The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. has been able to do, aside from criticize the jailing of opposition figures or the rising death toll as protesters continue to take to the streets, blaming the government for high inflation and crime.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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We begin this hour with the latest developments from Ukraine and some of the responses from Western powers. Washington is offering financial advice and is now considering a $1 billion loan-guarantee package to help support the Ukrainian economy. In a moment, we'll hear how the British government views the crisis.
In northeastern Nigeria, a brutal attack on a boarding school is the latest sign of the rise of Islamist militants and the inability of the government to stop them. The attack came in the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday and details of the massacre are gruesome. At least 59 students were killed. Many were burned alive, after militants set fire to a locked dormitory. Students who tried to escape were shot and their throats were slit. They slaughtered them like sheep. That's the way one teacher described the attack to the Associated Press.
With Ukraine in a political limbo following the flight of its president Saturday, the name of Arseniy Yatsenyuk is being put forth as the country's next leader until new elections are held in May. Yatsenyuk is a member of the Batkyvshchina party, whose leaders include former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
On Wednesday, a web page dedicated to Yatsenyuk announced, "Began collecting signatures under the agreement on forming a coalition. The government will be voted on Thursday," according to a web-based translation service.
On Sept. 11, 2012, an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Who led this attack and why have been the subject of much controversy in Washington. Republicans have charged that the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's State Department were at fault for not stopping what the Republicans claim was a carefully planned attack by international terrorists, including al-Qaida.
Just three years after protesters and the Egyptian military drove Hosni Mubarak from power, the revolution hasn't delivered what many Egyptians expected, and hopes are fading that it ever will.
Military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to announce his candidacy for president any day now. The charismatic strongman would be the frontrunner and his candidacy would be a landmark in the ongoing military crackdown now restricting many of the freedoms Egyptians hoped for when toppling Mubarak.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. This week, we've been taking a look at proposed new laws, both here and overseas, that affect LGBT people. Yesterday, we talked about a bill under consideration in Arizona that would allow business owners with religious objections to refuse to serve LGBT people.
On a recent day, just west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, gunfire erupts, a battle between two families. It builds for hours; people run for cover. No one intervenes — even though a Libyan army base is just a mile away.
Inside that military camp in a town called Zawiya are 230 young men from across the North African nation, part of the government effort to address the country's most glaring problem: an almost nonexistent security force.
The whereabouts of Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych remain unkown, but the country's opposition-led Parliament says any war crimes prosecution of the former leader would come in The Hague's International Criminal Court.
The opposition, which took control after Yanukovych fled the capital, has not yet formed a government. But its leaders have said they want to ensure the former president and other officials are held accountable for the deaths of protesters during months of demonstrations.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit from Kiev:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
Huge protests have engulfed Venezuela for several weeks now. The protests started with students and expanded to the middle class. Venezuelans angered by an economy in freefall, high inflation, and soaring rates of crime. At least 15 people have been killed and about 150 injured during the demonstrations.
Norwegians love winter sports. Their haul of 26 medals in Sochi placed them third behind Russia and the U.S., a disproportionate haul. So you might think people in Oslo would be thrilled that their city is a likely contender to host the 2022 Winter Games.
But Sidsel Overgaard found that's not always the case.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: It's a brisk night in Oslo, a new dusting of snow on the ground. In the city center, mittened children scrape and twirl on an outdoor rink, torn up by a day's hard use.
Separatist rhetoric is perhaps strongest in Crimea, the strategic peninsula that's home to Russia's Black Sea Naval fleet. Crimea used to be part of Russia, but in 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine. Ethnic Russians are a majority in Crimea and the region tilts toward Moscow. Paul Sonne is in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol reporting for The Wall Street Journal and he joins me now. Paul, welcome to the program.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. It took nearly three months for Ukraine's people to overthrow their government and now the opposition is running into problems as it tries to build a replacement with infighting among the various parties. Meantime, the Ukrainian economy is in a shambles. The country is on the verge of default.
Politicians on the campaign trail love to talk about their personal stories and they often mention their kids as well. It can be pretty routine stuff, unless you happen to be Clara Rojas, a candidate for Congress in Colombia's elections next month.
Rojas, a lawyer, was a central figure in one of the most dramatic episodes of Colombia's long guerrilla war. In 2002, she was managing the presidential campaign of Ingrid Betancourt when both women were kidnapped by Marxist rebels.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 12:16 pm
President Obama told Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that he has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to have all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.
But at the same time, Obama opened the door to the U.S. staying in the Central Asian nation even if Karzai hasn't signed a newly negotiated "Bilateral Security Agreement" before the end of April — the month of scheduled presidential elections in Afghanistan and what had been something of a deadline set by U.S. officials.
On 'Morning Edition' in 2006: Part II of an interview with Moazzam Begg
Nine years after his release from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a British-born man named Moazzam Begg is once again in custody and being questioned about alleged ties to terrorists.
Begg was one of four people arrested Tuesday in Birmingham, England, British authorities tell Reuters and other news outlets.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:31 am
We Americans are heavy consumers of meat, and we're increasingly reminded that eating less of it will shrink our carbon footprint. Growing the crops to feed all those animals releases lots of greenhouse gases.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:00 pm
This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET
We told you Monday about Uganda's president signing a controversial bill that makes gay sex punishable by terms of up to life in prison. Well, a day later, a Ugandan tabloid has published a list of what it calls the country's "top" 200 homosexuals.
Drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman is one of the major villains in Chicago's heroin epidemic, and his recent arrest in Mexico is sparking a debate over how the city's drug trade will be affected.
Chicago is the heroin hub for the Midwest, with cartels often using stash houses in quiet, residential neighborhoods. Last fall, for example, Chicago police raided a cute, quaint two-story house on the southwest side of the city and allegedly seized about $10 million worth of heroin.