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National Security
3:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

As Torture Report's Release Nears, CIA And Opponents Ready Responses

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:27 am

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

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Parallels
2:40 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Facing Threats From ISIS And Iran, Gulf States Set To Join Forces

A member of the Saudi border guards mans a machine gun at the border with Iraq in July. Since the so-called Islamic State launched its offensive this summer in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has sent thousands of troops to the region.
Faisal Nasser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:17 am

Alarmed over rising threats in the Middle East and North Africa, the Gulf Cooperation Council is set to launch an unprecedented joint military command, according to regional officials and military analysts.

"At the moment, we are witnessing a new spirit," says Abdulaziz Sager, head of the Gulf Research Center, a think tank that focuses on the GCC, a six-member group of Arab monarchies.

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Global Health
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Ebola Is Down, But Not Out, In Liberia

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

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

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Food
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Olive Oil Producers In 'Crisis' From Weather, Pests And Disease

Damaged olives hang in the grove belonging to Augusto Spagnoli, an oil producer from Nerola, near Rome. Producers and experts declared Italy's 2014 olive harvest the worst in history, due to adverse climatic conditions that helped the olive fly proliferate, thus destroying the olives before they could be harvested.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:15 pm

There's been a dramatic drop in oil production, but it's not barrels of light sweet crude. It's olive oil.

Curtis Cord, publisher of the Olive Oil Times, tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered there are many reasons why production has fallen so much in Italy and Spain this year.

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National Security
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Why Would Uruguay Take Guantanamo Prisoners?

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

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National Security
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New Details Emerge In Failed Yemen Hostage Rescue

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

U.K. Lawmaker Apologizes For Playing 'Candy Crush Saga' At Hearing

King Digital Entertainment's online game Candy Crush Saga has millions of fans: British lawmaker Nigel Mills is among them.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:06 pm

If you dislike meetings, you might empathize with Nigel Mills. He's a British lawmaker who had to apologize after being caught playing Candy Crush Saga on his iPad during a hearing. (As far as we know, he wasn't sending invitations to his Facebook friends to join him.)

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Goats and Soda
1:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Ebola Cases Are Down, So Should Liberians Stop Worrying?

To ward off Ebola, a worker washes his hands at a construction site in Monrovia.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:42 am

For months, Liberia was the country worst-hit by the Ebola outbreak. But the wards in Liberia's Ebola treatment units now stand virtually empty. The number of newly reported cases fell from almost 300 cases a week in mid-September to fewer than 100 by mid-October.

But that doesn't mean it's time to take it easy. In fact, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has just announced a new campaign, Ebola Must Go, which focuses on the role of the community.

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The Salt
1:03 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Afghanistan Vets Are Trying To Cultivate Peace Through Saffron

At about $15 a gram, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Rumi Spice has a unique model of employing Afghan farmers who are growing it that aims to double or even triple their annual income.
Cristina Hirschkorn Courtesy of Rumi Spice

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:02 pm

When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.

Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

2014 A Year Of 'Unspeakable Brutality' For Children In Conflict Zones

A Syrian Kurdish child looks through the fence of a refugee camp in the town of Suruc, Turkey, last month. The advance of Islamic State jihadists on Kobane has forced some 200,000 refugees to flee across the border to Turkey.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:24 pm

The United Nations Children's Fund calls 2014 a devastating year for children, reporting that as many as 15 million young people are caught in conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Ukraine.

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Goats and Soda
11:13 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Ebola, Schmebola — You Still Have To Look Good!

Zoe Kiadi, 25, says neither unemployment nor the presence of Ebola has dimmed her desire to look nice. What really sets her apart is her hairstyle.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 12:32 pm

Forget Ebola. In Liberia, style is everything.

"Even if poor, even if without a job, Liberians still spend money on clothes. They value appearance over everything," says Muhammed Trawally. The 33-year-old driver is wearing tightly fitted black jeans, sharp Italian-style leather shoes, a crisp orange-and-white striped polo shirt, brown-tinted aviator glasses in a gold-and-white frame and a black Casio watch.

"Looking good is business," he says — a phrase that keeps popping up.

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Goats and Soda
9:43 am
Mon December 8, 2014

When A Stray Dog's In Trouble, Katmandu's Canine Rescuers Jump To It

Ram Nagarkoti responds to emergency calls and brings injured dogs to the triage room at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre.
Donatella Lorch for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 8:38 am

The phone calls start in early morning. They are strikingly similar.

"There is an injured dog on the street. Can you take care of it?"

Ram Nagarkoti, the 31-year-old ambulance driver at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre), often spends his days zigzagging through traffic, waving at police officers as he edges across chaotic intersections and squeezing into labyrinthian alleyways to find his patient — one of 20,000 stray dogs in Nepal's capital.

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Strange News
4:14 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Laughter Is The Best Medicine For Gulag Blues, Russia Tells Guards

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:44 am

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

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Global Health
2:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

With Ebola Cases Down, Officials Worry Liberians Aren't Worried Enough

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 12:06 pm

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Latin America
2:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Burnt Remains Of Missing Mexican Student Identified; 42 Still Not Found

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:44 am

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

6 Arrested For Looting Antiquities From Israel's 'Cave Of The Skulls'

An Israeli Antiquities Authority Prevention of Antiquities Robbery officer stands at the opening to a high cave in the Judean desert. Six men were indicted Sunday for looting from this cave.
Israel Antiquities Authority

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:43 am

Israel's Antiquities Authority Sunday announced it had indicted six men accused of stealing antiquities and destroying archaeological sites in the southern Judean Desert — the same desert where the Dead Sea Scrolls — religious texts dating from the third century BC — were found.

The announcement also revealed a connection to the ancient world: They had lice combs, too. The Antiquities Authority released a photo of what it says is a 2000-year-old lice comb captured along with the men.

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Asia
2:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

'A Universe Beneath Our Feet': Life In Beijing's Underground

Zhuang Qiuli and her boyfriend Feng Tao sit on the bed in their basement apartment two floors below a posh condominium. Since this photo was taken, the couple has moved above ground.
Sim Chi Yin VII

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:26 am

In Beijing, even the tiniest apartment can cost a fortune — after all, with more than 21 million residents, space is limited and demand is high.

But it is possible to find more affordable housing. You'll just have to join an estimated 1 million of the city's residents and look underground.

Below the city's bustling streets, bomb shelters and storage basements are turned into illegal — but affordable — apartments.

Claustrophobic Living Quarters

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Goats and Soda
2:09 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Liberian Businesses Reopen Their Doors, But Customers Are Wary

Mrs. Mama Quaye has run Mrs. Quayes African Food Center on Ashmun St. in downtown Monrovia for over 20 years.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 10:28 am

Ebola has had a brutal impact on the economies of three West African nations at the epicenter of the outbreak. In Liberia, the World Bank has more than halved projected growth for the nation, compared to what they predicted before the epidemic.

Ebola has killed more than 3,000 people in Liberia and, at the height of the outbreak, closed shops, businesses and offices. As the situation eases, many have now reopened — but it's still tough going.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Syria Says Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Near Damascus

Syrian state media say Israeli planes hit government-controlled zones in and around Damascus in what independent observers have said was an apparent effort to target Hezbollah arms shipments.

"The Israeli enemy committed aggression against Syria by targeting two safe areas in Damascus province, in all of Dimas and near the Damascus International Airport," state television said, adding that there were no casualties, according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Sun December 7, 2014

'Washington Post' Reporter, Detained For Months In Iran, Is Charged

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for The Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign even for President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in 2013. Rezaian, who was arrested in July, was charged by Iran on Saturday.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:27 am

Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran who has been held by the Iranian government for more than four months, was formally charged over the weekend, but the specifics are not yet known, his newspaper reports.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Sun December 7, 2014

U.S. Reportedly Unaware Of Second Hostage Ahead Of Failed Rescue

South African Pierre Korkie was killed in a failed rescue attempt along with American photojournalist Luke Somers. U.S. officials were reportedly unaware that Korkie was being held along with Somers nor that arrangements had already been made for his release.
AP

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 8:33 pm

Update at 12:05 p.m. ET

More details are trickling in out about this weekend's failed attempt to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers from his al-Qaida captors in Yemen.

Somers, 33, was held along with a South African teacher, Pierre Korkie; both were killed by their kidnappers when U.S. Navy SEALs were detected before they were able to snatch the captives.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Sun December 7, 2014

6 Gitmo Detainees Transferred To Uruguay, U.S. Says

Cooperative captives conduct afternoon prayers inside a communal cellblock at Camp 6 last month at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Six long-time detainees of the prison have been transferred to Uruguay.
Walter Michot MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 12:19 pm

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Six men long detained at Guantanamo Bay – four Syrians, one Tunisian and one Palestinian – were transferred this morning to Uruguay in a deal forged by the White House to reduce the inmate population at the controversial prison, which President Obama has promised to close.

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Parallels
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

For Iran, The Trend Lines All Seem To Point In The Wrong Direction

President Hassan Rouhani's election last year gave many Iranians hope, but he has not offered a clear path out of the country's current problems, which include a weakening economy, tough sanctions and nuclear talks that are dragging on.
Mohammad Berno AP

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:25 am

Oil prices are at a five-year low, inflation is on the rise, the currency is sinking and nuclear talks are dragging on with no end to sanctions in sight. Those are the grim indicators confronting Iranians as winter approaches.

Iran's leaders are counseling resilience and patience, but Iranians aren't finding much to be hopeful about, although they're dealing with it in their own way.

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Science
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Stephen Hawking Gets A Voice Upgrade

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:15 pm

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The sound of Stephen Hawking's voice is iconic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STEPHEN HAWKING: Where did we come from? How did the universe come into being?

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Middle East
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Mideast Conflicts Converge In Once-Quiet Turkish City

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:25 am

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Africa
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

In Liberia, 'Looking Good Is A Business'

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:25 am

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Liberians have been gripped by crisis after crisis. A long and brutal civil war shattered the West African country and now Ebola. But NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has been looking into another far lighter side of life in that country - fashion.

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Goats and Soda
3:21 am
Sun December 7, 2014

The Decreasing Loneliness Of The Indian Long-Distance Runner

India's new wave of runners is ready to race. This crowd took off at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Nov. 23.
Zheng Huansong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:42 am

I began running about a year ago. I'd just moved to New Delhi, after living in the United States for 11 years. The stress of the move was getting to me, and I desperately needed exercise.

But finding a regular route wasn't easy. Running on the sidewalk is next to impossible here in Delhi. Every few seconds I had to get off the sidewalk to avoid bumping into a street vendor's cart or a patch of sidewalk claimed by Indian men to pee on.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Remains Of 1 Of 43 Missing Mexican Students Identified

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:42 am

Remains of one of the 43 missing college students in Mexico have been identified, NPR's Mexico correspondent Carrie Kahn reports for our Newscast division.

DNA tests showed that bone fragments matched a student identified as Alexander Mora Venancio, 19, one of the students who went missing in September, allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a drug gang that was working with local police. The identification was announced on the Facebook page of the teaching school attended by the students, Kahn says, as well as by multiple media outlets.

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Middle East
3:36 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

'Always Giving Us Hope': Friends, Family Remember Murdered Hostage

Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped more than a year ago by al-Qaida, photographs a demonstration in Yemen in 2013. Somers and a South African teacher held by al-Qaida militants in Yemen were killed Saturday during a U.S.-led rescue attempt, a raid President Obama said he ordered because of an "imminent danger" to the reporter.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 9:12 am

American photojournalist Luke Somers, who was killed by al-Qaida militants in Yemen on Saturday, was described by those who knew him as passionate, inspiring and committed to the Yemeni people.

Somers had been held captive for more than a year. He died during a U.S. special forces rescue attempt, along with a South African teacher who was also held hostage by the militants.

Somers was born in England and raised in the U.S., and he was always struck with a bit of wanderlust.

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Middle East
9:38 am
Sat December 6, 2014

American Hostage Killed During Rescue Attempt In Yemen

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 9:53 am

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

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