In a statement, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said "we have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba," the new nation's capital.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
One legacy of World War II is found in Japan's constitution. It bans that country from having a military force. But now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a tough new national security strategy which is raising some questions about Japan's intentions.
Tamzin Booth, the Tokyo bureau chief for The Economist, explained to us what's behind the new plan.
For people in Germany, Christmas means evergreens, "Silent Night" and mulled wine. In the city of Berlin, Christmas also means celebrating a scrappy group of athletes. The FC Union soccer team was formed by iron workers more than a century ago. During the Cold War, it became a symbol of resistance against the East German government. These days, despite mixed results on the field, FC Union remains a fan favorite.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this postcard from a game over the weekend.
The British government has issued a posthumous pardon for a man who helped win World War II for the allies. Alan Turing was a pioneering computer scientist and code breaker who helped crack Nazi Germany's enigma machine. He worked at Britain's legendary military intelligence headquarters at Bletchley Park.
Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 2:18 pm
British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack Nazi Germany's 'Enigma' code and laid the groundwork for modern computing, was pardoned on Tuesday, six decades after his conviction for homosexuality is said to have driven him to suicide.
Following his singular contributions toward winning the war against Adolph Hitler, Turing's 1952 conviction is believed to have led two and a half years later to him taking his life by ingesting cyanide.
Thanos Ntoumanis and his wife, Laura, are crashing at his parents' apartment in Greece's northern city of Thessaloniki.
The couple have packed their home and are moving to Germany. Thanos, a 38-year-old psychiatrist, is joining some 4,000 Greek doctors who have left the austerity-hit country for jobs abroad in the past three years. It's the largest brain drain in three decades.
"I won't say that I'm never coming back," he says. "I do need some distance, though. I don't want to get to that tipping point. I don't want to get to that point where I hate it here."
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:14 pm
An al-Qaida affiliate has taken the rare step of apologizing to the families of victims killed in a botched attack in Yemen earlier this month.
The attack on the Defense Ministry in the capital, Sanaa, was meant to hit an area of the complex where al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) says U.S. drones are being controlled. But a hospital on the grounds was also hit in the Dec. 5 attack, and many of the 56 victims were doctors, nurses and patients.
The inventor of the iconic AK-47 automatic rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died. Kalashnikov's simple, durable and easily maintained gun became the world's most popular rifle, with more than 100 million in circulation. Kalashnikov was modest about his invention, saying he created it solely for the defense of the motherland. Some analysts say his domination of Soviet and Russia weapons design actually kept the country from entering the modern age of small arms.
Soldiers on camels take part in a military parade on Qatar's National Day in the capital Doha last Wednesday. The city's rapidly growing skyline is in the background. Despite its small size, Qatar has used its wealth to play an outsized role in regional affairs.
Credit Chen Shaojin/Xinhua/Landov
Qatar funds the Al Jazeera satellite network. Launched in 1996, Al Jazeera has helped bring a much more lively debate to a region that was traditionally dominated by staid, government-run broadcasters.
Credit Art Silverman/NPR
The former emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, was the driving force behind Qatar's high-profile forays throughout the region. Shown here in 2012, he stepped down this past June in favor of his 33-year-old son.
Credit Osama Faisal / AP
Qatar's emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24. Sheik Tamim, 33, took over from his father six months ago.
Credit Richard Drew / AP
The Lusail Multipurpose Sports Hall, which is under construction in Doha, will be used for the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has come under criticism for its treatment of foreign workers, who far outnumber the Qatari population.
Qatar is a tiny place that insists on being heard.
The Arab nation just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has made itself a major diplomatic player, a generous donor of foreign aid, and a leader in modernizing education in the region. The ultra-modern capital Doha is full of skyscrapers, museums and history, much of it dating as far back as ... the 1990s.
Qatar is also a commercial capital that aims to become a cultural, sports and tourist center for the Gulf region despite having just 260,000 citizens.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 11:03 am
The remaining members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot have been released from prison in Russia, a few months short of serving their full two-year sentences for "hooliganism" — a charge that the band's supporters say was just a trumped-up effort to quash free speech.
There have been more political developments in Russia. A jailed member of the protest band Pussy Riot was freed from prison on Monday. Another band member is expected to be released soon. Over the weekend, jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was freed from prison.
Regular listeners to this program know we are using numbers to highlight some of the stories of 2013. And today, we look at the situation in Iraq. The number here is 6,639. That's how many people have been killed in violence in Iraq so far this year, up to December 21st, according to a regular tally kept by Baghdad bureau of the French Press Agency, AFP.
We're joined now by Will Dunlop, an AFP correspondent in Baghdad. Welcome to the program, sir.
Raed Fares, a pro-democracy activist from the Syrian town of Kafr Nabl, has helped lead that town's anti-government protests since the very early days of the Syrian conflict in 2011. This week, Fares is in the U.S., on only his second trip outside of Syria. Fares is attempting to rebuild support for the revolution among Syrian Americans. He speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about the conflict and the toll it has taken on his town.
Burak Karan was a rising German-Turkish soccer player before leaving Germany to fight in the Syrian civil war. He was killed in northern Syria in October at age 26. Karan is shown here in Aachen, Germany, in 2008.
More than 240 people have left Germany to join the civil war in Syria — the largest reported number from a European country.
One was Burak Karan, a rising German-Turkish soccer player who died in northern Syria in October at age 26. Bild newspaper quoted his brother saying Karan had gone to the border region between Turkey and Syria to help distribute aid.
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?
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.
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.
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.