Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:28 am
As many as 50 students may be dead in Nigeria, after gunmen attacked an agricultural college's dormitories in the country's northeast. The attack, which occurred as many students slept, is being blamed on the group Boko Haram, which wants to form an Islamic state.
From The Associated Press:
"As many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba, Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture, told The Associated Press."
Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:24 am
A Saudi cleric who warned women against driving cars by saying it could harm their ovaries is facing criticism and mockery. The comments of Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaydan came a month before a planned day of disobedience, with activists encouraging women to drive — a right they do not have in Saudi Arabia.
Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:12 am
A powerful explosion has killed at least 37 people in Peshawar, Pakistan, where authorities say they suspect a car bomb was detonated in a market district near a police station. The explosion left a scene of devastation, with casualties and severe damage to nearby buildings in the city's historic Qissa Khawani market.
Katherine Walton and her five children were in Nairobi's Westgate Mall when it was stormed by terrorists last week. After four hours in hiding, several Kenyans helped them escape. I reached Katherine Walton yesterday on her cell phone in Nairobi. And I asked her when she first realized the mall was under attacked.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The massacre at Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall last week, has put the Somali-based terrorist group al-Shabab under new international scrutiny. To understand more about this group's history, its motives and capabilities, we've reached out to Peter Bergen. He's a counterterrorism expert with the New America Foundation here in Washington.
An anti-government demonstrator dressed as Batman carries a Brazilian flag at a protest during Brazil's Independence Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month. The protesters called on the government to provide better security, education, health and public services.
Credit Victor Ruiz Caballero / Reuters/Landov
Costumed students protest against the government in Santiago, Chile, in July.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:52 am
It's not Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but people are dressing up anyway.
A group of Brazilian protesters have been coming out in costume at demonstrations against Rio's governor, Sergio Cabral. There's the masked crusader Batman, of course, but also a motley assortment of other characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
In the central State of Mexico, officials are trying a new approach to fight corruption.
Authoritieshave hired hundreds of women and put them in charge of issuing all traffic violations. They're trying to crack down on the famous mordida, or bribe — a favorite among Mexico's crooked traffic cops.
Authorities say women are more trustworthy and less corrupt than men. But the plan has run into a few snags.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:53 am
When the Navy Yard mass shooting took place in Washington on Sept. 16, my 10-year-old daughter got a one line e-mail from her best friend in Nairobi, where we used to live. It read: "r u ok."
Her friend Banita had seen the news on television in Kenya. She was worried. My daughter wrote back that she was fine. We now live in Washington, but miles away from the site of the latest mass killing here in the U.S.
In this globalized world, communications can bring quick comfort.
Greek police arrested the leader of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party Saturday on charges of establishing a criminal organization. The police also issued warrants for more than 30 party members — including six members of parliament — on charges of murder, money laundering and other crimes.
Greek TV stations interrupted regular programming to show live scenes of the Golden Dawn members led away in handcuffs. It's the first time since 1974 — when a seven-year military dictatorship ended — that sitting members of parliament have been arrested.
Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 12:57 pm
In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani was both celebrated and vilified Saturday for speaking to President Obama by phone during his trip to the United Nations in New York. After Rouhani's return, crowds that gathered near Tehran's airport were divided, with many voicing their support for Rouhani. A hardliner held a sign reading, "Down with USA."
One critic threw a shoe at Rouhani's car, according to the Agence France-Presse.
Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:26 am
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has chosen a new leader. Britain's Brian Cookson beat incumbent Pat McQuaid in a contentious vote held in Italy Friday. Cookson, who led British Cycling to new heights, says he will focus on improving cycling's reputation, tarnished by years of doping scandals.
Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:35 am
Pakistanis who endured Tuesday's strong earthquake that killed hundreds of people felt another quake Saturday, as a 6.8-magnitude quake hit Pakistan's remote province of Baluchistan. The quake may also have been deadly, due to reports of collapsed mud houses.
Saturday's aftershock quake struck less than 20 miles from Tuesday's 7.7-magnitude event. And it came after survivors had already grown frustrated with the pace of relief efforts — an undertaking complicated by unrest in the area.
President Obama spoke via phone Friday with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, the first time leaders of the two countries have directly communicated since 1979. Host Scott Simon talks with Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour about what it means for U.S.-Iran relations going forward.
The United Nations Security Council has broken its two-and-a-half-year deadlock over Syria, approving a resolution on the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. The U.S. and Russia are now trying to move beyond that and will try to get the warring sides around the negotiating table in Geneva.
Kenyans are feeling helpless a week after gunmen stormed a Nairobi mall in a carefully orchestrated terrorist attack. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at what we now know about those terrorists, including claims that a British woman was among the attackers.
Al-Shabab has been around for years as a militia group fighting for territory in Somalia.
When al-Shabab militants, dressed in casual clothes, turned up in a ritzy shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last weekend and gunned down men, women and children, the group shifted from an insurgent movement to a terrorist organization.
"A week ago, al-Shabab wasn't in the news," says Bruce Hoffman, a a terrorism expert at Georgetown University and the Rand Corporation. "Arguably, outside of Somalia, no one really cared about them."
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:53 pm
Two former U.S. Army sergeants are among those facing charges in connection with an alleged international hit squad after their extradition from Thailand in a case the prosecuting U.S. attorney says reads like a Tom Clancy novel.
Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, nicknamed "Rambo," was arrested by Thai authorities after a sting operation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with Timothy Vamvakias and at least three others on the resort island of Phuket on Thursday.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:22 pm
The United Nations Security Council is considering a legally binding resolution that would require the Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons.
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. is getting what it wants in the Security Council's draft plan, which calls for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons or face consequences.
UN Security Council diplomats are working on a resolution that focuses on ridding Syria of chemical weapons. Aid groups want the UN to go further and help them open up routes to get desperately needed assistance to Syrians uprooted by the civil war. They say the paralysis on the security council has had a real costs on the ground and has added to donor fatigue.
Some two million Syrians have fled the war in their homeland. Most have sought refuge in neighboring states - Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. But some have gone farther afield to a place few would consider a safe haven, the Gaza Strip. Emily Harris has that story.
"Today society accepts the idea of improving one's image," says Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, Brazil's most famous plastic surgeon. Here a patient receives an injection of hyaluronic acid to plump up her lips at the Brazilian Society for Aesthetic Medicine in Rio de Janeiro in 2008.
Credit Sakchai Lalit / AP
The cosmetics department at a Bangkok store.
Credit Wikimedia Commons
Moving On Up:The Redemption of Ham, a 19th century painting by Modesto Brocos, portrays a dark-skinned grandmother celebrating the fact that her grandson has lighter skin.
Julie Chen had surgery to give her "double eyelids" after a news director described her "Asian eyes" as "small" and "heavy" and told her — among other choice comments — that they made her look "disinterested" and "bored" during on-air interviews.
Friends and relatives of Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancee Rosemary Wahito attended their funeral service Friday in Nairobi, Kenya. Mwangi, who was Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew, and Wahito died in the Westgate Mall attack.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:57 am
After the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus that reportedly killed more than 1,000 people and has been blamed on Bashar Assad's regime, the Syrian president's ambassador to the U.N. claimed that opposition forces had used such weapons at least three times in the days immediately after.
Good morning, I'm David Greene with the story of a very happy but long accident. Thirty-four-year-old Meredith Fitzmaurice signed up for the recent Run for Heroes Half Marathon in Ontario, Canada. Somewhere on the route, she took a wrong turn, landing on the full marathon course, 26.2 miles.
And she decided to just keep going. Fitzmaurice ended up being the first woman to cross the finish line, the 10th person overall; and she qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:56 am
Declaring that "human influence on the climate system is clear," a U.N.-assembled panel of scientists reported Friday that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."
As Syria's civil war drags on, the rebels find themselves increasingly divided. This week, about a dozen armed opposition groups broke with the U.S.-backed Syrian National Coalition, a political organization that's been the voice of the rebels in the West. Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks to Najib Ghadbian, the coalition's envoy to the United Nations.