World News

Middle East
8:01 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Key Areas Retaken, Assad Reasserts Himself Over War-Torn Syria

Despite the civil war, Syria is holding a presidential election on Tuesday. President Bashar Assad is expected to win another seven-year term.

The Two-Way
6:16 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Obama Seeks $1 Billion To Boost U.S. Military Presence In Europe

President Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.
Radek Pietruszka EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 4:45 pm

President Obama said today [Tuesday] that he wants to boost the U.S. military presence in Europe amid simmering tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Syrians Head To Polls In An Election Expected To Go To Assad

In a photo released on the Syrian Presidency's Facebook page, Syrian President Bashar Assad casts his vote on Tuesday with his wife, Asma, at his side.
AP

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 9:40 am

Syrians head to the polls today in a vote that's expected to keep President Bashar Assad in power.

"The election is widely condemned as a sham by Western governments but hailed by Syria's allies Russia and Iran," NPR's Deborah Amos tells our Newscast unit. She says only residents in areas controlled by the Assad regime are allowed to vote.

Unlike in previous elections where Assad ran unopposed, there are two other names listed on the ballots — but they're little-known figures and their candidacies viewed as mostly symbolic.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

U.S. To Work With Palestinian Unity Government Despite Hamas

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Let's examine now what has changed in the Middle East. Palestinians went ahead yesterday with a plan to form a unity government. It includes Fatah, the party that recognizes Israel, and Hamas which does not. The United States says it will work with that unity government. In a moment, we'll ask Israel's ambassador to the U.S. what Israel will do. We begin with NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Israel Furious Over U.S. Decision To Work With Palestinians

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So among other things, this development exposed a disagreement between the United States and Israel. The U.S. says it wants to work with the Palestinian unity government, if possible. Israel does not.

Let's turn now to Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, who's on the phone. Embassador, welcome back to the program.

RON DERMER: Pleasure to be with you.

INSKEEP: So Israel said the U.S. is making a mistake. How are you expressing that view here in Washington?

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Parallels
5:36 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Coup Attempts And Safaris: The Ups And Downs Of Juan Carlos' Reign

People filled the main square of Madrid on Monday after King Juan Carlos' abdication was announced.
Andres Kudacki AP

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 2:02 am

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Dozens Of Haitian Migrants Abandoned Near Puerto Rico

In Leogane, Haiti, a boat-maker sharpens his machete. The 30-foot-long boats are purchased by smugglers for around $12,000 and then taken to northern Haiti to find passengers.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:39 pm

Dozens of Haitian migrants were abandoned on barren islands off Puerto Rico in three separate incidents in recent days, the latest indication of the growing smuggling problem in the Caribbean.

A total of 42 Haitians, along with five Cubans, were left on the uninhabited islands of Mona and Mantila. Smugglers had brought them from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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Parallels
4:20 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Double Rape, Lynching In India Exposes Caste Fault Lines

The gruesome gang rape and lynching of two young girls in northern India has sent shockwaves through the country and abroad. Vivendr Shakya, 21, brother of the younger victim, holds photos of both girls.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 12:42 am

A mother and grandmother's wailing rises in the garden of their cement-and-thatched home in the impoverished village of Katra Sahadatganj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They mourn two young girls who were raped and murdered a week ago.

The fresh scent of mint from nearby fields competes with the smell of cow dung baking in the sun.

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Middle East
2:22 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Palestinian Split Shows Signs Of Healing, But Israelis Aren't Pleased

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:50 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the cabinet for a unity government joining his Fatah party with Hamas. It resolves a 7-year-old split but also draws condemnation from Israeli leaders.

Europe
2:22 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

As Spain's King Steps Down, Protesters Hope He's The Last One

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The King of Spain made a surprise announcement today - he is handing off the throne. The King says he will abdicate in favor of his son and in response the streets of Madrid filled with protesters. They want a vote on their monarchy. Should the king be allowed to hand the crown to his son or should the monarchy be abolished altogether? Lauren Frayer reports from Spain.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS CHANTING)

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Parallels
1:29 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

What Syria's President Seeks From A Not-So-Democratic Election

Women walk past election posters of Syria's President Bashar Assad on a Damascus street on Monday. Despite the civil war, the election will be held Tuesday in areas controlled by Assad's government. Assad became president after his father's death in 2000 and is assured of winning a third seven-year term.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 6:27 pm

The Turkish border city of Gaziantep becomes more Syrian by the day. New waves of refugees have arrived since January. In the market, Syrian craftsmen hammer out copper pots and plates, as they did back home in Aleppo.

"We left to save our children," says Ali Abu Hassan. "The bombs come every day."

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Parallels
12:11 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

In Bowe Bergdahl's Release, As Many Questions As Answers

A sign supporting Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is seen in Hailey, Idaho, on Sunday. Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war held in Afghanistan, was flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Sunday after being freed in a swap deal for five Taliban militants who were released from the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
Patrick Sweeney Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 7:27 am

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five senior members of the Taliban has been both welcomed as well as criticized.

Here's a look at why the release of a prisoner of war, usually a cause for unalloyed celebration, is proving so divisive.

Who is Bowe Bergdahl?

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Russia's Smokers Must Take It Outside, As Ban Begins

Women smoke in a Moscow bar in May. Tough new anti-smoking rules took effect Sunday in Russia, banning smoking in bars, restaurants and other public spaces.
Alexander Utkin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:17 pm

It's now illegal to light up in Russia's bars, restaurants and other public spaces, as a national smoking ban went into effect this month. Russian officials say the ban could save 200,000 lives a year in a country known for having many heavy smokers.

In 2009, the Russian Federation consumed 2,786 cigarettes per capita, according to the Tobacco Atlas, put out by the World Lung Foundation.

From Moscow, NPR's Corey Flintoff reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Spain's King Juan Carlos Will Abdicate In Favor Of Son

Spain's King Juan Carlos signs a document in the Zarzuela Palace, planning his abdication, in this photo released by the Royal Palace. Juan Carlos will be replaced by his son, Crown Prince Felipe.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 10:54 am

This post was updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The news comes as something of a surprise: King Juan Carlos of Spain is abdicating and will be succeeded by his 46-year-old son, Crown Prince Felipe.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made the announcement at a hastily called news conference Monday, saying that Juan Carlos is "convinced that this is the best moment for a change in the leadership of state with complete normalcy," according to El Pais.

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Sports
4:52 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Corruption Allegations Surface Before World Cup Opens

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:48 am

The organization governing world soccer apparently has proof that an Asian gambling syndicate fixed World Cup matches in 2010. Steve Inskeep talks to Jere Longman of The New York Times.

Middle East
4:21 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Syrian Election Expected To Give Assad Another Term

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:48 am

Bashar Assad expects a victory in Tuesday's presidential election to grant his regime legitimacy. David Greene talks to Sam Dagher, of The Wall Street Journal, for an election preview.

Asia
3:11 am
Mon June 2, 2014

India's New Prime Minister Takes A Stand On Foreign Policy

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:48 am

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a conservative Hindu leader, defied expectations on his first day in office by holding a micro-summit with his country's principle rival, Muslim Pakistan.

Parallels
1:36 am
Mon June 2, 2014

For One Soldier At Tiananmen, A Day 'Never Forgotten'

Artist and former soldier Chen Guang stands with one of his paintings last year that depicts the scene when he helped clear Tiananmen Square as a soldier.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:15 pm

Hour after hour passed as Chen Guang stood, gun trembling in his hands, behind the doors of Beijing's Great Hall of the people, waiting for the order to clear Tiananmen Square of its student protesters.

It was 1989, and Chen was a 17-year-old soldier from a small town whose life was changed by his role in the bloody crackdown. His account offers a sharply different perspective of the events of June 3 and 4, 1989, when martial law troops fought their way into the center of Beijing, killing hundreds of people, mainly on approach roads into the square.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

What's Next For Egypt After Sisi's Win?

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 5:04 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Political Division Over Effect Of Swapping 5 Detainees For POW

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 5:04 pm

In exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. transferred five detainees from Guantanamo to Qatar. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Kabul correspondent Sean Carberry about the swap.

The Two-Way
11:07 am
Sun June 1, 2014

A Sisyphean Task Begins As 'Forget' Requests Roll Into Google

Following a European court ruling, Google is taking requests to delete personal information. At one point on Friday, the search engine was getting more than 20 requests a minute.
Jens Meyer AP

Google opened an online form this week allowing European users to request that information about their lives be deleted from the search engine.

In the first 24 hours, more than 12,000 people asked to be "forgotten."

The company was responding to a European Court of Justice ruling in May that said citizens have the right to request certain information be removed, if, for instance, the information is inaccurate or outdated.

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Middle East
10:47 am
Sun June 1, 2014

What Elections? Syrian Opposition Rejects Assad's Expected Win

A mock election poster depicts Syrian President Bashar Assad as Mafia boss Don Corleone, with token candidates kissing his hand.
Ahmed Jalal/Kafranbel Syrian Revolution

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 12:02 pm

Tuesday's elections in Syria are sure to result in another term for President Bashar Assad, even as the international community says his regime is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians.

The opposition is railing against his inevitable triumph.

At a demonstration Friday by some of the 1 million Syrians who have fled into neighboring Lebanon, the view on the election was clear.

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The Sunday Conversation
9:58 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Tiananmen Survivor Looks Back At China's 'Lost Opportunity'

Shen Tong was a 20-year-old student in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Courtesy of Teresa Lin

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

This week marks 25 years since the massacre at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In 1989, Chinese security forces conducted a widespread crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that left hundreds — some say thousands — dead. But months before the standoff, protesters saw no sign of coming violence.

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Europe
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Le Pen Victory In France Presents A Paradox For Hollande

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Far-right political parties won big in European parliamentary elections in many countries last weekend. Their victory was particularly painful in France, a founding member of the European Union, and has deepened the sense of crisis for the very unpopular Socialist president, Francois Hollande. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris.

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Parallels
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

For Many Of China's Youth, June 4 May As Well Be Just Another Day

A Chinese man who became known as "Tank Man" stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Changan Avenue just outside Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. It's an iconic image known around the world --€” except in China.
Jeff Widener AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 8:14 am

They peered at the photo blankly, leaning to take in the details.

"Is it from South Korea?" asked a student studying for a doctorate in marketing, with no flicker of recognition.

"Is it Kosovo?" a young astronomy major guessed.

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Sports
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Favela Experience, For A Taste Of Authentic Brazilian Slum Living

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you're planning to go to Brazil for the World Cup, and you don't have your hotel yet, you're probably out of luck unless you're willing to stay off the beaten path in a favela, which is the Portuguese word for slum.

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National Security
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Did Suicide Bomber Catch The 'Virus Of Jihadism' In Florida?

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 12:42 pm

A U.S. citizen who blew himself up in a suicide attack in Syria last week grew up in Florida, according to U.S. officials. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to former FBI Intelligence adviser Philip Mudd.

Europe
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Obama's Europe Trip To Mark Poland, D-Day Anniversaries

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. President Obama wrapped up a big week full of highs and lows - from his foreign policy speech at West Point to the resignation of VA secretary Eric Shinseki, and the news that the sole American POW from the Afghan war has been released.

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Afghanistan
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Taliban Release U.S. Soldier Taken Hostage In 2009

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is a WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. This morning, the only American POW of the Afghan War is a free man. Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had spent almost five years held captive by the Taliban. President Obama announced the news of his release in an address yesterday at the White House. Standing beside the president, Bergdahl's parents.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Parallels
3:06 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Panama's Canal Divides A Country Into Haves And Have-Nots

Panama has seen dramatic growth since taking over the Panama Canal in 2000 from the U.S. That prosperity can be seen in Panama City's rapidly developing skyline. However, many have not yet seen the benefits, and the country still suffers from widespread poverty.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:00 am

Jorge Quijano has one of the coolest office views in the Americas: the Pacific port entrance to the Panama Canal. The panoramic vista seems to help Quijano, who heads the Panama Canal Authority, see the bigger picture.

On the one hand, Quijano understands why Panama has run the canal so effectively since the United States handed it over in 2000.

"When the United States built the canal, it was treated like a noncommercial utility, like a water filtration plant," Quijano said in an interview at his Panama City headquarters. "We're running it as a business."

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