World News

Asia
3:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

China's Crackdown On Corruption Opens Door To Abuse

Zhou Wangyan says his leg was broken by interrogators in China's secretive detention center in fall 2012. In January 2014, he still uses crutches to stand.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 5:00 pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it a priority to eliminate corruption within the Chinese Communist Party.

"The [Communist Party] desperately wants the appearance of cracking down hard on corruption because they understand that rampant corruption is threatening the party's legitimacy," says Associated Press reporter Gillian Wong.

In a story published Sunday, Wong uncovers how that crackdown on corruption has led to another problem: abuse and torture of party officials.

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World
3:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Keeping The French Language Alive In Quebec

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 5:00 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

If you've been to Montreal, you may have been greeted in stores with the phrase bonjour hi. That friendly greeting could soon be illegal. The Parti Quebecois, which advocates for establishing Quebec as a sovereign state, is leading the polls for next month's provincial election. Saving French, Quebec's official language, and banishing English is a passionate concern for the PQ.

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Europe
3:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

The Role Of 1994 Nuclear Agreement In Ukraine's Current State

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 5:00 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The United States and other world powers have said that Russia's actions in Ukraine are a clear violation of its international agreements. One of those agreements is known as the Budapest Memorandum signed in 1994.

Steven Pifer is a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. And he was part of the American team that negotiated the terms of the memorandum.

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World
3:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

On The Ground In Crimea Amid Diplomatic Tussle

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 5:00 pm

The White House announced Sunday that President Obama will host Ukraine's interim prime minister Wednesday. It is another diplomatic move to peacefully resolve the standoff with Russia over Crimea. NPR's Arun Rath talks with reporter Emily Harris about the situation.

Asia
3:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Search Teams Work Around The Clock To Find Malaysian Airlines Flight

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 5:00 pm

NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn about the latest news on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The plane had been carrying 239 people when it apparently vanished.

The Salt
12:36 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

A Theme Park For Foodies? Italians Say Bologna

Customers dine at the original Eataly in Turin, Italy, which opened in 2007.
demoshelsinki/Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:53 am

Italy has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country in the world, and its art and cultural riches have drawn visitors for centuries.

It also prides itself on being a culinary mecca, where preparing, cooking and serving meals is a fine, even sacred, art. And now that the country is in the deepest and most protracted recession since World War II, why not cash in on its reputation as a paradise for visiting gourmets and gourmands?

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Ukraine: Crimea Rejects Talks With Kiev; Violence Reported

A man holds a Soviet Union flag during a pro-Russia rally in Simferopol, Crimea's Lenin Square Sunday. In Kiev, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk vows not to give "an inch" of territory to Russia.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:45 am

Pro-Russian groups used whips to attack pro-Ukrainian demonstrators in Sevastopol, the port city of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, according to the BBC. The news agency says its reporter at the scene is "describing the scenes as very ugly."

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Sun March 9, 2014

'Trying To Make Sense' Of Malaysian Jetliner's Disappearance

A relative of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines flight is escorted from a Beijing hotel room for loved ones of the passengers on Sunday.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 3:13 pm

This post is being updated throughout the day Sunday.

After a second day of frantic searching failed to uncover the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, ships and aircraft are combing over parts of the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea where the jetliner is suspected of crashing with 239 people aboard more than 48 hours ago.

Vietnamese officials say search planes have spotted an object that could be debris from the jet — but darkness fell in Asia hours ago, complicating any attempts to verify or expand on that claim.

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Europe
5:59 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Russian Troops Continue Movements In Crimea

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:00 am

As the standoff continues in Crimea, Russia warns the U.S. against "hasty" sanctions. Ukraine officials accuse pro-Russian forces of armed aggression.

Asia
5:59 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Search Continues For Malaysian Airlines Wreckage

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:00 am

An oil slick was spotted off of Vietnam's coast, but relatives of those on board the Malaysia Airlines flight still don't know what happened. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with reporter Anthony Kuhn.

Europe
5:59 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Beyond Sanctions, Obama Has Few Russia Options

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:00 am

The U.S. can squeeze Russia economically for sending troops into Crimea, but Obama needs Europe's support for sanctions to work. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with correspondent Mara Liasson.

Asia
11:58 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Missing Malaysian Airliner May Have Turned Back

A relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries at a Beijing hotel where family members were gathered.
Feng Li Getty Images

Military radar indicates that the missing Boeing 777 jet may have turned back, Malaysia's air force chief said Sunday as scores of ships and aircraft from across Asia resumed a hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers.

There was still no confirmed sighting of debris in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam where it vanished from screens early Saturday morning en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The weather was fine, the plane was already cruising and the pilots didn't send a distress signal — unusual circumstance for a modern jetliner to crash.

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World
3:51 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Locals Join Crimean Defense Forces, Allied With Russia

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 6:23 pm

In Ukraine, tensions are high in the Crimean Peninsula. NPR's Emily Harris reports on the swearing in of new members to the Crimean defense force.

World
3:51 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

How Sanctions May Affect Russia's Moves In Ukraine

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 6:23 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

One of the options that the United States and the European Union are considering as a way to punish Russia is the use of sanctions. Here to discuss that with me is Matthew Rojansky. He's the director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Matthew, thanks for being with us.

MATTHEW ROJANSKY: Sure. Happy to be with you.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Malaysian Jetliner Has Been Missing For More Than 24 Hours; Search Goes On

Family members arrive at a hotel for loved ones of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines jet in Beijing Sunday. Search teams across Southeast Asia scrambled on Saturday to find a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board that disappeared from air traffic control screens over waters between Malaysia and Vietnam.
Vincent Thian AP

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 6:40 am

This post continues to be updated.

An international search is underway for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that's been missing for more than 24 hours. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard when it took off from Kuala Lumpur early Saturday on a flight bound for Beijing.

A regular inspection of the missing Boeing 777-200 found no technical problems 10 days ago, reports China's state-run Xinhua news agency, citing a Malaysia Airlines spokesman.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Ukraine: Military Standoffs And High Tensions Reported

Pro-Russian marchers (foreground) walk past pro-Ukrainian marchers gathered in Simferopol, capital of Ukraine's Crimea region, Saturday. Several hundred pro-Ukrainian protesters marched peacefully through the city center to a Ukrainian military base that's been blockaded by pro-Russian militants and soldiers.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:52 am

Members of pro-Russian forces and Ukraine's military have engaged in several tense standoffs in the largely autonomous region of Crimea, but they have also avoided violence in what's widely seen as a dangerous and uncertain situation. Diplomats are still working to find a possible solution.

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Europe
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Tensions Rise In Ukraine Standoff

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Ukraine now where tensions continue to rise between that country's new government and Russia. Yesterday, pro-Russian soldiers held a standoff at a Ukrainian military base and although it seemed to end without incident, it shows just how quickly the situation has become militarized. We're joined now by Steven Erlanger, reporter for the New York Times, who's in Kiev. Steven, thanks so much for being with us.

STEVEN ERLANGER: Happy to be here.

SIMON: What do we know about this standoff yesterday in Crimea?

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Asia
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight Vanishes With 239 On Board

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

A Malaysian Airlines flight went off the radar on its flight from Kuala Lampur to Beijing with 239 people on board. Three Americans were on board, including an infant.

Europe
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

The Conflict Inside Ukraine Is More Than An East-West Divide

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The crisis in Ukraine and Russia's action there has raised many questions about who wants what. We're joined now by Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, formerly a correspondent for The New Yorker from Moscow. Thanks very much for being with us.

JULIA IOFFE: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: What do you see that's going on that's distinct from the way it's been cast in so many accounts as some people being pro-European in Ukraine, some people being pro-Russia?

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Europe
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

How Sanctions Against Russia Could Come Back To Bite Europe

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

EU countries are threatening punitive economic measures against Russia for its involvement in Crimea, but longstanding ties between Russia and the EU could make sanctions a double-edged sword.

Parallels
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Spain's Robin Hood Mayor Fights For 'Communist Utopia'

Radical Mayor Sanchez Gordillo objects to agricultural subsidies for the land elite. At a rally, he embraces a unionista who wanted to start a communal agricultural project on military-owned land.
Jorge Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

On a sweltering August day in 2012, the mayor of a tiny Spanish town, fed up with the country's economic conditions, did something drastic. It was the height of the economic crisis and most Spanish politicians were away on summer vacation.

With dozens of supporters, Mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo of Marinaleda marched into the local supermarket in a neighboring town.

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Parallels
3:39 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Russia's Goal In Ukraine: Three Scenarios

A Ukrainian protester stands at a memorial for the people killed in clashes at Kiev's Independence Square, on March 1. The focus of Ukraine's crisis is now in Crimea, where Russian forces are effectively in control.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Russia has effectively taken control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula without a shot fired in anger. Now a larger question looms: What is Russian President Vladimir Putin's ultimate goal in Ukraine?

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Education
3:23 am
Sat March 8, 2014

What The U.S. Can Learn From Finland, Where School Starts At Age 7

President Barack Obama sits with students during a tour of a Pre-K classroom at Powell Elementary School in Washington, D.C., this week.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:00 am

Finland, a country the size of Minnesota, beats the U.S. in math, reading and science, even though Finnish children don't start school until age 7.

Despite the late start, the vast majority arrive with solid reading and math skills. By age 15, Finnish students outperform all but a few countries on international assessments.

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Search For Malaysian Jet Spots Oil Slicks In Waters Off Vietnam

A woman, believed to be the relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing.
Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 2:57 pm

For the latest news, visit our new post about the missing flight.

Vietnamese military planes report seeing two oil slicks off the country's coast that could be a sign of a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet Saturday. Officials say the search for the jet continues and that ships are being sent to the location of the sighting.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Brief Standoff Over Ukrainian Base In Crimea Ends Peacefully

Unidentified armed men in military uniforms block a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol, Ukraine, on Thursday. Similar pro-Russian forces forced a brief standoff at the missile defense base in Sevastopol on Friday.
Arthur Shvarts EPA/Landov

A tense standoff Friday between pro-Russian troops and Ukrainian forces at a missile-defense base in Crimea is reportedly over without a shot being fired.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported that a Russian military truck had smashed through the gate of the Ukrainian base in Sevastopol, the port city that is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.

Interfax, quoted by The Associated Press, says about 100 Ukrainian troops are stationed at the base and about 20 "attackers" entered, some throwing stun grenades, the report said.

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The Edge
3:06 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Military Training Gives U.S. Paralympic Biathletes An Edge

Andy Soule, a U.S. Army veteran, lost both his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan in 2005. Four years ago, he won America's first medal — Olympic or Paralympic — in the biathlon event.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:39 pm

Biathlon may be the toughest endurance sport in the Olympics. After grueling circuits of Nordic skiing, athletes have to calm their breathing, steady their tired legs and shoot tiny targets with a rifle.

Andy Soule does it all with only his arms.

"It's a steep learning curve, learning to sit-ski," says Soule, a member of the U.S. Paralympic team. He's strapped into a seat attached to two fixed cross-country skis. He speeds along the course by hauling himself with ski poles.

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Europe
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

In Kharkiv, A Snapshot Of Ukraine's Tumult And Hope

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

In Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, both pro-Europe and pro-Russian groups are planning more rallies this weekend. Some residents fear civil war; others believe compromise is still possible.

Europe
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Behind Ukraine's Political Strife: One Big Utility Bill

Cossacks stand guard at the entrance to the Crimean Parliament building on Friday in Simferopol, Ukraine. Russian Cossacks, some heavily armed, have taken up guard duties at road checkpoints, border crossings and other key facilities that were previously guarded by local, pro-Russian militants across Crimea in recent days.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

One way to understand the situation between Ukraine and Russia right now: Look at the gas bill of an ordinary Ukrainian.

Valentina Olachenka, for example, pays $19 a month for gas to heat her house and run her stove. The average American who uses natural gas, by contrast, spends more than $100 a month.

Gas is cheap for Ukrainians because the government is paying most of the bill — 87 cents of every dollar, according to the IMF.

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Commentary
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Week In Politics: Ukraine And CPAC

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're joined now by our Friday political observers, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Hey, good to be with you.

CORNISH: And Reihan Salam, a columnist for the National Review and Reuters. Hi, Reihan.

REIHAN SALAM: Hi, Audie.

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Europe
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Moscow's Ukraine Looks Different From The One Seen By The West

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Russian politicians are all voicing the same narrative: Ukraine's legitimate government was overthrown by neo-Nazis, while the armed men in Crimea are not Russian troops but local self-defense groups.

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