Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 12:59 pm
A leap of faith that sent an Arizona family bound for the South Pacific in a sailboat has returned them in an airplane after a harrowing ordeal at sea that saw them adrift and nearly out of food in one of the remotest stretches of ocean on the planet.
While American kids stand in line for the ice cream truck on sweltering summer days, kids in Russia have historically queued up for something different: the kvas truck.
Kvas is a fermented grain drink, sort of like a barely alcoholic beer. And in the heat of the summer, it was served from a big barrel on wheels, with everyone lining up for their turn at the communal mug. It may sound like a far cry from rocket pops and ice cream sandwiches, but most Russians have fond memories.
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 4:40 pm
At least 60 people are dead in Iraq after a wave of car bombs in mainly Shi'ite areas of Baghdad as Muslims observe the end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr. Scores more are reported wounded.
The attacks come amid an especially violent Ramadan for Iraq. The BBC reports that more than 650 people have been killed since the start of the annual Islamic fasting period. The news agency says in the latest attack, 11 bombs have ripped through cafes, markets and restaurants in at least nine different Baghdad districts.
The State Department has announced that 18 U.S. embassies closed last week because of terror threats will reopen tomorrow. The U.S. post in Sana'a, Yemen, however, will remain closed. Prudence Bushnell is a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala and Kenya. She joins us now to talk about this. Welcome to the program.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Coming up, the story of a group of African-American landscape painters known as "The Highwaymen." But first, how much of a threat is al-Qaida today?
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 1:08 pm
A confrontation between Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, Northern Ireland, erupted into violence overnight, injuring 56 police officers and two civilians.
"Belfast's main shopping district was turned into a battlefield last night as thousands of loyalists clashed with riot police to prevent a republican dissident rally passing down the city's main thoroughfare," The Guardian writes.
For more on the strained relationship between Russia and the U.S., we're joined by Steven Pifer. He's former ambassador to Ukraine, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Ambassador, welcome.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with their Russian counterparts for talks in Washington on Friday, aiming to repair strained relations with Moscow.
President Obama snubbed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday when he called off plans to go to Moscow next month for a one-on-one summit. He was reacting to Russia's offer of temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
But on Friday, the diplomats seemed eager to show that the dispute is not some new sort of cold war.
Heading into Friday's news conference, President Obama had a delicate balancing act before him: how to acknowledge widespread concerns about National Security Agency surveillance without in any way legitimizing the actions of leaker Edward Snowden.
The best course, the president decided, was to acknowledge that Snowden's revelations to some degree forced his administration to accelerate and expand a review of the federal government's surveillance activities.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:56 am
Babies come in pretty cute packaging — we're pretty sure it has something to do with Mother Nature wanting you to coo over a burping, pooping little freeloader. But now Chinese Internet users have found a way to one-up nature: They're wrapping those already adorable babes in watermelons.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. In Egypt, the country's Muslims are marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, celebrating with family and friends. But not everyone is home enjoying the holiday. Tens of thousands of protesters are still in the streets mainly camped out in two locations in Cairo.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:28 am
A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.
Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:56 am
Gaston Glock, 84, has been ordered to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Helga, whom he divorced in 2011. The couple had been married for 49 years. The founder of the Austrian gun company "divorced Helga in order to marry a woman about 50 years his junior," Agence France-Presse reports.
Austria's highest court issued its ruling this week, after two lower courts had sided with Gaston Glock in what has been a lengthy court battle.
Tightrope walker Andrea Loreni performs in front of the Coliseum in Rome on Saturday. Rome's new mayor is on a crusade to make the ancient monuments more pedestrian friendly, and the city held an all-night street party as it permanently blocked off part of the main road running past the Coliseum.
Credit Franco Origlia / Getty Images
People walk along Rome's Via dei Fori Imperiali during "La Notte dei Fori" on Saturday. The event opened a plan to ban private traffic from the stretch of roadway near the Colosseum.
On the first Saturday of August, a funny thing happened to 150,000 people on their way to the Roman Forum.
While a pianist and sax player set the mood, people looked upward and watched anxiously as acrobat Andrea Loreni made his way slowly on a tightrope stretched across Via dei Fori Imperiali, the wide avenue flanking the Forum and leading to the Coliseum.
The acrobat's walk was meant as a metaphor, a bridge reuniting ancient squares.
Tiffanie Drayton's mother moved her family to the U-S for a better life. But it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Now back in her native Trinidad, Drayton tells host Michel Martin what inspired her to share her story in the Salon piece 'Goodbye to my American Dream.' Byline: Michel Martin
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program today, we'll talk about immigration, but not in the way you might expect. Most often, we seem to hear about immigrants who are desperate to stay in the U.S. Later, we'll hear from a woman who said life was not what she'd hoped for here, so she packed up and went back to Trinidad. We'll hear from her in just a few minutes. But we are going to start the program today with a visit to the Barbershop.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:55 am
Four decades ago, Ho Van Thanh fled the fighting in his native Vietnam, disappearing into the jungle with his infant son, Ho Van Lang. This week, father and son emerged for the first time — an enfeebled Thanh carried in a stretcher, and Lang wearing only a loincloth made of tree bark.
According to the Vietnamese newspaper Dan Tri, Ho Van Thanh, now 82, was last seen in 1973 running into the jungle, after his wife and two other children were killed by a bomb or land mine near his home.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 5:56 am
Looks like Arabian camels might be hiding more than just fat in those furry humps.
Scientists have found evidence that dromedary camels — the ones with just one hump — may be carriers of the lethal coronavirus in the Middle East, which has infected at least 94 people and killed 46 since first appearing in Saudi Arabia last year.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer. We begin this hour with neighboring countries struggling with the confounding realities of the Arab Spring.
GREENE: In Libya an elected government remains in place, but it may be too weak to bring in the militia leader accused of killing a U.S. ambassador. In Egypt, the general who led a coup against the country's first democratically elected president is now celebrated like a movie star.
And just preserving some semblance of order is the big challenge in neighboring Libya. That country's long-time dictator, Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power two years ago and now the future of Libya as even a functioning state is in question. There has been increased lawlessness in that country. The militias that ousted Muammar Gaddafi are fighting with each other. A thousand inmates escaped in a prison break and there are assassinations of activists and police.
A police officer patrols the rooftop of a school at the Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 20, 2012, where a "pacification" anti-crime effort was underway. Rio police are now going to attempt a similar pacification in another huge slum, Mare.
Credit Silvia Izquierdo / AP
The Mare shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the city's densest neighborhoods.
Officials also ordered nonessential government personnel to leave the U.S. Consulate in Lahore.
The statement issued Thursday says the drawdown was due to "specific threats" concerning the consulate, which was scheduled to be closed for the Eid holiday from Thursday through Sunday. No reopening had been scheduled, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.