World News

Asia
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Thai Protesters Swarm Government House After Barriers Removed

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn to a country in the region that's been racked by violent protest in recent days. And now the capital, Thailand, is suddenly calm. Riot police have taken down barricades and left their defensive positions around Government House, which is the symbolic seat of power there. Protesters are now inside, moving about freely.

To get a better idea of what this all means in a country of nearly 70 million people, where the big industry is tourism, we turn to reporter Michael Sullivan in Bangkok. Good morning.

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Asia
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Biden's Pre-Planned Asia Visit Becomes High-Stakes Mission

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene, good morning.

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Shots - Health News
4:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

As Polio Spreads In Syria, Politics Thwarts Vaccination Efforts

Syrian boys line up to get the polio vaccine at a refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon, on Nov. 7. The Lebanese government plans to vaccinate all kids under age 5 for the virus, including Syrian refugees.
Mohammad Zaatari AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:31 am

The World Health Organization has declared a polio emergency in Syria.

After being free of the crippling disease for more than a decade, Syria recorded 10 confirmed cases of polio in October. Now the outbreak has grown to 17 confirmed cases, the WHO said last week. And the virus has spread to four cities, including a war-torn suburb near the capital of Damascus.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Croat Group Sues Bob Dylan For Racism In France

Bob Dylan performs at Vieilles Charrues music festival on July 22, 2012, in Carhaix-Plouguer, France. The singer is being sued by a France-based Croat organization for racism.
Fred Tanneau AFP/Getty Images

Think twice — it may not be all right.

Bob Dylan is being sued by a France-based Croatian organization for alleged racism following an interview last year in which the music legend loosely compared Croats and Nazis.

France has strict laws against hate speech, and the Council of Croats in France says it wants an apology from Dylan.

His "comments were an incitement to hatred," Vlatko Maric, the group's secretary said, according to The Guardian.

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Parallels
2:42 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

E-Readers Mark A New Chapter In The Developing World

A student at Ntimigom School in Kilgoris, Kenya, uses his e-reader.
Jon McCormack

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 2:58 pm

A former Amazon executive who helped Jeff Bezos turn shopping into a digital experience has set out to end illiteracy. David Risher is now the head of Worldreader, a nonprofit organization that brings e-books to kids in developing countries through Kindles and cellphones.

Risher was traveling around the world with his family when he got the idea for Worldreader. They were doing volunteer work at an orphanage in Ecuador when he saw a building with a big padlock on the door. He asked a woman who worked there what was inside, and she said, "It's the library."

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Parallels
2:35 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Where's The Best Airport In The World To Be Stranded?

The Butterfly Garden in Terminal 3 is just one of the pleasant diversions at the Changi airport in Singapore.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 7:39 am

The holidays mean many things, among them: travel. Combine that with wild weather patterns and you often get some unexpected downtime in the world's weirdest corners. We're talking layovers and delays and canceled flights and the like.

But what if that wasn't all bad news? What if there were an airport that you actually looked forward to being stuck in? Is it possible? According to this list of favorites, it may be.

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Planet Money
1:59 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Afterlife Of American Clothes

Bales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sarah Elliott for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

This story is part of the Planet Money T-shirt project.

Jeff Steinberg had a maroon and white lacrosse jersey that he wore for years. It said "Denver Lacrosse" on the front and had his number, 5, on the back.

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Planet Money
1:57 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Nixon And Kimchi: How The Garment Industry Came To Bangladesh

There are more than 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh. One way or another, most of them trace their lineage to Abdul Majid Chowdhury, Noorul Quader and the 128 Bangladeshis who traveled to Korea 30 years ago.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:35 am

More details were added to this post after it was published. The new information was courtesy of Vidiya Khan, director of the Desh Group, and daughter of Noorul Quader.

Bangladesh was created out of chaos in the early 1970s, at a moment when millions in the country were dying from a combination of war and famine. The future looked exceedingly bleak.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

For First Time In Memory, Icelandic Police Shoot And Kill

Police officers in Reykjavik, Iceland, are rarely armed.
Halldor Kolbeins AFP/Getty Images

A police raid Monday on a home in Reykjavík, Iceland, ended with the death of a 59-year-old man who was shot by officers after he reportedly fired a weapon at them.

According to local news outlets, it's believed to be the first time in that nation of more than 315,000 people that someone has been killed by police fire.

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The Salt
11:34 am
Mon December 2, 2013

I'm Not Just Gaming, Ma! I'm Helping The World's Farmers

Cropland Capture's developers hope players will find where crops are grown amid Earth's natural vegetation in satellite images to shine a light on where humanity grows its food.
Courtesy of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:05 pm

There's no easy way to track all of the world's crops. What's missing, among other things, is an accurate map showing where they are.

But the people behind Geo-Wiki are hoping to fix that, with a game called Cropland Capture. They're turning people like you and me into data gatherers, or citizen scientists, to help identify cropland.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Ninth Body Pulled From Helicopter Crash Site In Scotland

Scottish Fire and Rescue services look on at the helicopter being lifted from the scene Monday following the crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, Scotland.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:22 pm

We've been following the story of the helicopter that crashed into a pub in Glasgow, Scotland, last week. There's more news Monday on the deadly crash: A ninth body has been pulled from the wreckage of The Clutha Bar.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Mon December 2, 2013

VIDEO: Eagle Snatches Camera, Flies Away, Takes Great Selfie

Caught red-beaked: This eagle grabbed a small wildlife camera in western Australia, flew away with it and then pecked away at the lens.
ABC Kimberley

We've been fascinated by an "eagle cam" trained on a nest in Iowa and been thrilled by the view from a camera attached to an eagle that soared above Chamonix, France.

If you liked those, you'll likely be interested in this, too:

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon December 2, 2013

For The First Time, China Launches A Moon Rover Mission

The Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday.
Li Gang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:03 am

Early this morning, China successfully launched what it hopes will become its first rover mission on the moon, the official state news agency Xinhua reported.

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Europe
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Violence Erupts Over Ukraine President's Pro-Russia Move

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Demonstrations, often violent, are happening across Ukraine after its president refused to sign a trade agreement with the European Union. His decision came under heavy pressure from Russia, which in the past has cut off critical gas supplies to Ukraine to show its dissatisfaction. For more, Renee Montagne talks to journalist David Stern in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Russian Companies Fret Over Cost Of Sochi Games

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In just a couple of months, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics. Russia is reportedly spending nearly $50 billion on those games, which would be an Olympic record. To finance venues and housing, one of Russia's state-owned banks lent about $7.5 billion to an elite group of industrialists who are helping bankroll the games. Now, those investors are getting a little nervous.

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Iraq
3:42 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

A Soldier Accused, But Few Answers In Death Of Iraqi Teens

Last month, military investigators began a process to charge Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera in the 2007 fatal shooting of two deaf, unarmed Iraqi youths.
Mario Tama AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

It sounds unthinkable, but there are times, according to the rules of war, when it's morally acceptable to shoot a child.

A 12-year-old can, of course, fire an AK-47, but the more gut-wrenching decisions revolve around ambiguous situations. Could a child with a cell phone be a lookout for insurgents or send a detonation signal to an IED bomb?

These were the types of scenarios our soldiers had to face in Iraq. Countless soldiers have returned haunted by civilians they killed because the civilians panicked and ran through a checkpoint or reached for something too quickly.

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The Sunday Conversation
6:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

In Gujarat, Anti-Muslim Legacy Of 2002 Riots Still Looms

Zahir Janmohamed on his terrace in Juhapura, in the Muslim ghetto of Ahmedabad.
Miranda Kennedy NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 12:25 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

The U.S. Congress doesn't usually weigh in on domestic politics in other countries, but a resolution recently introduced in Congress by Rep. Keith Ellison is designed to put pressure on Narendra Modi, the front-runner to be India's next prime minister.

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Middle East
6:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Palestinian Refugees On Losing Side Of UN Budget Crunch

Palestinian refugee Lawahez Burghal stuffs tripe with rice and garbanzo beans for her family in their home in the Amari refugee camp in the West Bank. Many refugees still depend on the United Nations for food, health care and education.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 6:17 am

The United Nations agency that provides basic health care and education to Palestinian refugees doesn't have enough money to pay local salaries this month.

The shortfall could directly affect 30,000 teachers, doctors and social workers, as well as the people using their services in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

Filling Basic Needs

Sit for an hour in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency office in the al-Amari camp for Palestinian refugees, and you get a sense of what people expect the agency to provide.

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Parallels
3:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage

Arinafe Makwiti, 13, says her parents forced her to drop out of school and get married to an older man last year to help with the family finances. Makwiti has divorced her husband, but now has a 9-month-old daughter.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 8:40 am

NPR's Jennifer Ludden recently traveled to the African nation of Malawi, one of many countries in the developing world where child marriage remains prevalent. She found girls like Christina Asima, who was married at 12 and became a mother at 13. She is now divorced and caring for her infant son on her own. You can read Jennifer's full report here. Below are a few more things she learned while reporting on child marriage.

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Parallels
12:40 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Restoring The Mausoleum That Helped Inspire The Taj Mahal

Elaborate scaffolding was erected to complete the work on the exterior of Humayun's Tomb.
Courtesy of the AKTC

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 12:25 pm

Think Taj Mahal and then try to imagine what came before it. What was the inspiration for that masterpiece?

Archaeologists and architects say a 16th century tomb tucked in the southeast corner of Delhi presaged the jewel of Muslim art in India.

The recent restoration of the mausoleum built to memorialize the Muslim emperor Humayun has created a sensation in the city, drawing sightseers, schoolchildren and history buffs to the site that is now a showcase for India's architectural patrimony.

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Parallels
10:27 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Rival Protesters Clash In Bangkok

Anti-government protesters in Bangkok attack a bus that they suspect is of supporters of the current Thai government on Saturday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:26 am

Clashes among protesters in Thailand's capital have led to the death of at least one person amid mass rallies by opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as well as by supporters of her government.

Reuters says the person was shot dead and that 10 others were wounded in the first bloodshed in a week of protests aimed at toppling Yingluck, whose government won overwhelmingly in 2011 elections.

In other violence, Reuters reports,

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The New And The Next
3:22 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Bickering In Bangladesh; Curling; Glow-In-The-Dark Tattoos

Courtesy of Ozy.com

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 1:31 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

This week, Ozy deputy editor Eugene Robinson fills in for Carlos to tell NPR's Arun Rath about two dueling divas in Bangladeshi politics, the rising popularity of an obscure winter sport, and tattoos that you can wear to work.

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Religion
3:18 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

New Pope's 'Dream' Includes Tolerance, Compassion And Tradition

This week, Pope Francis released a new document called the "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel). His first major document has captured the attention of Vatican watchers, who describe a vision statement of what Francis sees for the future of the Catholic Church.

World
3:16 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Thousands Of Children As Young As 6 Work In Bolivia's Mines

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Remember those Chilean miners who spent more than two months trapped underground? What if I told you they were the lucky ones?

Many miners in South America work in conditions far more dangerous, and some of them are as young as 6 years old. Their daily travails would shock Charles Dickens. But now, some children in Bolivia are unionizing and asking the government to lower the working age.

Wes Enzinna went into the mines in the city of Potosi to understand why. And he writes about the experience for VICE magazine.

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World
3:15 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Nairobi Seeks Answers 2 Months After 'Kenya's 9/11'

On Sept. 21, terrorists attacked the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 67 people. Despite early reports of as many as 15 gunmen, Kenyan police now know that the attack was the work of only four terrorist, all of whom died in the suicide mission. But some other very important questions remain unanswered.

The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sat November 30, 2013

U.S. Offers To Destroy Some Of Syria's Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:53 pm

The United States has offered to destroy some of Syria's chemical weapons, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement on Friday.

The U.S. plans to destroy the chemicals aboard a U.S. vessel at sea using a process called hydrolysis, in which chemical agents are neutralized using hot water plus other chemicals.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Sat November 30, 2013

North Korea Says Detained American Has 'Apologized'

This photo taken on Nov. 9 and released on Nov. 30 by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows American Merrill Newman inking his thumbprint onto a written apology for his alleged crimes both as a tourist and during his participation in the Korean War.
KCNA AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 12:43 pm

North Korea says a U.S. veteran, who has been detained for more than a month, has apologized for committing "indelible crimes against" the country in the past and during his current trip.

The North Korean government released an edited video of 85-year-old Merrill Newman reading a handwritten apology.

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Simon Says
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Crossing The Sea For Freedom A Familiar Story For Americans

More than 100 Haitians were rescued this week after their crowded sailboat capsized. At least 30 more were reported dead.
U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:33 pm

This week, at least 30 people died when a packed sailboat ran aground and capsized off the coast of the Bahamas. The rest of the migrants on board clung to that splintered boat for hours until the U.S. Coast Guard found them. The survivors are being cared for at a Bahamian military base until they are sent back to the place they risked their lives to leave.

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The Salt
3:40 am
Sat November 30, 2013

These Cookbook Photos Redefine What Fresh Seafood Looks Like

How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.
Photos by Shimon and Tammar, Courtesy of Shimon and Tammar

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 9:05 am

How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.

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Parallels
3:38 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music

Afghans hold large, expensive weddings, even those involving families of modest means. More than 600 people attended this recent marriage at a large wedding hall in Kabul.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 4:17 pm

Afghanistan may be one of the world's poorest countries, but weddings are still a big — and expensive — deal. On most weekends, Kabul's glitzy and somewhat garish wedding halls are packed with people celebrating nuptials.

One of them is the Uranos Palace complex. On the night I attended my first Afghan wedding, all three of its halls were overflowing. I was one of two foreigners in a room of about 200 men. The female guests sat on the other side of a 7-foot-high divider in the middle of the hall.

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