It was a year of turmoil in Egypt. After being democratically elected following Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power. The military-led government has since consolidated its power and cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood. NPR's Rachel Martin and foreign correspondent Leila Fadel review this year's tumultuous developments.
Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 10:15 am
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon who was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday after serving a decade in prison, says he will dedicate the rest of his life working for the release of other political prisoners.
"I would like to devote this time to pay off my debt to people who are worst off," Khodorkovsky said through an interpreter provided by Russia Today, a state-funded, English language news outlet.
From NPR West, this is ALL THING CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.
We're going to begin the program tonight in Africa where four U.S. servicemen were injured when their aircraft was fired on while flying over South Sudan. They were there to rescue Americans trapped in South Sudan where a political conflict threatens to escalate into a full-blown civil war.
NPR's Gregory Warner is in Nairobi where the injured soldiers were taken. Greg, what can you tell us about what happened today?
Chris Kelly, right, used to run an auto repair shop but lost it during the recession. Kelly, 30, is now studying technology management at the University of Limerick. David Watters, a 20-year-old human resources student, wants to move to Dubai. "The generation that's between 18 and 25, they're leaving because they think there's no future in Ireland," Watters says.
Credit Joanna Kakissis / NPR
Ireland officially ended its reliance on a $93-billion European loan program on Sunday, but austerity programs are still in place and young people are leaving the country to find work.
Sharon O'Flaherty is riding the bus to Limerick, a no-frills city in western Ireland. She's going to see her dying grandmother this Christmas. She hasn't been home in two years.
"I was working for a company for five and a half years," she says. "I got made redundant, and couldn't find a job at an equal level. So the options were immigration, and it was basically take your pick: Europe, Canada or Australia. So I chose Australia."
The 29-year-old now works as a recruitment manager in Perth.
Billie Jean King <a href="http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/19/camanpour-exclusive-billiejeanking-to-gay-russians-you-are-not-alone/">spoke with CNN</a> after being named to the delegation, saying "I'm very proud to go as an athlete, and as a gay woman."
When President Obama announced that the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia would include Billie Jean King, there was no need to explain who she is or the prestige she brings to her county. Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam tennis titles, defeated Bobby Riggs in the so-called Battle of the Sexes in 1973, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
David Bahati, a member of Uganda's Parliament, is interviewed in 2011. Bahati was the driving force behind a controversial anti-gay bill that was approved Friday.
Credit Ronald Kabuubi / AP
Giles Muhame, managing editor of the Ugandan publication <em>Rolling Stone</em>, holds up a November 2010 issue of the newspaper in Kampala, after it published the names and photos of 14 men it identified as gay.
Uganda's Parliament ignored Western criticism and passed a bill on Friday that punishes acts of homosexuality with prison terms that can include life in prison.
The bill has been a source of controversy for years. Western governments and leaders, including President Obama, have criticized the measure, which President Yoweri Museveni must sign for it to take effect.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it's actual name, also makes it a crime to "promote" homosexuality, which could mean simply offering HIV counseling.
Confirming one of the week's less-secret secrets, the White House announced Friday morning that President Obama intends to nominate Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to be the next ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
The 72-year-old Baucus has been in the Senate since 1978. He is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 12:09 pm
Politicians in the Dominican Republic have long courted Dominicans in the U.S. for votes. That relationship has strengthened in the past couple of years; in 2011, the Dominican government established seven representatives for its communities abroad.
And that influence means activism in the U.S. matters back on the island.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:04 am
Among the memorials to Nelson Mandela put up across India is a billboard in Tamil Nadu that features a photo of actor Morgan Freeman, not the iconic anti-apartheid hero from South Africa who died earlier this month.
Western and Iranian negotiators have a tough job to conclude a long-term deal on Iran's nuclear program. Many in the U.S. Congress want tougher sanctions on Iran rather than the reverse. Iranian conservatives argue the United States cannot be trusted. The National Iranian-American Council says it wants to weaken those Iranian hardliners.
Let's get an update now on the violence in South Sudan. Forces opposed to that nation's president have taken control of a major town, and killed at least three United Nations peacekeepers. Hundreds of other people are dead. The United States has flown in troops to protect its embassy, and a conflict is leaving the newest nation in the world close to civil war.
NPR's East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner is following the story from Nairobi, Kenya. And, Gregory, what is the conflict? What's behind this?
Russia has been drawing criticism for its handling of gay rights as that country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. A recent Russian law criminalizes what it calls gay propaganda. It's so broadly written, many gay people fear they could face charges for just living their lives. This week, Russia addressed some human rights issues. It granted amnesty for thousands of prisoners, including two women in the band Pussy Riot.
U.S. Ambassador to the Unitied Nations Samantha Power (right) listens to Lucy Mandazuto at a community hospital in Bangui, Central African Republic, on Thursday. Mandazuto was wounded in sectarian violence.
You don't have to venture far to see the misery caused by the latest crisis in the Central African Republic.
On the edge of the airport in the capital Bangui, tens of thousands of people are sleeping out in the open with no basic services. It's here that Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, meets Martine Kutungai with her husband, a pastor, and their eight children.
Kutungai says she's terrified to go home because of the Seleka — Muslim rebels who toppled the government in March.
"Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, left prison on Friday after a pardon from President Vladimir Putin ended a decade in jail that many saw as the fallen oil tycoon's punishment for daring to challenge the Kremlin."
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:07 pm
Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday for his third visit this year to the hard-line Stalinist country, saying he will train the country's national basketball team and see his "friend," leader Kim Jong Un.
The imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khordorkovsky, who will apparently be pardoned by Putin, has spent the last decade in Siberian prison camps, gulag light, he calls it, but the conditions are brutal. Susan Glasser covered Khordorkovsky in Moscow for the Washington Post at the height of his power and later corresponded with him while he was in prison for a lengthy profile in Foreign Policy magazine several years ago.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with a surprise announcement out of Russia. With the Sochi Olympics fast approaching, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised amnesty for up to 2,000 prisoners. He said he would pardon a crew of Greenpeace environmentalists as well as two members of the dissident punk band Pussy Riot.
We've been hearing this week about a special relationship between many British people and something called the Shipping Forecast. It's a broadcast on BBC Radio of sea and weather conditions off the coast of the British Isles. Even landlubbers enjoy it each night before bed.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, made a rare visit to the Central African Republic today. Its government was toppled earlier this year, and Muslim and Christian militias are now locked in a brutal fight. Samantha Power met with the country's new president and appealed for reconciliation to prevent further atrocities.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:17 pm
(This post was updated at 6:00 p.m. ET)
London's emergency services personnel say 88 people have been injured, several of them seriously, in the collapse of part of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in central London during an evening performance. Officials say there have been no fatalities.
Emergency services officials tell news agencies that seven of those are seriously hurt. The BBC quotes a spokesman for the theater as saying 720 theatergoers were in attendance at the time of the collapse.
"Voicemails left for Kate Middleton by [then-boyfriend] Prince William were hacked by the News of the World, the phone-hacking trial has heard," the BBC writes. "In one message William used the pet name 'babykins.' "
Last Christmas, the spoof charity Radi-Aid released a music video to challenge perceptions of "saving Africa." This year, they're calling out charity ads they see as harmful, and celebrating helpful ads. Host Michel Martin learns more from blogger Teddy Ruge, a member of the Rusty Radiator awards committee.
The <a href="http://j.mp/1bQjdpZ">amount of money exchanged through remittances in 2012</a> was larger than <a href="http://j.mp/1gGU6Ol">Apple's market capitalization</a> (as of publication), <a href="http://bit.ly/19dk3CY">South Africa's 2012 GDP</a> and <a href="http://j.mp/1c1SH1x">all official development assistance disbursed in 2011</a>.