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Iraqi and Kurdish forces have agreed to temporarily pause their fighting.

This has the potential to open the door for talks, NPR's Jane Arraf reports, after Iraqi forces moved to wrest territory from the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

The Kurdish autonomous region held a non-binding independence referendum last month, despite the opposition of Iraq's government and other regional and international powers. Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposal.

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Let's listen now to the sound of the opposition movement in Kenya.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NASA")

ONYI JALAMO: (Singing in Swahili).

The head of Kenya's electoral commission says just one-third of registered voters cast ballots yesterday in a controversial rerun of the presidential election.

That's far lower than the reported nearly 80 percent turnout the first time the election took place, in August.

The poll was met by clashes and violence in some areas of the country. The electoral commission tweeted that 5,319 polling stations "either didn't open or did not manage to send the 'we've opened signal,' " while 35,564 opened as usual.

In a move that has pushed Spain deeper into a political crisis, Catalonia's Parliament on Friday declared independence. In response, the Spanish Senate approved direct rule of the breakaway region. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to reporter Lucia Benavides, who is not far from the Parliament building.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dialogue And Exchange.

About Jonas Gahr Støre's TED Talk

As Foreign Minister of Norway, engaging in difficult and intense diplomatic negotiations was part of Jonas Gahr Støre's job. He learned that dialogue is a strategy of strength, not one of weakness.

About Jonas Gahr Støre

Australia's leadership is facing disarray, after its High Court said Barnaby Joyce was ineligible to hold office; the now-former Deputy Prime Minister is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand. The ruling also means Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is now heading a minority government.

"I respect the decision of the court," Joyce told reporters on Friday, after judges ruled his seat is now vacant. Joyce held citizenship in New Zealand because father was born there.

Lawmakers in Catalonia have declared independence from Spain in a historic vote that prompted protests and celebration.

The government in Madrid, vowing to halt any would-be secession, has authorized the Spanish prime minister to take over direct rule of the previously semi-autonomous region. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he's dissolving the regional government, with new elections to be held on Dec. 21, The Associated Press reports.

It was the late summer of 1962.

The previous year, the U.S. invasion of the Bay of Pigs, meant to topple the communist regime of Fidel Castro, had been an embarrassing failure.

The administration of President John F. Kennedy had turned instead to a Plan B to destabilize Cuba and hopefully take down Castro: Operation Mongoose.

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The U.S. defense secretary stood at the border between North and South Korea today.

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Former Army Specialist Jonathan Morita testified Thursday that his rifle was shot out of his grip, and his right hand was seriously injured, when a search for missing soldier Bowe Bergdahl turned into a firefight with the Taliban in July 2009.

Morita, dressed head-to-toe in black civilian clothes, also said he's been short-tempered since his injury, which still limits the use of his hand despite surgeries and years of rehabilitation.

That anger, he said, "is directed toward one person."

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It was a strange day in the Spanish region of Catalonia. The separatist leader there was first expected to declare independence. Then he was expected to call fresh elections. But neither thing happened. Lauren Frayer reports.

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Thailand has said goodbye to the only king many Thais have ever known. Bhumibol Adulyadej was cremated late this evening in a lavish ceremony after a year of mourning. From Bangkok, Michael Sullivan reports.

As China's clout in the Asia-Pacific region rises, the United States is wooing India into a closer embrace.

Standing beside Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during his maiden visit to South Asia as secretary of state this week, Rex Tillerson said the United States "supports India's emergence as a leading power."

The International Committee for the Red Cross is urging countries to handle captured ISIS fighters according to international legal standards, in the wake of the extremist group's loss of its so-called capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The flow of foreign fighters to Syria, where thousands of would-be ISIS fighters flocked in recent years, has shown signs of reversing. The group once had tens of thousands of fighters at its command; last week, U.S. officials estimated that 3,000 to 7,000 were continuing to fight in Iraq and Syria.

NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports:

One Ukrainian lawmaker has been hospitalized, two people killed and two others injured after an apparent bomb tore through downtown Kiev on Wednesday night. The blast appears to have been an attempt to assassinate Ihor Mosiychuk, a member of the strongly nationalist Radical Party.

The explosion, which investigators have traced to a suspected explosive device strapped to a parked motorcycle, killed Mosiychuk's bodyguard and a passerby as the lawmaker and several other people were leaving a TV studio. Authorities are already calling the violence a terrorist attack.

Starting Thursday, passengers on international flights to the U.S. will face heightened security checks of their luggage and new screening interviews or questionnaires.

The Trump administration is imposing the stricter security measures on travelers — including Americans — from all countries, on all U.S.-bound flights. But the exact set of procedures varies by airline, and some have received permission to temporarily delay implementation of the new rules, The Associated Press reports.

As a result, "confusion still remains about the new regulations," the AP writes.

As Europe was being torn apart in the early 17th century by conflicts between Catholics and Protestants — that would lead to the devastating Thirty Years War in 1618 — the German astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote:

"When the storm rages and the shipwreck of the state threatens, we can do nothing more worthy than to sink the anchor of our peaceful studies into the ground of eternity."

Tilahun Liben thought he was seeing things. Surely that mound of orange orbs under those trees near his church couldn't be oranges. Could they?

It was 2010, and Liben had just arrived in Tucson, Ariz., as a refugee from Ethiopia. He had been a musician, playing saxophone in nightclubs, but that life ended abruptly in 1999 when an oppressive regime imprisoned him for three months for his political dissent. After Liben's release, further persecution forced him to flee his homeland: He ended up at the Kakuma refugee camp, in Kenya, where he waited 10 years to be resettled.

The ambush of a patrol in Niger this month that resulted in the deaths of four U.S. Army soldiers is believed to have been a "set up" in which their location was exposed by villagers who tipped off ISIS-affiliated militants, a U.S. official tells NPR.

NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reports that the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says when the patrol of U.S. and Niger troops stopped in a village near the border with Mali to get water, locals there gave them "the cold stare."

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Final preparations were underway in Thailand for the cremation of the revered late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died a year ago at the age of 88. Mourners, dressed in black, watched the elaborate sendoff for the man who was, at the time of his death, the world's longest-reigning monarch.

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Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Clashes between police and stone-throwing youths occurred in some parts of the Kenyan capital on Thursday as the country went to the polls for the second presidential election since August amid a boycott by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

In the latest voting, supporters of Odinga have blocked some polling stations as police fired tear gas in clashes with the opposition in Kibera, a Nairobi slum that is a key stronghold of anti-Kenyatta sentiment.

Kids stick things in their nose, ears, and mouth all the time; it may be another way for them to explore and learn.

But getting those objects out be challenging, and can take some creativity. Like when an 11-year-old boy put button magnets up both nostrils, where they locked tightly onto his septum.

Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader in years, began a second five-year term Wednesday as leader of the ruling Communist Party. He appeared in public in a new leadership lineup — which notably lacked a clear successor, calling into question the stability of China's leadership transitions.

The unveiling of the country's seven most powerful men was the political climax of the year in China. It followed the 19th Communist Party Congress, which handed Xi his second term and enshrined his theories in the party charter.

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