This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. This could be a big week for diplomacy with Iran. The U.S. and other world powers are sending diplomats back to Geneva. They're hoping to persuade Iran to roll back some of its nuclear program, in exchange for limited sanctions relief. One key U.S. ally is not happy about that. Israel calls it a bad deal, and is urging the U.S. to stand tough.
In his new book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, Israeli journalist Ari Shavit tackles several basic questions: Why was Israel created? What has it achieved? What went wrong? Where is it heading? Will it survive?
The book is based on interviews with hundreds of Israelis — Jews and Arabs — as well as his own story and family history (two of Shavit's great-grandfathers became Zionists in the late 1800s).
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:30 pm
Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.
The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:59 pm
Our friends over at the Two-Way recently told you about disturbing allegations against Qatar for its handling of migrant workers building the country's infrastructure for the 2022 soccer World Cup. Those revelations were first reported in The Guardian.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:45 pm
Hey there, hipster. No bike helmet, huh? Well, we all have our excuses. There are the vanity-driven ones that — let's be honest — explain why the majority of our brain cages sit collecting dust in the dark corners of the garage. Squashed hair, unflattering chin straps, general discomfort, etc.
The Syrian army has been gaining significant ground against the rebels around the capital and in the north city of Aleppo. Analysts say the regime has better allies, superior fire-power and in this sectarian battle, has finally integrated Shiite forces from Hezbollah into a formidable force that is effective against disunited rebels.
We start this story with a warning. Some people may find the subject unsettling. People with kids in the room may wish to skip the next six minutes. Years ago, police in Toronto, Canada began tracking a suspect in their city. With the help of police in other nations, they quietly began linking him to a global network of people trafficking in child pornography.
On Wednesday, diplomats from the United States and Iran — along with five other world powers — go back to Geneva and the negotiating table. They'll be discussing a possible deal to limit Iran's controversial nuclear program, which has sparked international tensions for a decade.
The previous meeting between Iran and the five permanent Security Council members (Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S.) plus Germany failed to produce an agreement.
More than a week after Typhoon Haiyan decimated parts of the Philippines, many residents there are still awaiting help to secure food and shelter. The official death toll has climbed to more than 3,600. And the United Nations now estimates that the storm left nearly 2 million people homeless.
Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 4:50 pm
In the typhoon-ravaged heart of the Philippines, many hospitals were badly damaged or destroyed by the storm. NPR photojournalist David Gilkey and reporter Jason Beaubien visited one battered hospital that continues to serve patients.
More than a week after the storm, the staff at Divine Word Hospital are simultaneously trying to patch up the hospital and take care of patients.
Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 2:13 pm
A U.S. Army sergeant who in 2007 allegedly shot and killed two unarmed deaf Iraqi boys who had no known ties to the insurgents then battling American forces, has now been charged with two counts of premeditated murder.
Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 1:37 pm
A suicide bombing Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan, near the site where elders will meet next week to debate a security pact with the U.S. caused multiple deaths and injuries, NPR's Sean Carberry tells our Newscast Desk.
He reports that:
"The huge blast destroyed cars and shops and scattered debris for more than 100 yards. Witnesses describe seeing injured and dead civilians being pulled from the scene. Afghan officials claim the bomber was under surveillance and exploded his vehicle when stopped at the checkpoint."
Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki created beloved films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. But his latest film is drawing unusually sharp criticism.
The Wind Rises is no ordinary tale: It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero, the fighter plane (in)famously used in kamikaze attacks in World War II.
Now to the Philippines, where hundreds of thousands of survivors of last week's typhoon wait for help. Many have seen little or no aid. Government health officials there said people are living on coconut juice. U.S. efforts moved into high gear with the arrival of the aircraft carrier the USS George Washington and its support ships. NPR's Anthony Kuhn flew out to the carrier today and joins us now from Tacloban, one of the areas hardest hit.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Two big announcements today from China. Its government said that it will further loosen the country's one-child policy and abolish its infamous re-education through labor camps. The news follows a special four-day meeting of the country's leaders, and to hear more about why China is doing this and what it might mean, we turn to NPR's Frank Langfitt in Shanghai. Frank, welcome to the program.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:26 pm
The United Nations on Friday outlined a plan for destroying Syria's chemical weapons, but there's still no word on who will carry out the delicate task of disposing of the deadly agents.
The plan "sets ambitious milestones to be met by the Government of Syria," said Ahmet Uzumcu, the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW. "This next phase will be the most challenging, and its timely execution will require the existence of a secure environment for the verification and transport of chemical weapons."
The African Maasai ethnic group is known for its deep roots in tradition and culture, including rights of passage for men and female circumcision. Now, young Maasai woman Nice Nailantei Leng'ete is crusading for alternative rites of passage and empowering young girls to continue their education in Kenya. She tells Michel Martin how she stood her ground to promote the dangers of female genital cutting.Note: This conversation may not be comfortable for all listeners.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:37 am
"Mayor Rob Ford will essentially be mayor in name only after Monday," writes the Toronto Sun. "Three special council meetings — two to be held Friday and one on Monday — have been called to strip Ford of all the powers delegated to him by council and slash his mayor's office budget."
Behind all our material goods, from iPhones to sneakers, is a narrative of exploited Chinese workers with bleak lives. Reporter Leslie T. Chang says that's a disrespectful narrative. She sought out workers in a Chinese megacity and tells their stories.