Iran has arrested four people who it says were intent on sabotaging facilities in its nuclear program. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the four are now being questioned.
"Some time ago, a number of people were arrested in one of the (nuclear) facilities when they were involved in planning activities," Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:29 pm
Suicide car bombers carried out a deadly strike on a school and a police station near Tel Afar, a small town in northeastern Iraq, Sunday. At least 12 students and their principal died in the attack on an elementary school, according to reports.
Part of the school building is believed to have collapsed as a result of the blast. The suicide bombing at the town's police station reportedly did not cause further casualties.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:09 am
In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.
"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."
The Taliban have been waging a particularly bloody offensive this year now that Afghan government forces are in charge of security. The result: Afghan army and police are suffering record numbers of casualties — far more than NATO ever did at the height of its troop presence in Afghanistan.
So even as NATO forces are preparing to leave, they are working to bolster the medical capabilities of Afghan forces at hospitals, clinics and training centers across the country.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:56 pm
What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?
IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.
The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they're reversible. Shortly after they're taken out, a woman can become pregnant.
For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.
Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:50 pm
(Updated 8:50 p.m. ET)
A force that struck foreign fighters in Somalia early Saturday included members of a U.S. Navy SEAL team, according to reports. The team targeted a senior leader of the militant group al-Shabab, but there were conflicting reports about that man's fate.
After months of unrest of Egypt led to former President Mohamed Morsi's ouster this summer, schools are back in session. The new government says it has quickly rewritten portions of school textbooks. Merrit Kennedy in Cairo looks at how Egypt is teaching its recent past as historical events continue to unfold.
Before there was Wikipedia, there were encyclopedias — and Saturday marks the 300th birthday of the father of one of the world's most important.
Eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot was the driving force behind the Encyclopédie,one of the first compendiums of human knowledge of its time. The anniversary of his birth has prompted calls for Diderot to receive France's highest honor: have his remains reinterred in Paris' Pantheon, a mausoleum of sorts for France's national heroes.
The general who helped end French colonial rule in Vietnam has died. Vo Nguyen Giap was 102. He famously surprised and overwhelmed French troops at Dien Bien Phu. Later in 1968, Giap led the Tet offensive, catching U.S. commanders and the American public by surprise. After Tet, many wondered is victory in Vietnam even possible? Michael Sullivan has this look back at a man considered one of history's greatest military tacticians.
Britain's Conservative-led government delivered a one-two punch to more pillars of Britain's social benefits system this week. It announced more cuts to the country's social welfare programs — moving ever closer to "workfare."
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:07 am
It must be draining to do eight interviews in a row, but Benjamin Netanyahu seemed energized by it. The Israeli prime minister walked into our meeting in a New York hotel room bantering and smiling. He commented on the shades (pulled down to avoid a backlit photo) and noticed a novel that our engineer had brought along. Netanyahu picked it up and looked it over — a novel by Joe Hill, the pen name for the son of Stephen King.
Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.
"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.
Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.
Some people skydive, others build websites. Designers Chris Hirst and Leo Zhao have now done both, at once. The stunt was to promote their product, Designbymobile. The message: We've made Web designing so easy, you can do it anywhere. On their first jump, they gathered video. On the second, they used that footage to create a website. It only took a minute, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the 8,000-foot plunge.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Greek lawmaker who leads the neo-fascist Golden Dawn Party is behind bars, awaiting trial for allegedly running a criminal organization. Nikolaos Michaloliakos' views are racist and anti-Semitic, and he's been blamed for inciting violence, especially against immigrants.
He says he's not a criminal and is being persecuted for his beliefs.
But will shutting down the party shut down its support?
International weapons inspectors have begun the process of verifying Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. A team of 19 inspectors, plus staff, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday. New York Times reporter Anne Barnard is also in the Syrian capital, and I asked her how the inspectors' mission will work.
Rick Najera doesn't remember his wife Susie dialing 9-1-1. She came home six hours after Najera had taken a fall that left him bleeding on the floor of his home. The Hollywood actor/writer/producer had pneumonia and ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma.
Rick Najera told NPR's Michel Martin that his near-death experience caused him to reflect.
"I really looked at my life and I said I wanted to chronicle it. I wanted to bring it down and talk about it in a very human, honest way," he says.
Beef from cattle that have grazed only on pasture is in high demand — much to the surprise of many meat retailers, who didn't traditionally think of grass-fed beef as top-quality.
George Siemon, a founder of Organic Valley, the big organic food supplier, says the push for grass-fed beef started with activists who wanted to challenge a beef industry dominated by factory-scale feedlots. In those feedlots, cattle are fed a corn-heavy diet designed to make the animals gain weight as quickly as possible.
"A ship carrying African migrants to Europe caught fire and capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday, killing at least 94 people as it spilled hundreds of passengers into the sea, officials said. Over 150 people were rescued but some 200 others were still unaccounted-for."