World News

Europe
3:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Sochi Games Showcase Putin's Hopes And Fears

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The 2014 Winter Games officially kick off today. And we're going to spend a few minutes to talk about the driving force behind them, Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's been in power since Russia began bidding for the games back in 2005, and he's made it a mission to bring them to Sochi. NPR's Corey Flintoff is on the line with us from Sochi to talk about why these games are so important to the man at the top. Hi there, Corey.

COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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Middle East
3:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Iran's President Rouhani Gets The Benefit Of The Doubt, For Now

Female supporters of Hassan Rouhani, then an Iranian presidential candidate, chant slogans during a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on June 8, 2013. Rouhani has embarked on a diplomatic outreach program since taking office.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

As Iran prepares to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, it's not hard to find evidence of its much analyzed devotion to martyrdom, especially around this holiday.

It's also not hard to find chants of "Death to America." Just drop by the massive Mosalla Imam Khomeini mosque for Friday prayers.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Virginia Textbooks To Recognize S. Korea's 'East Sea' Claim

Virginia House Delegate Mark Keam talks to supporters after the passage of Virginia House Bill 11 in Virginia State Capital in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday.
Jay Paul Reuters/Landov

Listen up, students of Virginia, this question could be on your next geography quiz: What is the name of the major body of water located between Japan and the Korean peninsula?

If you said Sea of Japan, you're only half right. It's also called the East Sea.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ex-State Dept. Contractor Will Plead Guilty For Leaks To Fox News

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 1:57 pm

Stephen Kim, a former State Department contractor who leaked classified material to Fox News, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of secret government information, his lawyer told U.S. District judge on Friday.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:

"Under a deal with prosecutors Kim has agreed to serve 13 months in prison but the agreement must be approved by a judge. If the deal is approved the investigation will end - meaning no more charges against anyone else including Fox reporter James Rosen."

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

First Evacuees Leave Syrian City Of Homs

Two men, who were among about 80 civilians evacuated on Friday, look out from a bus in the Syrian city of Homs.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

Three buses brought 83 people — most of them older men — out of the center of the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Friday, Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick McDonnell tells All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Oldest 'Out Of Africa' Human Footprints Found On British Coast

The Happisburgh site in Norfolk, Britain, where the earliest evidence of human footprints outside Africa has been found on the Norfolk Coast.
Martin Bates/British Museum EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:09 pm

The oldest human ancestors to have walked on the British Isles left nothing except footprints. But they've made quite an impression on the world of science.

Researchers say 50 or so prints found on a beach near the village of Happisburg in Norfolk are the oldest known human footprints outside Africa. They were discovered last spring by a team of experts from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University of London.

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Barbershop
10:07 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Is George Zimmerman On A Road To Perdition?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland, Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor of The Islamic Monthly, with us from Chicago. Here in Washington D.C., contributing editor for The Root, Corey Dade. Also here in D.C., TELL ME MORE editor Ammad Omar. Take it away, Jimi.

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World
10:07 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Russia Hopes Sochi Ceremonies Stop 'Toilet Tweeting'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So we're staying in the world of sports because today marks the official opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. And because we're going to be spending so much time watching events from Sochi in the next couple of weeks, we thought it would be fun to learn more about Sochi - the region, the history and to try to learn about some of the pageantry we will be witnessing. So we have called Jennifer Eremeeva.

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Parallels
9:44 am
Fri February 7, 2014

A Fairy Tale Gone Wrong: Spain's Princess Accused Of Fraud

Inaki Urdangarin, the husband of Spain's Princess Infanta Cristina, is accused of embezzling millions of dollars. The princess is scheduled to appear in court Saturday to face allegations of tax fraud.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:35 am

It seemed like a fairy-tale romance. The Spanish king's youngest daughter, Infanta Cristina, went to the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta and fell in love with a handsome Spanish aristocrat-turned-Olympian, Iñaki Urdangarin. A year later, King Juan Carlos walked his daughter down the aisle.

Through marriage, Urdangarin got a royal title — the Duke of Palma — and carried his bride over the threshold of an $8 million mansion in Barcelona.

But the fairy tale has since unraveled.

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The Edge
8:59 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: As It Happened

Ooops: The fifth Olympic ring fails to deploy in the early moments of the Opening Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:17 pm

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

American WWII Bomb Unearthed, Defused In Central Hong Kong

Firemen are seen near the site where a World War II-era bomb weighing a ton was discovered in Hong Kong on Thursday.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 1:22 pm

A 2,000-pound bomb dropped on Japanese-occupied Hong Kong by an American bomber during World War II has been defused after it was unearthed at a construction site in the city's central Happy Valley district.

Some 2,200 Hong Kong residents were evacuated from apartment buildings around the site where the massive explosive was found. Police bomb squads moved in, carefully, to dismantle the bomb. Authorities said it was simply too big to explode in place, which is usually the safest option in such circumstances.

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Middle East
3:14 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Civil War Puts Syria's Cultural Heritage In Peril

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Middle East
2:58 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Syrian Activists Say Al-Qaida Stole Their Revolution

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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The Edge
1:23 am
Fri February 7, 2014

In Team Event, Figure Skating Rivals Cheer For Each Other

Marissa Castelli (front center) and Simon Shnapir (front right) of the U.S. wait for their scores in the pairs short program Thursday in Sochi. With them are coach Robert Martin and teammates (back, from left) Jeremy Abbott, Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
Darren Cummings/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

There's always a lot of drama in figure skating, and not necessarily on the ice. There's the judging and the personalities — think Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

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The Two-Way
1:22 am
Fri February 7, 2014

U.S. Still Working For Syria Resolution, Envoy To U.N. Says

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., addresses the Security Council on Monday.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says the United States is looking at various solutions to bring about a political resolution to the civil war in Syria.

"What President Obama has instructed all of us to do is just look under every stone, look at every tool that we have in the toolbox and see what we can deploy so that we don't confront a choice between doing nothing on the one hand and sending in the Marines on the other," Samantha Power, the envoy, told NPR's Renee Montagne.

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The Edge
4:29 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

In Sochi, An Olympic Artist Sees The 'Possible'

Artist Marc Ahr has been drawing at all the Olympic Games since 1992, but for him, Sochi is special.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:50 pm

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Europe
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Leaked Ukraine Phone Call Puts U.S. Credibility On The Line

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Africa
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

In Eastern Congo, Complex Conflicts And High-Stakes Diplomacy

Congolese M23 rebel fighters detain a man they suspect to be an FDLR rebel returning from an incursion into Rwanda, north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Nov. 27, 2012. The 20-year conflict in Eastern Congo can feel like an alphabet soup of armed groups. An international team of diplomats is trying to stop the violence, one militia at a time.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

In June last year, soon after Secretary of State John Kerry named his old Senate colleague Russ Feingold as the first American special envoy to the Great Lakes, one of Feingold's former constituents approached him with a welcome smile, and a puzzled look. Feingold had, after all, spent 19 years as a senator in the American Great Lakes.

"The is terrific," the man said to Feingold, the former senator recently recalled. "What are you going to be doing, checking water levels?"

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The Edge
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Sochi's Stray Dogs Melt Hearts, And Put Officials On Defensive

Olympic volunteers pet a stray dog in downtown Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday. The city's long-standing contract with a pest control company has animal right groups concerned about the fate of the many strays roaming the area.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:28 pm

It's after dark in Sochi, and a pack of stray dogs is hogging the sidewalk like they own the place. There are a dachshund mix, several random mutts and one dog that looks like it may be part chow. They're cute and look like pets; seemingly well-fed and with decent pedigrees.

That is, until a fight breaks out. It's loud but ultimately more dog park than street fight, and the dogs quickly get back to prancing around and eating abandoned leftovers.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Italian Navy Rescues Some 1,100 Migrants In Mediterranean

Migrants are seen in a boat during a rescue operation by Italian navy ship San Marco off the coast to the south of the Italian island of Sicily on Wednesday.
HANDOUT Reuters/Landov

More than a thousand would-be North African migrants were rescued by the Italian navy about 120 miles southeast of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, authorities say.

The BBC says that 1,123 people, from sub-Saharan Africa, were intercepted on Wednesday as they tried to make the passage in inflatable boats, but were intercepted by authorities. They included 47 women, four of them pregnant, and 50 children, the BBC says.

For background:

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Leaked Phone Call Offers Not-So-Diplomatic U.S. View Of EU

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich greets Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday. In a tape posted on YouTube on Thursday, Nuland can be heard discussing the merits of various Ukrainian opposition leaders and disparaging the EU.
Mykhailo Markiv / Pool EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:26 pm

The latest wrinkle in Ukraine's crisis doesn't involve the government and the protesters there.

Instead, it has to do with the diplomats trying to resolve the crisis.

A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, and Geoff Pyatt, the U.S. envoy to Kiev, appears to show them discussing the merits of Ukraine's various opposition figures. In it, Nuland can also be heard using a distinctly undiplomatic phrase while describing the European Union.

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Parallels
10:58 am
Thu February 6, 2014

From Projects To Parliament, Britain's 'Rev. Rose' Breaks Barriers

The Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin outside her home in Hackney, England. The first woman and the first person of color to serve as chaplain to the queen and in the House of Commons moves between those rarefied worlds and that of the poverty- and crime-ridden parish in East London that she continues to run.
Godong UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 9:39 am

Parliament in London is an old-fashioned place. When members gather in the House of Commons, the sea of faces is generally wrinkled, white and male.

The chaplain who leads them each day in prayer is emphatically not.

The Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin is the first black woman to serve as chaplain to the speaker in the House of Commons. She broke the same barrier when she was appointed chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. She was also the first woman, and the first person of color, to run her parish in Northeast London.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Luxury Carmaker Aston Martin Cites Fake Chinese Plastics In Recall

An Aston Martin Rapide S, one of the models affected by the recall, is displayed outside the Aston Martin production facility in Gaydon, England, in February 2013.
Darren Staples Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:43 pm

Aston Martin, James Bond's conveyance of choice, has expanded its recall of vehicles built since 2007 because of problems with fake plastics from China.

In a letter last month to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Aston Martin said it had received reports that throttle pedal arms broke during installation, and it discovered that "initial tests on the failed pedal arm have shown that the Tier Three Supplier used counterfeit material."

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The Edge
8:12 am
Thu February 6, 2014

What Do You Want To Know About The Sochi Olympics?

For some, the chance to watch curling is a reason to be excited about the Sochi Winter Olympics. Here, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud delivers a stone during the 2012 World Men's Curling Championship.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

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Sports
3:17 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Ready Or Not, Olympic Events Begin In Sochi

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And at last, we can say this morning, let the games begin. The Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics will be held tomorrow in Sochi, Russia. But there were just too many sports to fit in, so a few got an early start, including a new Olympic event: slopestyle snowboarding. It debuted on a clear, beautiful day on the mountain of Rosa Khutor.

NPR's Robert Smith has been taking in the scene, and joins us now. Good morning. This is pretty exciting.

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Europe
3:16 am
Thu February 6, 2014

After Prison Stint, Pussy Riot Keeps Up Anti-Government Stand

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene in New York City, where last night Madonna came onto a stage in Brooklyn. She was at a concert for Amnesty International introducing two heroes of the protest movement in Russia.

MADONNA: It is my privilege and my honor, ladies and gentlemen, to introduce Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot. Ladies, please come to the stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Asia
1:25 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Chinese Flock To The Countryside For A More Authentic New Year

Chinese blacksmiths in Nuanquan (Warm Spring) Town perform a folk custom called "making trees and flowers." They throw ladles of molten iron onto a wall, creating showers of sparks. The centuries-old custom originated with blacksmiths too poor to afford fireworks. In recent years, urban tourists have flocked to this once obscure town over the Chinese New Year holiday to enjoy local folk customs.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:35 am

China goes back to work Friday after a weeklong holiday marking the Year of the Horse. Traditionally, celebrations continue through the first month of the Lunar New Year.

As in years past, some 800 million viewers tuned in this year to the state TV New Year's gala program to watch Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, French actress and singer Sophie Marceau, and other entertainers.

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Parallels
1:21 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Tijuana Prisoner: I Was Forced To Dig Drug Tunnel To San Diego

A Mexican guard at a prison in Tijuana where 17 men are being held on charges they were digging a drug-smuggling tunnel from Tijuana to the U.S. border at San Diego. The men say they were kidnapped and forced to do the work.
Special to NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 9:32 am

More than 75 drug-smuggling tunnels have been discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border in just the past six years, and one of the more intriguing cases involves 17 Mexican men who claim they were kidnapped and forced to carry out the work for months before Mexican authorities found them.

There's always been some mystery surrounding tunnels. Diggers were thought to be well-paid cartel loyalists or, as urban legend goes, laborers killed soon after the tunnel's completion to ensure its secrecy.

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Middle East
3:29 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Under A Hail Of Barrel Bombs, An Exodus Departs From Aleppo

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:23 pm

For the last two weeks, the barrel bombing of the rebel-held area of Aleppo in Syria has intensified. Warplanes drop leaflets on neighborhoods warning civilians to flee — and it seems they're listening. Residents of Aleppo districts held by the regime say they are seeing an influx of families, while aid agencies working in Turkey say hundreds of thousands of the displaced are trying to get in.

Religion
3:29 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

UN Report Raises Scathing Criticisms Of Vatican

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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