World News

Parallels
11:36 am
Wed January 15, 2014

The 'Downton Abbey Law' Would Let British Women Inherit Titles

Cawdor Castle is often called Macbeth's Castle because it's the place of a murder in Shakespeare's Macbeth. The castle was built long after Shakespeare died. Lady Liza Campbell, who was raised at the castle, is pushing to revise the law to allow women to inherit titles and estates.
Hans Wild Time

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:44 pm

Centuries before the U.S. was colonized, the British were handing down estates and titles from father to son. Never from mother to daughter.

Then came the royal pregnancy last year. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka William and Kate, had a boy, George. But before the prince was born and his sex known, Parliament changed British law so a first-born girl could inherit the throne. And a group of female aristocrats began fighting to apply the principle more broadly.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Bipartisan Report Calls Benghazi Attacks 'Preventable'

An armed man waves his arms as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:02 pm

In a report signed off on by Democrats and Republicans, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday said the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, "were likely preventable."

The panel finds fault with both the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies for not taking steps beforehand to boost security.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed January 15, 2014

$500M From Kuwait Among Pledges For Syrians Affected By War

Syrian refugees sit by their tent in a camp on the Lebanese border town of Arsal on Dec. 15.
Ahmad Shalha Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:50 am

Several donor nations have each pledged tens of millions of dollars for civilians affected by Syria's civil war.

The pledges, including $500 million from Kuwait and $380 million from the U.S., came Wednesday at the start of a conference in Kuwait City to raise money for the humanitarian suffering caused by the more than two years of fighting. The U.N. wants $6.5 billion for the effort to assist Syrian refugees. It's the largest-ever appeal for a single crisis.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Piracy On High Seas At Lowest Level In 6 Years, Report Says

Troops from the EU Naval Force warship FS Aconit intercepting a group of suspected pirates off Somalia in March 2012. Multinational naval patrols in the area have been partly credited with reducing incidents of piracy.
Danile Costantini Maxppp/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:37 am

Piracy at sea has hit a six-year low, thanks largely to a steep drop in attacks by Somali pirates operating in the Indian Ocean, according to a new report by the International Maritime Bureau.

The maritime watchdog says there were 264 strikes against shipping worldwide last year — a drop of 40 percent since attacks peaked in 2011. And there were just 15 attacks off the coast of Somalia; by comparison, that same area saw 75 attacks in 2012 and 237 the year before.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Danish Tourist Reportedly Gang-Raped, Robbed In New Delhi

A view of the Paharganj area is pictured in New Delhi on Wednesday. Police were questioning a group of men after a Danish woman says she was robbed and then gang-raped in the heart of the Delhi's tourist district.
Vijay Mathur Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:14 am

A 51-year-old Danish tourist was allegedly gang-raped in the heart of India's capital, and police said Wednesday that they've detained several suspects for questioning.

According to a police spokesman, the woman asked a group of men for directions back to her hotel Tuesday after she became lost. The Press Trust of India news agency reports that the men allegedly lured her to a secluded area near New Delhi's Connaught Place where she was robbed, beaten and sexually assaulted at knife-point.

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Wed January 15, 2014

NSA Reportedly Can Monitor 100,000 Computers Worldwide

The NSA can reportedly monitor what's going on with 100,000 computers around the world.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:16 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson on the hearing about the NSA's surveillance programs
  • From 'Morning Edition': Journalist Barton Gellman on the NSA

"The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks," The New York Times reports.

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Asia
4:51 am
Wed January 15, 2014

With Bonfires And Dancing, Indians Ring In Hindu New Year

Indian women dance around a bonfire as they celebrate Lohri festival in Jammu, India, Monday. Lohri is a celebration of the winter solstice in India.
Channi Anand AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 12:35 pm

Northern India is recovering from its coldest temperatures in 20 years by doing what it loves to do: stage a festival.

Across the country this week, Indians frolicked around bonfires in traditional festivities meant to herald the end of winter.

The Punjabis of northern India celebrate this annual ritual with particular gusto in a centuries old festival known as Lohri.

By custom, Lohri falls on the auspicious Jan. 13, and is seen as marking the longest night of the year in northern India. In the southern part of the country, it's called Pongal.

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Middle East
3:20 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Syrian Civil War Overwhelms Aid Groups

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:30 am

Secretary of State John Kerry is attending a donors conference in Kuwait to try to raise money for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Millions of people have been forced from their homes and the U.N. has struggled to gain access to many parts of the country.

Middle East
3:17 am
Wed January 15, 2014

U.S. Called On To Do More For Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Among those calling for the U.S. to take in more Syrian refugees is the International Rescue Committee.

SHARON WAXMAN: Enabling people to go home and rebuild their lives is always the first, second and third priority. But in many cases, there are Syrians - as there have been in other civil war situations - who will not be able to return home.

MONTAGNE: That's the group's vice president for public policy, Sharon Waxman. Her group says the U.S. could comfortably accept thousands more Syrians fleeing that civil war.

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World
1:03 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Russia Aims To Implement The Tightest Security In Olympic History

Police officers with dogs walk along a street in Sochi, Russia, on Jan. 6. The presence of security personnel has ramped up recently ahead of the Winter Olympics.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:55 am

With less than a month to go before the Winter Games, Russian officials are putting the finishing touches on what they say will be the tightest Olympic security in history.

After a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in the region, the authorities are deploying high-tech surveillance equipment and tens of thousands of troops in Sochi, the host city on the Black Sea.

Sochi is unique among the cities hosting the Winter Games because it has the mild climate of a seaside resort, but it's less than an hour away from the snow-capped mountains of the North Caucasus.

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The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Battery Problem Reported On Boeing Dreamliner In Japan

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787, like this one seen last July in Boston, was temporarily grounded Tuesday after a mechanic spotted smoke coming from the craft's battery compartment.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:01 pm

Reports of white smoke from a battery compartment have temporarily grounded a Boeing 787 in Japan, nearly a year after all the new airliners were grounded owing to a problem with batteries overheating. Today's incident happened on an airliner at Tokyo's Narita Airport that had no passengers aboard.

It was during a preflight checkout that a mechanic saw smoke emerging from the underside of a Japan Airlines 787, according to Japan's NHK TV News

From the broadcaster:

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Africa
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

On Third Anniversary, Tunisians May Get A Constitution

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Arab Spring that brought those changes to Egypt began in Tunisia, exactly three years ago today. Tunisians overthrew their dictator, prompting a wave of uprisings across the region. But three years on, lawmakers are still struggling to ratify a new constitution and lay the foundations of their country's future. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in Tunis and sent this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Middle East
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Doubt And Insecurity Loom As Egypt Goes To The Polls

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Afghanistan
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Mistrust And Miscommunication Stand In The Way Of Afghan Deal

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. and Afghanistan are locked in a standoff over a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014. That's when the NATO mission there ends. Analysts say part of the reason the two countries can't close the deal is because they just don't understand each other.

NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul.

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Middle East
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Amid Resistance, Iranian Nuclear Deal Goes Into Effect

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Parallels
1:37 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Weird Stuff World Leaders Give Each Other

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds up a pair of Idaho potatoes as a gift for Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, standing right, at the start of their meeting at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:33 pm

You say potato, John Kerry says let's give it to Russia.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

India's High Court Rocked By Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

Former justices on the Supreme Court of India have been accused of sexual harassment.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:02 pm

India's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition Wednesday against one of its own retired judges over allegations that he sexually harassed a former intern — the second such case to be made public in as many months.

The alleged incidents have cast a cloud over the country's highest court and pressure has mounted for it to comply with its own 1997 rulings requiring panels in the workplace to hear harassment complaints. Critics say such a panel for the Supreme Court itself is long overdue.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Israeli Minister: Kerry Should 'Win A Nobel Prize And Leave Us In Peace'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second right, stands with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, left, Minister of International Relations Yuval Steinitz, second left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni at Netanyahu's office on May 23, 2013, in Jerusalem.
Uriel Sinai UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:21 pm

Update at 5:14 p.m. ET, Yaalon Apologizes

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon apologized late Tuesday for comments in which he described U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as having a "messianic fervor" toward bringing peace to the Mideast.

"The defense minister did not intend to insult the secretary and he apologizes if the secretary was hurt by the remarks attributed to the defense minister," a statement issued by Yaalon's office.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Tue January 14, 2014

U.K. Aided India In Raid On Sikh Shrine, Documents Suggest

A Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 1. Official British documents released Tuesday suggest the U.K. helped India plan the deadly 1984 raid on the shrine where militants had holed up.
Sanjeev Syal AP

Thirty years ago, the Indian government was trying to suppress a bloody separatist rebellion by Sikh militants. Then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the army to raid the Golden Temple to remove militants holed up in Sikhism's holiest shrine. The move cost her her life, and its repercussions are still felt in Indian politics.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Hundreds Fleeing South Sudan's Fighting Drown In Nile River

Civilians who fled the recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan compound, in the provincial capital of Bentiu, west of Malakal, on Sunday.
Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:34 pm

At least 200 refugees, mostly women and children, have drowned in South Sudan after a ferry sank as they were trying to cross the Nile River to escape fighting near the northern town of Malakal.

Army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the group was in an "overloaded" boat. The New York Times, which places the number of dead at between 200 and 300, reports that it is the worst such ferry accident to date as tens of thousands of residents have sought refuge.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Go To Polls With Opposition Largely Silenced

A woman casts her ballot Tuesday at a polling station in Nasr City, Cairo.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Renee Montagne about the voting in Egypt

As Egyptians begin voting on a new constitution, the opposition to the huge role that nation's military plays in life there has been pushed to the side, NPR's Leila Fadel reported Tuesday from Cairo.

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Religion
4:51 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Pope Names 19 New Cardinals, Many From Developing World

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Pope Francis continues to shake things up this week in the Catholic Church. Renee Montagne talks with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter about what the new appointments say about the direction the Pope is leading the church.

Africa
4:38 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Is This Arab Spring Country Finally Getting It Right?

Tunisians wave their national flag and shout slogans on Tuesday in the capital, Tunis, as they attend a rally marking the third anniversary of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:28 pm

Tunisia — the country that launched the Arab uprisings — is celebrating the third anniversary of its revolution Tuesday.

Since the departure of Tunisia's dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, there's been a struggle between religious and secular forces, which has been the case in other Arab Spring countries.

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Middle East
4:38 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Begin Voting On New Draft Charter

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Egyptians go to the polls over the next two days to vote on a draft constitution. The military-backed government is pushing for a "yes" vote amid indications that military chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will soon announce his intention to run for the presidency.

Middle East
4:16 am
Tue January 14, 2014

President Rouhani Loses Popularity In Iran Since Election

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

U.S. and Iranian negotiators say they're making progress in nuclear negotiations. Last weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry said they'd worked out the details of a temporary nuclear deal.

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: For the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance. In fact, parts of it will be rolled back.

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Parallels
1:35 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Some Brits Not Ready To Say 'Ta-Ra' To Iconic Telephone Box

Though most people rely on cellphones, not pay phones these days, the telephone boxes aren't obsolete. During an art exhibit in summer 2012, artist Benjamin Shine transformed one into a work called Box Lounger, on display here in Central St. Giles in London.
Dave Catchpole/Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:14 am

People in the United Kingdom are racing to save a beloved icon, in a mission that in some ways resembles efforts to save the giant panda in China, or the polar bear in the Arctic.

But this icon isn't threatened by habitat loss or climate change. The problem here comes from companies like Apple, Samsung and Nokia.

"Mobiles have taken over," laments Mark Johnson, the man in charge of pay phones for BT (formerly known as British Telecom).

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The Salt
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Borscht Make Your Heart Beet? They're Serving 70,000 Gallons In Sochi

There are dozens of varieties of borscht — but at its most basic, it's a beet soup with potatoes, tomatoes and often beef or pork.
Flickr/Liz West

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:57 am

Russia's Soviet days are well behind it, but if you're headed to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, your dining options will still run deep red — as in borscht.

Organizers in Sochi expect to serve 70,000 gallons of this Russian staple — a hearty soup whose color comes from beets — to spectators. Borscht has graced both the high table of the Kremlin and the lowly tables of peasants across the former Soviet Union.

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Latin America
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Mexican Self-Defense Leader Recovers Under Threat From Cartels

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It was a violent weekend in Mexico's western state of Michoacan. Clashes erupted between so-called civilian defense groups and the Knights Templar drug cartel. The civilian defense group says Mexico's security forces are not protecting people from cartel kidnappings, murder and extortion. Among these groups, one man in Michoacan has risen to become a popular leader. He had immigrated to California but recently returned to his hometown. He found it had been overtaken by criminals and drug traffickers.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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World
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

An American Diplomat In Paris — And A Russian One, Too

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In just a week, the U.N. plans to hold Syrian peace talks in Switzerland. In the meantime, the U.S. is leaning hard on opposition leaders to attend and talk face-to-face with a government they've been fighting hard to topple. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in meetings for the past two days in Paris, laying the groundwork for the conference.

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Middle East
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As Egypt Votes On New Constitution, Space For Dissent Closes

Egyptians walk under a billboard with Arabic that reads, "yes to the constitution, Egyptians love their country," in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 11. Many Egyptians say there is no real choice in the country's referendum on a new constitution.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Egyptian voters go the polls Tuesday and Wednesday in a constitutional referendum. The vote comes at a time Egypt is witnessing what many analysts call a full-blown counterrevolution. While the country remains dangerously polarized, the space for dissent is closing. The government continues a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, but now it's also targeting the youth activists whose names and faces are synonymous with the 2011 revolution.

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