I confess I'm not much of a museum tourist. On a recent visit to Croatia's capital, Zagreb, I strolled past three museums without feeling any urge to step inside. Then I came across one I just couldn't ignore: the Museum of Broken Relationships.
"It's a collection of objects donated by people who have broken up," says Drazen Grubisic, a co-owner of the museum. "Each item has an accompanying story."
Some are amusing, others sarcastic and a few are just plain heartbreaking.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:53 am
Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:30 am
A spate of car bombs exploded during Baghdad's morning rush hour Monday, killing at least 47 people and wounding dozens more. Most of the bombs struck areas with large Shiite populations; various news agencies are reporting that from nine to 14 separate bombs were detonated.
Many of the car bombs resulted in far more injuries than deaths. But at least one explosion was especially deadly. According to the BBC and Reuters, an attack in Baghdad's Sadr City district killed at least seven people.
Over the weekend, Greek police arrested around two dozen party leaders, including members of parliament, from the Golden Dawn party — one of Europe's most violent political parties. Charges include murder and blackmail.
On the first Monday of the rest of your life, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Climate change is melting ice in the Arctic. And that is opening up the top of the world to drilling, shipping traffic, and also concerns about the environment. Earlier this month, Greenpeace activists were arrested trying to board an oil platform that's owned by Russia's state gas company.
North Korea remains one of the most closed places in the world. And that makes Tim Sullivan kind of a rarity: As the Asia correspondent for the Associated Press, he's spent about six weeks in the country over the course of two trips.
In addition to his stories for AP, Sullivan also wrote an article entitled "The Real North Korea" that's in the October issue of National Geographic.
Kenyan authorities say they've made another arrest in the deadly attack on an upscale mall that shocked Nairobi last week. But officials are also facing questions over reports of intelligence that may have given warnings about the attack, which ended with at least 67 deaths.
According to the Kenyan Red Cross's last update which came on Friday, 59 people who are believed to have been in the mall remain unaccounted for.
Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:28 am
As many as 50 students may be dead in Nigeria, after gunmen attacked an agricultural college's dormitories in the country's northeast. The attack, which occurred as many students slept, is being blamed on the group Boko Haram, which wants to form an Islamic state.
From The Associated Press:
"As many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba, Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture, told The Associated Press."
Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:24 am
A Saudi cleric who warned women against driving cars by saying it could harm their ovaries is facing criticism and mockery. The comments of Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaydan came a month before a planned day of disobedience, with activists encouraging women to drive — a right they do not have in Saudi Arabia.
Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:12 am
A powerful explosion has killed at least 37 people in Peshawar, Pakistan, where authorities say they suspect a car bomb was detonated in a market district near a police station. The explosion left a scene of devastation, with casualties and severe damage to nearby buildings in the city's historic Qissa Khawani market.
Katherine Walton and her five children were in Nairobi's Westgate Mall when it was stormed by terrorists last week. After four hours in hiding, several Kenyans helped them escape. I reached Katherine Walton yesterday on her cell phone in Nairobi. And I asked her when she first realized the mall was under attacked.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The massacre at Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall last week, has put the Somali-based terrorist group al-Shabab under new international scrutiny. To understand more about this group's history, its motives and capabilities, we've reached out to Peter Bergen. He's a counterterrorism expert with the New America Foundation here in Washington.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:52 am
It's not Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but people are dressing up anyway.
A group of Brazilian protesters have been coming out in costume at demonstrations against Rio's governor, Sergio Cabral. There's the masked crusader Batman, of course, but also a motley assortment of other characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
In the central State of Mexico, officials are trying a new approach to fight corruption.
Authoritieshave hired hundreds of women and put them in charge of issuing all traffic violations. They're trying to crack down on the famous mordida, or bribe — a favorite among Mexico's crooked traffic cops.
Authorities say women are more trustworthy and less corrupt than men. But the plan has run into a few snags.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:53 am
When the Navy Yard mass shooting took place in Washington on Sept. 16, my 10-year-old daughter got a one line e-mail from her best friend in Nairobi, where we used to live. It read: "r u ok."
Her friend Banita had seen the news on television in Kenya. She was worried. My daughter wrote back that she was fine. We now live in Washington, but miles away from the site of the latest mass killing here in the U.S.
In this globalized world, communications can bring quick comfort.
Greek police arrested the leader of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party Saturday on charges of establishing a criminal organization. The police also issued warrants for more than 30 party members — including six members of parliament — on charges of murder, money laundering and other crimes.
Greek TV stations interrupted regular programming to show live scenes of the Golden Dawn members led away in handcuffs. It's the first time since 1974 — when a seven-year military dictatorship ended — that sitting members of parliament have been arrested.
Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 12:57 pm
In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani was both celebrated and vilified Saturday for speaking to President Obama by phone during his trip to the United Nations in New York. After Rouhani's return, crowds that gathered near Tehran's airport were divided, with many voicing their support for Rouhani. A hardliner held a sign reading, "Down with USA."
One critic threw a shoe at Rouhani's car, according to the Agence France-Presse.
Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:26 am
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has chosen a new leader. Britain's Brian Cookson beat incumbent Pat McQuaid in a contentious vote held in Italy Friday. Cookson, who led British Cycling to new heights, says he will focus on improving cycling's reputation, tarnished by years of doping scandals.
Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:35 am
Pakistanis who endured Tuesday's strong earthquake that killed hundreds of people felt another quake Saturday, as a 6.8-magnitude quake hit Pakistan's remote province of Baluchistan. The quake may also have been deadly, due to reports of collapsed mud houses.
Saturday's aftershock quake struck less than 20 miles from Tuesday's 7.7-magnitude event. And it came after survivors had already grown frustrated with the pace of relief efforts — an undertaking complicated by unrest in the area.
President Obama spoke via phone Friday with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, the first time leaders of the two countries have directly communicated since 1979. Host Scott Simon talks with Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour about what it means for U.S.-Iran relations going forward.
The United Nations Security Council has broken its two-and-a-half-year deadlock over Syria, approving a resolution on the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. The U.S. and Russia are now trying to move beyond that and will try to get the warring sides around the negotiating table in Geneva.
Al-Shabab has been around for years as a militia group fighting for territory in Somalia.
When al-Shabab militants, dressed in casual clothes, turned up in a ritzy shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last weekend and gunned down men, women and children, the group shifted from an insurgent movement to a terrorist organization.
"A week ago, al-Shabab wasn't in the news," says Bruce Hoffman, a a terrorism expert at Georgetown University and the Rand Corporation. "Arguably, outside of Somalia, no one really cared about them."
Kenyans are feeling helpless a week after gunmen stormed a Nairobi mall in a carefully orchestrated terrorist attack. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at what we now know about those terrorists, including claims that a British woman was among the attackers.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:53 pm
Two former U.S. Army sergeants are among those facing charges in connection with an alleged international hit squad after their extradition from Thailand in a case the prosecuting U.S. attorney says reads like a Tom Clancy novel.
Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, nicknamed "Rambo," was arrested by Thai authorities after a sting operation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with Timothy Vamvakias and at least three others on the resort island of Phuket on Thursday.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:22 pm
The United Nations Security Council is considering a legally binding resolution that would require the Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons.
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. is getting what it wants in the Security Council's draft plan, which calls for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons or face consequences.
UN Security Council diplomats are working on a resolution that focuses on ridding Syria of chemical weapons. Aid groups want the UN to go further and help them open up routes to get desperately needed assistance to Syrians uprooted by the civil war. They say the paralysis on the security council has had a real costs on the ground and has added to donor fatigue.
Some two million Syrians have fled the war in their homeland. Most have sought refuge in neighboring states - Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. But some have gone farther afield to a place few would consider a safe haven, the Gaza Strip. Emily Harris has that story.