World News

Asia
3:40 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Of Emergency Raises New Questions In Bangkok

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

To Thailand now, where the government has declared a 60-day state of emergency ahead of next month's snap elections. The move comes after weeks of anti-government protests and it gives authorities the power to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge and ban public gatherings of more than five people.

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Middle East
3:40 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Table's Laid And Guests Are Ready: Syria Peace Talks Set To Begin

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Syrian peace conference begins tomorrow following a tumultuous 24 hours. Yesterday, at the last minute, the UN withdrew Iran's invitation after the Syrian opposition threatened to boycott the meeting. The aim of the talks: to end a three-year war that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 people.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Thai Government Declares State Of Emergency

An anti-government supporter displays her donations for the cause during a street rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday. Thailand has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and its surrounding areas to cope with anti-government protests that have stirred up violent attacks.
Wally Santana AP

Thailand's government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in Bangkok and surrounding areas amid massive protests that have rocked the country since last November.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Om My: Chinese Buddha Booted Over Booty

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:30 pm

It seemed like a good idea at the time: A restaurateur in the Chinese city of Jinan wanted to advertise a dish so good that the Buddha himself scaled walls for a taste, so the owner put up giant sculptures of naked Buddhas climbing over the restaurant.

The South China Morning Post has the background:

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Japanese Government Defends Dolphin Hunt As Killing Goes On

Fishermen in wetsuits trap dolphins in a cove off Taiji, western Japan, on Monday.
Adrian Mylne Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 1:09 pm

His nation's annual dolphin hunt "is a form of traditional fishing in our country," Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga says in response to criticism of the practice from Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador in Tokyo.

"We will explain Japan's position to the American side," the chief Cabinet secretary adds, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Ukraine Tracks Protesters Through Cellphones Amid Clashes

Ukrainian priests stand between protesters and riot police during an anti-government protest Monday in Kiev.
Sergey Dolzhenko EPA /Landov

We have news from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev: The New York Times is reporting that the Ukrainian government used technology to zero-in on the locations of cellphones in use Tuesday near clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Report Details Alleged 'Systematic' Killing By Syria's Assad

Syrian look up after an apparent airstrike by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad on Tuesday in the city of Aleppo.
Ammar Abdullah Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:58 am

This post was updated at 5:39 p.m. ET

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Hunt Is On For At Least One 'Black Widow' In Sochi

Police in Sochi have distributed leaflets as they search for Ruzanna Ibragimova, an alleged "black widow" who may be intending to set off a suicide bomb at the site of next month's Winter Olympics.
Natalya Vasilyeva AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 9:22 am

Is there already one or more "black widow" in or near Sochi, Russia, who might be determined to set off a suicide bomb at the site of next month's Winter Olympics?

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow that Russian security forces are said to be looking for "Ruzanna Ibragimova, the 22-year-old widow of an Islamist militant who was killed by security forces."

He tells our Newscast Desk that according to Russian news outlets:

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Middle East
5:11 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Egyptian Military Clamps Down On Freedom Of Speech

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:57 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Egypt, the military-led government took charge last year with a violent clampdown on Islamists. Since then, it's been targeting many others who criticize its leadership. A high-profile liberal is being charged with a crime over a tweet. And there are at least five journalists behind bars in Egypt, including a team of Al Jazeera English journalists who are being accused of terrorism and other crimes. Egypt is now one of the most dangerous places for reporters to report.

NPR's Leila Fadel has the story of one of them.

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Middle East
4:12 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Framework Of Syria Peace Talks Divides Interested Parties

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

A long delayed Syrian peace conference is to begin in Switzerland on Wednesday. In 2012, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart issued a joint call for talks between the Syrian government and the opposition to reach agreement on a transitional government with "full executive authority." For the U.S., that means Syria's president would be out of power. But the Russians don't see it that way, arguing only the Syrian people can decide on their leader.

Parallels
4:06 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Palestinian Herders Pick Up The Pieces After Homes Destroyed

Nehida Bne Menneh stands amid the rubble of her home in a small Palestinian herding camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It was destroyed for being in an area Israel long ago declared a closed military zone.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:14 pm

NPR's Emily Harris sent this postcard after visiting a community of Palestinian herders whose camp was demolished for being in a closed Israeli military zone.

It's about 20 minutes by four-wheel drive up a rocky canyon to Khirbet 'Ein Karzaliyah, a near-barren plain with a small spring. A handful of families live here, including more than a dozen children and over 700 sheep and goats.

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Asia
3:23 am
Tue January 21, 2014

New Force Emerges In Indian Politics: Common Man Party

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Iraq
3:15 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Violence In Iraq Goes From Bad To Worse

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The violence in Iraq is getting even worse. To recap here, the ongoing Syrian civil war next door created lawless areas where Muslim extremists - Sunni Muslim extremists - from both countries could operate and find safe havens, which helped fuel a wave of hundreds of bombings in Iraq.

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Europe
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

As Protests Renew In Ukraine, Fears Of Violence Return

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to Ukraine where the crisis is intensifying. Today, there were more clashes between protesters and police in the capital city, Kiev. This after a massive protest turned violent yesterday, when more than 100,000 people turned out to denounce a new law that limits public protests. The protests have shaken Ukraine for two months, as the opposition claims President Viktor Yanukovych is turning increasingly autocratic and aligning his country with Russia.

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Middle East
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Surprise Invitation Lands Syrian Peace Talks In Hot Water

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference is again in turmoil. The U.N. secretary-general's surprise decision to invite Iran to attend the conference prompted a boycott threat from Syria's exiled opposition. At issue is the fact that Iran has not publicly committed to the framework for the conference or pledged to withdraw its troops and allied militias from Syria. Under pressure from the opposition groups and the U.S., the U.N. has since withdrawn its invitation to Iran.

Afghanistan
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks

NPR producer Sultan Faizy's car — parked right outside the NPR office in Kabul — was recently targeted by the police. Police say the policy is meant to prevent militants from stealing cars for use in bomb attacks.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:16 am

In Kabul, car theft isn't a big problem, but it is a big concern. Security officials fear that militants could use stolen vehicles as car bombs. So the police have turned to a rather controversial tactic to deter thieves.

On a recent evening, a guest left our office only to discover two of his car tires had been punctured. Moments later, my producer discovered two of his tires had been punctured. Both cars were parked on the side of the street in front of our office.

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Middle East
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Nuclear Inspectors Enter Iran, With Eyes Peeled For Cheating

An unidentified inspector from the International Atomic Energy Agency examines equipment at the Natanz facility in Iran on Monday.
Kazem Ghane AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:58 pm

This week in Iran, international inspectors are stepping up surveillance of the country's nuclear program.

The inspections are at the heart of a landmark deal that freezes Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from sanctions, but they are just a first step.

When you hear "nuclear inspection," maybe you imagine convoys of white SUVs with the United Nations logo stamped on the side and dozens of inspectors bursting into secret facilities.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

New Zealand Quake Shakes Eagle Sculpture From Airport Perch

A giant eagle sculpture that was being used to promote The Hobbit film trilogy after a 6.3 quake caused it to fall from the ceiling of the Wellington Airport on Monday.
Hagen Hopkins AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Travelers at Wellington Airport in New Zealand may have felt a bit like Bilbo Baggins on a quest through Middle Earth when a giant eagle descended from the ceiling during a strong 6.3-magnitude quake that shook North Island on Monday.

The eagle — a sculpture, actually — was one of two giant birds used to promote The Hobbit films, which were shot in New Zealand. The bird was shaken off its perch in the terminal and crashed to the floor.

No one was seriously hurt at the airport or anywhere else on the island, where damage from the earthquake was reportedly minimal.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Oxfam: World's Richest 1 Percent Control Half Of Global Wealth

Local villagers scavenging coal illegally from an open-cast mine in a village near Jharia, India, in 2012.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:16 pm

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.

Other key findings in the report:

-- The world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.S., EU Lift Some Iran Sanctions After Assurances On Uranium

An IAEA team checks the enrichment process inside the uranium enrichment plant Natanz in central Iran on Monday.
Kazem Ghane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:46 pm

This post was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET.

The United States and European Union say they will lift some sanctions against Iran after reports from international inspectors that Tehran has suspended high-level enrichment of uranium under an interim pact to scale back its nuclear program.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.N. Rescinds Offer For Iran To Take Part In Syrian Peace Talks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the media during a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sunday.
Jason Szenes EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:06 am

This post was updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn an invitation to Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks after groups opposing President Bashar Assad's regime threatened a boycott of the discussions if Tehran got a seat at the table.

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Parallels
5:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Low Hopes, High Stakes For Syria Peace Conference In Geneva

In Istanbul on Saturday, Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba announces the opposition group will attend the upcoming peace conference in Geneva.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Can a meeting in Switzerland, known as Geneva-2, solve the crisis in Syria?

The expectations are low. The warring parties are reluctant. Some of the most important players, including powerful armed rebel groups, are not on the invitation list.

The superpower hosts, the U.S. and Russia, fully back the peace conference, set for Wednesday. They hope to kick-start a political process and end the armed conflict that has ravaged Syria and destabilized the region.

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Middle East
3:26 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Iran's Invitation To Syria Peace Talks Causes Diplomatic Stir

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Syrian opposition groups threatened to skip the talks on ending Syria's civil war after the United Nations invited Iran to attend. The U.S. is also trying to figure out if Iran would agree to terms calling for an end to the Assad regime. Renee Montagne talks to Rami Khouri, director of the Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut.

Middle East
3:26 am
Mon January 20, 2014

As Iranian Nuclear Deal Starts, Second Round Of Talks Loom Large

The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, in 2010.
Majid Asgaripour AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 11:03 am

Day one of a six-month period of reduced Iranian nuclear activity and a slight easing of economic sanctions begins Monday. The interim accord may be a high-water mark for nuclear diplomacy, but soon negotiators must begin to fashion a comprehensive nuclear accord in the face of widespread skepticism.

Each side is sniping at the other's interpretation of the relatively modest steps agreed to thus far.

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Africa
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Examining Vicious Cycle Of Ethnic Violence In South Sudan

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In South Sudan, the fighting that began in December continues between groups loyal to two powerful rivals: President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, his former vice president. The conflict, which has left thousands dead, and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes caught many by surprise. It was just a short time ago - 2011 - that South Sudan became an independent nation after a decades-long rebellion against Sudan.

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Afghanistan
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Attack On Kabul Restaurant Prompts Security Review

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Non-governmental organizations and restaurants are raising security protocols in the Afghan capital Kabul after last week's attack on a popular Lebanese restaurant. Twenty-one people, mostly foreigners, were killed. Some members of the international community say they anticipate more violence as elections draw closer.

NPR Ombudsman
8:01 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Fairness In Covering Israel And The Palestinians: The End Of An Accounting

Palestinians protest in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah against the continuation of negotiations with Israel, and demand that Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas not meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Jan. 15, 2014.
Abbas Momani AFP/Getty Images

A quarterly review over the past 11 years of NPR's coverage of Israel and the Palestinians—a self-assessment that may be unique in the annals of American journalism—comes to an end with the attached last report that finds lack of completeness but strong factual accuracy and no systematic bias.

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Animals
3:19 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Profiting From Rhinos, Far From Their Habitat

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 4:42 pm

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Rhinoceros horns now sell for more on the black market than cocaine or heroin. Demand from Southeast Asian consumers is primarily to blame. In order to cash in, thieves have begun targeting a different kind of rhino habitat: museums. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with journalist Adam Higginbotham about the so-called "Rathkeale Rovers," a gang suspected of several thefts.

Middle East
3:19 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Iran To Take First Step Toward Long-Term Deal

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 4:42 pm

On Monday, the nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran officially kicks in. But this agreement is just a first step in a long negotiation process. NPR's Arun Rath talks to Karim Sadjadpour, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about what to expect from additional disarmament talks.

World
9:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Piracy Dips To A New Low On The High Seas

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to turn our attention now to piracy. There have been a string of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia over the past few years. One was the basis of an Oscar-nominated film starring Tom Hanks.

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