World News

Africa
12:48 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Egypt's Crackdown Widens, But Insurgency Still Burns

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (background) clash with supporters of Egypt's army chief Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi in Cairo on Jan. 24.
Khaled Kamel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:55 pm

Here are three numbers that tell the story of Egypt's security crackdown, its political turmoil and the simmering insurgency.

16,687. It's estimated that at least this many political detainees have been imprisoned since the military ousted the Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, on July 3.

4,482. At least this many people have been killed in clashes since Morsi's ouster, many at the hands of security forces.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Militants In Iraq Blow Themselves Up At Bomb Training Camp

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:27 pm

An explosion Monday near Baghdad left about 20 people dead and another 15 or so wounded, according to news reports.

None of those killed, it appears, were innocent victims or Iraqi security personnel.

Instead, insurgents reportedly "set off their own car bomb at a training camp in an orchard," The Associated Press reports.

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The Edge
12:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

So Far At The Games, A Low-Key Response To Russia's Anti-Gay Law

Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands, after her second run in the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal in Sochi on Sunday.
Sergey Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:26 pm

Leading up to the Olympics in Sochi, a dominant storyline was Russia's anti-gay propaganda law and what it might mean for athletes and other visitors. Would athletes protest in any way? Would Russian LGBT activists try to demonstrate against the propaganda law at the Olympics?

The answers (so far, at least) are: barely, and not really.

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Sports
11:42 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Olympic Photo Of The Day: Speedskater Hug

Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:07 am

Gold medalist Charles Hamelin of Canada celebrates with his girlfriend and fellow speedskater, Marianne St-Gelais, after winning the men's 1,500-meter short-track speedskating event Monday at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Four years ago, the pair shared a similar embrace after Hamelin's win in the 500-meter race in Vancouver.

For more Olympics coverage, go to The Edge.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Citizen May Be Targeted With Drone Strike: Reports

A U.S. drone in the sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

"An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year," those officials tell The Associated Press.

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Music
10:05 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Brazil's Maria Rita Rediscovers Her Mother Through Music

Brazilian singer Maria Rita.
Tribo Productions

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:16 pm

Despite being one of Brazil's most successful singers, with seven Latin Grammys to her name, it took Maria Rita years to realize that music was her calling. "I just rebelled against that whole idea of doing something that people wanted me to do," Rita tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

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Europe
3:26 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Activists In Sochi Say They're Harassed For Speaking Out

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Social activists say they're being silenced by local authorities for calling attention to problems such as corruption and environmental degradation related to the Winter Olympics.

Middle East
3:23 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Syrian Peace Talks Continue, Civilians Evacuated From Homs

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Two Syrian delegations — one from the Assad regime and one from the opposition — are in Geneva for peace talks. Meanwhile, hundreds of civilians have been evacuated from the besieged Syrian city of Homs. They've been able to leave during a ceasefire.

Sports
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Takes Bronze In Team Figure Skating In Sochi

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Russia won its first Olympic gold on Sunday. The Olympic host took first in the team figure skating, a new event for these games. Canada won silver and the U.S. team won bronze.

Sports
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Despite German Domination, More Athletes Drawn To Luge

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

At the Winter Olympics, the men's singles luge competition wrapped up last night. That's the sport where athletes lie on their backs, feet first, on a tiny sled and slide down an ice track at speeds of over 80 miles an hour. It looks dangerous and it is. But even athletes with little chance of winning gold keep taking the risk to compete. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUGE)

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Europe
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

EU Mute On U.S. Diplomat's Criticism Involving Ukraine

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

There was a U.S. diplomatic gaff last week. It involved an expletive used by an assistant secretary of State to express a rather rude form of anger at the European Union during a private phone conversation. The phone call was intercepted by someone — presumably another government — and leaked.

Middle East
3:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Iranians Look Back On 35 Years Since The Revolution

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Iran is marking the anniversary of its Islamic revolution. It's the 35th anniversary of the protests that ended in 1979 with the overthrow of a U.S. ally, the Shah of Iran. The government that has ruled ever since uses Death to America as one of its basic slogans but the possibility of better relations emerged after the election of a new Iranian president last year.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Iran. Hi, Peter.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Giraffe Despite Online Protest

Copenhagen Zoo's giraffe Marius was put down Sunday by zoo authorities who said it was their duty to avoid inbreeding.
Keld Navntoft EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:47 am

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo, has been euthanized; his body was cut up and fed to lions.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:12 am

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

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Sports
8:49 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Was That Jump A 6? Subjectivity In Olympic Judging

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And it's time to talk sports, specifically the Olympics; the skill, the precision, the pure athleticism. And yes, the style. And we're talking specifically about ice skating, because our own Mike Pesca has some thoughts on that sport.

Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you?

MARTIN: Hello. I am well. So, I understand Olympic ice skating has undergone some reforms in recent years. Do tell? What changed?

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The Edge
8:19 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Team Figure Skating Already Has Its Share Of Controversy

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the team ice dance short dance figure skating competition at Sochi on Saturday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:37 am

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bangladesh Factory Owners Surrender In 2012 Fire That Killed 112

A Bangladeshi police officer walks between rows of burned sewing machines in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Nov. 2012.
Khurshed Rinku AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:59 am

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

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Animals
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

France Takes A Stand, Crushing Ivory Beneath The Eiffel Tower

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR NEW. I'm Rachel Martin.

This past week, France became the first European country to destroy illegal ivory in a high profile public demonstration. It did so underneath the Eiffel Tower as part of a global effort to call attention to the illicit ivory trade. Officials say the trade not only wipes out the world's population of elephants, it also funds terrorism.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.

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Afghanistan
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Plan Aims To Assure Afghanistan Aid Goes Where It's Supposed To

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

This coming week, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to announce a new monitoring program that is designed to keep track of the aid dollars being spent in Afghanistan. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Larry Sampler, head of USAID programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Middle East
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Al-Qaida Steps In To Step Out Of Syria

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Aid Workers Continue Efforts To Reach Besieged Syrian City

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Humanitarian workers continue to try to evacuate civilians from the besieged Syrian city of Homs as negotiators in Geneva prepare for the next round of peace talks. NPR's Rachel Martin gets the latest from reporter Alice Fordham in Geneva.

Parallels
3:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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Parallels
3:45 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Turning A Million Cubic Yards Of Post-Typhoon Trash Into Jobs

Locals working for a UNDP cash-for-work program clear debris in one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the typhoon that hit Tacloban, Philippines, last November. Tim Walsh runs the program, which he hopes will help keep the local economy going.
RV Mitra/UNDP Flickr

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

In an open dump, in a village outside of Tacloban in the central Philippines, we're sloshing through rainwater and leachate — that's the goo that comes out of rotting trash — while Tim Walsh surveys the site.

"Just walk on the dry bit," he says. "I've got used to the smell over the years and you get immune to it. But for most people the smell of decaying rubbish is not really very pleasant."

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The Edge
3:28 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Sochi Games Expose Indian Corruption And Redemption

Independent Olympic participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the men's luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:11 am

It's one of the most dangerous sports at the Olympic Games. And when Indian slider Shiva Keshavan crashed from his sled during a training run at the luge track Friday, his miraculous recovery went viral.

Flying through icy curves feet first, Keshavan thundered down the frozen tunnel, the scraping blades or "steels" of his small sled sounding like a runaway train.

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World
3:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

When It Comes To Human Rights, Is Russia Moving Backward?

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 4:34 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RATH: Unless you've been under a rock, you know the Winter Olympics are here. Vladimir Putin's government has committed massive resources to make this a shining moment for modern Russia. But for months, unwelcome stories have loomed in the background, casting Russia in a very un-modern light. Life is still dangerous for political dissidents. And a crackdown on gay rights has triggered outrage across the world.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Iran: Warships Will Steam Close To U.S. Waters As 'A Message'

Iranian Navy destroyer Shahid Naqdi is pictured at Port Sudan, in October 2012.
Mohmed Nureldin Abdallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 2:35 pm

An admiral of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet said warships under his command have been dispatched to skirt U.S. maritime borders for the first time, in tit-for-tat move aimed at protesting the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Afshin Rezayee Haddad was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying the deployment of the vessels, the number and type which he did not reveal, "has a message."

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The Edge
1:14 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Olympic Guests Find Comfort Zones In First Day Of Games

Visitors to Olympic Park stroll around the base of the Olympic flame at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.
Julie Jacobson AP

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Syrian Humanitarian Convoy Reportedly Attacked

Aid workers trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged, rebel-held district of Homs, were wounded on Saturday after reportedly coming under fire from "armed terrorist groups," the label authorities give to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers were hurt in the reported attack, according to Syrian state television. Opposition groups did not immediately respond to the allegations.

As NPR's Alice Fordham reports, it's the latest sign that a hard-won ceasefire is fraying.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Sat February 8, 2014

French Court Orders Google To Display Notice On Its Search Page

A screenshot of the Google.fr homepage, displaying the court-ordered message.
Google

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 10:36 am

A court in France has ordered a most public shaming for Google, telling the Internet giant it must display a notice on its French search page acknowledging it's been fined over how it tracked and stored user information.

The $200,000 fine was imposed in January by the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) for violating consumer privacy.

According to Google Translate, the above notice reads:

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