World News

Goats and Soda
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

As Ebola Cases Drop, Liberia's Soccer Fans Are Back In The Zone

At the Arsenal video club, men sit shoulder to shoulder. But some still say it's too dangerous to go in because of Ebola.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 5:13 pm

The sun has set in Liberia's eastern border town of Ganta, and the red dirt roads are humming with motorbikes and boomboxes.

As Ebola starts to lose ground in the West African country, life is slowly returning to normal. Liberia's nightlife, which stalled after officials declared a state of emergency in early August, is gradually picking up. And the hangouts where Liberians pay a small fee to watch soccer are once again packed with fans.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Postcard From Mexico: Mother Clings To Hope That Students Are Still Alive

Natividad de la Cruz Bartolo shows a picture of her son, Emiliano, one of 43 university students who went missing months ago.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:01 pm

The parents of 43 students who went missing more than two months ago in Mexico say they don't believe the government's account of what happened to their loved ones and they will continue to protest and demand justice.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Fidel Castro Awarded China's Confucius Peace Prize

Fidel Castro, seen here in July, was awarded the Confucius Peace Prize, China's version of the Nobel Prize. He was not on hand to receive the award at a ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday.
Alex Castro AP

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been awarded the Confucius Peace Prize, China's version of the Nobel Prize.

The Global Times, an official newspaper, said Castro, 88, was selected for the prize because he did not use force while dealing with international disputes, especially against the U.S. The newspaper also reported that Castro had made important contributions to eliminating nuclear weapons upon his retirement from the presidency in 2008.

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Goats and Soda
8:47 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Wilbur Goes To Work: New, Very First-Class Video On Village Life

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Last week, Wilbur Sagunaraj took NPR by storm with not one, but two video premieres. The YouTube star was taking pump baths, drinking Goli soda and — to the dismay of some readers — dunking a chicken in water.

If you missed that wild ride, no worries. Wilbur is back!

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Thu December 11, 2014

U.S. Says It Has Closed Its Final Detention Center In Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:05 am

The United States says that with the closing of its detention center at Bagram, it is no longer holding any prisoners in Afghanistan.

As Reuters puts it, the announcement was made late Wednesday and marks the end of a controversial chapter in U.S. history.

NBC News reports the U.S. gave up custody of its two final prisoners:

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Thu December 11, 2014

In Hong Kong, Police Clear Final 'Occupy' Protest Site

Hong Kong police arrest lawmaker and pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-Hung during a sit-in Thursday as police clear the main protest site in the Admiralty district.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:02 am

After months of acts of civil disobedience that at some points paralyzed Hong Kong, police cleared the final encampment of what's come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Hong Kong for two months. The protest site at Admiralty was, symbolically, the most important because it was closest to the government offices. In the end, it was also the last one standing.

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Parallels
4:10 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Brazil's Tearful President Praises Report On Abuses Of A Dictatorship

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff begins to cry as she delivers a speech during the final report of the National Truth Commission on Violation of Human Rights during the military dictatorship from 1964-1985 in Brasilia on Wednesday. She is among the thousands who were tortured during that brutal period.
Ed Ferreira/Agencia Estado Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Brazil's national truth commission on Wednesday delivered a damning report looking at the abuses committed during that country's military dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985.

The 2,000-page document details for the first time a history of arbitrary detention, torture, executions and disappearances.

Until now, Brazil has sought to bury its difficult past.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was herself tortured during Brazil's dictatorship period, broke down when she addressed the nation Wednesday. She said the report had fulfilled three important objectives.

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Goats and Soda
3:06 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Boredom On The Border Between Liberia And Guinea

The bright yellow steel truss bridge over St. John's River is the official border crossing between Liberia and Guinea. The Liberian-Guinean border has been closed since the early days of the Ebola outbreak.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

They're from the same ethnic group. They speak the same language. And they live on both sides of the Liberia-Guinea divide in the area around Liberia's eastern border city of Ganta, in Nimba County. The families straddle the border, which is not fenced.

"Right over there is the border," says businessman Prince Haward, directing our attention to some rubber farms not too far away. "Those are the rubber farms you find in Guinea."

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Africa
2:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Restrictive Government Makes Fighting Sexual Assault Hard In Egypt

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Europe
2:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

French Hostage Released After Being Held For 3 Years By Al-Qaida

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A French hostage returned to Paris today after being held for three years by al-Qaida in the Sahara. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the man's release has revived questions about whether and how governments should deal with hostage takers.

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Latin America
2:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Parents Of Missing Mexican Students Don't Believe Official Story

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Parallels
12:44 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

For Yazidi Women, Escaping ISIS Doesn't Mean The Ordeal Is Over

Many Yazidis, like the ones shown here, managed to flee the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State and made their way to relative safety, like this camp near the northern Iraqi border crossing of Zakho. However, some 5,000 Yazidis, many of them women, are still being held hostage by the Islamic State.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Barzan is a young Yazidi man, with sad blue eyes. His mother, five of his sisters and his niece are being held by the so-called Islamic State, taken when the extremist group swept through the Sinjar area of northern Iraq in August.

They are seven of some 5,000 Yazidis still being held by the extremist Sunni group. The Iraqi women are enslaved and sold for sex.

His sixth sister is home with him now. She is just 15 and she was raped. To protect her identity we're only using Barzan's first name.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Alan Rusbridger, Editor Of 'Guardian,' To Step Down

Alan Rusbridger said today that he will step down as editor in chief of the Guardian next summer. Rusbridger oversaw the U.K. newspaper's publication of Edward Snowden's leak of classified material.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:51 pm

Alan Rusbridger, best known in the U.S. for shepherding the Guardian newspaper through its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Edward Snowden's leaks of classified material, will step down as editor in chief of the British newspaper next summer. He said today he will become the chairman of the Scott Trust, which runs the Guardian.

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Goats and Soda
11:51 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Alleged Rape Of Passenger Raises Concerns About How Uber Runs Abroad

After a woman reported that she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, protesters gathered outside a police station.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Uber is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Wed December 10, 2014

S. African Prosecutors To Seek Murder Conviction Against Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police officers as he leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Oct. 17. A South African judge ruled today that prosecutors can appeal the culpable homicide verdict handed to the athlete for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Themba Hadebe AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:21 pm

Oscar Pistorius will see another day in court. A South African judge ruled today that prosecutors can appeal the culpable homicide verdict handed to the athlete earlier this year for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He will now face murder charges.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Palestinian Minister Dies In West Bank Protest Against Israel

An Israeli soldier pushes Palestinian Cabinet member Ziad Abu Ain (left) during a protest in the village of Turmus Aya near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Wednesday. Abu Ain died shortly after the protest in which witnesses said Israeli troops fired tear gas at him and dozens of Palestinians marchers. Witnesses also said Abu Ain was beaten by an Israeli soldier.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:15 pm

A Palestinian minister died today following a protest against land confiscations in the West Bank. But it's unclear what caused Ziad Abu Ain's death. Palestinian medics say he died from exposure to tear gas. Some witnesses say he was hit and shoved by Israeli soldiers; others said he was hit in the chest by a tear gas canister.

Linda Gradstein, reporting on the story for NPR's Newscast Unit, says, "There had been clashes in the area for several hours between Palestinians and Jewish settlers. Abu Ain collapsed and was taken to a nearby Palestinian hospital, where he died."

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The Two-Way
4:44 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Officials Set To Dismantle Final 'Occupy' Camp In Hong Kong

Pro-democracy activists tents are seen Tuesday on the road outside Hong Kong's Government Complex.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 10:24 am

After two-months' worth of pro-democracy demonstrations that at times paralyzed Hong Kong, authorities are warning that they will clear protesters from a campsite blocking a main road near government headquarters on Thursday.

The Admiralty protest site is the last bastion of a protest movement that has come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Reuters reports:

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National Security
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

State Department Feared Torture Report Would Spark Fury. Where Is It?

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Goats and Soda
5:44 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Why Aren't World Leaders Angrier About Violence Against Women?

Bafana Khumalo (in black jacket) carried his fight for "gender justice" to the White House today. He called on the U.S. to help fund abortions for women in other countries who've been raped.
Courtesy of Dean Peacock

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:58 pm

On this cold and rainy Tuesday, Bafana Khumalo stood in front of the White House with a controversial demand for President Obama: The U.S. should provide foreign aid to fund abortions for women who've been raped during conflicts and in other circumstances. Currently, the 1973 Helms Amendment prohibits the use of foreign aid money for abortions as "family planning." About 200 protesters joined Khumalo.

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The Salt
4:46 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

In Europe, Ugly Sells In The Produce Aisle

Intermarche/Vimeo

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:20 pm

In Europe, the ugly ducklings of the produce aisle are increasingly admired for their inner swans.

Call it the return of unsightly fruit.

Retailers (at least in Europe and the U.S.) by default now cater to the perfectionist shopper who prefers only the plump, round tomato or the unblemished apple to grace the fruit bowl. But many fruits and vegetables, while edible and nutritious, don't measure up.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

5 Interrogation Methods The CIA Used On Terrorism Suspects

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:34 am

The report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA's interrogation techniques after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, details the methods the agency used against terrorism suspects. The report says the techniques were ineffective, a point the agency disputes.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Nut Rumpus Prompts Korean Airline Exec To Apologize And Resign

Cho Hyun-ah, the daughter of Korean Air's chairman and CEO, has apologized and resigned from a position at the airline after a backlash over her kicking a steward off a recent flight. Cho was angered by the presentation of macadamia nuts.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:42 am

Cho Hyun-ah, whose family runs Korean Air, caused a stir over the weekend after she demanded that a Korea-bound jetliner return to a gate at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where it had been preparing to take off.

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Goats and Soda
12:20 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

A Case Of Mistaken Identity Sends Healthy Boy To An Ebola Ward

A health worker, wearing a personal protective equipment, returns to her ambulance on November 11, 2014 after tranporting a patient to the Hastings treatment center in Hastings, outside Freetown, the only run exclusively by locals.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

As part of Sierra Leone's broader effort to contain the deadly Ebola virus, the country opened a new ambulance dispatch center in September in the capital, Freetown. Along with a new Ebola hotline, the center is considered an important step forward in the war on Ebola.

But on the center's second day of operation, a series of errors put the life of an apparently healthy 14-year-old boy at risk.

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Parallels
12:19 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Argentina: Where Cash Is King And Robberies Are On The Rise

A newsstand owner counts Argentine pesos in Buenos Aires. Many Argentines carry large amounts of cash, saying they do not trust banks. This has contributed to a surge in robberies.
Leo La Valle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:57 am

Leonel Kaplan, an Argentine jazz musician, often has to travel abroad.

Before a recent trip to Europe, he went to a bank in Buenos Aires to change money and then went to get a haircut. Kaplan felt happy and relaxed and took the bus home after what had been an uneventful trip.

That, however, was about to change.

"As I get down from the bus, a motorcycle with two people wearing helmets cuts me off," he recalls. "One gets off and takes out a gun and says to me directly, 'Give me the 500 euros you got in the bank.' "

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Afghanistan
11:35 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Reporter In Kabul Wins Award For Courage In Journalism

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Goats and Soda
11:28 am
Tue December 9, 2014

'Ebola Must Go' — And So Must Prejudice Against Survivors

Members of the community in New Georgia Signboard greet President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Monday for the launch of the Ebola Must Go! campaign.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:55 pm

A visitor brought Ebola to the community of New Georgia Signboard this summer, and by the middle of August, people were sick with the virus.

Six people died. But it's what the community did for the six survivors in the family that brought Liberia's president to New Georgia Signboard, where she launched her Ebola Must Go! campaign on Monday

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

World Food Program Resumes Food Aid For Syrian Refugees

The U.N.'s World Food Program said today it was resuming food assistance to refugees from Syria in neighboring countries after its suspension of food vouchers earlier this month resulted in donations that exceeded the $64 million needed for the program to continue.

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National Security
3:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

As Torture Report's Release Nears, CIA And Opponents Ready Responses

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Parallels
2:40 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Facing Threats From ISIS And Iran, Gulf States Set To Join Forces

A member of the Saudi border guards mans a machine gun at the border with Iraq in July. Since the so-called Islamic State launched its offensive this summer in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has sent thousands of troops to the region.
Faisal Nasser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:17 am

Alarmed over rising threats in the Middle East and North Africa, the Gulf Cooperation Council is set to launch an unprecedented joint military command, according to regional officials and military analysts.

"At the moment, we are witnessing a new spirit," says Abdulaziz Sager, head of the Gulf Research Center, a think tank that focuses on the GCC, a six-member group of Arab monarchies.

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Global Health
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Ebola Is Down, But Not Out, In Liberia

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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