World News

Law
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Paul Lo, From Hmong Refugee To California Judge

Paul Lo spent part of his childhood in a refugee camp in Thailand. Now he has been appointed as a judge on the Merced County Superior Court in California. That reportedly makes him the first Hmong-American judge in U.S. history. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lo about his unusual path to the bench.

Digital Life
10:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Teju Cole Writes A Story A Tweet At A Time

Courtesy of Teju Cole

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:09 pm

Teju Cole's novel Open City may have won him critical acclaim and many fans, but that doesn't mean he can stop thinking about how to connect with his readers. "I actually do have to work hard for whatever attention my work gets," Cole tells NPR's Michel Martin.

And he is using unconventional methods to get that attention.

After a recent, "much needed break from the hectic environment that Twitter sometimes can be," his 120,000-plus followers noticed some activity on his feed.

It was a retweet that started:

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Egyptian Voters Said To Overwhelmingly Back New Constitution

Ballots are seen at a polling station in Cairo on Wednesday, the second day of voting in a referendum on a new constitution.
Mohammed Bendari APA /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:27 am

Egyptians voted overwhelmingly to approve a new constitution, official Egyptian media reported Thursday, giving a boost to the country's military-backed government.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Photos May Show Marines Burning Iraqis' Bodies

TMZ.com

The U.S. Marine Corps "is attempting to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that the entertainment website says show Marines appearing to burn bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004," The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Vatican Comes Under U.N. Scrutiny Over Priest Abuse Scandal

A light fog engulfs St. Peter's Basilica's dome at the Vatican on Saturday. The Vatican came in for tough public scrutiny over its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal at a U.N. hearing in Geneva on Thursday.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:42 am

The Vatican came in for tough public scrutiny over its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal at a United Nations hearing Thursday in Geneva.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child took church officials to task during what The Associated Press described as a "grilling" that insisted the Holy See "take all appropriate measures to keep children out of harm."

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Parallels
6:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Do You Know Who Owns Your Favorite Liquor?

The Japanese drinks company Suntory plans to buy Beam Inc., which includes Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon. They are shown next to Suntory's Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies at Suntory headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. The deal makes Suntory one of the world's leading drinks companies in an industry where a handful of companies increasingly dominate the global market.
Issei Kato Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:18 pm

Liquor companies like to make drinkers think their favorite spirits always have been and always will be attached to a very particular place — Kentucky bourbon, Irish whiskey, Russian vodka.

But like many other industries, the liquor business has gone global, and a small number of players increasingly dominate the industry worldwide. The distilling may still be local, but ownership is definitely international.

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Asia
5:05 am
Thu January 16, 2014

2004 Tsunami Leaves Many Worse Off Than Before

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It was one of the most stunning disasters of the last decade. The day after Christmas 2004, the Asian Tsunami killed nearly a quarter of a million people. Most of them, more than 175,000, died in the Indonesia's Aceh Province.

In the two years following that utter devastation, reporter Michael Sullivan spent time with several people, tracking, for MORNING EDITION, their recovery from the disaster. And he returned again, a few weeks ago.

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Middle East
3:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Battlefield In Northern Syria Evolves As Rebels Fight Rebels

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The warring parties in Syria are one week away from a peace conference. Rebels have been fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Rebels have also been fighting rebels. Syria's political opposition is fractured over attending the peace conference at all, raising the prospect that Assad may come out on top.

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Latin America
3:17 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Militias In Mexican State Keep Up Fight Against Cartel

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Asia
3:15 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bangkok Protests Roil The Thai Economy

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

The prime minster of Thailand says she plans to go ahead with next month's elections, despite opposition protests that have blocked much of the center of Bangkok. The anti-government demonstrators want the current, caretaker prime minister to step down, to be replaced with an unelected "people's council". The political turmoil is also impacting the local economy.

Africa
3:15 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Reports Of Arrests And Torture Under Nigeria's Anti-Gay Law

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Human rights advocates in Nigeria are reporting that dozens of gay men have been arrested under a new law that makes homosexual clubs or associations illegal. That law also criminalizes same-sex marriage. Gay men who have been arrested have reportedly been tortured into giving up the names of others. Michelle Faul with the Associated Press has been writing about this and she joins us now from Lagos.

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The Salt
3:11 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

German Farmers Fear For Europe's Bacon With U.S. Trade Deal

German farmer Rudolf Buehler and other opponents of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement protest with 17 pigs in front of the chancellor's office building in Berlin on Wednesday.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:12 pm

When German farmers and activists descended upon Chancellor Angela Merkel's office building Wednesday morning, they brought along some special guests — 17 pigs. The stunt was the latest European backlash against a proposed free trade deal with the U.S. that could lift restrictions on American meat sold in Europe.

Under the watchful eye of German police officers, the pigs munched happily on straw strewn across the pavement to keep the herd from running amok.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Reports Of New Video Showing U.S. Soldier Held In Afghanistan

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl watches as one of his captors displays his identity tag in the first of several videos of the soldier, in July, 2009.
Reuters/Landov

U.S. officials have reportedly received the first "proof-of-life" video in three years of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009 and is believed held by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

U.S. Official: Afghanistan Could Become 'Narco-Criminal State'

Soldiers in the Afghan National Army's 6th Kandak (battalion), 3rd company, search a local farmer's poppy field during a joint patrol with U.S. forces in Kandahar province in March of last year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:50 pm

Despite a $7 billion effort to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan, poppy cultivation there is at its highest level since the U.S. invasion more than a decade ago, sparking corruption, criminal gangs and providing the insurgency with hard cash, says John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

In testimony before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, he warns Wednesday that Afghanistan could degenerate into a narco-criminal state.

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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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