World News

The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

UPDATED: Ukrainian President Offers To 'Scrap' Anti-Protest Law

A protester guards a barricade in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:29 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Kiev

Update at 5:23 p.m. ET. President Offers To Scrap Anti-Protest Law:

As the protests continued, Ukraine's president made another concession on Monday: He said he would scrap a law that made protesting illegal. The law fueled already violent protests and helped them spread into areas of the country that were loyal to President Viktor Yanukovych.

The AP reports:

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Europe
3:06 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Political Turmoil In Ukraine Spreads Outside Capital Kiev

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The political turmoil in Ukraine is spreading. Protests that began last fall when the country's president refused to sign a trade deal with the European Union - under pressure from its neighbor Russia - have now moved out of the capital.

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Middle East
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Where Does The Dream Of Democracy Stand In Egypt?

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Three years ago, the popular uprising in Egypt was considered a democracy movement. But now the military is in control of the government and the freely-elected president is in jail. To discuss the state of Egypt, Steve Inskeep talks to Issandr El Amrani of the International Crisis Group.

Middle East
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Deaths, Arrests Mark 3rd Anniversary Of Egypt's Uprising

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

The third anniversary of Egypt's revolution was marked with violent clashes across the country between pro and anti-government demonstrators. By Sunday morning at least 49 people had been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.

Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
3:50 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

'Nothing Is Fixed': Recovery Is Slow In Typhoon-Hit Philippine City

Young survivors of Typhoon Haiyan brave December rain as they ask for gifts from residents in the streets of Tacloban, the Philippines. Months after the storm, cleanup is still ongoing and many of the more than 6,000 dead have yet to be identified.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:35 am

Typhoon Haiyan clocked in at 147 mph when it struck the Philippines late last year. It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded at landfall.

More than 6,000 people died, and nearly 2,000 more are still missing. Millions were displaced when their homes were destroyed or washed away. And authorities are still struggling with the simplest tasks, such as clearing away debris, rebuilding houses and counting the dead.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Heinrich Himmler's Private Letters Published In German Newspaper

Heinrich Himmler (left) and Adolf Hitler (third from left) observe Stormtroop maneuvers in January 1941.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 4:00 pm

"The Handwriting of a Mass Murderer" is how Germany's Die Welt newspaper bills its eight-part series featuring excerpts of Heinrich Himmler's personal letters accompanied by family photos, which are reportedly being published for the first time.

(An English-language version is here.)

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Deal Gives Women, Children Safe Passage From Besieged Syrian City

A child clears damage and debris in the besieged area of Homs on Sunday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:17 pm

Syrian peace talks in Geneva have produced their first tangible result — an agreement to allow women and children to escape the city of Homs, which has been under government siege for more than a year.

"What we have been told by the government side is that women and children in the besieged area of the old city are welcome to leave immediately," Brahimi told reporters.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad confirmed the agreement, but said it was "armed groups" that were preventing their movement.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Thailand's Anti-Government Protesters Move To Block Voting

A Thai voter is attacked by an anti-government protester as he tries to enter a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday.
STR EPA/Landov

Anti-government protesters in Thailand who are demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have moved to block, and in some cases padlock, polling stations in an effort to disrupt early voting for the Feb. 2 elections.

The protesters oppose elections because, they charge, Yingluck's political allies will engage in vote-buying and other corrupt practices to secure a win.

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Asia
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

A Crusader Against Corruption, Chinese Activist Sentenced To Jail

At a Beijing Courthouse on Sunday, activist Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years in prison.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

China's government has recently jailed officials and issued a slew of new rules to curb corruption, but it's apparently not an effort that independent citizens groups are welcome to join.

On Sunday, a Chinese court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, a leading proponent of civil society, to four years in jail. Police have also arrested around a dozen other members of his group, called the New Citizens' Movement.

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The Sunday Conversation
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

At Great Risk, Group Gathers Evidence Of War Crimes In Syria

William Wiley is a former Canadian army officer who has worked on international criminal law cases in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Iraq.
Courtesy of William Wiley

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

William Wiley has made a career out of international criminal law, working on cases in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Iraq. He now oversees a nonprofit called the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA).

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Sports
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Ski Jump Champion Takes Her Impeccable Style To Sochi

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Russia May Be Key To Syria Talks

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:34 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Talks between the Syrian government and the opposition have now moved to separate rooms in Geneva. The two sides met face to face this morning but so far have failed to find agreement on a humanitarian cease-fire that would allow humanitarian aid into the city of Homs. U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said today that he hopes people will be able to leave Homs in the next few days. Women and children are already beginning to depart. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In fact, women and children have not yet begun to leave.]

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Europe
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Ukraine Opposition Rejects President's Concessions

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

In the Ukraine, the streets have erupted into violence again this morning with protesters vowing they will keep up the pressure on the government until it folds. The country's president this morning offered concessions but they were rejected by the opposition. And now, protesters are back in the streets, demanding that the president step aside and hold new elections.

Joining us now from Kiev, the capital city, is NPR's Corey Flintoff. Good morning, Corey.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Protesters In Ukraine Vow To Step Up Pressure On Government

Ukrainian opposition activists on Sunday carry the coffin of their comrade Mikhail Zhiznevsky, killed during anti-government protests, in downtown Kiev, Ukraine.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 1:23 pm

Anti-government protesters clashed with security forces overnight in the Ukraine capital, Kiev. The latest violence comes a day after embattled President Viktor Yanukovych tried unsuccessfully to quell unrest by offering top political posts to the opposition.

Yanukovych offered on Saturday to hand over two key posts to opposition leaders, but the offer was swiftly rebuffed.

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World
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Ukrainian President Stuns Protesters With Offer Of Government Jobs

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The political crisis in Ukraine has taken a stunning turn with news that embattled President Viktor Yanukovych may be near an agreement with leaders of the opposition. The move comes as anti-government protests spread to more parts of the country. And demonstrators in Kiev, the capital, seemed poised to launch violent clashes with police.

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Middle East
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Syria Grants Rare But Scripted Glimpse To Western Journalists

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Ahead of the Geneva talks, the Syrian government actually granted rare visas to a handful of Western journalists to enter Syria.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is one of those reporters. He's in the Syrian capital Damascus. I asked him what message the Syrian government is trying to convey.

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Middle East
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Syrian Government, Opposition Begin Peace Talks With 'Half Steps'

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

After months in the making, Syrian peace talks began today in Geneva. Leaders from the Syrian government and the opposition met face-to-face today in the first ever direct negotiations between the two sides. The goal: to end the violence that's killed more than 100,000 people.

NPR's Deborah Amos is in Geneva, and she joins us to talk about the day's events. Hi, Deb.

DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: Hi.

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World
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Three Years After Uprising, Egypt Remains Deeply Divided

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers, in for Arun Rath.

Today marks the first time the two sides in the Syrian conflict have sat together for talks. Today also marks three years since a revolution ousted a dictator in Egypt. Since then, Egyptians have experienced the first free elections in decades, the toppling of an Islamist government and a resurgent military-led government.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Mediator: 'Haven't Achieved Much' At Syrian Peace Talks

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, center, arrives for a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has acknowledged that the first day of face-to-face talks between representatives of Syria's government and the opposition coalition failed to yield anything in the way of results.

"We haven't achieved much," Brahimi said following the day's discussions. "But, we are continuing."

"The situation is very difficult and very, very complicated, and we are moving not in steps, but half-steps," he said.

The Associated Press described the talks, which are set to resume on Sunday, as "painstakingly choreographed."

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Nearly 30 Killed As Egypt Celebrates Revolution's Anniversary

Anti-military protesters run away from tear gas fired by riot police near the Ramsis square, downtown Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov

Thousands of Egyptians poured onto the streets to celebrate the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that brought an end to President Hosni Mubarak's regime, but the festivities were marred by violence as security forces crushed counter-demonstrations aimed at the military.

At least 29 protesters were killed, according to health officials.

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Shots - Health News
11:12 am
Sat January 25, 2014

How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases

Council on Foreign Relations

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:41 am

For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.

But that's not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.

As an interactive map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Smoker May Have Caused Retirement Home Fire; Dozens Still Missing

Smoke rises from the burned remains of a retirement home in L'Isle-Verte on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:10 am

The Toronto Sun reports Saturday that an employee at the Residence du Havre retirement home that caught fire on Thursday, killing at least eight people and leaving about a dozen unaccounted for, says he's "95 percent sure" that the cause of the blaze was a cigarette.

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Middle East
9:21 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Three Years Later, Tahrir Protesters Drained And Defeated

Egyptian security forces close Tahrir Square to disperse protesters in December.
Ahmed Abd El Latif AP

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 6:17 pm

Three years after the start of the 2011 revolution, many of the young secular activists who led the protests are behind bars.

Others have gone silent, afraid to speak out as the military and the ousted Muslim Brotherhood are locked in a battle for Egypt itself.

For most of those revolutionaries, this is a dark and bitter time.

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Sports
8:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Security Fears Jangle Olympic Nerves In Sochi

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

The Olympics are less than two weeks away. The Russian host city of Sochi is busily preparing for the influx of athletes and media, but it's the security preparations that have people talking. Andrei Soldatov, the editor-in-chief of www.Agentura.ru, spoke to NPR's Jacki Lyden about security for the Games.

Strange News
8:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

A Ghost Ship With Cannibal Rats? A Story Too Grim To Be True

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

Newspapers from the U.K. to the U.S. were reporting a sensational story this week about an abandoned cruise ship drifting across the Atlantic with a crew of cannibal rats aboard. It sounded too outrageous to be true, so we dug into the story and smelled, well, a rat.

Middle East
8:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

American University Of Afghanistan Rocked By Kabul Bombing

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

When a suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a popular restaurant in Kabul on Jan. 17, two of those who died worked for the American University of Afghanistan. Their deaths have shaken the young campus, which has been largely immune from violence. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks to the university's president, C. Michael Smith, about how the bombing has affected both students and faculty.

Sports
8:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Li Wins Australian Open; Ralph Lauren Overdoes Olympic Cardigan

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

The Australian Open is drawing to a close with Li Na of China winning the women's tournament on Saturday. If Rafael Nadal wins on Sunday, he'll be the first man to win all the majors twice in the era of opens. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins NPR's Jacki Lyden to talk tennis and weigh in on the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms.

Sports
7:46 am
Sat January 25, 2014

U.S. Team Trains In Brazil To Prepare For World Cup

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

The U.S. World Cup soccer team is in Brazil for 12 days of training and acclimation. The team drew a challenging schedule for the competition and will be playing in the northern cities of Natal and Recife as well as the Amazonian city of Manaus.

Middle East
7:43 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Brief Meeting Still Significant For Syria Talks

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

There were signs of progress at the Syria peace conference Saturday after the government and the opposition agreed to meet in the same room for the first time. Reporter Deborah Amos shares the latest from the talks in Geneva with NPR's Jacki Lyden.

Middle East
7:40 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Aid Organizations Hope Talks Lead To Mobility In Syria

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:14 am

Fighting in Syria has internally displaced some 4 million people, and aid has only reached half of them. Humanitarian groups hope the talks in Geneva will allow them to get more aid into the country. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with Khaled Erksoussi, the head of operations for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

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