A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly promised that the Kremlin would withdraw some troops from near the border with Ukraine, the head of NATO says he's seen no movement as yet.
As we reported, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said on Monday that Putin had told her of the impending troop movement, which seemed designed to ratchet down tensions in the region after Russia's annexation of Crimea last month.
Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:02 am
"The head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has raised the possibility that no wreckage from the passenger jet may ever be found, revealing authorities have a very poor understanding about how fast or far it traveled," The Sydney Morning Herald writes.
Here's a more immediate issue. Egypt says it will hold presidential elections in May. The likely winner is General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He led the military coup last summer which overthrew the elected government.
Misha Kostin, a 21-year-old construction engineer in eastern Ukraine, loves The Simpsons. He's loved it for 10 years. He says the animated series "illustrates everyday life problems in humorous ways, and offers a useful moral at the end of each episode."
And though Kostin and most of the people in eastern Ukraine are native Russian speakers, he prefers to download episodes dubbed not in Russian but in his second language, Ukrainian. All his friends in the city of Donetsk prefer the version dubbed in Ukrainian.
Russia's takeover of Crimea sent shivers through Latvia.
The tiny Baltic state was itself taken over by the Soviet Union in 1940 and did not regain its independence until the Soviet breakup in 1991. Latvia has a population of just 2 million, and roughly a quarter of those are ethnic Russians.
Given this history, Latvia was eager to align itself with the West. In 2004, under then-president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia joined both the European Union and NATO and is counting on those allies for protection.
Ukraine's presidential election season took an interesting turn over the weekend, as Darth Vader declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office, promising that he knows what it takes to rebuild an empire.
"I alone can make an empire out of a republic to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," said Vader, according to Agence France-Presse.
A convoy of hulking U.S. Army Stryker vehicles slowly makes its way through the main bazaar near the center of Panjwai district in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar province is the birthplace of the Taliban, and Panjwai district has seen some of the most brutal fighting of the Afghan war.
Some 90 NATO troops have been killed and more than 800 wounded in just this district.
But rather than having white-knuckled grips on their guns, U.S. soldiers are able to wave to the children in the streets. It's something that would have been unthinkable a year or two ago.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:56 am
Pervez Musharraf, the army chief who took over Pakistan in a 1999 coup and ruled as president for another nine years, was indicted Monday by a special court in Islamabad on five counts of high treason.
As The Associated Press says, those are charges that carry the death penalty and are "a sharp blow to the country's powerful military."
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:04 am
An international court has ordered Japan to revoke whaling permits in the Antarctic and stop granting new ones.
The country's government had argued that hunting whales was part of a research program, but the International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan hasn't generated enough scientific research to justify killing hundreds of whales. Critics said the hunts were instead a way to justify commercial hunting.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:32 am
"The two Koreas exchanged artillery fire across the western maritime border on Monday after the North staged a live-fire drill that sent artillery shells into southern waters and prompted the evacuation of South Korean islanders," South Korea's Yonhap News writes.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:19 am
The state of the now 24-day-old search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the 239 people on board can be summed up by these four reports:
-- "Objects sighted at sea on Sunday by an Australian Orion searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been identified as fishing buoys, nets and other ocean junk." (The Sydney Morning Herald)
Britain's monarchy has released a new photo of Prince George, the 8-month-old son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, showing a cute boy who's more taken with the family dog than with having his picture taken.
Egypt will hold its presidential election on May 26 and 27, a government election commission announced Sunday. The results aren't likely to be declared until late June; many expect the country's former military chief to win the office.
From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report to our Newscast unit:
"The date was set days after Egypt's military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced his resignation from the army and declared that he plans to run for president. The elections will begin at the end of May, and a winner will be declared by June 26.
The deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops along their country's western border with Ukraine worries the new government in Kiev and its Western allies, including President Obama.
In a phone call Friday, he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull those forces back, a demand likely to be repeated by Secretary of State John Kerry when he meets with his Russian counterpart in Paris Sunday.
But people in the Russian border city of Belgorod, one of the places where troops have been gathering, say they can't understand why the U.S. is making such a fuss.
Families who lost loved ones on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are asking Malaysian officials to explain what happened to the jet that went missing three weeks ago. Dozens of relatives of the missing passengers arrived in Kuala Lampur from China Sunday.
Holding banners with messages like, "Hand us the murderer" and "Give us our relatives back," the family members chanted, "Tell us the truth," at a news conference held at a hotel after their arrival Sunday. Around two-thirds of the flight's passengers are Chinese. The plane had been heading to Beijing when it disappeared.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
There's been an unprecedented international effort to locate the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Government says the aviation experts and search crews are now all working together to try to solve the mystery. But in Malaysia, where the flight originated, the jet's disappearance has fueled political criticism and ethnic tension. Many have criticized the Malay government's handling of the crisis, especially the country's large population of ethnic Chinese.
The world just took one step closer to eradicating its second disease.
On Thursday, health officials declared India — and the entire Southeast Asia region — free of polio. And India's success against paralyzing disease is already opening doors for the massive country to stop even bigger problems.
The genocide in Cambodia in the 1970s at the hands of the Khmer Rouge has inspired many books and movies, most famously the 1984 Oscar-winner The Killing Fields. But the most unusual might be this year's Oscar-nominated filmThe Missing Picture.In it, filmmaker Rithy Panh uses clay figurines to recall his experience of genocide.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:31 am
Editor's Note: NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who has worked extensively in the Latin America and the Middle East, recently compared the sexism she found in both places. You can read her original essay here. It sparked a strong response from readers, and we asked her to address a number of those issues.
A man throws acid on a woman's face. A mother is killed because her partner believes she slept with another man.
"Russia is a hypothetical culture. Ruled by despots for most of our history, we are used to living in fiction rather than reality," writes Nina L. Khrushcheva, who teaches international affairs at The New School. She is also the great granddaughter of the late communist leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev.