World News

Parallels
1:15 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Smugglers Thrive On Syria's Chaos, Looting Cultural Treasures

A Syrian policeman patrols the ancient oasis city of Palmyra in March. Many Syrian antiquities have been looted and smuggled out of the country during the past three years of civil war.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 6:16 pm

Smuggling is a way of life in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, just over the border from Syria. Driving along it, you see pale smugglers' trails snaking through mountain passes, and the guys who run touristy little antiques stores here say they can get you anything.

"Everything that have traditions and everything found in old houses," says Reda Ismail, who runs one of the many stores in the valley. Dealers say most things here are smuggled from Syria, and Ismail thinks these days it's more prevalent.

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Books
12:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

China Turns To Africa For Resources, Jobs And Future Customers

Over the next few years China will build a multi-billion dollar railway linking the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Nairobi (shown here), based on an agreement signed earlier this month by East African and Chinese officials. It's one of many examples of China's increasing economic engagement with African countries.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

China's economic engagement in Africa can be measured in dollars — for instance, the $71 million airport expansion contract in Mali, funded by American foreign aid, that went to a Chinese construction firm.

More remarkably, it can be measured in people: More than a million Chinese citizens have permanently moved to Africa, buying land, starting businesses and settling among local populations.

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Religion
9:44 am
Tue May 27, 2014

How Much Clout Does Pope Francis Have In The Middle East?

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 10:32 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR news on Michel Martin. It was a holiday weekend for millions of Americans but on the other side of the world Pope Francis was on a mission. He visited the Middle East to add his voice and presence to efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation. We wanted to know more about this visit so we called a person whose voice will be familiar to you. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR's senior European correspondent. Sylvia welcome back thank so much for joining us once again.

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Parallels
8:20 am
Tue May 27, 2014

With A Heavy Hand, Chinese Authorities Crack Down On Mourners

Chinese mourners placed flowers and lit candles at the scene of an attack last week that killed 39 people in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi. When people used social media to call for a protest, authorities tried to break up the gathering.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:31 pm

When people turn out to mourn the loss of loved ones, local authorities in most places treat them with respect. Not in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi last week, where 39 people were killed in a terrorist attack the government attributed to Uighers, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Soldiers Arrest Thai Politician As He Speaks Out Against Coup

Former Thai Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang (center) was detained by soldiers after speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:12 pm

A former minister of Thailand's ousted Cabinet was detained Tuesday at a news conference at which he criticized the coup that took control of the country last week. The arrest comes as another detained official — ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra — was released.

From Bangkok, Michael Sullivan reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Nigerian Officials Say They've Located Missing Girls

Nigeria's chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh speaks during a demonstration in Abuja calling for the rescue of girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok. Badeh says the government knows where the girls are — but that a rescue attempt would endanger their lives.
Gbenga Olamikan AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:14 pm

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

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Middle East
4:22 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Egypt's Presidential Voting Comes During Crackdown On Dissent

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:57 am

Egyptians are at the polls again Tuesday for the final day of the presidential elections. And the outcome seems pretty predictable, ex-military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be the next president.

Europe
4:22 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Leader Of Anti-Semitic Party In Hungary Finds Out He's Jewish

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Now an election story in Europe with a strange twist. As we've been reporting, in European Parliament elections this week, far-right parties did particularly well including Hungary's Jobbik party. They are known for, among other things, being anti-Semitic. It turns out their former second-in-command is Jewish. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Budapest.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDING)

CSANAD SZEGEDI: (Speaking foreign language).

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Sports
3:32 am
Tue May 27, 2014

World Cup Fans Preoccupied With Soccer's Version Of Baseball Cards

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:22 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Parallels
1:28 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Beirut's Holiday Inn: Once Chic, Then Battered, Still Contested

The Beirut Holiday Inn rises behind the man who built it, Abdal Mohsin Kattan, in 1975. The Holiday Inn was one of the leading hotels in Beirut at a time when it was the most glamorous city in the Middle East. But when the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975, the hotel was fiercely contested by rival militias. Lebanese are still debating what to do with the building.
Thomas J. Abercrombie National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:13 pm

To check into Beirut's Holiday Inn these days, you need a permit from the army and the stamina to climb 26 flights of decaying stairs to the concrete carcass of a restaurant at the top that used to rotate.

This towering edifice may not look it today, but it was once the toast of Beirut, the most glamorous city in the Middle East before the 1975-'90 civil war turned the Lebanese capital into a byword for urban dystopia.

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Global Health
8:06 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air

The WarkaWater gathers water from fog and condensation. Named after an Ethiopian fig tree, it consists of a 30-foot bamboo frame and a nylon net. It was invented by an Italian firm and three of them are shown here in an Ethiopian village.
Courtesy of Architecture and Vision

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 8:49 am

When Italian designer Arturo Vittori and Swiss architect Andreas Vogler first visited Ethiopia in 2012, they were shocked to see women and children forced to walk miles for water.

Only 34 percent of Ethiopians have access to a reliable water supply. Some travel up to six hours a day to fetch some or, worse, resorts to using stagnant ponds contaminated by human waste, resulting in the spread of disease.

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Religion
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Pope Francis Ends Historic Mideast Trip

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Pope Francis wraps up his trip to the Middle East, where he addressed some of the region's tough political issues and cast some dramatic images at its most sensitive spots.

Middle East
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Voting Begins For Egypt's Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is expected to emerge victorious from Egypt's two-day polling, which began Monday. But the country remains divided.

Europe
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Violence Returns To Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour with the latest from Ukraine, where votes from yesterday's presidential election continue to be tallied. Billionaire candy-maker Petro Poroshenko maintains his commanding lead. International observers praised the election as genuine, despite the millions who couldn't vote due to violence in eastern providences.

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Asia
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

At Indian Prime Minister's Inauguration, A Historic Pakistani Presence

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was among the guests at Narenda Modi's inauguration. It's the first time the leader of one of the archrivals has attended the swearing-in of the other.

Asia
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

India's New Prime Minister Sworn In

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, officially takes office as India's new prime minister in a ceremony in New Delhi that broke with the past. More than 3,000 guests witnessed the most elaborate oath-taking India has ever staged.

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

The Two-Way
10:02 am
Mon May 26, 2014

White House Mistakenly Blows Cover Of CIA Officer In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:18 pm

A list that was meant to help journalists report on President Obama's trip to Afghanistan on Sunday has instead created an awkward and potentially damaging situation. That's because it mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, the agency's top official there.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Ukraine's Poroshenko Says He'll Restore Peace In East

Presumed Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, left, said Monday that an "anti-terrorist operation" against separatists will take hours, not months.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 10:54 am

Ukraine's projected new president Petro Poroshenko welcomed his victory Monday by pledging to speed up operations to quell pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. New violence erupted in the region today, as an air strike was carried out on militants near the Donetsk airport.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Killed The Mockingbird? American Classics Cut From British Reading List

Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird didn't make the cut in the U.K.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 10:56 am

For decades, British students have grown up reading the American classics To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible. Now, if students want to read those books, it will be on their own time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller are out — perhaps replaced by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot.

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Europe
5:20 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Far-Right Parties Made Big Gains In European Parliamentary Elections

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

In Great Britain, the anti-Europe UKIP was the No. 1 vote getter. In France, Marine Le Pen's National Front also did much better than expected.

Middle East
5:20 am
Mon May 26, 2014

After Mubarak, Egypt Appears Ready To Elect Another Military Man

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And so as Leila just told us, Egyptians appear ready to elect a military man - which in a way seems amazing considering the images we remember from three years ago. At that point, a military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was removed from power. At that time, it was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Cairo. She was witnessing all of the celebration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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Middle East
4:41 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Pope Francis Wraps Up 3-Day Trip To Middle East

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

Pope Francis is in Jerusalem. He stopped at the holiest Jewish and Muslim sites in that city. The pope has invited Palestinian and Israeli leaders to join him in Rome to discuss Mideast peace.

Asia
4:41 am
Mon May 26, 2014

After Landslide Victory, Modi Becomes India's Prime Minister

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 11:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to India where a new prime minister is taking office today. Narendra Modi's BJP party won a landslide victory last week. More than 3,000 people are attending an outdoor ceremony today for his swearing in, but one guest in particular is getting a lot of the attention. He is Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, who said he is coming to India carrying a message of peace. NPR's Julie McCarthy is on the line with us from New Delhi. Good morning, Julie.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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Middle East
3:06 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Egyptians Vote Monday And Tuesday For Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And so as Leila just told us, Egyptians appear ready to elect a military man - which in a way seems amazing considering the images we remember from three years ago. At that point, a military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was removed from power. At that time, it was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Cairo. She was witnessing all of the celebration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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NPR Story
3:06 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Ukrainians Choose Billionaire Businessman As Next President

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. A billionaire chocolate-maker is the projected winner in Ukraine's weekend presidential election. This is a country, of course, where there has been a lot of tension with pro-Russian separatists. And in the eastern part of the country, violence kept some polls closed.

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Parallels
1:53 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Mexico City's Campaign To Encourage Breast-Feeding Backfires

A Mexico City breast-feeding campaigned used posters featuring topless celebrities. At least "La Barbie," a female boxer (shown here), had her boxing gloves on.
Via Latin Times

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 5:35 pm

Mexico City health official launched a new campaign this month to boost the image of nursing mothers. But posters of topless toned actresses weren't exactly the message women's groups and health advocates had hoped for.

"We were very surprised once the campaign was launched," says Regina Tames, of the reproductive rights group GIRE.

She was taken aback by pictures of topless actresses and one of the female boxer known as "La Barbie." She was shirtless, too — although she did have on her boxing gloves.

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Afghanistan
3:22 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Obama Addresses Troops In Afghanistan On Eve Of Memorial Day

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 pm

President Obama made a surprise visit Sunday to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The president addressed troops, thanking them for their service on the eve of Memorial Day. White House correspondent Scott Horsley is traveling with the president and joins NPR's Arun Rath.

Middle East
3:22 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Assessing The State Of Human Rights In Iran

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Now, to Iran where last week security forces arrested six young men and women for dancing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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World
3:22 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

'Chocolate King' Wins In Ukraine, Presidential Exit Polls Show

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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