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.
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.
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.
The National Security Agency has in recent years "pried its way into the servers" of Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that the spy agency has long suspected could work with the Chinese military to steal secrets from American firms and the U.S. government, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Russia's grip on Crimea was further solidified Saturday when its forces took complete control of a Ukrainian Air Force base in the town of Belbek, NPR's Gregory Warner and Reuters report.
The landing field and other key sections of the air base had been taken over by Russian forces previously. The section handed over today was where Ukrainian soldiers and their families lived, Gregory reports.
We drove 2,428 miles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and it's safe to say that for much of the road trip, we were being watched.
Border Patrol agents, customs officers, cameras, sensors, radar and aircraft track movement in the Borderland. None of that has stopped the struggle to control the border, or the debate over how best to do it.
As U.S.-Russian relations sour, some observers fear the plan to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal might stall.
This past week, the removal of chemicals from Syria reached the halfway mark. Without pressure from both superpowers, however, some believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will begin to drag his feet.
"I think what you're likely to see is that the Assad regime will comply just enough, at a slower pace, as it consolidates its hold over the country militarily," says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Russian forces have taken a major air force base in the Crimea. Belbek airbase was one of the few military facilities in the Crimean Peninsula that was still controlled by Ukraine after the annexation of the peninsula by Russian forces. NPR's Gregory Warner is in Crimea's capital of Simferopol. Gregory, thanks for being with us.
Amid all the of necessary analysis of what Russia's move into Crimea means geopolitically and strategically, it might also be good to remember Reshat Ametov.
Mr. Ametov was buried this week. He was 39 years old, married and the father of three young children.
He was last seen at a demonstration on March 3 in Simferopol, where he joined other Crimean Tatars held a silent protest before the pro-Russian armed men in unmarked uniforms who surrounded the cabinet ministers building.
What will Mr. Putin do next? A lot of people want to know but the question is especially urgent and personal for those living in a country that shares a border with Ukraine and that have a long and bitter history of being invaded, occupied and dominated: Poland. We're joined now by Konstanty Gebert. He's a columnist for Gazeta Wyborcza, one of the leading newspapers in Poland. He joins us from his home in Warsaw. Mr. Gebert, thanks very much for being with us.
The U.S. and Russia are also supposed to be cooperating on Iran. Russia's played an important role in attempting to negotiate restrictions on Iran's nuclear program. But Russia's deputy foreign minister recently suggested that Moscow might change it's position on those talks because of the disagreement over Crimea and Ukraine. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Istanbul. Peter, thanks for being with us.
Narcocorridos are a form of Mexican folk music that tell the tales of drug traffickers. They are tremendously popular in Mexico and the Southwest borderlands. NPR's John Burnett has this story of one ex-Narcocorrido singer who escaped that life and lived to tell the tale.
JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: When Jorge Rivera, stage name El Imperial, watches old images of himself on YouTube these days, he's filled with conflicted feelings.
Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:12 pm
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now concentrated in the southern Indian Ocean, with satellite clues bringing aircraft and ships closer to objects that could be the debris from the missing airliner.
But as NPR's Robert Siegel said on All Things Considered Friday, "This is not like finding a needle in a haystack. In this case, the haystack is vast and the needle could be moving."
In what has likely come as a rude shock to some Russians, Visa and MasterCard have stopped processing payments at several of the country's banks as part of U.S. sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
The BBC reports that four banks have been affected, "all of which have links to Russians blacklisted by the U.S."
In Egypt, the prisons are overcrowded. Prisoners sleep back-to-back in packed cells as the military-led government rounds up its suspected opponents. First, Islamists were being detained, accused of terrorism, then secular activists, and now many others, as neighbors inform on one another. The Egyptian government makes no apologies for the arrests and denies accusations of torture. NPR's Leila Fadel reports on the dire conditions for those caught up in the crackdown.
What motivates Vladimir Putin? And how should the West respond to him? Well, we're going to pose the first question now to political scientist Lilia Shevtsova. She's with the Carnegie Moscow Center, and she's in Washington this week. Welcome to the program.
LILIA SHEVTSOVA: Thank you for having me.
SIEGEL: In a nutshell, how do we best understand Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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I'm Robert Siegel.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIEGEL: Music and fireworks in Moscow today, as Russia formalized its annexation of Crimea. There was a more muted celebration in Brussels, where Ukraine signed a political association agreement with the European Union. Coming up, we'll talk about what Russia's new stance means for the U.S.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The crisis in Ukraine may mark a turning point for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The military alliance between the United States and its European partners will be a key focus for President Obama next week. He visits NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. NPR's Ari Shapiro will be on that trip.
Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 8:41 pm
The Turkish prime minister vowed to "eradicate" Twitter in a speech on Thursday, likely because he's been treated unkindly on there, and he has an election to win, people! Hours later, the social media platform went dark for some Turkish users, The Guardian reports.
Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:10 pm
The United States and Europe need to stand together against Moscow in the wake of its incursion in Crimea, keeping the door open for Ukraine and other countries to join NATO, former U.S. officials tell NPR.
Many European nations were searching for ways to cut back their reliance on Russian energy long before the crisis in Ukraine flared last month.
In 2006 and 2009, for example, the EU was rattled by the ease with which Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and other parts of Europe after disputes over cost and supply. The two-week standoff in 2009 left millions in Eastern Europe without heat in the middle of winter.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jennifer Ludden. Michel Martin is away. It's been more than three years since demonstrators in Egypt crowded Cairo's Tahrir Square and demanded a new government. A few leaders have come and gone since then, but the fight for the country's future and what will be written into the history books is still playing out.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
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And I'm David Greene. Two large objects showed up satellite images bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.
WERTHEIMER: Now the search is on to find those objects and see if they are part of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Search planes and boats are covering an area about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.
GREENE: And NPR's David Schaper joins us on the line now with the latest on the search. David, good morning.
Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Washington Post correspondent Will Englund in Moscow about the list of Russians slapped with U.S. sanctions in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Englund says the list includes government and business leaders who have been close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.