World News

Parallels
5:39 am
Thu September 26, 2013

New Chinese Law Cracks Down On 'Rumor Mongers'

Chinese authorities go to great lengths to censor the Internet and control social media. A 16-year-old was recently arrested under a new law that bars "rumormongering" online. Here, customers use computers at an Internet cafe in Hefei, China, in 2012.
Jianan Yu Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:57 am

Authorities in western China apparently wanted to make an example of 16-year-old Yang Hui.

He was the first person in China to be arrested under a new rule against "rumor mongers," defined as people who intentionally post a rumor that is reposted 500 times or more, or viewed 5,000 times or more.

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World
5:30 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Toronto Blue Jays Fan Disrupts Game

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

A Toronto Blue Jays' fan ran onto the field earlier this season, and now we have his arrest report. It suggests the police are bit frustrated with the Blue Jays, who are in the midst of a losing season. The official report says the Blue Jays were, quote, "surprisingly winning" at the time of the incident. The fan's transgression, quote, "can only be described as an attempt to inject some kind of spark into the Blue Jays, and relieve fans from their season-long agony."

Sports
3:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand To Win America's Cup

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:28 am

Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition.

Middle East
3:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Albright: U.N. Needs To Show Its Relevance On Syrian Issue

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:25 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Madeleine Albright about the role the United Nations can play in dealing with international crises, like Syria's civil war. Albright was secretary of State when the U.S. took military action despite the absence of a U.N. resolution in Kosovo.

Sports
3:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Doping Scandals Cast Pall Over Cycling Group's Election

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:17 am

Cycling's international governing body, the UCI, will hold a presidential election in Florence, Italy, on Friday. It comes at a time when cycling is still trying to recover from the admissions of Lance Armstrong and the ever-present cloud of doping.

Africa
3:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

What Caused Floors To Collapse During Mall Siege In Kenya?

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:27 am

The recovery operation will be a long thorough process at the Nairobi shopping mall that was attacked over the weekend. More information is emerging about the number of people who were killed, injured or are still missing.

World
1:43 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Syrian Rebels: U.S. Distracted By Focus On Chemical Weapons

Smoke from heavy shelling rises above buildings in Dara'a, Syria, on Aug. 28.
Ugarit News AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:06 am

A satellite cellphone rings for rebel commander Bashar al-Zawi, at home with his family in the Jordanian city of Irbid. It's a rare domestic break for this wealthy businessman turned rebel commander. But he is anxious to get back to his battalion of 5,000 fighters in southern Syria.

They are taking part in a rebel offensive that is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.

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Middle East
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Despite Iran's Charm Offensive, Is Containment The Best Policy?

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Are there real prospects for a new relationship with Iran? The Iranian President Hasan Rouhani addressed the U.N. General Assembly yesterday. He's made an appearance on CNN. But what has to happen next to address and conceivably resolve the contentious issues between Washington and Tehran? Well, Kenneth Pollack, a former intelligence analyst, argues in a new book in favor of a policy of containing Iran.

He's in Portland, Oregon today and he joins us from there. Welcome to the program once again.

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Africa
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Investigation Continues After Nairobi Mall Siege

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. A day after the four-day siege at the Nairobi mall, Kenyans are counting their losses. A premiere mall, a symbol of Kenya's rising economy, is in shambles. The death toll stands at 71, but it's feared to be far higher than that. And there are also worries that terrorists who escaped from this siege are planning another attack.

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Asia
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Concerns Growing Over North Korea's Nuclear Program

Robert Siegel talks to Joshua Pollack, a consultant to the US government, about concerns that North Korea has or could soon have the tools to make the centrifuges to enrich the uranium to make the atomic weapons without having to import key elements in the process. Pollack studies arms control, proliferation, deterrence, intelligence, and regional security affairs. He also writes for the blog Arms Control Wonk.

The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand, Keeps The America's Cup

Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates after defending the cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the final race on Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 8:13 am

Oracle Team USA has successfully defended the America's Cup, leaving challenger New Zealand in its wake off San Francisco after clawing back from a seven-race deficit in one of the most spectacular comebacks in yachting history.

A week ago, it looked to be all over for the U.S., with the Kiwis having built a seemingly unassailable lead and poised at one race away from taking the Auld Mug back to New Zealand.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:16 pm

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

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Parallels
1:10 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

For Some NYU Students, A Sweet Deal To Study ... In Shanghai

The university is currently located on the leafy campus of East China Normal University. Next year, NYU Shanghai will move to a 15-story building in the city's financial district.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:58 am

First-year college student Stephanie Ulan, from Queens, N.Y., had her sights set on New York University, in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

She got her wish — sort of.

At first, the school offered her a generous scholarship but told her and her father they'd still have to take out big loans.

"My father is 62 years old," says Ulan, who plans to major in international relations. "There was a big scene and he flipped out and he was, like, 'I can't do that.' "

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Middle East
1:09 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Meet The Iranian Commander Pulling Strings In Syria's War

Smoke rises after an airstrike hit a Syrian village on Sept. 22.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:22 pm

Perhaps the most important military commander in Syria's civil war is not Syrian at all. He's Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, and he's the subject of an article by Dexter Filkins in the current edition of The New Yorker.

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Parallels
11:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Is Iran's Leader Sincere?

Much To Smile About? Iranian President Hasan Rouhani prepares to address the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:59 am

In keeping with his image as a moderate, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani brought his charm offensive to the United Nations this week and held out the possibility of improved relations with the U.S. after more than three decades of hostility.

"Prudent moderation will ensure a bright future for the world," Rouhani told world leaders Tuesday in New York.

So how is the world responding?

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World
10:32 am
Wed September 25, 2013

After Siege, Kenyans Left Wondering What Happened

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 10:52 am

Kenya's president says the siege of a mall in Kenya is now over. Host Michel Martin speaks to The Associated Press's Jason Straziuso in Nairobi for an update on the terror attack.

Parallels
9:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

That's The Spirit: Why Indians Prefer Strong Beer, Liquor

A bartender pours Haywards 5000 strong beer into a glass at a restaurant in Mumbai. Strong beer, with alcohol content of 5 to 8 percent, accounted for 83 percent of all beer sold in India last year, according to research firm Mintel.
Danish Siddiqui Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:59 am

Sometimes we at Parallels see a story that's so compelling, we make an extra effort to chase down the facts. So it's in that spirit, this story from Reuters caught our attention:

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack: The Latest News

Members of the Kenyan Sikh community gathered in Nairobi on Wednesday to cremate a grandmother and son who were killed when terrorists took over the Westgate Mall.
Kabir Dhanji EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:00 pm

Here's a quick look at where things stand in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization attacked a shopping mall on Saturday and then kept security forces at bay until late in the day on Tuesday:

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Pakistan Quake Killed Hundreds, Created Island Off Coast

It rose from the sea: The small island that appeared off the coast of Pakistan on Tuesday after an earthquake shook the region.
Government of Pakistan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:26 am

As more becomes known about the strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern Pakistan on Tuesday, we're hearing that:

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Sports
4:25 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Qatar's Heat May Force World Cup Schedule Changes

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The global governing body of soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, has a big decision to make next week. Some in that group, known as FIFA, are rethinking their plan to hold the 2022 World Cup in the desert nation of Qatar in the middle of summer.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on what he calls the Confluence of Football and Fahrenheit.

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Africa
2:35 am
Wed September 25, 2013

3 Days Of Mourning Declared For Mall Siege Victims In Kenya

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:25 am

The attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall is over. Kenya's president said more than 60 civilians died in the four-day assault, but that more bodies could be pulled from the rubble. The attack was claimed by the militant group al-Shabab as retribution for Kenya's troops in Somalia.

Africa
2:35 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Pentagon Extends Its Reach Throughout Northern Africa

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:25 am

Africa has increasingly become a focus of anti-terror efforts. The U.S. is providing training and intelligence assistance to a number of countries, and is particularly concerned about the arc of countries in northern Africa, stretching from Mali to Somalia.

Afghanistan
1:40 am
Wed September 25, 2013

U.S. Soldier Fights For Afghan Interpreter Who Saved His Life

Janis Shinwari is seen wearing his body armor in 2008. Shinwari, an Afghan interpreter who assisted U.S. forces, has been waiting three years for a visa to enter the United States. He is now in hiding in Afghanistan.
Matt Zeller

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:40 am

Army Capt. Matt Zeller had been told that his Afghan comrades would make a big show of hospitality. He'd read that the Afghan code of honor would mean protecting his life with their own. Sure enough, that's what his interpreter, Janis Shinwari, pledged to him when they met in April of 2008.

"I expected him to say it. I didn't think he'd make good on his promise within two weeks of my arrival," Zeller says. "Literally pick up a weapon and ... save my life," says Zeller.

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Parallels
12:56 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Brazilian President Lashes Out Over U.S. Spying

Not Happy: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addresses the 68th U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil was so angry about reports that the National Security Agency was spying on her and others in her country that she recently called off a high-profile visit to the U.S.

The Brazilian leader was still in a fighting mood Tuesday as she used her speech at the United Nations General Assembly to deliver a broadside against U.S. spying. She also called for civilian oversight of the Web to ensure the protection of data.

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Parallels
10:28 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Why Kenya Is An Inviting Target For Terrorists

Kenyans watch Monday as a plume of black smoke rises over the Westgate Mall, scene of a terrorist attack that left more than 60 dead. Kenya is a crossroads in East Africa, has many links to the West and has sent troops into Somalia. For all these reasons, the country was targeted by Somalia's al-Shabab militia group.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:35 pm

Kenya has long been an African success story, a place that's been relatively stable, peaceful and prosperous despite being in a neighborhood rocked by major disasters for decades.

There's been endless civil war in Somalia, genocide in Rwanda and famine in Ethiopia. Yet these calamities have, by and large, not spilled over to Kenya, which has been the crossroads of East Africa, serving as a business, transportation and tourist hub.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Dozens Killed By Strong Quake In Southwestern Pakistan

A U.S. Geological Survey map showing the location of Tuesday's earthquake in Pakistan.
USGS.gov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:14 am

(This post last updated at 1:00 p.m. ET)

A strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake in southern Pakistan on Tuesday has killed at least 45 people, according to Reuters. The U.S. Geological Survey says the initial temblor was followed by several aftershocks — one of them a 5.9-magnitude.

The affected area is reportedly about 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's western province of Baluchistan.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Tue September 24, 2013

UPDATED: Obama And Iranian President Rouhani Will Not Meet

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an interview with NBC — part of a charm offensive ahead of his visit to the U.N. General Assembly.
Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 1:59 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro on what President Obama will tell the U.N.

Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Leaders Will Not Meet:

After intense speculation that the United States and Iran were on the verge of making history today by coordinating a meeting between President Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there came word this afternoon that the two would not meet during the ceremonies surrounding the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Siege Over, Kenya Has 'Defeated The Monster Of Terrorism'

Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Monday.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:12 pm

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET:

Telling his nation that security forces have "ashamed" those who attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday declared "we have defeated the monster of terrorism."

As night fell in Kenya and after four days that captured attention around the world, it appeared the crisis was over.

Kenyatta said, as the BBC reports, that the death toll from Saturday's attack by Somalia-based terrorists and the siege that followed was:

-- 61 civilians.

-- 6 security officers.

Read more
Middle East
3:11 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Iran's President Rouhani To Address U.N. For 1st Time

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk through President Obama's speech just now at the United Nations. The president addressed the annual meeting of the General Assembly, a big room full of diplomats and world leaders. He called for action to enforce the removal of Syria's chemical weapons, and he also spoke of negotiations with Iran, among other issues. NPR's Michele Kelemen is at the United Nations. She was listening in.

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World
2:47 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Obama To Appear Before U.N. General Assembly

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 2:52 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. This week's gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly coincides with at least three world crises.

GREENE: One is the assault on a mall in Kenya. Another is Syria's war and the use of chemical weapons there. The third: the world confrontation with Iran and Iran's introduction of a new president.

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