World News

Parallels
3:05 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Little 'Libraires' That Could: French Law Would Keep Amazon At Bay

France's government has taken legal steps to protect the country's independent booksellers from behemoths like Amazon. It already prohibits discounts of more than 5 percent on books. Now it's considering a law that would not allow online retailers like Amazon to offer both a 5 percent discount and free shipping.
Christine Zenino Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:55 pm

Last year, the U.S. government took Apple to court, charging that the company illegally drove up the price of e-books. This summer, Apple lost the case.

In France, just the opposite is happening. The French government has accused Amazon of trying to push the price of physical books too low.

Limiting discounts on books is one of the ways that France is trying to ensure the survival of its independent booksellers.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Botched Restoration Of Temple Frescoes Sparks Outrage In China

This picture taken on Oct. 14 shows the current fresco in Yunjie temple in Chaoyang, northeast China's Liaoning province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 12:30 pm

One official was fired and another reprimanded in China for allowing an unauthorized "restoration" of Qing Dynasty frescoes in a Buddhist temple that produced results described as "cartoons."

The botched restoration in the 270-year-old Yunjie temple in Chaoyang, northeast of Beijing, was exposed by a Chinese blogger, who complained that the "last trace of history" had been "erased."

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Barbershop
9:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

'Shop-And-Get-Frisked' When You Spend $350 At Barneys

A young black man is suing high-end retailer Barneys, saying he was arrested after buying a $350 belt. Host Michel Martin checks in with the Barbershop guys for a fresh cut on that story and the rest of the week's news.

World
9:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Do Pakistanis Support U.S. Drone Attacks?

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Nigerian Rebels Reportedly Contact Pirates Who Seized U.S. Crew

A 2008 photo of the offshore supply ship C-Retriever.
Christian Serrano Courtesy of ShipSpotting.com

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:43 am

Rebels in Nigeria are reportedly in contact with pirates holding two U.S. crewmen seized earlier this week from the offshore supply vessel C-Retriever, The Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, an email reportedly from the rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says the men were captured off the coast of the Nigerian town of Brass, but there were no details of demands or a ransom.

Officials have said the captain and an engineer from the U.S.-flagged vessel were seized during an attack in the Gulf of Guinea on Wednesday.

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Parallels
6:49 am
Fri October 25, 2013

World Headlines: A Chinese Trial; The Syrian War Spills Over

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai stands before the Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court. The court upheld Bo's conviction and life sentence for corruption and abuse of power.
Xie Huanchi AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:23 am

China, Xinhua

We begin in China where a court on Friday rejected an appeal by former politician Bo Xilai over his life sentence for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Norway Says It Can't Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons

A convoy of United Nations vehicles at the Lebanon-Syria Masnaa border crossing on Oct. 1 as a chemical weapons disarmament team awaited entry into Syria.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:41 am

Norway has turned down a U.S. request to take on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, saying it lacks the capabilities to carry out the task.

The country's foreign ministry said it had given "serious and thorough consideration" to the U.S. query but that "due to time constraints and external factors, such as capacities, [and] regulatory requirements," Norway would be unable to fulfill the request.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Fri October 25, 2013

France, Germany Want To Set New Rules For Surveillance

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) talks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on the second day of an European Council meeting in Brussels on Friday.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:52 am

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m.

A day after reports surfaced that the NSA may have spied on dozens of world leaders, France and Germany are offering to hold talks with the U.S. to establish new rules on surveillance.

"What is at stake is preserving our relations with the United States," French President Francois Hollande said at an EU summit in Brussels, according to The Associated Press.

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NPR Story
3:24 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Before Sherlock: An Ancient Chinese Sleuth's Enduring Appeal

Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's latest film, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, just hit cinemas in Asia.
Sam Yeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:19 am

The sleuthing exploits of Judge Dee, a character based on a 7th-century Chinese official, are gripping new audiences as new generations of writers, movie directors and storytellers tell his tale and build on his legend.

Judge Dee was cracking tough cases for centuries in China before Sherlock Holmes even got a clue. But perhaps more importantly, his stories continue to inform ordinary Chinese people's understanding of justice and law.

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Europe
2:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

News Stories Dredge Up Old Stereotypes Of Europe's Roma

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Europe
2:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

U.S. Spying Takes Center Stage At EU Summit

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:25 pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is furious about the U.S. eavesdropping on her calls. She is the latest to protest loudly to the U.S. as the EU gathers for a regular summit. The meeting should have focused on immigration and the economy, but will be sidetracked by the continued NSA spying anger.

Shots - Health News
1:55 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Slaying 'Little Dragons': Guinea Worm Moves Toward Eradication

Hawah Alhassan, 5, contracted Guinea worm in a village near Tamale, Ghana, in 2007. The country eliminated the parasite in 2011.
Wes Pope MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 12:22 pm

The world has eradicated just one human disease: smallpox. But another illness is getting tantalizingly close to elimination.

No, we're not talking about polio; that virus also has its back against a wall. But a report Thursday puts a parasitic worm ahead of polio in the race to extinction.

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Parallels
12:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars

A mechanic repairs a bike at Calmera bike shop in Madrid in September. As car sales slump across Europe, bicycle sales in Spain are outpacing cars — a trend seen across much of the Continent.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:11 pm

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

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Parallels
11:56 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Are Afghanistan's Schools Doing As Well As Touted?

An Afghan child writes on a blackboard at a school built by German troops in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif. The number of students enrolled in Afghan schools has skyrocketed since the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001.
Farshad Usyan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:25 pm

It's one of the most touted "positive statistics" about Afghanistan: Today, there are 10 million Afghans enrolled in school, 40 percent of them female.

Under the Taliban, about 1 million boys and almost no girls were attending schools. Western officials routinely point to the revived education system as a sign of success and hope for the future.

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Parallels
10:58 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Saudi Women Go For A Spin In Latest Challenge To Driving Ban

A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are barred from driving, but activists have launched a renewed protest and are urging women to drive on Saturday.
Faisal Al Nasser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:39 pm

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Latin America
10:07 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Riding The Beast: A Dangerous Migration

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Report: Memos Unmask Pakistan's Approval Of Drone Strikes

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:08 am

While it is been "one of the more poorly kept national security secrets in Washington and Islamabad" that Pakistani leaders privately endorse U.S. drone strikes aimed at terrorists in their country, The Washington Post says that:

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Parallels
6:13 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Headlines From Around The World

Relatives of Westgate attack victim Mitul Shah observe a list of names of some of those who died at a memorial service marking one month since the Sept. 21 terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday.
Ben Curtis AP

Germany, Deutsche Welle

We begin with the fallout from the leaks over the National Security's Agency surveillance operations.

Germany has summoned the U.S. ambassador over allegations the NSA spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Parallels
1:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Following Bloomberg's Lead, Mexico Aims To Fight Fat

A street vendor fries food for lunch customers in Mexico City on July 10. Mexico has now surpassed the United States in levels of adult obesity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:10 am

Nearly a third of all Mexicans are obese, putting Mexico at the top of the list of overweight nations — ahead of the United States.

In the battle against the bulge, lawmakers are taking aim at consumer's pocketbooks. They're proposing a series of new taxes on high calorie food and sodas. Health advocates say the higher prices will get Mexicans to change bad habits, but the beverage industry and small businesses are fighting back.

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NPR Story
4:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Partisan Squabbles Raise Questions Over U.S. Global Influence

The U.S. Capitol is shown at sunset on Oct. 15, the 15th day of a government shutdown that some analysts say damaged the U.S. reputation worldwide.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:39 pm

The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.

The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders' communications.

Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.

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Shots - Health News
3:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide

HIV-positive babies rest in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Treatment right after birth may make it possible for HIV-positive newborns to fight off the virus.
Brent Stirton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:31 pm

A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.

New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.

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Parallels
1:10 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Women Lose Election, Vow To Return

Michal Chernovitsky was one of several ultra-Orthodox women who ran for a seat on the all-male local council in El'ad, Israel. None of the women won a spot in Tuesday's vote, but they said they would continue to be active in politics.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 6:31 am

We wanted to follow up on our story about the ultra-Orthodox women in Israel who were running for the local council in El'ad, or Forever God, a small, religious Jewish town.

Five women had challenged not only El'ad's norms, but practices across Israel's various ultra-Orthodox communities just by getting their names on the ballot and running a campaign.

None of them won a seat, but they say they will be back.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

A woman reads the New Express newspaper with Wednesday's headline: "Please Release Him."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 3:55 pm

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

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Parallels
10:14 am
Wed October 23, 2013

5 Things To Know About The NSA's Surveillance Activities

Massive government surveillance of Americans' phone and Internet activity is drawing protests from civil liberties groups, but major legal obstacles stand in the way of any full-blown court hearing on the practice. Among them: government claims that national security secrets will be revealed if the cases are allowed to proceed.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:47 am

It's hard to keep track of all the leaks by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Iran Minister: Man Who Survived Hanging Shouldn't Be Executed

A blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and the slaying of two policemen awaits execution in Tehran in 2011.
Mohammad Hadi Khosravi AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:23 pm

Iran's justice minister says a convicted drug smuggler who survived an attempted execution by hanging earlier this month shouldn't go back to the gallows.

As we reported last week, the 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in the morgue by his family following a 12-minute hanging. After the incident, an Iranian judge reportedly said Alireza would hang again once he had recovered from the botched execution.

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U.S.
9:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What Latinos Want From Immigration Reform

President Obama recently announced that he would be turning his attention to immigration reform. But what's a realistic expectation, and what are immigrant communities really hoping for? Host Michel Martin talks with Fernando Espuelas of Univision, and Eduardo De Souza, a soccer coach at Longwood University.

The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Norwegian Town's Bright Idea Is A Shining Example Of Ingenuity

People gathered on a spot in front of the town hall of Rjukan, Norway, last week, where mirrors have focused sunlight.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:22 pm

Archimedes would be proud of the town of Rjukan, Norway. So would Sam Eyde.

Rjukan, home to about 3,500 residents and situated about 70 miles west of the capital, Oslo, has installed a trio of giant mountaintop mirrors to focus light into the valley town's square during the cold (and dark) winter months.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Wed October 23, 2013

'Bishop Of Bling' Suspended By Pope Francis

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.
Fredrik Von Erichsen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 10:17 am

  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome

The "bishop of bling" has been suspended by Pope Francis while the Roman Catholic Church investigates allegations of overspending on renovations at the German cleric's residence and offices.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Crisis Averted For Now In Australia's Fight Against Fires

"A high-risk gamble by firefighters" has paid off in Australia, says The Sydney Morning Herald.

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