World News

Europe
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Crimean Government Buildings, Airports Reportedly Threatened

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

We're going to begin this hour with a developing situation in Crimea. Russian Parliment has approved President Vladimir Putin's request to send Russian troops into Ukraine. Now Russia has a naval base in Crimea, a semiautonomous region that is predominately pro-Russian. The request did not specify when or how many troops might be deployed but armed men in uniform are already on the ground.

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Europe
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

U.S. Ambassador On Costs Of Russia's Moves In Ukraine

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And we are joined in the studio now by Ambassador Thomas Pickering. He has served his nation in many different posts, including U.S. ambassador to Russia. He was also, of course, the U.S. representative of the United Nations. Mr. Ambassador, thanks so much for being with us.

THOMAS PICKERING: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: You just heard our correspondent on the ground in Kiev. President Obama said there will be costs. What could that be?

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Europe
5:56 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Ukraine's Crimea Region Full Of Uncertainty, Rapid Changes

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:03 am

Tensions are escalating as armed men take control of airports and set up road blocks in Crimea. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to correspondent Emily Harris, who is in Kiev.

The Salt
3:22 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

'Peak Salmon' May Be Unlikely, But Threats To Farmed Salmon Loom

Farm-raised Norwegian salmon for sale in Oregon in 2009.
Natalie Maynor Flickr

Earlier this month, reporters at Bloomberg and the Financial Times suggested that we might be nearing "peak salmon" — a play on peak oil, in which we theoretically reach maximum production, and the only direction left to go is down.

Their logic? The price for a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of Norwegian farmed salmon at the end of 2013 was 50 percent higher than it had been the previous year.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Obama Warns Russia Against Using Force In Ukraine

President Obama spoke about the Ukraine crisis Friday afternoon, saying, "The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:46 pm

Saying that the United States is "deeply concerned" by reports that Russia is taking military action in Ukraine, President Obama urged Russia not to intervene in the destabilized country, where tensions have reached new highs this week.

Obama said that he had spoken to Russia's President Putin in recent days, to foster cooperation in coping with the situation.

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Parallels
3:04 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Syria On Track To Become World's Largest Source Of Refugees

Masses of refugees wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk camp on Jan. 31 in Damascus, Syria.
United Nation Relief and Works Agency/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

A photo from Syria is grabbing the world's attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of a Palestinian refugee camp inside Syria.

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia was so moved by the image, he took to the Senate floor, saying "a country of 23 million people, a proud country, is being transformed before our eyes to a land of rubble, skeletons, refugees and ghosts."

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Europe
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Fished From The Water, Soggy Docs Reveal Ukrainian Corruption

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine, he abandoned a sprawling, opulent estate on the outskirts of Kiev. And before he left, he or his associates dumped tens of thousands of documents into a reservoir, documents that paint a stunning picture of government excess and corruption. Journalists have retrieved those soggy papers. They're drying them out and posting them online. Oleg Khomenok runs an investigative journalism project in Ukraine called Scoop. He's been at the presidential compound, helping to go through all those papers.

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Europe
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Former Ukrainian President Surfaces With Speech In Russia

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych made his first public speech since fleeing the country. Financial Times reporter Courtney Weaver discusses the new conference and its reception in Crimea.

National Security
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Drawn By Twitter And Trained In Syria, Terrorists Could Turn West

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Syria, some 1,500 groups make up the insurgency. Among them, according to U.S. intelligence officials, are 7,500 foreign fighters from more than 50 countries. They include al-Qaida veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan and they may be taking aim beyond Syria.

JAMES CLAPPER: And they do harbor designs on attacks in Europe and the homeland.

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News
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Joint Surveillance Program Stores Millions Of Yahoo Webcam Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with two stories of authorities tracking people online. In a moment, we'll hear how some police in this country are using software to look for potential criminal activity on Twitter. But first, something you might think would be more private: webcam chats.

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Parallels
2:01 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

'Invisible' Same-Sex Couples Push For Civil Unions In Greece

Couples kiss during the Athens gay pride parade last June. Last month, activists organized a "kiss-in" during a church service run by a Greek Orthodox bishop who has threatened to excommunicate politicians supporting same-sex unions.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

It's Sunday afternoon, and six mothers are sitting in a bright living room, drinking milky coffee and talking about discrimination.

"We are invisible in Greece," says Stella Bellia, who is raising twin boys with her Italian partner, Grazia-Haris Scocozza. "So we have to help each other."

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Latin America
10:30 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Venezuela Protests Prove President Maduro Lacks Chavez Charisma

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to turn to Venezuela, where violent protests have filled the streets for two weeks now - a story that may have been overshadowed in this country somewhat by the turmoil in Ukraine. The unrest is putting a spotlight on President Nicolas Maduro and the country's economic problems. We wanted to hear more so we've called Andrew Rosati. He's a freelance journalist based in Caracas, Venezuela. And he's with us from there now. Welcome back, Andrew. Thanks so much for joining us again.

ANDREW ROSATI: Thank you.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Chinese Paper Calls Outgoing U.S. Envoy 'Yellow-Skinned, White-Hearted Banana Man'

The Chinese media may not like him, but Gary Locke, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to China, was praised by ordinary Chinese.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 10:05 am

Gary Locke may have won over ordinary Chinese with his conduct in the country, but not everyone was impressed with the first Chinese-American to serve as the U.S. envoy to China.

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Europe
5:13 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Soviet Legacy May Fuel Ukraine's Resistance To Russian Domination

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as Michele mentioned, one flashpoint between Russia and Ukraine is the region of Crimea, a Russian province for hundreds of years that only became part of Ukraine in 1954. At the time, Russia and Ukraine were both Soviet republics, so the transfer was largely symbolic. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev did it to mark the 300th anniversary of a Russian-Ukrainian alliance.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Crisis In Ukraine: Gunmen At Airport; Yanukovych Vows To Return

On Friday, armed men took control of the international airport in the city of Simferopol, on the Crimean peninsula. Gunmen took control of another airport in Crimea, as well.
David Mdzinarishvili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:28 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Kiev
We'll be adding updates as the day continues.

The crisis in Ukraine took another ominous turn when gunmen in unmarked military uniforms on Friday took control of two airports on the Crimean peninsula — where the majority of people are ethnic Russians and many want to break away from the new government in Kiev.

Update at 5:15 p.m. ET: Obama Warns Russia On Ukraine

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Europe
3:21 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Upheaval In Ukraine Shifts To Crimea Peninsula

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:27 am

Armed men are patrolling two airports in the Ukrainian province of Crimea, and Ukraine's acting president is blaming Russia. Russia says its troops have nothing to do with it.

Parallels
1:25 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Secretary Of State Kerry Says Ukraine Is Not A 'Cold War Story'

An anti-Yanukovych protester walks past a barricade in Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:49 am

Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, emerged Friday to give a news conference on Russian soil, not far from the Ukraine border. Russia is not only giving Yanukovych shelter — it's also carrying out military exercises that have raised alarms in Washington.

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Parallels
3:24 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Idle No More: Japan Plans To Restart Closed Nuclear Reactors

Japan's draft of a new energy proposal calls for opening nuclear power plants that were shut down after the nuclear disaster in 2011.
Greg Webb/IAEA AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

In the wake of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant three years ago, Japan's government decided to phase out nuclear power. Other governments, notably Germany's, followed Japan's lead.

But Wednesday, Tokyo reversed course. It issued a draft energy plan that includes restarting idled nuclear reactors. Now, the energy issue looms large over Japan's efforts to stage a comeback from two decades of economic stagnation.

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Africa
3:24 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Jewels Lie Beneath The Violence In The Central African Republic

A villager holds diamonds dug out from a mine outside the village of Sam Ouandja in northeast Central African Republic in 2007.
David Lewis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:08 pm

Morning Mass began with a hymn on a recent Sunday at the Infant Jesus Catholic Church in the Central African Republic town of Bouar. The Rev. Dominic Mbarta fretted about his sermon. The previous Sunday, when a Polish priest at the church simply asked the congregation to refrain from killing their Muslim neighbors or looting abandoned Muslim houses, the priest was threatened.

"They were so angry," Mbarta says. "They went back grumbling that the priest is not impartial. He is for the Muslims. He's not for the Christians."

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Middle East
2:44 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

A Greek Treasure Pulled From The Sea Disappears Again In Gaza

Last year, a Palestinian man fishing off the coast of the Gaza Strip discovered what is thought to be a 2,500-year-old bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo. The rare statue vanished from public view almost immediately after being pulled from the sea. The Hamas government in Gaza says it now has control of the statue.
APA Images/STR APA/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

On a sunny Friday in August last year, Judah Abughorab paddled a small, flat boat over the blue Mediterranean Sea about 100 yards off the Gaza Strip's sandy shore.

He doesn't really like to eat fish, but catching them is the unemployed construction worker's favorite pastime.

That day, he netted a half a dozen. Then, through the clear water, he spotted something that made him look again.

"It looked like a person," he says. "Eyes, a face, hands, fingers."

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Africa
2:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Impatient With Change, Libyans Begin To Leave

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Three years ago, Libyans began a revolution that toppled the regime of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi. Today, their country still teeters between chaos and the emergence of a new state. Crime, violence and power outages are part of daily life in Libya. But many Libyans had had enough. And those with the money and contacts are getting out.

NPR's Leila Fadel talks to a businessman, a musician, and an activist about whether to stay or go.

NASER RAYES: (Foreign language spoken)

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Europe
2:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

With Billions In Looted Cash, What Ukrainian Politician Isn't Corrupt?

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Public outrage at corruption in Ukraine was a driving force behind the protests that lead to the ouster of President Yanukovych. Ukraine is considered among the most corrupt countries in the world. The transparency international index, which measures how corrupt the public sector is perceived to be, ranks Ukraine 144th out of 177 countries. Taras Kuzio joins me to talk about corruption in Ukraine.

He's with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta. Welcome to the program.

TARAS KUZIO: Hi.

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Europe
2:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Violence In Crimea Casts Shadow On New Ukrainian Cabinet

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Ukraine's new government was installed today, but it was completely overshadowed by events in the majority Russian Crimea. Armed men took over two government buildings in the Crimean capital and hoisted a Russian flag over the parliament. Meanwhile, the fugitive former president, Viktor Yanukovych, appeared to resurface in Russia, releasing a written statement declaring himself to be the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

How Ukraine's Presidential Documents Got Online So Fast

Volunteers scan financial documents in a building at the residence of Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych for further investigations in Kiev Wednesday. Some documents were fished out of the Dniepr river where they were dumped as the former President fled the city.
Etienne De Malglaive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 4:05 am

When Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, he left a trove of documents at his estate; many were thrown into a large reservoir. Journalists called divers and spent the weekend going over soggy papers in a house they had long been forbidden from entering. With the help of volunteers, more than 20,000 pages are now online.

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Parallels
12:37 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Crimea: A Gift To Ukraine Becomes A Political Flash Point

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was Russian but felt an affinity with Ukraine. His decision to give Crimea to Ukraine is having consequences today.
AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:02 am

This post was updated at 4:18 p.m. ET.

In 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave Ukraine a gift: Crimea. At the time, it seemed like a routine move, but six decades later, that gift is having consequences for both countries.

The transfer merited only a paragraph in Pravda, the official Soviet newspaper, on Feb. 27, 1954. The story was one long sentence and dense with detail. Here's what it said:

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Latest Leak: U.K. Spied On Webchats, Grabbed Millions Of Images

Who else might be watching? Britain's spies collected millions of images from video chats, according to the latest secrets spilled by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 4:27 pm

"Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the U.S. National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of Internet users not suspected of wrongdoing," The Guardian writes today in its latest report based on material leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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Religion
11:01 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Uganda Punishing Gays: 'Sodomy Is Not A Human Right' Says Evangelical Leader

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:51 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Once Again, North Korea Fires Missiles To Send Message

In Pyongyang, North Korea, last July, this short-range missile was among the military hardware on parade.
Kyodo/Landov

"North Korea fired four projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles off its southeast coast Thursday," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports, citing a "South Korean defense ministry official" as its source.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: New Government Takes Shape As Crimea Simmers

Flags fly outside the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on Thursday during a rally by pro-Russian protesters. Gunmen seized government buildings in the city.
David Mdzinarishvili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:58 am

  • On the NPR Newscast: Peter Kenyon reports from Kiev
We're adding updates throughout this post as the day continues.

Tensions continue to rise in Ukraine, where months of public protests led last week to the downfall of President Viktor Yanukovych's government. His opponents are now installing pro-Western ministers to replace the pro-Russian leaders who worked for Yanukovych. The interim government is expected to be in charge at least until new elections can be held, perhaps in late May.

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Europe
3:07 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Tensions Over Ukraine's Future Are Most Acute In Crimea

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:30 am

The Crimean Peninsula has a majority ethnic Russian population. Armed men took over 2 government buildings and raised the Russian flag. David Greene talks to Courtney Weaver of the Financial Times.

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