During our road trip along the U.S./Mexico border, we took a walk along the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas. You can look right into Mexico and the heart of Ciudad Juarez across the river. Monique Ortiz Uribe brought us here. She's a reporter with public radio's Fronteras desk, which covers the border, and she pointed out a gray office building.
MONIQUE ORTIZ URIBE: See, that's city hall inside Juarez in Mexico, and to our right we can see the international bridge that connects the two cities of El Paso and Juarez.
The Venezuelan capital, Caracas, can be one of the most expensive cities in the world — or one of the cheapest. It all depends on how you exchange your dollars.
At a fast food restaurant in the city recently, a pretty tasty plate of chicken and rice cost me 160 bolivars. At the official exchange rate set by the government, that works out to a little more than $25; at the black market rate, it's just $2.
Needless to say, most anyone who can change money on the black market in Venezuela does so.
Malaysia's prime minister concluded that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 "ended in the southern Indian Ocean," setting off howls of grief and anger among passengers' families. The search continues for debris that would confirm the flight crashed.
As Western leaders mull over possible sanctions against Russia, it's commonly observed that Europe is more economically connected to Russia than we are. What are those connections and how big are they? Well, we're going to ask Gary Hufbauer, who's a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Welcome to the program once again.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Russian markets and businesses are reeling from Western threats and sanctions - they're a response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's stance toward Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. But ordinary Russians are closing ranks behind their president. And many Russians tell NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, the U.S. should expect even more pushback against the West.
Now to Venezuela, where economic woes have given way to violence in the streets. At least 34 people have now been killed and 400 injured in several weeks of demonstrations against the government. The country's attorney general now acknowledges that state security forces committed excesses in breaking up the protests. John Otis reports.
To the Netherlands now, where more than 50 world leaders are attending a major nuclear summit. That group includes President Obama who landed in Amsterdam this morning. The crisis in Ukraine hangs over this trip, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from The Hague.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Moments after Air Force One touched down, President Obama was walking through the cavernous hallways of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam's temple to fine art.
PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE: (Foreign language spoken)
Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:48 pm
(This post was updated at 5:48 p.m. ET)
President Obama announced new punitive measures last week to expand the initial sanctions on Russia for its moves in Crimea. The measures, along with steps outlined by the European Union, impose asset freezes and travel bans on some Russian officials and target a Russian bank.
Here is what the sanctions do and their possible impact:
Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:41 pm
President Obama is doing serious work in Europe this week, meeting with the G-7, NATO and the EU to discuss Russia's actions in Ukraine. He's also joining leaders from more than 50 countries in The Hague to talk about keeping nuclear weapons away from terrorists. But before the intense negotiations got underway, he launched this trip with a bit of culture.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. We have breaking news this morning on the status of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 307. Earlier this hour Malaysia's prime minister announced that the government there now believes the plane is lost.
PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK: It's therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:12 am
Ukraine announced the pullout of its troops from Crimea after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula and took control of the military bases there. The decision comes as President Obama arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a summit of the G-7 group of industrialized nations that is certain to focus on discussion of the international crisis.
Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Monday that the Defense Ministry has been ordered to redeploy Ukrainian servicemen from the Crimea to Ukraine's mainland, in remarks confirmed by his office.
A dust-covered car has been in our parking lot at NPR West this week. It was the vehicle that took Steve Inskeep and several colleagues along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico. We've been hearing what they found in recent days, stories of people and goods and culture that cross the border. Steve's in our studio now with a rather difficult story to tell. Steve, what is that?
Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:49 am
It's déjà vu all over again in the more-than-two-week search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370: Today, like yesterday, Malaysian authorities announced that another satellite detected suspected debris near the spot they believe the 777 went missing.
This time it was a French satellite that spotted an object of interest in the southern Indian Ocean.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. President Obama leaves tonight for the Netherlands. It's the start of a four-nation trip that includes a meeting with the pope and a visit to Saudi Arabia. But the crisis in Ukraine will hang over his agenda. NPR's Ari Shapiro will be on the trip. He joins us now. Hi, Ari.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.
MARTIN: Give us a sense of what we expect to happen tomorrow when the president and other world leaders meet at The Hague.
As I mentioned earlier, when Crimea voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine, the west called that vote unconstitutional and did not recognize the results. It turns out that same dynamic is poised to play out elsewhere in Europe.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
A dramatic showdown in Crimea today. One of the last military bases in Crimea held by Ukraine has fallen to Russian forces. Russia formally annexed the region yesterday. Western countries do not recognize the move.
NPR's Gregory Warner is in the capital of Crimea, Simferopol. Greg, tell us what happened at the base today. Were any shots fired in the takeover?
While Alaska studies the long-term effects of oil exposure on fish, in Ecuador, they're worried about the human population. Texaco, now owned by Chevron, was drilling in the town of Lago Agrio until 1992. The residents say the company left behind billions of gallons of toxic waste.
Reporter Adam Klasfeld has been following the case for Courthouse News and is reporting in Ecuador right now. He says the lingering effects of the oil are still obvious.
Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.
President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.