World News

Afghanistan
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Afghans Vote In Large Numbers Despite Risks

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

After a campaign marred by violence, Afghans voted Saturday in presidential elections for what's to be the first ever democratic transfer of power. Results are not expected for some time.

World
3:45 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy

Iranian students climb over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, Nov. 4, 1979. The students went on to seize the embassy staff, and hold 52 of them as hostages for 444 days.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

Iran's reported decision to name Hamid Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the United Nations has ignited anger in the U.S. That's because the diplomat was part of the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979. Now, dozens of lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to deny him a visa.

It's the latest sign of just how difficult it will be for Washington and Tehran to overcome decades of mistrust.

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The Two-Way
12:33 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Defying Taliban Threats, Afghans Vote For Next Leader

Long lines were seen at almost every polling station around Kabul Saturday, despite heavy rain and security threats.
David P Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:31 am

  • Afghan Election: NPR's Sean Carberry Reports From Kabul

Millions of Afghans lined up to vote for a new president Saturday, despite warnings of violence from the Taliban.

Saturday's historic vote begins what would be the first democratic transfer of power for Afghanistan; President Hamid Karzai has served for two terms and is not allowed to run for a third under the country's constitution.

The Taliban launched a number of attacks that killed dozens in the weeks before the election, but no major violence was reported after polls opened Saturday.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

McDonald's Shuts Its Restaurants In Crimea

The McDonald's fast food restaurant in Sevastopol, Crimea, in a photograph taken on Friday.
Anton Pedko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:21 pm

McDonald's, citing the "evolving situation" in Crimea, said Friday it was closing its three restaurants on the Black Sea peninsula, but the move has prompted one prominent Moscow politician to call for the fast-food giant to be booted from all of Russia.

"Due to operational reasons beyond our control, McDonald's has taken the decision to temporarily close our three restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta," a spokeswoman said.

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Europe
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

As Pressures Mount On Putin, Analysts Wonder What He Hopes To Gain

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

U.S.-Russia relations have deteriorated since Russia's annexation of Crimea and there are still questions over Russian President Vladimir Putin's agenda in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Targeted sanctions, political isolation and NATO's plans to beef up its presence in Eastern Europe haven't persuaded Putin to change course.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has more from Moscow.

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Afghanistan
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Between Afghans And Political Milestone, Threat Of Violence Looms

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To Afghanistan now, where tomorrow voters will choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai who was barred from running again. The election will mark the country's first democratic transition of power. The Taliban have been calling the election a Western-backed sham and have been waging a campaign of violence to disrupt the vote.

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Economy
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Mystery Of Mounting Inequality Might Find Answer In Brand-New Tome

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A few decades ago, inequality started rising in countries around the world. That came as a shock to many economists who originally thought inequality tended to go down overtime. They wondered how inequality could rise in so many different places at once. Well, now a new book by one of the world's leading experts on the topic suggests an answer to that mystery. Jacob Goldstein of our Planet Money team reports.

JACOB GOLDSTEIN, BYLINE: The book is called "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." Here's the author.

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Parallels
1:24 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

U.S. Taps New Energy Sources, And Potential Geopolitical Clout

Gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is at the heart of the recent U.S. oil and gas boom. Here, an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation in McKittrick, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

The recent oil and natural gas boom in the U.S. is paying major dividends for Washington's geopolitical clout. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is awash in domestic energy, which is having a ripple effect globally.

If you want to gauge one effect of this newfound energy wealth, you don't have to look any further than the current crisis between Russia and Ukraine, says Michael Levi, a senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Kerry: 'Reality Check Time' In Middle East Peace Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar following a bilateral strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry in Rabat, on Friday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:52 pm

Frustrated by obstacles encountered in talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that the White House was re-evaluating its role in the process, and that the time had come for a "reality check."

Speaking at a news conference in Rabat, Morocco, Kerry said the dialogue that the U.S. has been mediating is "not an open-ended effort, it never has been.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Fri April 4, 2014

India Sentences 3 To Hang For Multiple Rapes

Mohammad Qasim Shaikh (right) and another accused in a gang rape case are taken to a court session last month in Mumbai.
Divyakant Solanki EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 1:11 pm

A court in India has sentenced three convicted rapists to death by hanging under a new law that seeks to crack down on attacks on women in the country.

According to Al-Jazeera, "The men are the first to be tried and convicted under a recently revised law that carries the death penalty for those convicted of multiple sexual assaults."

The news agency says:

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Faith Matters
10:31 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Finding Peace After Genocide

It has been 20 years since the start of the Rwandan genocide. Reverend Celestin Musekura lost congregation members in the bloodshed. He discusses how faith has helped foster reconciliation.

Parallels
8:58 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Two Brave Journalists In Afghanistan

Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, shown here in 2005, was killed Friday in Khost, Afghanistan. AP reporter Kathy Gannon was injured. Both have covered Afghanistan for many years.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:54 pm

Anja Niedringhaus was a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. Kathy Gannon has covered Afghanistan for more than 25 years, longer than any other Western reporter.

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Europe
4:36 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Ukrainians Disagree Over Sniper Inquiry

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

A Ukrainian police medic and a protester differ over whether their country should probe who committed crimes during February's violence in Kiev.

Europe
4:33 am
Fri April 4, 2014

After Crimea Takeover, Ukraine Moves To Protect Odessa

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

With the Crimean peninsula effectively controlled by Russia, Ukrainian officials worry about another Black Sea port, Odessa. Ukraine fears this area with a Russian minority could be a tempting target.

Afghanistan
2:59 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Backroom Intrigue Persists In Afghan Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne is in Afghanistan following the leading candidates in Saturday's presidential election. The top-two contenders are: Zalmai Rassoul and Abdullah Abdullah.

NPR Story
2:59 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Arcane Chinese Holiday Honors Integrity Before Personal Gain

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Cold Food Day in China commemorates a hermit who 2,600 years ago refused wealth and power. His ruler tried to smoke him out of his mountain hideout, but ended up burning him to a death.

Afghanistan
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

A New Era? Afghan Presidential Hopefuls Court Women's Vote

An Afghan woman listens to presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani during a campaign rally in Kabul on March 9, International Women's Day. Women will play a greater role in choosing Afghanistan's next president than ever before.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 6:21 pm

On International Women's Day last month, Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani held a rally in Kabul attended by several thousand women. While they were all wearing headscarves, there was not a full-length burqa to be seen in the crowd. And the Western-educated Ghani did something highly unusual in Afghanistan: He let his wife, Rula, a Lebanese-American Christian, address the crowd.

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Middle East
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Two Israeli Settlers Speak Of Life — And Plans — On Disputed Land

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

From the Palestinian perspective, a big obstacle to peace is the presence of 350,000 Israelis on land expected to be part of any future Palestinian state. Two of those settlers offer their viewpoints.

Parallels
1:09 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Stay Or Go: How Israeli-Palestinian Peace Would Redefine Home

A key, symbolizing the Palestinians who lost their homes at the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, sits at the entrance of the West Bank city of Jericho, on Feb. 22.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:15 pm

More than 1 million Arabs are citizens of Israel. And over the years, some 350,000 Jewish Israelis have moved to settlements in the West Bank. If the Israelis and Palestinians were to make peace and set a formal border, what would happen to all these people?

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The Salt
12:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead

Farmers participate in a CGIAR climate training workshop on how to interpret seasonal rainfall forecasts in Kaffrine, Senegal.
Courtesy of J. Hansen/CGIAR Climate

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:39 pm

The planet's top experts on global warming released their latest predictions this week for how rising temperatures will change our lives, and in particular, what they mean for the production of food.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Court In Turkey Orders Twitter Service Restored

A Twitter app on an iPhone screen. Turkey banned the social media service for two weeks, but a court has now ordered the ban lifted on constitutional grounds.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:51 am

Twitter is back on in Turkey after a constitutional court ruled that a government-imposed ban on the social media service was a breach of free expression.

The country's telecom authority lifted the 2-week-old ban, after it was blocked in the runup to last Sunday's local elections.

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Afghanistan
4:13 am
Thu April 3, 2014

To Broaden Appeal, Afghan Candidates Make Surprising Choices

Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Kabul on Tuesday. He is one of the three leading candidates in Saturday's presidential election.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:55 pm

As Afghans prepare to choose a new president Saturday, it's hard not to notice a striking contradiction.

The three leading candidates are all urbane, Westernized men inclined to wear suits and ties in public. And yet, as they crisscross this impoverished, traditional country, they've all had to remake themselves to some degree, in their dress, their speech and even in the surprising choices they've made for vice presidential running mates, who range from notorious warlords to a woman.

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Middle East
4:05 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Arabs In Israel Contemplate Borders Of Palestinian State

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Mideast peace talks pushed by the U.S. could include a borderline that leaves some Arabs, who are in Israel as part of a minority of non-Jewish Israeli citizens, into a new Palestinian state.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

ATF Works To Slow Flow Of U.S. Weapons Across Border

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Most of the guns in Mexico come from north of the border. The U.S. has taken steps aimed at slowing gun smugglers, especially since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scandal.

NPR Story
2:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Democrats: Benghazi Probes Are Wasteful, Politically Motivated

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:53 am

Citing millions of dollars spent already, Democrats argue politics is not a good reason to spend millions more investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya more than a year ago.

The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

NASA Suspends Some Ties With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Russian personnel are the first to meet space station crew members when they return to earth.
Bill Ingalls NASA

NASA is suspending "the majority of its ongoing engagements" with its Russian counterpart over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Verge, which first broke the news based on a leaked memo, reports that "the suspension includes travel to Russia, teleconferences, and visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities. NASA is even suspending the exchange of emails with Russian officials."

NASA confirmed the story in a statement late Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

U.S. Troubled By Iran's Choice Of 1979 Hostage-Taker For U.N. Post

The U.S. says Iran's potential nomination of a new United Nations ambassador who was a hostage-taker during the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is "extremely troubling," but stopped short of saying it would deny him a visa.

"We're taking a close look at the case now, and we've raised our serious concerns about this possible nomination with the government of Iran," State Department deputy spokesman Marie Harf said of Hamid Aboutalebi, who was a member of a radical Muslim student group who seized the took over the embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Yanukovych: 'I Was Wrong' To Ask Russian Troops Into Crimea

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych during an interview with The Associated Press, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Wednesday. He said he hoped to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to return Crimea to Ukraine.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:20 am

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted after asking Russian troops into Crimea, admits that his decision was wrong, calling Moscow's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula "a major tragedy."

In an interview with The Associated Press and Russian channel NTV, he said he made a mistake when he asked Russia to intervene, a move many Ukrainians view as treason.

"I was wrong," he said through a translator. "I acted on my emotions."

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Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Why Anthropologists Join An Ebola Outbreak Team

Health specialists work in an isolation ward for patients in Guékedou, southern Guinea.
Seyllou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 12:07 pm

When disease strikes in the developing world, like the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, doctors, nurses and epidemiologists from international organizations fly in to help.

So do anthropologists.

Understanding local customs — and fears — can go a long way in getting communities to cooperate with international health care workers, says Barry Hewlett, a medical anthropologist at Washington State University.

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The Salt
1:28 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Should We Close Part Of The Ocean To Keep Fish On The Plate?

A tuna fishing boat drags a cage of nets on the Mediterranean sea in 2010. (The Mediterranean is not considered to be part of the "high seas.")
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:55 pm

For lovers of fatty tuna belly, canned albacore and swordfish kebabs, here's a question: Would you be willing to give them up for several years so that you could eat them perhaps for the rest of your life?

If a new proposal to ban fishing on the open ocean were to fly, that's essentially what we might be faced with. It's an idea that might help restore the populations of several rapidly disappearing fish – like tuna, swordfish and marlin — that we, and future generations, might like to continue to have as a food source.

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