World News

Parallels
3:27 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Palestinians Ask: The Two-State Solution Or The Two-State Illusion?

Palestinians held rallies last November, like this one in the West Bank city of Nablus, to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat. Palestinians are increasingly frustrated with the two decades of on-and-off peace talks that have not led to an independent Palestinian state.
Jaafar Ashtiyeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 3:20 pm

Palestinians in the West Bank don't get to vote in Israel's election on Tuesday, but they do have opinions.

And at a time when talks toward creating a Palestinian state have stalled, there are Palestinians like Ahmad Aweidah who are seeking alternatives to the traditional call for a two-state solution.

Aweidah is among those busy building the outward signs of a Palestinian state. Such efforts were visible when we went to visit him in the city of Nablus. His office is upstairs from the National Bank of Palestine, so named even though there is no country by that name.

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Goats and Soda
7:21 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Several Americans Possibly Exposed To Ebola, As Epidemic Smolders

Health workers are disinfected with a chlorine solution after treating patients at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Nine American aid workers have contracted Ebola while working in West Africa.
David Gilkey NPR

This week we got a rude reminder that Ebola is clearly not over in West Africa.

Another American aid worker contracted the disease in Sierra Leone, health officials reported Thursday. The infected worker was flown back to the U.S. in a private jet and is being treated at the National Institutes of Health Clinic Center in Maryland.

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Parallels
4:05 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Drumbeat Grows Louder For Impeachment Of Brazil's Rousseff

Embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (shown here at the 21st International Construction Salon in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday) was elected four months ago. Her administration has been hit hard by economic problems and a massive corruption scandal at the state oil company, Petrobras.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:00 pm

This week, President Dilma Rousseff descended the famous ramp designed by Oscar Neiymeyer in the presidential palace of Planalto to a crowd of women chanting her name.

The carefully choreographed ceremony was intended to show Rousseff — who was signing into law a ban on femicide — as a leader who has broad support.

But the night before the scene was a very different one. While she was addressing the country on TV, people grabbed their pots and pans and banged on them in protest.

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World
4:05 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

German Program Helps Families De-Radicalize Members Prone To Extremism

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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While traveling in Germany for our series on Muslim identity in Europe, we came across a curious program, one based on the idea that neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists have something in common.

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World
2:54 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Israeli Politician Changed Her Mind On Palestinian Conflict

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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World
2:54 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

British Military Spending Cutbacks Spark Global Concern

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Pope Francis Says His Tenure At The Vatican Will Be Short

Pope Francis speaks at St. Peter's Basilica on Friday. On the second anniversary of his election, Francis said his pontificate will be short, perhaps less than five years.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:19 pm

In an expansive interview coinciding with the second anniversary of his unexpected election, Pope Francis said his time as the head of the Roman Catholic Church will be brief.

Francis said he misses the relative anonymity he had as a bishop. As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "He also said he doesn't mind being pope, but would like to go out in Rome unrecognized, for a pizza."

The pope's comments came in an interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa.

From Rome, Sylvia reports:

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Goats and Soda
12:46 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Mr. Mambia Goes To Washington: To Honor His Sister, Who Died Of Ebola

Tarkpor Mambia in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. He says he "literally froze" during his first American winter in 2013, but is getting used to the cold weather.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 4:17 pm

When he first got word of an Ebola outbreak in his home country of Liberia last March, Tarkpor Mambia didn't take the news too seriously.

He was talking to his sister Grace, 28, on the phone. She was about to finish nursing school in the inland Liberian town of Gbarnga. Mambia lives with his brother in Massachusetts, where he studies business at Salem State University.

Grace told him she hadn't tended to any Ebola patients but expected to soon. She was worried about an epidemic.

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It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Obama 'Embarrassed' For Republicans Who Wrote Iran Letter

President Obama is shown in the Oval Office in the White House March 3, where he spoke about yet another topic: Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 2:38 pm

President Obama said he's "embarrassed" for the 47 Republican senators who tried to undercut nuclear talks with Iran by writing a letter directly to the Iranian leadership.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Kremlin Says Putin Is Fine, Just Fine

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) greets Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev. The Kremlin says Putin, who has been out of public view for more than a week, is perfectly healthy.
Alexei Druzhinin AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:26 pm

Although the Internet was ablaze with speculation and jokes about why Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn't been seen in public for more than a week, the country's presidential spokesman says there's no truth to the rumors.

Putin's just fine, according to the Kremlin.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Assange And Sweden Agree: He'll Be Questioned In London

Julian Assange (left) is happy with a new offer from Sweden, his lawyers say. He's seen here with American linguist and writer Noam Chomsky on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge to avoid extradition.
Yui Mok PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:01 am

Julian Assange's lawyers say the WikiLeaks founder is happy with a plan to have Swedish prosecutors question him in London, after Sweden softened its insistence that he be extradited to answer sexual assault allegations.

Assange has been living in Ecuador's London embassy for nearly three years.

"He is willing to co-operate fully now in conducting this interrogation," Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelson, tells the BBC World Service. "This is a great victory for him."

From London, NPR's Ari Shapiro reports for our Newscast unit:

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Goats and Soda
6:29 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Singing About Chikungunya Might Not Cure You But Will Make You Laugh

tk
YouTube

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:35 pm

Chikungunya is a mosquito-transmitted disease that's been rearing its head throughout Central and South America. People infected with the virus develop a fever and extreme joint pain. There's no cure, and sometimes the joint pain lasts for months or even years.

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Asia
3:28 am
Fri March 13, 2015

India's Prime Minister Makes A Swing Through Indian Ocean Nations

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Iraq
3:15 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Iraqi Army Faces Critical Test In Battle Over Tikrit

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:48 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
2:29 am
Fri March 13, 2015

2 Israeli Candidates Struggle With Nation's Uncertain Future

Stav Shaffir, 29, left, is considered a rising star in the left-leaning Labor Party. Anat Roth, 40, is a candidate for the Jewish Home Party.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 11:43 am

While traveling in Israel this month, we asked several Israelis if they worried about the future of their country.

"Of course I'm concerned," answered Stav Shaffir.

"We're threatened from all over," said Anat Roth.

Both women are candidates for Israel's Knesset, or parliament, in Tuesday's election. They have a common concern about their country's future — its conflict with Palestinians, its relations with the rest of the world — that has driven them to vastly different political positions.

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Parallels
2:25 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Mexico Takes Out Cartel Heads, But Crime Continues To Climb

The alleged leader of the Zetas drug cartel, Omar Trevino Morales, is taken under custody to be presented to the press at the Attorney General Office's hangar at the airport in Mexico City, on March 4. Mexican authorities captured Trevino Wednesday, dealing a blow to the feared gang and giving the embattled government a second major arrest in a week.
Omar Torres AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:56 am

Two of Mexico's most ruthless drug cartels have lost their leaders. In the span of just one week, the Mexican government captured the heads of the Knights Templar and the Zetas trafficking organization. That brings the number of capos taken out by the current administration to 11.

But many analysts believe the spectacular arrests will do little to tackle the country's growing insecurity.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

How The Iran Letter Is Playing In The 2016 Campaign

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker contends that the next president might not be bound by a nuclear deal President Obama strikes with Iran.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 7:09 pm

Forty-seven Senate Republicans signed a letter to Tehran's leaders Monday questioning the authority of any agreement Iran might sign with President Obama that is not ratified by Congress. And it's becoming an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign with potential Republican candidates signing onto the letter.

Tom Cotton, the freshman Arkansas senator behind the letter, even tweeted a Farsi translation directly to the Iranian president and foreign minister.

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Goats and Soda
4:10 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

The View From A Muddy Field In China: Women's Rights, In 1995 And Now

Anne Marie Goetz: "I wish we could bottle the spirit of the [Beijing] meeting."
Courtesy of Mark McQueen/NYU

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 4:44 pm

Midtown New York City is buzzing with thousands of women's rights activists. They're in town for a milestone session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which runs through the end of next week.

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Business
4:06 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Obama, Unions On Opposite Sides Of The (Fast) Track For Trade Deals

Shipping containers at the Port of Los Angeles. Unions are stepping up their efforts to thwart White House plans for passing foreign trade deals on a "fast track" through Congress.
Nick Ut AP

This week, labor leaders made sure President Obama knows that when it comes to foreign trade, they are living on opposite sides of the track — the "fast track," that is.

That's a term describing a president's broad power to negotiate a trade agreement — and then put the final package on a "fast track" through Congress. Lawmakers can give it a yes-or-no vote, but can't amend or filibuster the deal.

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Parallels
2:45 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Tijuana Cops Turn On Body Cameras And Hope To Turn Off Bribery

The 2,100-person Tijuana municipal police force is one of Mexico's largest. It's also the first in the country to employ body cameras for its officers.
Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:20 am

Mexican cops have gotten a bad rap. They are known more for taking bribes than fighting crime. One police department in Mexico hopes that body cameras, a high-tech tool gaining popularity in the U.S., will redeem its reputation.

The police chief in the border city of Tijuana says they will show that it's not just bad cops that are the problem; the public plays a big role in corruption, too.

Within days of three Tijuana police officers clipping on the cameras, one recorded an eye-opening traffic stop.

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World
2:34 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Iraqi Forces Gaining Ground In Tikrit Offensive

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:46 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Goats and Soda
12:08 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

So How Did They Get That Crashed Plane Off The Runway In Kathmandu?

The nose of the Turkish Airlines plane rests on a flatbed tow truck several days after it slid off the tarmac at Kathmandu's international airport.
PRAKASH MATHEMA AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 2:12 pm

Maybe you read the story about the Turkish plane that crash-landed on March 4 in Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), skidding off the runway and plowing its nose into the rain-soaked grass.

Fortunately, no one was injured. Unfortunately, Nepal didn't know quite what to do about the Airbus 330 stuck on the single runway of its sole international airport.

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Parallels
11:27 am
Thu March 12, 2015

The West Bank Battle For Land ... And Water

The Bedouin camp has a black plastic water tank near a school built from mostly mud and tires.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 11:45 am

On Moshav Na'ama, a big Israeli farm in the West Bank inside the wide Jordan Valley, Inon Rosenblum raises fresh herbs for export.

He hires Palestinians to work the fields and pack the crops. The farm is 300 feet below sea level, a desert climate where irrigation is mandatory. Rosenblum won't say exactly how much water he uses, or exactly where it comes from.

"From wells," he says. "In the mountains." Then he changes the subject.

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Goats and Soda
9:01 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Meet The 15-Year-Old From Rural Guatemala Who Addressed The U.N.

Emelin, 15, spoke at the United Nations this week about her efforts to improve the health and education in her town in Guatemala.
Misha Friedman for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:19 am

When Emelin was 13, she asked the mayor of her rural Guatemalan town to find ways to help girls stay in school and get better health care. He laughed out loud. "You are wasting my time; you should go home," he told Emelin and her friend Elba, who had come with her.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Space Station Astronauts Make Safe Landing In Kazakhstan

The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it descends toward Earth, carrying NASA's Barry Wilmore and Russian flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova.
Bill Ingalls NASA

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 4:57 pm

After spending nearly six months on the International Space Station, an astronaut and two cosmonauts have landed safely back on Earth. While in orbit, they traveled almost 71 million miles, NASA says.

Cmdr. Barry Wilmore of NASA and flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) touched down in Kazakhstan on Thursday morning, local time.

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Mental Health
4:04 am
Thu March 12, 2015

ISIS Gains Ground In Libya; Takes Over Port City Of Surt

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
3:04 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Drawn-Out Syrian Civil War Spawns A Literal Dark Age

Girls carrying school bags provided by UNICEF walk past destroyed buildings on their way home from school on March 7 in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. So many people have fled the city and so much of its infrastructure has been destroyed that nighttime satellite images show 97 percent less light there compared with four years ago.
Zein al-Rifai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 9:26 am

The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year, and two new reports suggest it just keeps getting worse for civilians there.

One United Nations agency says life expectancy has plummeted by 20 years in the once-developed nation, while another new study based on nighttime satellite imagery finds that, in the past four years, 83 percent of the country's lights have gone off.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Like The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, Area C Is Complicated

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 11:38 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
3:04 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Lower Oil Prices Hurt Iraq's Fight Against ISIS

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Africa
2:54 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Life Expectancy Drops Dramatically For Syrians Ravaged By War

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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