Pakistani gunmen staged new attacks Wednesday on health workers carrying out a nationwide polio vaccination program. Six workers were killed Tuesday as they went house to house to administer the immunizations to area children in Karachi and the northwest city of Peshawar.
Although there were additional attacks, the Pakistani government vowed to continue the vaccination campaign — and eradicate the disease — even if there is bloodshed.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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South Korea holds a presidential election tomorrow. And, for the first time there, public opinion polls favor a woman. Park Geun-hye is promising more support for single parents and a push to get more Korean women into the workforce. Still, even if she wins, no one is expecting any radical changes to the traditional male-dominated Korean society.
China and India are projected to propel coal's challenge of oil as the world's top energy source within the next five years, according to a new study. Here, a man rides a bicycle toward a coal-fired power station in China's Guangdong province last year.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:49 pm
Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Grim and rapid developments in Syria: 40,000 now believed dead in almost two years of uprising and rebellion. Palestinians become the latest to flee after rebels seize a densely packed refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. Reports that the regime resorted to medium-range missiles. The United States formally recognizes Syria's opposition coalition. The rebel groups forms a military command. Russia seemed to accept that Bashar al-Assad may not survive the civil war.
The family of this Palestinian boy was among many that fled the Yarmuk refugee camp near the Syrian capital Damascus after fighting in recent days. The boy and his family are shown at another refugee camp, this one in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, on Tuesday.
An employee tidies boxes of medicines displayed in a pharmacy in the city of Caen in western France last month. Beginning in 2013, girls between the ages of 15 and 18 will be able to get birth control free of charge, and without parental notification.
Credit Eleanor Beardsley / NPR
The new law will also protect girls' anonymity at their family doctor's office. Under current rules, teenagers wanting absolute anonymity with a doctor have to pay for the visit in cash without submitting a claim to get reimbursed.
Beginning next year, young women in France between the ages of 15 and 18 will have access to birth control free of charge, and without parental notification. The French government says the new measure is intended to reduce pregnancies in this age group that result from a mixture of ignorance, taboo and lack of access to contraception.
One place where information is available on birth control, abortion and sexual abuse is a family planning clinic in a gritty neighborhood in the east of Paris.
We've had to focus on news about the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., since Friday, which means we missed some interesting stories over the past few days. NPR intern Rachel Brody shares one of them.
This is a story about a daily commute that spanned regimes, not just miles.
The Obama administration will soon be dealing with new leadership in Japan. Over the weekend, Japanese voters returned a former prime minister to the country's top job. Shinzo Abe took an assertive stand on several issues during the election, sparking concern in the U.S. his win could stir up tension in the region.
South Korean presidential candidate Park Geun-hye, who appears slightly favored in Wednesday's election, is the daughter of a military dictator who ran the country for nearly two decades. She would be South Korea's first female president.
Credit Song Kyung-Seok-Pool / Getty Images
Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer, is also a leading candidate in Wednesday's election. A former presidential chief of staff, he's shown here at a presidential debate on Dec. 4.
Her presidential campaign rallies present blaring pop music and dancing supporters, but Park Geun-hye's campaign involves managing some tricky legacies.
Her father, Park Chung-hee, was a military dictator who ran the country from the time he carried out a 1961 military coup until his assassination in 1979. His memory still stirs mixed emotions among South Koreans.
Japanese politics is not known for second acts. But last night, Shinzo Abe won a rare second chance to serve as Japan's prime minister, that's after his Liberal Democrats swept to victory in parliamentary elections. Abe's return has caught people's attention across East Asia. That's because, despite his party's name, Abe is conservative. He's also pro-U.S. and he's promised to get tough on China.
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:10 am
It's a big day in the religious and culinary calendar of the Republic of Georgia. Georgian Orthodox believers observe Dec. 17 as St. Barbara's Day, in honor of an early Christian martyr. And they typically mark the occasion by eating a type of stuffed bread called lobiani, baked with a filling of boiled beans with coriander and onions.
An official says at least 10 young girls were killed in eastern Afghanistan Saturday when a bomb went off as they were gathering firewood. It was not immediately clear if the explosion was caused by a newly planted bomb or a previously unexploded landmine, left over from decades of conflict.
In Egypt, unofficial results show the country's controversial draft constitution was narrowly approved in the first stage of a referendum held this past Saturday. The draft constitution has deeply divided Egyptians. The second round of voting will take place this Saturday.
Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:26 am
Republicans and Democrats are pushing to make overhauling immigration a priority in 2013. Senator-elect Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, is expected to play a big part in any overhaul of immigration laws.
Shinzo Abe of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party marks the name of a parliamentary election winner at party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday. Japan's conservative LDP stormed back to power Sunday after three years in opposition.
Credit Koji Sasahara / AP
Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe smiles during a news conference at party headquarters in Tokyo on Monday, a day after the party's landslide victory in parliamentary elections.
Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won resoundingly in parliamentary elections Sunday that both Washington and Beijing were watching carefully. The conservative LDP's hawkish leader, Shinzo Abe, will become Japan's prime minister for the second time and has pledged to take a harder line on China.
Speaking on Japanese TV, Abe had a message for Japan's most important ally, America, and another for Japan's biggest rival — China.
Fatima Jafari, owner of Bamboo Wood Industries, listens to a worker in her factory in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jafari is one of the few female entrepreneurs in an industrial trade in the country, despite international efforts to support women in business.
Behind a tall metal gate in a nondescript nook of Kabul sits the Bamboo Wood Industries factory. It's not a place you're likely to stumble across by accident. Inside, a handful of men are cutting, painting and assembling desks and cabinets. The pieces being made are chocolate brown and quite modern looking.
Sitting in a spartan, unheated office above the factory floor is Fatima Jafari, the owner of the company. The 30-something woman started the business a little over a year ago.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:24 am
In Egypt, voters appear to have approved the controversial draft referendum on a proposed constitution in the first stage of the referendum held across half of the country yesterday.
The outcome is unofficial at this point as the government has said it will not announce official results until the referendum concludes in the rest of Egypt next Saturday. The vote is being held in two stages because a boycott by many judges who were supposed to supervise the elections. Those boycotting say they reject the constitution because it doesn't have a national consensus.
Japan's major opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba adds a rosette on the name of one of those elected in parliamentary elections at the party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday.
We're going to turn to other news for a moment and a story out of Egypt. Voters in that country began to turn out for the first phase of a controversial constitutional amendment. Opponents of that Islamist back draft constitution have been mounting protests for weeks. Some of those clashes turned deadly. Reporter Merrit Kennedy is in Alexandria, and she sent this report.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 3:49 pm
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was recovering Saturday after surgery to remove gallstones, the government said. There was no indication when the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader would be released from the hospital, though the government said he was recovering well.
Mandela was admitted to the unnamed hospital in the capital, Pretoria, a week ago. As the BBC's Karen Allen told our Newscast Unit, there's been much concern about his health and limited detail about his medical condition.
Argh, it's on the tip of my tongue! Contestants in the Names and Faces competition focus at last year's World Memory Championships held in Guangzhou, China. A new field of mental athletes is currently vying for the 2012 championship.
In the gymnasium of a South London technical school, site of this year's World Memory Championships, Norwegian Ola Kaere Risa checks his stopwatch.
Risa is Norway's only contestant this year.
"I hope to defend the glory of my country," he says, laughing.
The 21st World Memory Championships are under way in London this weekend. About 75 competitors from some two dozen countries are vying to see who can memorize the most numbers, faces, playing cards or random words in a set amount of time.
Voter turnout on the first day of a referendum on Egypt's controversial draft constitution was so high in Cairo and nine other governorates that election officials decided to extend poll hours from 7 until 11 p.m. local time.
Supporters hold up posters of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a rally in Osaka on Thursday. Considered a nationalist hawk, Abe is expected to become prime minister for a second time after parliamentary elections Sunday.
Credit Yoshikazu Tsuno / Getty Images
Japanese nationalists condemn China at a rally in Tokyo in September. Japan and China are locked in a bitter dispute over a group of islands claimed by both countries.
Egyptians are voting on a new constitution - but the vote is polarizing the country. Meanwhile, in Syria, the main opposition group is now recognized by the U.S., but there are questions about al-Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside them. To make sense of the developments, host Michel Martin talks with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International.
"Being welcomed by and embraced by Igbos, who take Judaism so seriously ... it raises the question of what it means to be a Jew," says William Miles.
Three years ago, Miles, a self-proclaimed semi-practicing Jew, decided to celebrate Hanukkah in Africa's most populous country. He wrote about his experience in a new book called Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey. He tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that he found "a very Jewish community, but also a very African community."