World News

The Two-Way
5:02 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Thai Court Removes Prime Minister Yingluck From Office

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra received roses from supporters in a Bangkok suburb on Wednesday.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:29 am

Saying Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had violated Thailand's constitution, the country's Constitutional Court ordered the caretaker leader to step down from office, along with nine ministers. She had held the post since the summer of 2011.

The court's ruling Wednesday stems from accusations that Yingluck abused her powers in 2011 by transferring the national security chief, who had been appointed by the opposition. The court's nine judges went on national television to broadcast their decision.

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Africa
4:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

South Africans Cast Ballots 20 Years Since Apartheid

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:47 am

This election marks 20 years since Nelson Mandela was elected and will be the first since his death. Renee Montagne talks to Verashni Pillay, associate editor for the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg.

Africa
3:14 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Kidnapped Nigerian School Girl Escapes, Talks About Ordeal

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:47 am

Renee Montagne talks to Michelle Faul, the Nigeria bureau chief for The Associated Press, on the latest regarding the abductions of Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram terror group.

Middle East
3:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Syrian Opposition Finds A Voice On Pirate Radio

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:09 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Syrian journalist Obadah Al-Kaddri about being named one of Time magazine's top 100 influential people. Al-Kaddri is director of Radio Watan, a pirate station heard in Syria.

Parallels
1:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

In Ukraine's Corridors Of Power, An Effort To Toss Out The Old

An activist waves the Ukrainian national flag at Independence Square on April 6.
Valentyn Ogirenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:57 am

The first time I saw the word "lustration," I thought it was a case of bad translation from Ukrainian. In Kiev, a flyer advertised a talk by the head of parliament's "lustration" committee.

"What does this word mean in English?" I asked a press aide.

"I don't know the English word for it, but it will be an interesting speech," he replied.

And indeed, it was.

Weeks later, Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College in London, explained to me that lustration actually is an English word.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Can Africans Do A Better Job Of Peacekeeping In South Sudan?

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a child at a refugee camp in Juba, South Sudan, on Tuesday. There have been increased calls for a contingent of African troops to be involved in peacekeeping operations.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 5:25 pm

The commander of the rebel movement in South Sudan has agreed to talk peace — if he can make it out of his secret war bunker.

Riek Machar told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by phone on Tuesday that he would "try his best" to make it to Friday's scheduled sit-down in Ethiopia, but that he was "now in a very remote area."

There might be some truth to it: South Sudan is one of the least developed countries in the world, with almost no paved roads outside of the capital. The current rainy season can make travel virtually impossible.

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World
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

UN Committee Grills Vatican Officials On Sex Abuse

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 9:05 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For the second time this year, Vatican officials were subjected to scathing questions by a U.N. panel. The questions focus on the church's handling of cases of sexual abuse by priests. The grilling came in two days of hearings in Geneva by the U.N. Committee on Torture. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is following this and joins me now. And, Sylvia, earlier this year, it was a U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child that issued a very harsh report about clerical sex abuse. What is the Committee on Torture saying now, and is it different?

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Africa
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

With UN Chief In South Sudan, Warring Sides Agree To Talk

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 9:06 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The president of South Sudan and the commander of the rebels there have agreed to sit down and talk. That's one thing that's come out of a visit to the country by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

As NPR's Gregory Warner reports, the U.N. chief also addressed calls to bring African troops into the troubled peacekeeping process.

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World
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

In Ukraine, West's New Diplomatic Options May Be Few

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. won't sit idly by while Russia fans the flames of instability in Ukraine. But so far, U.S. and European sanctions haven't changed Russia's calculations. Kerry blames Russia for failing to calm the crisis. Russia says Ukraine should stop its offensive against separatists in the east. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that the diplomatic options during these tense days look limited.

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Parallels
1:49 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

20 Years After Apartheid, South Africa Asks, 'How Are We Doing?'

The Rev. Desmond Tutu, shown during a press conference last month in Cape Town, has been sharply critical of South Africa's political leadership as the country marks 20 years since the end of apartheid. He said he wouldn't vote for the ruling African National Congress in Wednesday's election.
Jennifer Bruce AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:34 am

When South Africa buried apartheid with its first all-race election in 1994, the Rev. Desmond Tutu danced with joy as he cast his ballot.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Scientists Help Galapagos Finches Get Rid Of A Nasty Nest Pest

A Darwin finch in the Galapagos. The subfamily that is unique to the islands has been threatened by an invasive parasite that first appeared in 1997.
Education Images UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:52 pm

The diminutive Galapagos finches had a problem: The larvae of a parasitic nest fly were killing off their hatchlings.

A scientist, with the help of crowdfunding, had a solution: offer the birds insecticide-laced nest-building material.

It worked.

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Parallels
9:59 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Boko Haram's Local Fight Suddenly Gets International Scrutiny

A "wanted" poster for Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in Baga village in northeastern Nigeria, the region where the radical Islamist group is based.
Tim Cocks Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:58 pm

The radical Islamist group Boko Haram isn't new. The group has been around for more than a decade and has waged a bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria for the past five years. But it has suddenly achieved international notoriety by kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls who have now been missing for more than three weeks.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Kidnappers In Nigeria Wore Uniforms, Escaped Girl Says

Muslim women march as part of a call for Nigeria's government to increase efforts to rescue more than 200 girls who were kidnapped from their school last month.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:38 am

The gunmen who abducted 276 girls from a school in Nigeria last month wore uniforms and said they were soldiers who had come to help, according to a girl who escaped her captors. The girls were led outside — and it wasn't until the gunmen stole food and set fire to the school that the girls became certain they were in trouble.

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The Two-Way
5:09 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Ukraine Reports Dozens Killed In Slovyansk Fighting

Pro-Russian gunmen carry their weapons in the center of Slovyansk, Ukraine, Tuesday. Gun battles were fought around the city Monday in what has proven the most ambitious government effort to regain control of areas taken by separatists.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 4:46 pm

Ukraine says its military has killed 30 pro-Russian separatists as government forces try to retake Slovyansk and other cities near the border with Russia. At least four Ukrainian soldiers have died, and separatists shot down a helicopter in eastern Ukraine.

The helicopter's "crew escaped because they apparently crashed into a riverbed once it was shot down," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced the death toll in Slovyansk on Tuesday.

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Europe
3:04 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Ukrainian Troops Battle Pro-Russian Insurgents

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Let's get an update now on a struggle starting to look more like a war in Ukraine. At least four Ukrainian soldiers and 30 pro-Russian fighters have been killed in this latest round of fighting as the government tries to retake cities near the border with Russia. Several Ukrainian helicopters have been shot down by well-armed separatists.

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NPR Story
2:33 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Nigerian Militant Group Threatens To Sell Kidnapped School Girls

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

On Monday, the militant Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping. Steve Inskeep talks to Mannir Dan Ali, editor-in-chief of the Daily Trust in Abuja, Nigeria.

Parallels
1:30 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Fleeing War At Home, Syrians Reach State Of Limbo In Greece

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

At the end of a weathered street lined with sooty apartment blocks and minimarkets, in a smoky budget hotel in central Athens, the refugees wait.

"This lobby is like Syria," says a small, green-eyed man who calls himself Muhammad and says he's from Aleppo. "That guy is from Damascus," he says, pointing. "That one is from Homs, that one from Latakia."

There are about 80 Syrians here, including six neighbors from Yarmouk, the Palestinian neighborhood in Damascus. They sit together at a table in the hotel's breakfast room, sipping sweet, hot Nescafe from tall glasses.

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World
1:28 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Putin's Internet Plan Requires 'Sharing' With Security Services

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown speaking on TV last month, has signed a measure that would impose a host of restrictions on Internet companies and users.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:25 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new measure that will give the government much greater control over the Internet.

Critics say the law is aimed at silencing opposition bloggers and restricting what people can say on social media. It would also force international email providers and social networks to make their users' information available to the Russian security services.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Vatican Tells U.N. Committee That Abuse Claims Have Dropped

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi appears before the U.N. committee in Geneva on Monday.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:40 pm

A United Nations committee on Monday grilled a Vatican representative about priest sex abuse and compared the impact of the scandal to torture.

But Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's top envoy in Geneva, said the Vatican leadership had improved its handling of abuse in the decade since the scandal exploded.

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Shots - Health News
4:35 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency

On the outskirts of Islamabad, a Pakistani health worker vaccinates an Afghan refugee against polio.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 2:25 pm

It is, says the World Health Organization, "an extraordinary event." Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.

The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The World Health Organization has set a goal of wiping out polio by 2018.

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Europe
2:25 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Sinn Fein Leader's Questioning Dredges Memories Of 'Troubles'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Gerry Adams, a leader of Sinn Fein, was questioned in Northern Ireland in connection with an infamous murder 42 years ago. The investigation threatens to impact the fragile peace agreement there.

The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Boats Carrying Migrants Capsize Off Greece; At Least 22 Dead

A handout photo provided by the Hellenic coast guard shows local fishermen examining a yacht that sank off the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Greece, on Monday.
Hellenic coast guard EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:09 pm

At least 22 people, including four children, are dead after two small boats carrying illegal migrants capsized off the Greek coast in the eastern Aegean Sea.

Joanna Kakissis, reporting for NPR from Athens, says survivors told the Hellenic coast guard that as many as 65 people were on the two smuggling boats — a 30-foot yacht and a 6-foot dinghy.

Rescue teams managed to save 36 people after the boats started sinking early Monday and were still searching for the seven others thought to be missing.

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Latin America
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

In Venezuela Protests, Report Condemns Police's 'Pattern Of Abuse'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

A Human Rights Watch report documents brutal force used by Venezuelan security forces against peaceful demonstrators — including beatings, shootings and, in some cases, torture. The report also shows how security forces work in cahoots with pro-government armed gangs, calling the abuses the worst they have seen in years.

Africa
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Weeks Into Search Efforts, Can Other Countries Help Nigeria?

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry called the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls an unconscionable crime. And he promised the U.S. would do everything possible to help return the young women to their homes and hold the perpetrators to justice.

So, just what might that everything possible mean? For insights on that I'm joined by Richard Downie. He's deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington.

Richard, thanks for coming in.

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Africa
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Extremist Group Claims Credit For Mass Kidnapping In Nigeria

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram claimed credit for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls. The girls remain missing, and parents are pressing the government to find and bring them home. The president's wife has ordered the arrest of the parent who is leading the protests demanding government action.

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Parallels
1:44 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Iranian Activist Says Her Release Is A Gesture, Not A New Era

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh (shown here at her home in Tehran on Sept. 18, 2013, following her release from prison) was one of the last lawyers taking on human rights cases in Iran before her arrest in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 8:34 pm

When Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, was released in September 2013 — along with 11 other high-profile political prisoners — many Iranians saw the move as opening a new era following the election of centrist President Hassan Rouhani.

He had promised to release political prisoners rounded up after the contested 2009 elections, when thousands of protesters, known as the Green Movement, were tried and jailed.

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Parallels
12:09 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Where Are The Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls?

Nigerian women in Lagos on Monday demand that the government do more to rescue the teenage girls who were kidnapped three weeks ago by a radical Islamist group in the northeastern part of the country. The government says it does not know where the girls are being held or what condition they are in.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 2:08 pm

Children are abducted with depressing regularity in African conflicts, but the seizure of more than 250 schoolgirls in Nigeria is a particularly strange and baffling case.

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Digital Life
10:08 am
Mon May 5, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls Reaches Activists Around The World

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 10:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I am Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Continuing with our top story today we want to look at what activists have been doing around the world in response to the kidnapping of those 200-plus schoolgirls in Nigeria. On Twitter, activists have started a hashtag campaign #BringBackOurGirls to keep focus on the crisis and to keep-up pressure on the government.

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Africa
10:08 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Nigerians Urge Leaders: Forget Politics, Find Our Girls Now

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 10:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today with a story we've been covering closely for the last few weeks - the kidnapping of more than 200 girls at a boarding school in Nigeria last month. There have been a number of new developments we want to tell you about, including mounting pressure on the government of Nigeria to step up its efforts to find the girls. That pressure coming from the streets of Nigeria, online and in cities around the world.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Palestinian Perspective On Stalled Mideast Peace Talks

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:40 am

Steve Inskeep talks to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. An Israeli diplomat told Morning Edition last week that a unity government between Fatah and Hamas is unacceptable.

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