And news that Washington has finally reached a deal, averting a potentially catastrophic debt default, is drawing a mixed reaction from the rest of the world.
NPR's Philip Reeves, in London, is watching the markets for us.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: We all know that, at times, the markets can be panicky and irrational. Yet, during this crisis, they held their nerve. Analysts say traders were always pretty confident there would be a last-minute deal. This time, they were right.
A handful of German and Polish residents at a nursing home in the Polish mountain town of Szklarska Poreba play a Scrabble-like game using blocks with large letters.
The seniors are tended to by Polish workers who offer a steady supply of smiles, hugs and encouragement.
Leonardo Tegls says such personal attention makes this nursing home, Sun House, special. The 87-year-old Dutch-born immigrant to Germany says he first learned about the Polish nursing home from a TV ad.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:23 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
Let's go deeper now into one issue Secretary of State John Kerry raised in my interview with him earlier in the program. The secretary, along with his Russian counterpart, got Syria's Bashar al-Assad to agree to hand over his vast store of chemical weapons. Now, Kerry is suggesting those stockpiles be taken out of Syria.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the OPEC oil embargo - an event that has shaped our nation's politics and the cars we drive ever since. In 1973, the Arab world decided to cut oil exports to punish nations that supported Israel during its war with Egypt and Syria. While the embargo only lasted several months, it triggered an energy crisis that lasted for years. NPR's Richard Harris reports on the ways we are still feel those effects today.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
Building an IT startup on the Gaza Strip isn't simple: electricity is sporadic, there is no 3G network. You can sell your product outside Gaza's tightly controlled borders, but it can be difficult to move the money back into Gaza. Nonetheless, half a dozen entrepreneurs from Gaza recently pitched their ideas for consideration in a unique program, one that could catapult their businesses into the global marketplace.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:33 pm
Wednesday is World Food Day, an occasion food activists like to use to call attention to world hunger. With 842 million chronically undernourished people on Earth, it's a problem that hasn't gone away.
This year, activists are trying to make the day a little spicier with pots full of disco soup to highlight the absurd amount of food thrown away that could feed people: one-third of all the food produced every year.
If you are at all interested in travel or photography, then you probably know National Geographic for the stunning images that take you around the world, introducing you to remarkable cultures and people. Over the past decade, some of the most powerful images in the magazine — and the stories behind them — have been captured by female photojournalists.
Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:31 am
Forty years ago this week, the U.S. was hit by an oil shock that reverberates until this day.
Arab oil producers cut off exports to the U.S. to protest American military support for Israel in its 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. This brought soaring gas prices and long lines at filling stations, and it contributed to a major economic downturn in the U.S.
The embargo made the U.S. feel heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, which in turn led the U.S. to focus on instability in that region, which has since included multiple wars and other U.S. military interventions.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 2:10 pm
Iran is planning a fresh round of talks on its nuclear program "in a few weeks" after a generally positive first round of multiparty meetings in Geneva aimed at defusing tensions with the West.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, commenting on his Facebook page, says the next meeting with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany would also be held in Geneva.
The issue of migration into Europe has been in the news lately, and now there's a controversy in France after police seized a teenage girl who was on a school field trip and expelled her along with her family to their native Kosovo.
To get a small sense of Fida'a Abuassi's odyssey, start on June 28, days before the Egyptian coup. She had just returned to her native Gaza Strip via Cairo after spending the year in New York on the U.S. government-sponsored Fulbright student program.
"I came back to Gaza, and then they declared that they will close the border until further notice," she says.
Her goal was to get to Indiana by August to start her master's program at the University of Indianapolis.
In Italy, protests and clashes erupted Tuesday as a Catholic splinter group prepared to celebrate the funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke — on the eve of the 70thanniversary of the Nazi roundup of Roman Jews.
Police in riot gear tried to keep groups of ultra-right-wing sympathizers away from citizens enraged over a religious ritual for the man associated with one of the most gruesome Nazi massacres of World War II.
The possibility of an American default on its debt is huge news across the continent. Europe is barely emerging from its own debt crisis. Europe's recovery rests on demand for its exports and the U.S. is by far the European Union's largest export market.
Many governments around the world have expressed outrage over the National Security Agency's use of the Internet as a spying platform. But the possible response may have an unforeseen consequence: It may actually lead to more online surveillance, according to Internet experts.
Some governments, led most recently by Brazil, have reacted to recent disclosures about NSA surveillance by proposing a redesign of Internet architecture. The goal would be to give governments more control over how the Internet operates within their own borders.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
In Geneva today, Iran made a proposal to end the standoff over its nuclear program. Western diplomats involved in the talks called the offer useful. While the details have not been made public, two things are clear: Iran hopes a deal will bring relief from crippling economic sanctions, and Israel - which is not a party to the negotiations, but insists it has big stake in the outcome - remains skeptical of Iranian diplomacy.
One of the great conceits of crime fiction is the notion that criminals are often masterminds capable of cleverly outfoxing the cops who are pursuing them. In the real world, the contrary is closer to the truth. Criminals are often not too bright and they are capable of self-defeating stupidities.
Authorities in Moscow have rounded up more than 1,600 migrant workers after an ethnic riot took place over the weekend. Russian nationalists and soccer hooligans attacked a market area in a gritty industrial suburb of Moscow that's home to many migrant workers from the North Caucasus. The riot broke out after police announced that they were searching for a North Caucasian man suspected in the stabbing death of a young, ethnic Slav man. The situation highlights Russia's immigration problem — the country needs migrant labor, but fears what it perceives as foreign influence.
"I think Malala is an average girl," Ziauddin Yousafzai says about the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who captured the world's attention after being shot by the Taliban, "but there's something extraordinary about her."
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:29 pm
A strong earthquake has left dozens of people dead in the Philippines. The temblor, whose magnitude was first reported as 7.2 and then downgraded to 7.1, struck near the city of Catigbian in the inland area of Bohol, one of the central Visayas Islands.
At least 93 people have been reported dead, and the casualty count is likely to grow as rescue and recovery teams reach areas that were cut off by rubble and other obstructions.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:39 pm
Iran's proposal for easing the standoff over its nuclear program got seemingly positive initial reviews at Tuesday's start of multiparty talks in Geneva.
A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the Iranian delegation had made a PowerPoint presentation outlining the plan at the beginning of the two-day session. The spokesman said the plan had been received with "cautious optimism" but gave no further details of the close-door meeting, describing the proceedings as "confidential."
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:31 am
(Editor's Note: Starting this week, we're introducing a weekday feature of headlines from newspapers around the world.)
Britain's Guardian reports on former minister David Maclean, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party, who says Britain's spy agencies may be operating outside the law in the mass surveillance of the Internet. His remarks come amid revelations about surveillance programs unveiled by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The main opposition party in India has anointed Narendra Modi as its candidate for prime minister in next year's general election. Critics say Modi is a hardline Hindu nationalist who helped foment deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002.