China is flexing its muscles these days. Over the weekend, it declared a sprawling air defense identification zone that covers disputed islands controlled by Japan. And it has sent its lone aircraft carrier for first-time trials in the South China Sea, where Beijing has territorial feuds with other neighbors, including Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
None of this was making China any friends in Manila, where the Chinese government is particularly unpopular these days.
Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.
Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.
But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:06 am
Popular Syrian radio personality Honey al-Sayed fled the country last year and now lives in Washington, D.C. Both the regime and rebel forces wanted her to be their mouthpiece. She spoke to David Greene about what it was like to broadcast in Syria during the conflict there, and what made her leave.
A court in the Dominican Republic recently stripped many people of Haitian descent of Dominican citizenship. Linda Wertheimer talks to Jacqueline Charles, a reporter with the Miami Herald, about unrest and reports of mass deportations in the Dominican Republic.
A group of environmental activists from Greenpeace were recently granted bail in Russia after two months in detention for attempting to protest on an oil rig in arctic waters. Peter Willcox, the American captain of the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise, talks to David Greene about the experience when he and his crew were arrested by Russian commandos in the Pechora Sea, north of Russia.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:11 am
David Greene talk to UNICEF Emergency Coordinator Bob McCarthy about the situation at a Catholic church in Bossangoa in the Central African Republic. Thousands of people are seeking shelter in the compound of the church. They are fleeing the violence that has engulfed the country after militias overthrew the government earlier this year.
Flying to or from Europe, many a transatlantic traveler has gazed down at the brilliant white surface of Greenland and maybe wondered what is beneath those massive sheets of ice. Well, scientists have discovered jagged mountains, ravines that rival the Grand Canyon.
And now NPR's Richard Harris reports that for the first time they've come across some lakes under the ice as well.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:28 am
Linda Wertheimer talks to Laura Rozen, a reporter for Al-Monitor.com, about her reporting on the secret talks between the U.S. and Iran. Those talks preceded the interim nuclear deal reached in Geneva last weekend.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:17 am
The northeastern city Maiduguri is the birthplace of the Islamist militant movement Boko Haram. Until earlier this year, when President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in three northeastern states, the extremists regularly hit targets there.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:08 am
The forecast, by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was issued on Wednesday. It contrasts with that of the Greek government which says the economy will grow next year.
A player for Havana's Industriales baseball team winds up to throw a ball during a training session in Havana on Sept. 27. Cuba recently lifted a ban on its athletes' signing contracts to play overseas professionally.
Credit Ramon Espinosa / AP
Yulieski Gourriel, a star player for the Industriales team, works out at a gym in Havanaon Sept. 27. He could probably sign a big league contract for tens of millions. In Cuba, top players are lucky to earn $100 a month.
Credit Ramon Espinosa / AP
Fans show their support for the Industriales team at the Latin American stadium in Havana in 2009.
Baseball season is over in the United States, but it's just getting started in Cuba. It's the first season since Communist authorities lifted a 50-year-old ban on players' signing professional contracts abroad.
The move could bring even more Cuban defections to the U.S. major leagues, but fans on the island aren't booing the change.
Going to a baseball game at Havana's Latin American stadium is a little different from the typical experience in the U.S.
Concerns over China's air defense claims led Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to call Japan's defense minister Wednesday. Here, a man makes a call near a replica of a Chinese fighter jet displayed in Beijing Wednesday.
Concerned by China's move to assert itself in an area claimed by Japan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke with his Japanese counterpart Wednesday. China's military says it monitored a flight Tuesday by U.S. bombers through an air defense zone recently outlined by China.
The Francisco Villa Public School is a big, cement block of a fortress in an eastern Tijuana neighborhood just south of the Mexico-U.S. border.
Many of the nearby houses are patched together out of discarded materials, like old garage doors. The roads are unpaved and deeply rutted.
The school bell pierces the dusty air as girls in pink jumpers and boys in navy sweaters stream out of class. For 45 middle school students here who were born in the United States, the sound of the bell is one of the few things that are familiar.
From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Audie Cornish.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called his counterpart in Japan today to discuss new tensions with China. China has declared a new air defense zone over the East China Sea. Japan has refused to recognize it and has continued commercial flights through the area. And yesterday, the U.S. dispatched two unarmed B52 bombers through the zone.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. I'm not trying to scuttle the deal - those words earlier this week from Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. He's one of several high profile Democrats who voiced skepticism of the agreement announced over the weekend to curb Iran's nuclear program. His chief concern with the deal, that it lets Iran off the hook by offering some $7 billion worth of sanctions relief.
A new political storm is brewing in Egypt. It's over a law that bans unauthorized protest. Egyptian officials are taking to the airwaves to defend the law, in the face of fierce opposition from secular political activists. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
In Pakistan, the army chief is considered the most powerful man in the land. Now, there's a new one. General Raheel Sharif was appointed today. He has the tough task of responding to an Islamist insurgency that's cost thousands of lives. That involves taking on Pakistan's Taliban militants. And they also have a new leader, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most prominent critics of the U.S. deal with Iran. While President Obama calls the agreement a breakthrough, Netanyahu calls it a "historic mistake." It's far from the first time the Israeli and American leaders have clashed.
Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu took charge of their countries within a few months of each other. They were hardly a matched pair.
Tourists and visitors pass by a two-story Louis Vuitton suitcase erected at the Red Square in Moscow on Wednesday. Politicians didn't like it, the public didn't like it, so the gigantic Louis Vuitton suitcase is being booted out of Red Square.
Two U.S. B-52s, like the one shown here, have flown through an area that China says is within its air defense zone. China's announcement has irked its neighbors and the U.S. and Japan say they won't abide by it.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:24 pm
China's announcement of a new air defense zone highlights its ambitions as a military power in a region where it has competing territorial claims with neighbors including Japan and the Philippines. It also comes at a time when the U.S. is upgrading its emphasis on the region and appears willing to challenge the Chinese claim.
Amanda Maia was visiting Rio de Janeiro for the weekend earlier this month with her mother. It was a sunny day and so they went to Ipanema beach to catch some rays. She says she noticed a few groups of kids.
"There were lots of gangs, about 10, 15 children each; they were about 10 or 12 years old," Maia recalls.
At first, she says, they were just roaming the streets, checking people out. The ones she saw were smoking marijuana, too.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:29 am
The collapse of a supermarket roof and the more than 50 deaths it caused last week has led Latvia's prime minister to announce he's stepping down.
"Latvia needs to have a government that will supported by the Saeima [parliament] majority and deal with the current situation in the nation," Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday, according to The Baltic Times.
China says it tracked U.S. B-52 bombers that flew over its "air defense identification zone."
Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Wednesday the U.S. aircraft flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea air defense identification zone from 11 a.m. to 1:22 p.m. Tuesday, about 120 miles east of the disputed islands that Japan calls Senkaku and China Diaoyu.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:44 am
We told you earlier this week about the massive anti-government protests in Thailand in which demonstrators took over parts of the Finance and Foreign ministries and called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. On Wednesday, the fourth day of demonstrations, protesters forced the evacuation of the country's top crime-fighting agency.
China announced over the weekend that it had expanded an air-defense zone to cover islands that are claimed by both it and Japan. The U.S., Japan and others said they wouldn't recognize that new zone. The U.S. has since flown two bomber jets through the space without notifying China.
Video footage shows what appears to be Kenyan soldiers carrying plastic shopping bags as they leave a supermarket at Westgate Mall during a terrorist attack in Nairobi on Sept. 21. Kenya's security forces have long been rated as among the most corrupt institutions in the country, but even jaded Kenyans were shocked by the CCTV footage.
Editor's Note: One out of three Africans paid a bribe in the past year to obtain a government document, get medical care, place kids in school or settle an issue with police, according to a recent survey. Police consistently attracted the highest ratings of corruption, including those in Kenya. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at the impact it has on the country.
The crime, poverty and unemployment rates have increased in Honduras under outgoing President Porfirio Lobo of the conservative National Party. But voters have chosen to keep the party in power by electing Juan Orlando-Hernandez. Linda Wertheimer talks to Tracy Wilkinson, the Mexico bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, about the election.