World News

Iraq
1:43 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Iraq, Anbar Faces Extremists Stronger Than Those U.S. Fought

Iraqi Shiite mourners carry the coffin of a soldier killed in clashes with anti-government fighters in Fallujah earlier this month. The government faces a months-long crisis in Anbar province, where it has lost the city of Fallujah as well as shifting parts of provincial capital Ramadi to anti-government militants.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there, says Brett McGurk, one of the State Department's top officials for Iraq.

The militants, who have drawn strength amid the war in Syria over the border, have taken over parts of Anbar over the last three months.

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Parallels
1:32 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Tsunami's Wake, Fierce Debate Over Japan's 'Great Wall'

Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Three years after the massive tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, the government is building the biggest anti-tsunami barriers ever.

The vast network of supersized sea walls, mocked by some as "the Great Wall of Japan," is already underway and would stretch 230 miles and cost nearly $8 billion.

The wall is designed to protect places like the small port city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. With its dramatic hills, white fishing boats and seafood market, Kesennuma has the pleasant nautical feel of Seattle.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:57 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Plane Lost, Uncertainties Regained

Uncertainty is the order of the day as officials in Kuala Lumpur brief the media on a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.
How Foo Yeen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:56 am

We are rarely lost anymore.

In a foreign city or just a drive out of town, our GPS-enabled smartphones pin our positions on digital maps to within a few meters. We are rarely without facts anymore. Any question that has an objective answer — from the last day of the Civil War to the maximum speed of a Boeing 777 — is as close as Google. For a broad class of experience in modern life we have become very used to "knowing." Events a world away may be subject to our opinions, but rarely anymore are they cloaked in an enveloping darkness.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

How An Aircraft Can Fall From The Sky Midflight

Brazil's navy sailors recover debris from Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean on June 8, 2009. It took until 2012 to detail what happened in that crash.
AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:54 am

There's always a risk in flying, but the phase in which a plane is cruising at high altitude is widely considered to be safe. And that's what makes the mystery of what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 so confounding.

"Whatever happened happened quickly and resulted in a catastrophic departure from the air," Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board who is now a consultant with CBS news, told NPR's Melissa Block.

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The Salt
3:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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History
3:10 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

QUIZ: What Came Out Of World War I?

World War I was when the old world became the new. Here, a German cavalryman wears a gas mask and carries a long spear or pole, from two different ages of war.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

World War I shook up the world in a dramatic way — and from that chaos emerged inventions, words and other things we still use today.

Can you identify them all?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Space
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Earthbound Tensions Don't Reach Russian-American Space Partnership

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 3:20 pm

U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins is expected to land in Kazakhstan, and despite diplomatic tensions the Russians plan to pick him up. It's another sign that U.S. and Russia remain tied at the hip in space.

Latin America
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Drug Cartel Boss Dies A Second Time

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 7:34 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Europe
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. This all complicates things on the diplomatic front.

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Europe
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

In Crimea, Public Relations Can Be As Dangerous As Politics

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Crimea votes this coming Sunday on whether to claim independence from Ukraine. Polls indicate the measure is sure to pass. But pro-Russian politicians are leaving nothing to chance. They've imposed a near total blackout on information from the government in Kiev.

And as NPR's Gregory Warner reports, volunteers are taking great risks to get that information into Crimea.

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Asia
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Challenges Of Recovering An Airliner Out Of Thin Air

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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News
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Broadening Search for Malaysian Airliner Still Yields Only Theories

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel and we begin the hour with the mystery that has confounded the world for three days. What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? The plane disappeared Friday on its way from Malaysia to Beijing with 239 people aboard. Today, the search widened. Aircraft and ships from Malaysia, Vietnam, China and the United States are searching the South China Sea for any sign.

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Parallels
11:58 am
Mon March 10, 2014

What If Ukraine Still Had Nuclear Weapons?

President Bill Clinton (from left), Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, clasp hands after signing documents whereby the U.S. and Russia agreed to stop aiming long range nuclear missiles at each other, and the Ukraine agreed to dismantle all of its 1,800 nuclear warheads. The event took place on Jan. 14, 1994, at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Diana Walker Time

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:38 pm

Ukraine appears rather helpless in the face of the Russian intervention in Crimea. But what if Ukraine still had nuclear weapons? The confrontation might look rather different, and perhaps much scarier.

When Ukraine gained independence in the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, it inherited a nuclear arsenal that included some 1,800 warheads, making it the third largest in the world, trailing only Russia and the U.S.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Will Blood Be Shed In Crimea Before Diplomacy Can Work?

Russian and Crimean flags were being waved during a pro-Russia rally Sunday in Simferopol's Lenin Square. Simferopol is the capital of Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:04 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Emily Harris reports from Kiev

Russia continues to try to wrest control of Crimea from Ukraine and now has an estimated 20,000 troops there, Bloomberg News reports.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Fate Of Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Still A Mystery

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sunday, prayers were said for the 239 people who have been missing since flight MH370 disappeared.
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 1:26 pm

We'll be updating this post throughout the day on Monday.

Nearly three days after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, there's still no definitive trace of the Boeing 777 or the 239 people who were on board.

As of Monday evening in Malaysia, none of the clues so far had led searchers to the plane.

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Asia
3:02 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Search Goes On For Jetliner That Mysteriously Disappeared

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Authorities continue to piece together scant clues as to why a Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared over the weekend. The plane was headed from Malaysia to China with 239 people aboard.

Europe
3:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

U.S. Still Exploring Diplomatic Ways To End Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Ukraine's prime minister travels to Washington this week for talks with President Obama. On Sunday, leaders of Germany and Great Britain spent time on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Research News
2:57 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Military Conflict Decisions: Why Weakness Leads To Aggression

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

From Syria to Afghanistan, to Russia and Ukraine, the United States finds itself confronting some major foreign policy challenges. There are old rivalries and new one testing the limits of the United States.

NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to talk about matters related to individual and organizational behavior, but today, he's found some new research that's relevant to the way we think about foreign conflicts and he's in our studios. Shankar, welcome back.

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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.

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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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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