctions against Iran. And that has led to protests and violence in the streets of Tehran today.
We're going to catch up now with Thomas Erdbrink. He's Tehran bureau chief for the New York Times. Welcome back to the program.
Parliamentary elections in Georgia, the former Soviet republic, delivered a resounding defeat for the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday. Preliminary election results showed the opposition winning 57 percent of the vote.
A day later, the president conceded defeat. In a televised address, Saakashvili said he respected the decision of the voters, and that he would clear the way for the opposition Georgian Dream party to form a new government, a move that would install opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili as prime minister.
Elections in Georgia, Ukraine and Lithuania are being closely watched in the West as a test of whether former Soviet states will shift closer to Russia. Russian president Vladimir Putin, for his part, has made political, economic and security reintegration of former Soviet republics a priority.
Pope Benedict XVI's former butler took the stand at his trial Tuesday and offered a somewhat contradictory message: He declared himself innocent of stealing papal documents, but acknowledged betraying the trust of Pope Benedict XVI.
As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, Paolo Gabriele, 46, is charged with stealing documents pointing to corruption and power struggles with the church. Prosecutors say Gabriele has confessed to giving the material to an Italian journalist, and that his motive was to expose "evil and corruption" in the church.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, can saving money now actually cost you money in the long run? We'll take a look at the effects of historically low interest rates in just a few minutes. But first, let's turn to the Middle East.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:34 am
When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren't just revolting against the monarchy's policies. They were also hungry.
From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely to break out?