World News

Middle East
3:18 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Egypt's Coptic Christians Celebrate Christmas Amid Fear, Hope

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:12 am

Coptic Christians in Egypt celebrated their Christmas on Tuesday in an atmosphere of uncertainty. There were dozens of attacks on churches and Christian homes both during and after the tenure of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Coptic leaders publicly supported the military coup that ousted Morsi.

Africa
3:17 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Despite Warning Signs, South Sudan's Violence Escalated Fast

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:12 am

The United States played a key role in helping South Sudan gain independence. But, U.S. diplomats are having a hard time helping the country emerge from internal political and ethnic violence.

NPR Story
3:10 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Why One Expert Says Edward Snowden Deserves Clemency

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:26 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Edward Snowden is, of course, facing some serious criminal charges here in the United States for stealing classified documents and leaking details of domestic and international surveillance programs. It's unclear if Snowden will ever return to this country to face charges, but that hasn't stopped a vigorous debate in recent days over whether Snowden should be eligible for clemency.

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Parallels
1:31 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Even In Snowden-Friendly Brazil, Asylum May Be 'Bridge Too Far'

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks in Sao Paulo on Dec. 19, framed by posters held by protesters calling for asylum for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Andre Penner AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:21 am

Should they or shouldn't they? That's the question Brazilians are asking themselves after Edward Snowden's "open letter" lauding Brazil's role in protecting privacy rights and alluding to his hand in uncovering spying on their president.

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Iraq
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices

A U.S. Army soldier guards the remains of a burned-out military ammunition truck after it was attacked in Fallujah, Iraq, on Oct. 19, 2003. Fallujah and its surrounds were the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for U.S. troops during the Iraq war.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:17 am

Will Walsh got to know the Iraqi city of Fallujah while running across its bridges in the middle of the night, under fire, looking for IEDs. That was nearly 10 years ago.

Last weekend, the former Army captain heard the news that Fallujah had fallen, again, to al-Qaida-linked groups.

"The question I have to ask myself is was that effort in vain?" he says now. "Was all the work that we did, all the sacrifice that we had, what is the benefit?"

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Iraq
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

The Pentagon Weighs Its Options In Syria And Iraq

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the rising violence in both Syria and Iraq and American military options in the region. A group linked to al-Qaida has been fighting in Syria, battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad. That group has also crossed the border into Iraq where it is fighting for control of Ramadi and Fallujah, cities where hundreds of Americans died years ago.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Tue January 7, 2014

U.N. Suspends Counting Deaths In Syria's Civil War

Syrians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government airstrike in Aleppo, in this image provided Monday that was taken by a citizen journalist.
AP

The United Nations says it can no longer verify the death toll in Syria's civil war and, as of Tuesday, will leave the figure at 100,000, where it stood in late July.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Run Run Shaw, Kung Fu Movie Pioneer, Dies

Sir Run Run Shaw in 2010.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Greene talks about Run Run Shaw

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Parallels
9:15 am
Tue January 7, 2014

How Al-Qaida Returned To A Troubled Part Of Iraq

Sunni Muslim fighters in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah take up positions on Sunday. The insurgents have been fighting government troops in battles similar to those a decade ago in the area.
Mohammed Jalil EPA /Landov

Yet again, Iraqi civilians are fleeing violence in Iraq's sprawling western province of Anbar. Years of under-the-radar daily tension and bloodshed has erupted into another al-Qaida surge and retaliatory Iraqi government airstrikes.

But the violence that brought Iraq back to the headlines, while tragic, was not surprising.

For months, observers had been warning about the combustible combination of the Syrian civil war next door and the alienation of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Dennis Rodman Defends North Korean 'Basketball Diplomacy'

Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:48 am

In a combative interview from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman defended his "basketball diplomacy" in the repressive country and seemed to imply that he believes American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime, is guilty.

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Parallels
4:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

London's Cheeky Skyscrapers

The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016 feet, was inaugurated in London in 2012. It got its formal name when the builders adopted the term used by critics, who called it a "shard of glass" in the city's skyline.
Ben Fitzpatrick AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:58 am

I arrived in London a few days ago for my new NPR assignment. As an unofficial part of my orientation, I decided to take a guided walking tour of the old city.

Yes, the history was fascinating. Yes, the city is beautiful. Well, most of it. Parts are not exactly my taste.

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NPR Story
2:59 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Can't Stand The Cold Snap? Don't Go To Antarctica

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And with much of the nation is in the middle of this brutal cold snap, let's take a moment to hear from scientists who study other planets or even the chilliest places on Earth. Those researchers commonly encounter temperatures that make this news-making cold seem downright balmy. We asked NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel to find out just how low it can go.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: I caught up with researcher Paul Mayewski yesterday just as he was headed out of town.

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Around the Nation
12:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Sunday Assembly: A Church For The Godless Picks Up Steam

Ian Dodd (center), co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Sunday Assembly, sings with other attendees. Chapters of the godless church, founded by British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, have been spreading since launching in London in January 2013.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 1:41 pm

It sometimes feels like church in the auditorium of the Professional Musicians union in Hollywood. It's a Sunday morning, and hundreds of people are gathered to meditate, sing and listen to inspirational poetry and stories.

But then the live band starts up — performing songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jerry Lee Lewis. And instead of a sermon, there's a lecture by experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Jessica Cail about the biology of gender identification and sexual orientation.

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The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Panama Asks Spain To Help Resolve Canal Expansion Dispute

President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli (left), talks next to Spain's Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ana Pastor, during a news conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Panama City, Panama, on Monday.
Alejandro Bolivar EPA/Landov

Panama's president on Monday expressed confidence that a multi-billion dollar Panama Canal expansion will get back on track after a European-led consortium threatened to halt construction unless it gets paid for massive cost overruns.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Foul Weather In Britain Linked To U.S. 'Polar Vortex'

High tide storm waves batter the Cumbrian coast, completely inundating the harbor wall at Whitehaven on Monday.
Ashley Cooper Barcroft Media/Landov

Britain's southwest coast is getting slammed by a winter storm, with high winds driving waves as high as 27 feet ashore in an unusual event that meteorologists say is likely linked to the bone-chilling "polar vortex" gripping much of the U.S.

The U.K. Met Office is warning of continued "exceptionally high waves."

It said the waves were triggered by a large, deep depression in the Atlantic which was "whipping waves up" out at sea.

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Africa
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

How I Almost Got Arrested With A South Sudanese Ex-Minister

South Sudan's then-Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Peter Adwok Nyaba (center) celebrates the first anniversary of the country's independence in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on July 9, 2012. Since then, all of South Sudan's Cabinet ministers have been sacked — including Adwok — for allegedly conspiring to overthrow President Salva Kiir.
Ding Haitao Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:28 pm

The unmarked, unpaved streets of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, can be tough for an outsider to navigate.

By the time I found the house of Peter Adwok Nyaba, the country's former minister of higher education, science and technology, it was already 5 p.m. The sun was dangerously low on the horizon. I had less than an hour to interview Adwok and get back to my hotel before the citywide curfew — imposed when the violence began three weeks before — took effect. After 6, there would be no one on the streets except myself and soldiers.

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Iraq
2:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Al-Qaida-Linked Militia Gains Control Of Fallujah

Robert Siegel talks to independent journalist Jane Arraf about the takeover of Fallujah and Ramadi by an al-Qaida-linked group. Arraf is based in Baghdad and was in Fallujah three weeks ago.

The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Deadly Violence Mars Elections In Bangladesh

Bangladeshi protesters burn election material Sunday at a polling station in the northern town of Bogra.
AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh's parliamentary election Sunday proved to be among the most violent vote in the country's short history. At least 18 people were killed, including an election officer who was beaten to death, and scores of polling stations firebombed, according to local media reports.

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Around the Nation
10:42 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Stories To Watch In 2014

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
10:42 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Global Youth Unemployment: Ticking Time Bomb?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. Unemployment for young people is another one of those contentious political issues as well as a burden for people living through it. Overall, the unemployment rate in the U.S. is just over 7 percent, but for younger workers it's much higher. For some young workers or would-be workers in sub-groups like black teens, unemployment is at depression levels. But what you might not know is that youth unemployment is a global concern.

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Politics
10:42 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Reframing The Immigration Conversation For 2014

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, high unemployment in the U.S. is an ongoing political issue - one reason lawmakers right now are starting to talk about extending long-term unemployment benefits. But younger workers have been particularly hard hit during the world-wide economic slowdown. We're going to take a look how youth unemployment around the world is affecting political discussions. That's in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Story That Kim Jong Un Fed Uncle To Dogs Was Probably Satire

People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and Kim's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, circled in red, at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea on Dec. 3.
Ahn Young-joon AP
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Parallels
8:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

In Fast-Changing China, Reality Can Overtake Fiction

Qiu Xiaolong in his ancestral house during a visit from his home in St. Louis.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 7:03 pm

One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast — sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong.

In one scene, Qiu's main character, Inspector Chen, sits in a Shanghai restaurant scanning a hotel where government agents are holding a corrupt official in secret detention.

Recently, Qiu took me on a tour of the book's real-life settings, including the site of that eatery.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

German Chancellor Merkel Fractures Hip In Skiing Accident

German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the recording of her annual New Year's speech at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30.
David Gannon AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:00 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured a hip during a cross-country skiing accident in the Swiss Alps, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Monday.

He says the injury will confine the German leader to a bed for about three weeks, so Merkel has cancelled some meetings.

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this report for our Newscast unit:

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Latin America
5:14 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Venezuela's Department Of Happiness Criticized

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's the name of a government office that caught our attention: The Vice Ministry for the Supreme Social Happiness of the People. This is a newly created office in Venezuela, where government bureaucracy sure seems to be growing. John Otis tells us more.

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Afghanistan
4:42 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Will Afghan Polling Data Help Alleviate Election Fraud?

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has commissioned a series of polls to see who Afghans favor in the April election. But between security challenges and "social desirability" biases, it can be difficult to impossible to get a clear read of the Afghan people.

Middle East
4:39 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Kerry Leaves Jerusalem Without Much Progress On Peace Deal

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. Secretary of State John Kerry spent much of last week in the Mideast, where he tried to push Israeli and Palestinian leaders towards a peace agreement. Yesterday he flew to Saudi Arabia and Jordan to update the monarchs of those countries on the progress of the talks. But as NPR's Emily Harris reports, if there has indeed been progress, it remains under wraps.

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Middle East
3:17 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Al-Qaida Extremists Fight For Influence In Iraq, Syria

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:03 am

In Syria, militias linked to al-Qaida have taken the lead in the fight against the Assad government. In Iraq, they've caused a wave of violence including bombings against civilians and attacks on government forces.

The Salt
12:32 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

In Sao Paulo, Organic Markets Are Beginning To Take Off

As demand for organic food in Brazil rises, organic produce is getting more affordable.
Paula Moura for NPR

Sao Paulo holds the title of the biggest city in Latin America, with an estimated 22 million people in its metropolitan area. But when it comes to local, organic food, the pickings are pretty slim: The city has just 20 organic farmers' markets.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Kerry Appears To Signal Openness To Iran Role In Syria Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 1:37 pm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has opened the door for Iran's participation in peace talks to end Syria's civil war.

The U.S. has long been opposed to an Iranian role in the so-called Geneva II talks later this month, but Kerry's comments in Jerusalem on Sunday may be the first sign that opposition is softening.

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