Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 9:44 am
Syria has delivered documents about its arsenal of chemical weapons, meeting a deadline set in the framework agreement between the U.S. and Russia that was announced Sept. 14. The deal calls for destroying all of the weapons by June of 2014. But the country's civil war is showing no sign of slowing down.
Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:28 am
Updated Sunday 5:46 a.m. ET
The death toll at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi has increased to at least 52, and civilians are still inside as militants exchange sporadic barrages of gunfire with Kenyan security troops outside.
"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku, Kenya's Interior cabinet secretary told AP early today. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.
He said that five to 15 attackers are involved in the standoff, but declined to estimate the number of hostages.
Yesterday, Syria sent the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons an initial declaration, detailing its trove of chemical weapons. The declaration is now being reviewed by that organization's verification division. The U.S.-Russian agreement reached last weekend calls for inspectors to be on the ground in Syria by November, and all chemical weapons to be removed from the country or destroyed by the middle of next year.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Most of the countries where same-sex couples enjoy the same rights as heterosexual ones are in Western Europe. Their governments have legalized marriage and adoption rights for gays and lesbians. Now, Germany has been acclaimed for being especially welcoming to gays and lesbians but its government is lagging behind in giving them equal rights.
Brazil is known for its music and distinctive dances, not necessarily for its paintings or photography. But that is changing. Not only are Brazilian artists now getting big play in major museums around the world, but something new is happening inside Brazil: There's a burgeoning appetite for art.
As the host of the United Nations, the U.S. is supposed to let everyone come to the annual U.N. General Assembly, not just the people it likes.
But this year, the proposition is being put to the test. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted three years ago by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges stemming from the mass killings in Sudan's western Darfur region.
Bashir has also applied for a visa to the U.N. meetings next week.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:47 pm
Super-typhoon Usagi — the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph — is expected to skirt the Philippines and Taiwan before slamming into the Chinese coast near Hong Kong over the weekend.
The storm is forecast to skirt the coast of Luzon in the northern Philippines on Friday and brush the southern tip of Taiwan on Saturday. Although it is expected to be downgraded in strength by the time it hits Hong Kong on Sunday evening, Typhoon Usagi could still do considerable damage.
The president of Sudan wants the U.S. to give him a visa so he can come to New York next week to attend the U.N. General Assembly. For most heads of state, no problem. But Omar al-Bashir faces arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court, accusing him of genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region. So the question of whether to grant President Bashir a visa has put the U.S. in a diplomatic bind.
With us now is Colum Lynch. He covers the U.N. for The Washington Post and Foreign Policy.com. Good morning.
Hassan Rouhani ran on a promise of getting his country out from under the weight of sanctions, embargoes and other financial weapons from the West that have crippled that country's economy. Since taking office, he has been striking a more conciliatory note than his predecessor, especially toward the U.S. For more, Renee Montagne talks with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
German voters are expected to elect Chancellor Angela Merkel to a third term on Sunday. Now, if she wins, Merkel, who is a former physicist, will be on the path to becoming Europe's longest-serving female head of government. The prospect of another four years of Merkel unsettles many Europeans outside Germany. But she is respected at home. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent us this profile from Berlin of the woman the German media call Mutti, or mommy of the nation.
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis has stunned the Catholic world. In a long and blunt interview, the pope said that the Catholic Church should not be - as he put it - obsessed with abortion, contraception and gay marriage. The interview appeared yesterday in Jesuit journals across the world. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Rome. And Sylvia, do the pope's comments change church policies on issues of sexual morality?
Want to visit Paris and Venice in the same afternoon?
You can, if you're in China.
Chinese developers have for years built residential communities that mimic famous European cities and towns. They are the subject of a new book, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China.
Potential changes in economic policy from Washington have sent tremors throughout emerging economies. In Turkey, where growth in recent years has put Eurozone economies to shame, the signs are troubling: The Turkish lira has fallen to its lowest value in years and private sector debt is soaring. Economists say continued liquidity and foreign investment remains crucial if Turkey is to avoid a hard landing.
Hurricane Manuel made landfall early this morning, striking Mexico's northern pacific mainland. It uprooted trees, downed power lines and continued a week of nonstop rain, high winds and deadly landslides. Officials say the death toll from a series of storms this week has risen to 80, and more than 50 people are still missing after a landslide consumed nearly an entire village north of Acapulco. NPR's Carrie Khan reports.
Iran's nuclear program and the civil war in Syria are both matters that figure prominently in U.S.-Israeli dealings. And joining us to talk about those issues is Israel's outgoing ambassador to Washington, the American-born writer Michael Oren. Ambassador Oren, welcome back.
MICHAEL OREN: Robert, always delightful to be with you.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
And we begin this hour with Iran and what appears to be an effort on Iran's part to thaw relations with the United States. In a new interview with NBC, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated that his country does not have military nuclear ambitions. He's heard here through an interpreter.
The tiny, copper-hued golden lion tamarin is so beloved in Brazil that its image graces the country's 20-real bank note. But this lion-maned monkey is in peril.
There's only one place on earth where the golden lion tamarin lives in the wild: in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, just north of Rio de Janeiro. Deforestation in the region has reduced the monkey's habitat, once a massive ecosystem stretching for a half-million square miles, to just 2 percent of its original size.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:41 pm
Greece's premier has vowed not to let a neo-Nazi party undermine democracy after the killing of a Greek hip-hop and rap singer by a right-wing extremist.
"This government is determined not to let the descendants of the Nazis poison our social life or commit crimes," Antonis Samaras said in a national television address.
An extremist with possible ties to the right-wing Golden Dawn party has admitted to stabbing to death musician Pavlos Fyssas, who goes by the stage name Killah P. The incident has sparked outrage among many Greeks.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:41 pm
The French government has taken a step toward saying non to beauty pageants for girls younger than 16. Earlier this week, the upper house of Parliament voted in favor of banning such contests as part of a larger bill on women's rights.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:25 pm
On Saturday night, the emergency room staff knows all too well what's coming — people showing up with a broken jaw, a knife wound or a bashed-in face, often after too many hours in a pub. Doctors at the emergency department in Cardiff, Wales, realized that many of the people who were injured in fights never reported it to the police. That realization led to a simple program that has radically reduced the toll of violence.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:41 pm
Police in India arrested the co-founder of an organization blamed for terrorist attacks across the country. But it was the revelations following the August arrest of Yasin Bhaktal, the alleged head of the Indian Mujahideen, that caught our eye.
Soccer was banned in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Today it's fueling a week-long party. Afghans are over the moon since their national team won the South Asian Football Federation championship last week. It was a stunning victory over India, two to nothing, especially for a team of unpaid players who slept in airports on the way to tournaments because they could not afford hotel rooms.