World News

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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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

India's High Court Rocked By Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

Former justices on the Supreme Court of India have been accused of sexual harassment.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:02 pm

India's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition Wednesday against one of its own retired judges over allegations that he sexually harassed a former intern — the second such case to be made public in as many months.

The alleged incidents have cast a cloud over the country's highest court and pressure has mounted for it to comply with its own 1997 rulings requiring panels in the workplace to hear harassment complaints. Critics say such a panel for the Supreme Court itself is long overdue.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Israeli Minister: Kerry Should 'Win A Nobel Prize And Leave Us In Peace'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second right, stands with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, left, Minister of International Relations Yuval Steinitz, second left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni at Netanyahu's office on May 23, 2013, in Jerusalem.
Uriel Sinai UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:21 pm

Update at 5:14 p.m. ET, Yaalon Apologizes

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon apologized late Tuesday for comments in which he described U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as having a "messianic fervor" toward bringing peace to the Mideast.

"The defense minister did not intend to insult the secretary and he apologizes if the secretary was hurt by the remarks attributed to the defense minister," a statement issued by Yaalon's office.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Tue January 14, 2014

U.K. Aided India In Raid On Sikh Shrine, Documents Suggest

A Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 1. Official British documents released Tuesday suggest the U.K. helped India plan the deadly 1984 raid on the shrine where militants had holed up.
Sanjeev Syal AP

Thirty years ago, the Indian government was trying to suppress a bloody separatist rebellion by Sikh militants. Then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the army to raid the Golden Temple to remove militants holed up in Sikhism's holiest shrine. The move cost her her life, and its repercussions are still felt in Indian politics.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Hundreds Fleeing South Sudan's Fighting Drown In Nile River

Civilians who fled the recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan compound, in the provincial capital of Bentiu, west of Malakal, on Sunday.
Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:34 pm

At least 200 refugees, mostly women and children, have drowned in South Sudan after a ferry sank as they were trying to cross the Nile River to escape fighting near the northern town of Malakal.

Army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the group was in an "overloaded" boat. The New York Times, which places the number of dead at between 200 and 300, reports that it is the worst such ferry accident to date as tens of thousands of residents have sought refuge.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Go To Polls With Opposition Largely Silenced

A woman casts her ballot Tuesday at a polling station in Nasr City, Cairo.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Leila Fadel talks with Renee Montagne about the voting in Egypt

As Egyptians begin voting on a new constitution, the opposition to the huge role that nation's military plays in life there has been pushed to the side, NPR's Leila Fadel reported Tuesday from Cairo.

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Religion
4:51 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Pope Names 19 New Cardinals, Many From Developing World

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Pope Francis continues to shake things up this week in the Catholic Church. Renee Montagne talks with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter about what the new appointments say about the direction the Pope is leading the church.

Africa
4:38 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Is This Arab Spring Country Finally Getting It Right?

Tunisians wave their national flag and shout slogans on Tuesday in the capital, Tunis, as they attend a rally marking the third anniversary of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:28 pm

Tunisia — the country that launched the Arab uprisings — is celebrating the third anniversary of its revolution Tuesday.

Since the departure of Tunisia's dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, there's been a struggle between religious and secular forces, which has been the case in other Arab Spring countries.

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Middle East
4:38 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Egyptians Begin Voting On New Draft Charter

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Egyptians go to the polls over the next two days to vote on a draft constitution. The military-backed government is pushing for a "yes" vote amid indications that military chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will soon announce his intention to run for the presidency.

Middle East
4:16 am
Tue January 14, 2014

President Rouhani Loses Popularity In Iran Since Election

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

U.S. and Iranian negotiators say they're making progress in nuclear negotiations. Last weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry said they'd worked out the details of a temporary nuclear deal.

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: For the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance. In fact, parts of it will be rolled back.

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Parallels
1:35 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Some Brits Not Ready To Say 'Ta-Ra' To Iconic Telephone Box

Though most people rely on cellphones, not pay phones these days, the telephone boxes aren't obsolete. During an art exhibit in summer 2012, artist Benjamin Shine transformed one into a work called Box Lounger, on display here in Central St. Giles in London.
Dave Catchpole/Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:14 am

People in the United Kingdom are racing to save a beloved icon, in a mission that in some ways resembles efforts to save the giant panda in China, or the polar bear in the Arctic.

But this icon isn't threatened by habitat loss or climate change. The problem here comes from companies like Apple, Samsung and Nokia.

"Mobiles have taken over," laments Mark Johnson, the man in charge of pay phones for BT (formerly known as British Telecom).

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The Salt
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Borscht Make Your Heart Beet? They're Serving 70,000 Gallons In Sochi

There are dozens of varieties of borscht — but at its most basic, it's a beet soup with potatoes, tomatoes and often beef or pork.
Flickr/Liz West

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:57 am

Russia's Soviet days are well behind it, but if you're headed to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, your dining options will still run deep red — as in borscht.

Organizers in Sochi expect to serve 70,000 gallons of this Russian staple — a hearty soup whose color comes from beets — to spectators. Borscht has graced both the high table of the Kremlin and the lowly tables of peasants across the former Soviet Union.

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Latin America
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Mexican Self-Defense Leader Recovers Under Threat From Cartels

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It was a violent weekend in Mexico's western state of Michoacan. Clashes erupted between so-called civilian defense groups and the Knights Templar drug cartel. The civilian defense group says Mexico's security forces are not protecting people from cartel kidnappings, murder and extortion. Among these groups, one man in Michoacan has risen to become a popular leader. He had immigrated to California but recently returned to his hometown. He found it had been overtaken by criminals and drug traffickers.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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World
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

An American Diplomat In Paris — And A Russian One, Too

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In just a week, the U.N. plans to hold Syrian peace talks in Switzerland. In the meantime, the U.S. is leaning hard on opposition leaders to attend and talk face-to-face with a government they've been fighting hard to topple. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in meetings for the past two days in Paris, laying the groundwork for the conference.

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Middle East
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As Egypt Votes On New Constitution, Space For Dissent Closes

Egyptians walk under a billboard with Arabic that reads, "yes to the constitution, Egyptians love their country," in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 11. Many Egyptians say there is no real choice in the country's referendum on a new constitution.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Egyptian voters go the polls Tuesday and Wednesday in a constitutional referendum. The vote comes at a time Egypt is witnessing what many analysts call a full-blown counterrevolution. While the country remains dangerously polarized, the space for dissent is closing. The government continues a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, but now it's also targeting the youth activists whose names and faces are synonymous with the 2011 revolution.

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Media
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

How Will NBC Cover Gay Issues During Sochi Olympics?

Russian police officers detain a gay-rights activist during a protest outside the Winter Olympics organizing committee office in Moscow. Clashes over gay rights put NBC in a difficult position: Olympic officials insist that the games should not be politicized, while activists push the network to report on the issue as a journalistic enterprise.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:47 am

The Winter Olympics next month, held in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, should provide mesmerizing athletic spectacle on ice and snow. But each Olympics also affords a brief global platform for dissidents in host countries to get the attention of the world — primarily through the media. And the exclusive American broadcaster, NBC, is coming under pressure to do more on behalf of gay rights and journalists there.

A 'Last Chance' To Shape Russian Attitudes

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The Salt
11:44 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Italians To New Yorkers: 'Forkgate' Scandal? Fuhggedaboutit

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza on Staten Island on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:10 am

Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:37 pm

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

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World
9:41 am
Mon January 13, 2014

'Weight Of The World' On Syrian Boy's Shoulders

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:42 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the good news in many cities is that the murder rate is at historic lows, but the bad news is that many of those murders remain unsolved. We'll take a look at New York City, where a newspaper's close look at the issue is raising some uncomfortable questions about race and geography. But first, we return to a major international story that's also provoking some uncomfortable questions for world powers - the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pope Calls Abortion Evidence Of 'The Throwaway Culture'

Pope Francis received applause from hundreds of worldwide ambassadors to the Holy See on Monday as he entered a huge hall in Vatican City.
Osservatore Romano Press Office EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:28 pm

Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."

In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Thailand's Opposition Launches Mass Rallies To Close Bangkok

Anti-government protesters cheer as they occupy a major intersection in central Bangkok on Monday. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters occupied parts of the capital.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:12 pm

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have thronged key intersections in the capital, Bangkok, in the start of a mass demonstration aimed at thwarting elections and forcing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.

For months, opposition protesters have been engaged in an on-again, off-again effort to topple Yingluck, and have said they want to replace her government with an unelected ruling council.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Ariel Sharon Remembered As Man Of War And Peace

Israeli soldiers carry the coffin of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday in Jerusalem.
Daniel Naupold DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:19 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Emily Harris reports on the funeral for Ariel Sharon

As Israelis paid their respects Monday to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a memorial service and funeral, one of his contemporaries on the world stage offered this view of the general and statesman who an iconic and controversial figure:

"The idea that he changed from man of war to a man of peace," is mistaken, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during a memorial service at the Knesset, Israel's legislature.

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Middle East
3:29 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Remembered

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's get the latest now from Israel, where former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be buried today. Sharon died Saturday, after spending eight years in a coma. Here's NPR's Emily Harris.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: The memorial service for Ariel Sharon opened with a prayer.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing in foreign language)

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Middle East
2:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Kerry: 'No Other Alternative' To Ending Violence In Syria

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 4:50 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

The U.S. and other world powers have agreed on a plan with Iran to start rolling back parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal goes into effect later this month.

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Parallels
1:06 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The U.N. Has Stopped Counting, But Syrians Keep Dying

Kotaiba Mohammad poses during an anti-goverment demonstration in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. He worked as a nurse, helping those wounded in the country's civil war. He was seized and shot dead last month by Islamic extremists.
Courtesy Malek Al Shemali

The United Nations announced this week it is no longer updating the Syrian death toll, which has surpassed 100,000, because it cannot accurately confirm the number of dead due to chaotic conditions in the country. But Syrians are still being slaughtered, and the fighting has gotten more complicated than ever.

It's not just President Bashar Assad's government army versus the rebels. The rebels are also battling rebels, and civilians are often the casualties, including a male nurse from Aleppo.

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Latin America
9:41 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Four Years After Earthquake, Many In Haiti Remain Displaced

Boys at a camp for earthquake victims look out from their shelter in Petion-ville, Haiti, outside of Port-au-Prince in November.
AFP/Getty Images

Four years ago Sunday, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, destroying its capital of Port-au-Prince and killing more than 200,000 people.

Today, much of Port-au-Prince looks like it did before the quake. Most of the tent camps in the city itself are gone, and streets are loaded with overcrowded buses and women selling vegetables.

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Middle East
8:00 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Ariel Sharon Was Part Of Israel's Tragedy And Solution

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 9:41 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is lying in state in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, today. He died yesterday after eight years in a coma. Ariel Sharon was a soldier-turned-politician who believed in hard-line military solutions, but who also looked beyond force to try to bring peace in Israel.

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