World News

The Two-Way
6:18 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Obama Says U.S. Will Respect Afghan Sovereignty

A member of the Afghan Loya Jirga listens as the more than 2,000 elders begin debating a proposed U.S.-Afghan security pact on Thursday in Kabul.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 10:15 am

As Afghan elders debate whether to approve a proposed security agreement with the U.S., there's word that President Obama has said the U.S. will respect Afghanistan's sovereignty and carry out raids on Afghan homes only under extraordinary circumstances, The Associated Press writes.

The wire service says Obama made that pledge in a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. It adds that:

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Parallels
6:08 am
Thu November 21, 2013

World Headlines: Colombian President To Seek Re-Election

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announcing his decision to seek re-election in Bogota, Colombia, on Wednesday.
Xinhua /Landov

Colombia, El Tiempo

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Wednesday that he was seeking re-election, saying he wanted to bring peace to the country.

"I do it because I am convinced that we have gone far enough and that, finally, it is possible to get to that future of prosperity and peace we deserve," he said.

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Afghanistan
3:55 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Hamid Karzai Lives In A 'World Of Paranoia And Conspiracy'

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:55 am

Steve Inskeep talks to William Dalrymple about his upcoming piece in The New York Times Magazine entitled: "How is Hamid Karzai Still Standing?" Dalrymple recently wrote the book, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839-42.

World
3:51 am
Thu November 21, 2013

World Food Program Responds To Philippine Disaster

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.N. says it's gotten nearly $130 million from donor nations, about half the funds it requested just last week, to carryout the massive relief effort in the Philippines. Some four million people are homeless in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

The World Food Programme is one of the many U.N. organizations responding to that disaster. We reached its director, Ertharin Cousin, in Delhi, after she spent several days in Tacloban, the hardest hit city in the Philippines.

Good morning.

ERTHARIN COUSIN: Good morning.

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Afghanistan
3:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Afghans Debate Future U.S. Military Presence

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:55 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has convened an assembly of tribal and religious leaders to debate a proposed security pact with the United States. The accord would allow some U.S. forces to remain in the country following the completion of NATO'S withdrawal at the end of 2014.

The Picture Show
1:24 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Around The World In ... A Lot Of Steps

Paul Salopek and his guide walk into the desert, on day 19 of the "Out of Eden walk" in the Afar region of Northeast Ethiopia. The walk with take about 7 years total.
Paul Salopek National Geographic

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 9:51 am

Paul Salopek has discovered that the best way to take in information, to be a journalist and a storyteller, is not flying around the world with the latest technology. It's by walking.

"There's something about moving across the surface of the earth at 3 miles per hour that feels really good," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Salopek plans to walk 21,000 miles total — from Africa to the Middle East, across Asia, down through Alaska and all the way to Tierra del Fuego. He calls it the "Out of Eden Walk" because the idea is to follow the path of human migration.

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Parallels
2:27 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

A Chronic Problem In Disaster Zones: No Fuel

Filipino men stand in line to fill containers with gas in Tacloban, Philippines, on Sunday. The area experienced widespread gas shortages in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:00 pm

In the wake of any natural disaster, there are almost always shortages of fuel. Even in the United States, gas stations shut down during blackouts because there's no electricity to run their pumps.

It was no different in the Philippines, where practically no fuel was available after Typhoon Haiyan struck. Aid agencies said the lack of gasoline was a major impediment to relief efforts.

One small American nonprofit called the Fuel Relief Fund is trying to change that.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

U.S., Afghanistan Reach Tentative Security Pact

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:38 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry says he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed on the text of a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay on the ground in the South Asian country beyond 2014.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that after numerous phone calls, Kerry says he and Karzai reached terms for a "limited role" for U.S. troops that would be confined to training, equipping and assisting Afghan forces.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

City Of Vancouver Shows Doorknobs The Exit

In Vancouver, doorknobs are out, levers are in.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 7:10 pm

The doorknob is dead. At least in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A recent revision in the city's building code, designed to improve accessibility, shows the door to the venerable knob, replacing it with the hipper and easier-to-use lever.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

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Shots - Health News
10:19 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Kids Are Less Fit Today Than You Were Back Then

There's a reason she's out there all alone. Children worldwide are spending less time on sports and active play and more time with TVs and video games.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 10:44 am

Children around the world are less aerobically fit than their parents were as kids, a decline that researchers say could be setting them up for serious health problems once they're grown up.

Children today take 90 seconds longer to run a mile than kids did 30 years ago, according to data from 28 countries. Children's aerobic fitness has declined by 5 percent since 1975.

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All Tech Considered
9:50 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Russian App Wants E-Book Piracy To End, Happily Ever After

Moscow-based app Bookmate has a subscription e-book service — similar to others on the U.S. market, but with more of a focus on targeting piracy in emerging literary markets.
Courtesty of Bookmate

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 1:55 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

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Parallels
9:20 am
Wed November 20, 2013

What You Need To Know About The Iranian Nuclear Talks

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament during the 68th U.N. General Assembly in September.
Mike Segar AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 10:21 am

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Parallels
6:19 am
Wed November 20, 2013

World Headlines: Indonesia-Australia Spying Feud Deepens

Reports say Australia spied on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. On Monday, Indonesia said it was downgrading relations with Australia.
Beawiharta Reuters /Landov

Indonesia, Jakarta Post

Indonesia says it has scaled down its diplomatic relations and its level of cooperation with Australia in the wake of reports that Australia's security services spied on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other top officials.

"We have downgraded the level of relations between Indonesia and Australia," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said. "Like a faucet, it is turned down."

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Life Is Slowly Returning To Shattered Philippine City

Some people marched in the rain Tuesday in the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was crushed by Typhoon Haiyan.
David Guttenfelder AP
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn, in the Philippines, talks with Steve Inskeep

There was almost nothing left standing or working in the Philippines city of Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan tore through on Nov. 8.

No electricity. No clean water. No undamaged buildings.

As one official told NPR's Anthony Kuhn, "we have citizens, but no city."

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Middle East
4:08 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program Try Again For Deal

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 am

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are back in Geneva for another round of talks on Tehran's nuclear program. There are signals that a preliminary deal over the future of Iran's nuclear program may finally be within in reach.

Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
3:46 am
Wed November 20, 2013

One By One, Businesses Reopen In Typhoon-Hit Tacloban

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:50 am

Since the typhoon hit the Philippines, doing business in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban has been next to impossible But on Wednesday, five gas stations, two hardware stores and several banks reopened.

Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
3:41 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Tacloban Stores Slowly Reopen But Debris Cleaning Is Ongoing

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Our colleague Anthony Kuhn has departed Tacloban, the city in the Philippines hardest hit by a typhoon. Anthony covered the early days of a disaster that left around 4,000 people dead and has displaced four million more. And now that he's in Manila, Anthony is going to try to help us get some perspective on what happened. He's on the line.

Hi, Anthony.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Middle East
2:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Declassified Documents Shed Light On Camp David Peace Talks

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Thirty-five years ago the U.S. negotiated an historic peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Over 13 long days at the presidential retreat Camp David, President Jimmy Carter walked a delicate line to get Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin to reach an agreement. Now we're learning more details of how they succeeded. Last week, the CIA declassified 1,400 of pages of documents related to those Camp David peace talks.

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Sports
2:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

World Cup Qualifying Match Tests Cairo's Security

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 am

Ghana qualifies for its third straight World Cup — defeating Egypt 7-3 on total goals after a 2-1 loss. This was the first international match in Cairo in two years. A bloody soccer riot there left dozens dead in 2011. It was also the first match since authorities lifted the curfew that went into effect after widespread clashes between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters, protesting the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

Middle East
2:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Israelis Disagree On How To Keep Iran From Nuclear Weapons

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been lobbying hard against an agreement with Iran that would ease economic sanctions if it allows Tehran to continue enriching nuclear material in any way. Israelis overwhelmingly agree that the Iranians should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.

The difference of opinion comes on the range of views of how to stop them. NPR's Emily Harris reports.

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Africa
2:32 am
Wed November 20, 2013

In Nigeria's Bloody Fight, Who's Gaining The Upper Hand?

Men walk amid rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik in northeast Nigeria, on Sept. 19. The Islamist group has been waging an insurgency in northern and central Nigeria for the past four years and was recently placed on the U.S. list of terrorist groups.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 8:51 am

For four years, the Islamist militants of Boko Haram have been waging a deadly campaign in northern and central Nigeria, killing thousands of people. In response, the Nigerian military is cracking down on the group, and the United States last week designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.

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Parallels
3:50 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Londoners Urged To Cycle, But Commute Can Be Treacherous

Cyclists negotiate rush hour traffic in central London on Nov. 15. Fourteen London cyclists have died so far this year, all in accidents involving heavy goods vehicles.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:30 pm

London's colorful mayor, Boris Johnson, has made it a priority to get more of his constituents on two wheels. But a series of deaths on the city's roads have shaken cyclists and noncyclists alike.

The number of Londoners cycling to work has more than doubled in the past decade. On some roads, cyclists now make up more than half the rush hour traffic.

And for years, Johnson has been among them. Many think the London mayor has his eye on Prime Minister David Cameron's job.

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Afghanistan
3:37 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Afghan Elders Will Decide Future Of U.S. Troops After 2014

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Some 3,000 Afghan elders will assemble on Thursday in Kabul to consider a new security agreement with the U.S. The document will spell out the rules for American forces in Afghanistan troops after their combat mission ends in December 2014. U.S. officials say between 6,000 and 9,000 US troops would remain to train Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terror missions against al-Qaeda and other anti-government forces. That counter-terror mission remains a sticking point, though most other issues — like potential criminal liability of Americans in Afghanistan — have been resolved.

Europe
3:37 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Death Of British Spy Found Shoved Into Bag Ruled Accidental

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:54 pm

In 2010, British spy Gareth Williams was found dead, naked, and stuffed inside a duffel bag in his bathtub. Although a coroner initially suspected foul play, London police have determined that his death was probably an accident. Robert Siegel talks to spy historian Nigel West about the case.

Middle East
3:37 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Cautious Optimism As Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:03 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Negotiators for Iran and six world powers returned to Switzerland to discuss limiting Iran's nuclear program. After reportedly coming close to a first-step deal earlier this month, some officials say an agreement is within reach this week. But critics warn a deal would be dangerous.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Geneva and has this report.

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Europe
3:37 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

One-Fifth Of Norwegians Tune In To Watch Rock Star Chess Champ

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen is competing in the 2013 World Chess Championships. Melissa Block speaks with Joran Jansson, president of the Norwegian Chess Federation, for more on his rise to a number one ranking and what his popularity means for the game of chess.

The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Beyond The Caricature: 5 Things To Know About Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his office after councilors passed motions Monday to limit his powers.
Chris Young The Canadian Press

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:50 pm

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was thrust into the international spotlight after he admitted to smoking crack. Since then, a caricature of the politician has emerged: a bumbling, error-prone addict, whose everyman persona has helped him maintain his popularity in Canada's most populous city.

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Parallels
11:57 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How Will Afghan Forces Fare As NATO Troops Draw Down?

An Afghan soldier stands guard in the western city of Herat in October. U.S. Maj. Gen. James McConville, who commands coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, says Afghan forces did hold their ground this year, but "they're not winning by enough that the enemy is willing to stop fighting yet."
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Shiite Muslims gathered in Kabul last week to celebrate Ashura, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar. Hundreds of shirtless men chanted and flogged themselves with chains tipped with knife-like shards of metal.

In the past, these public Shiite commemorations have become targets of the Taliban and other Islamist extremists. In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 56 Shiites marking Ashura. But this year, security was particularly tight.

Shopkeeper Noor Aga said the celebration was magnificent, and he felt safe.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan's Exact Death Toll May Never Be Known

In Tacloban, the Philippines, graffiti on the side of a grounded ship sends a message out to the world.
David Gilkey NPR

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Parallels
10:55 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Landlines, It Turns Out, Aren't Vanishing Everywhere

A Cambodian gambler talks on 18 cellphones at once at a boxing match in Phnom Penh in 2010. There are nearly 132 cellphones for every 100 Cambodians, but the country has also seen a surge in the number of landlines.
Tang Chhin Sothy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:03 am

On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.

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