World News

Sports
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Takes Bronze In Team Figure Skating In Sochi

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Russia won its first Olympic gold on Sunday. The Olympic host took first in the team figure skating, a new event for these games. Canada won silver and the U.S. team won bronze.

Sports
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Despite German Domination, More Athletes Drawn To Luge

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

At the Winter Olympics, the men's singles luge competition wrapped up last night. That's the sport where athletes lie on their backs, feet first, on a tiny sled and slide down an ice track at speeds of over 80 miles an hour. It looks dangerous and it is. But even athletes with little chance of winning gold keep taking the risk to compete. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUGE)

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Europe
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

EU Mute On U.S. Diplomat's Criticism Involving Ukraine

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

There was a U.S. diplomatic gaff last week. It involved an expletive used by an assistant secretary of State to express a rather rude form of anger at the European Union during a private phone conversation. The phone call was intercepted by someone — presumably another government — and leaked.

Middle East
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Iranians Look Back On 35 Years Since The Revolution

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Iran is marking the anniversary of its Islamic revolution. It's the 35th anniversary of the protests that ended in 1979 with the overthrow of a U.S. ally, the Shah of Iran. The government that has ruled ever since uses Death to America as one of its basic slogans but the possibility of better relations emerged after the election of a new Iranian president last year.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Iran. Hi, Peter.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Giraffe Despite Online Protest

Copenhagen Zoo's giraffe Marius was put down Sunday by zoo authorities who said it was their duty to avoid inbreeding.
Keld Navntoft EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:47 am

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo, has been euthanized; his body was cut up and fed to lions.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:12 am

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

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Sports
8:49 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Was That Jump A 6? Subjectivity In Olympic Judging

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And it's time to talk sports, specifically the Olympics; the skill, the precision, the pure athleticism. And yes, the style. And we're talking specifically about ice skating, because our own Mike Pesca has some thoughts on that sport.

Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you?

MARTIN: Hello. I am well. So, I understand Olympic ice skating has undergone some reforms in recent years. Do tell? What changed?

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The Edge
8:19 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Team Figure Skating Already Has Its Share Of Controversy

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the team ice dance short dance figure skating competition at Sochi on Saturday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:37 am

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bangladesh Factory Owners Surrender In 2012 Fire That Killed 112

A Bangladeshi police officer walks between rows of burned sewing machines in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Nov. 2012.
Khurshed Rinku AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:59 am

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

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Animals
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

France Takes A Stand, Crushing Ivory Beneath The Eiffel Tower

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR NEW. I'm Rachel Martin.

This past week, France became the first European country to destroy illegal ivory in a high profile public demonstration. It did so underneath the Eiffel Tower as part of a global effort to call attention to the illicit ivory trade. Officials say the trade not only wipes out the world's population of elephants, it also funds terrorism.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.

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Afghanistan
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Plan Aims To Assure Afghanistan Aid Goes Where It's Supposed To

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

This coming week, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to announce a new monitoring program that is designed to keep track of the aid dollars being spent in Afghanistan. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Larry Sampler, head of USAID programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Middle East
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Al-Qaida Steps In To Step Out Of Syria

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Aid Workers Continue Efforts To Reach Besieged Syrian City

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Humanitarian workers continue to try to evacuate civilians from the besieged Syrian city of Homs as negotiators in Geneva prepare for the next round of peace talks. NPR's Rachel Martin gets the latest from reporter Alice Fordham in Geneva.

Parallels
3:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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Parallels
3:45 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Turning A Million Cubic Yards Of Post-Typhoon Trash Into Jobs

Locals working for a UNDP cash-for-work program clear debris in one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the typhoon that hit Tacloban, Philippines, last November. Tim Walsh runs the program, which he hopes will help keep the local economy going.
RV Mitra/UNDP Flickr

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

In an open dump, in a village outside of Tacloban in the central Philippines, we're sloshing through rainwater and leachate — that's the goo that comes out of rotting trash — while Tim Walsh surveys the site.

"Just walk on the dry bit," he says. "I've got used to the smell over the years and you get immune to it. But for most people the smell of decaying rubbish is not really very pleasant."

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The Edge
3:28 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Sochi Games Expose Indian Corruption And Redemption

Independent Olympic participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the men's luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:11 am

It's one of the most dangerous sports at the Olympic Games. And when Indian slider Shiva Keshavan crashed from his sled during a training run at the luge track Friday, his miraculous recovery went viral.

Flying through icy curves feet first, Keshavan thundered down the frozen tunnel, the scraping blades or "steels" of his small sled sounding like a runaway train.

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World
3:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

When It Comes To Human Rights, Is Russia Moving Backward?

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 4:34 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RATH: Unless you've been under a rock, you know the Winter Olympics are here. Vladimir Putin's government has committed massive resources to make this a shining moment for modern Russia. But for months, unwelcome stories have loomed in the background, casting Russia in a very un-modern light. Life is still dangerous for political dissidents. And a crackdown on gay rights has triggered outrage across the world.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Iran: Warships Will Steam Close To U.S. Waters As 'A Message'

Iranian Navy destroyer Shahid Naqdi is pictured at Port Sudan, in October 2012.
Mohmed Nureldin Abdallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 2:35 pm

An admiral of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet said warships under his command have been dispatched to skirt U.S. maritime borders for the first time, in tit-for-tat move aimed at protesting the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Afshin Rezayee Haddad was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying the deployment of the vessels, the number and type which he did not reveal, "has a message."

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The Edge
1:14 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Olympic Guests Find Comfort Zones In First Day Of Games

Visitors to Olympic Park stroll around the base of the Olympic flame at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.
Julie Jacobson AP

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Syrian Humanitarian Convoy Reportedly Attacked

Aid workers trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged, rebel-held district of Homs, were wounded on Saturday after reportedly coming under fire from "armed terrorist groups," the label authorities give to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers were hurt in the reported attack, according to Syrian state television. Opposition groups did not immediately respond to the allegations.

As NPR's Alice Fordham reports, it's the latest sign that a hard-won ceasefire is fraying.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Sat February 8, 2014

French Court Orders Google To Display Notice On Its Search Page

A screenshot of the Google.fr homepage, displaying the court-ordered message.
Google

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:36 am

A court in France has ordered a most public shaming for Google, telling the Internet giant it must display a notice on its French search page acknowledging it's been fined over how it tracked and stored user information.

The $200,000 fine was imposed in January by the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) for violating consumer privacy.

According to Google Translate, the above notice reads:

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Middle East
9:30 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Obama Administration Sharpens Its Language Toward Syria

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Bashar Assad's regime of using starvation as a weapon of war. Critics say the U.S. has not done enough to stop the violence, but Washington doesn't have many options.

The Edge
9:04 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Is Early Sochi Criticism Par For The Course?

A technical glitch kept one of the massive Olympic rings looming over the stadium dark during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:27 am

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Panama Canal Expansion Suspended Over Cost-Overrun Dispute

The stalled expansion project of the Panama Canal in Panama City on Thursday.
Mauricio Valenzuela Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:44 am

A Spanish-led consortium charged with a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal lock system has halted work after a disagreement over massive cost overruns in the project.

The BBC says the consortium, known as Grupo Unido por el Canal (GUPC), announced that work had been stopped because it's owed $1.6 billion for a project to build a third set of locks designed to handle bigger ships than can currently fit through the canal. The original price tag was set at $3.2 billion.

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History
8:20 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Memento Of A Lost Childhood: Anne Frank's Marbles

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

Before her family went into hiding, Anne Frank gave away some of her toys to her neighbor, Toosje Kupers. The gift included a set of marbles, now on display at at an art gallery in Rotterdam. NPR's Scott Simon takes a moment to note the childhood gift.

History
8:20 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Wacky Moments In Winter Olympic History

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

The problems with decrepit hotel rooms and stray dogs in Sochi, Russia, are stealing the headlines, but they are hardly the first Olympics to stumble. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Esquire Magazine's AJ Jacobs about some of the more inglorious moments in Winter Olympics history.

Asia
7:54 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Declining Drone Strikes Give Cover To Pakistan's Peace Talks

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

Talks are underway between representatives of the Taliban and Pakistan's government. Meanwhile, the U.S. appears to have slowed the pace of drone attacks on Pakistan, which may be intended to allow Islamabad to pursue these peace talks. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Shuja Nawaz, the director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council.

Europe
7:46 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Princess Scandal Shakes Spain's Support For Its Monarchy

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:05 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHANTING)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

That's the sound of protesters outside a courtroom in Spain where Princess Christina, the youngest daughter of the king of Spain is testifying before judges. She's accused of committing tax fraud and money laundering. She could face jail time. This is the first time a Spanish royal has ever been named a suspect in a criminal case and it's shaking the support of Spaniards for their monarchy. Lauren Frayer has been following this story and joins us from Madrid. Lauren, thanks for being with us.

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Afghanistan
7:45 am
Sat February 8, 2014

U.N.: Civilian Casualities Rise In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan, the United Nation has just released its annual survey of civilian casualties in the country, and the news is grim. NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul.

SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Last year at this time, there was a sense of optimism. Civilian casualties finally appeared to be declining. But the new report shows a 14 percent increase in civilian casualties in 2013 with nearly 3,000 killed and more than 5500 injured.

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