World News

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

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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)

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Middle East
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

New Constitution Is A Sign Of Tunisia's Optimism

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On Tuesday, Tunisia will celebrate the third anniversary of its revolution. Tunisia is the country that inspired uprisings across the Arab world. Since then, that country has gone through tough times but it seems to have found its way again. Opposing sides have drafted the new constitution together. It will be ready in a couple days, and new elections are set for this year. That sets Tunisia apart from neighboring Egypt and Libya, where the Arab Spring uprisings have brought violence and political upheaval.

Read more
Movie Interviews
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Death Squads Re-created 'The Act Of Killing' For The Camera

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced this coming week. One film widely expected to make the list is the documentary "The Act of Killing." It was just released on DVD and digital platforms last week. The film is about a massacre of communists in Indonesia in the 1960s. But rather than hearing from the victims, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer takes an unusual perspective. He shows the perpetrators reenacting their crimes. The result is haunting, even revolting at points and hard to describe.

Read more
Europe
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

New Tax Can't Keep Greeks From Smoking

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

To Greece now, a country with one of the highest percentages of smokers in the world. At least 40 percent of the population over the age of 15 smokes, leading, of course, to rising rates of lung disease and lung cancer. Several years ago, the Greek parliament banned smoking inside restaurants, bars and public buildings. But it's rarely enforced. And even a new tax on cigarettes doesn't seem to be deterring Greek smokers. Joanna Kakissis has the story from Athens.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more
Afghanistan
7:14 am
Sun January 12, 2014

The Struggle Against A Newly Resurgent Al-Qaida

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
World
3:35 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

New Iranian President Brings 'Resurgence Of Hope' For Some

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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

Reporting on Iran is difficult and frustrating, and for those on the ground there, dangerous. It was especially bad after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, which triggered massive protests. Iran cracked down hard on the dissenters and heavily restricted Western reporters' access. But the country's recently elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has started to change things.

Read more
World
3:34 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon's Death Sparks Strong Emotions Across Middle East

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died today at the age of 85. The controversial military and political leader had spent the last eight years in a coma following a stroke. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris reports.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Ariel Sharon was part of the nearly-gone generation of leaders who fought for Israel before the state's founding. That history built trust, says Israeli military analyst Jonathan Spyer.

Read more
World
3:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Egyptians To Vote On New Constitution For Troubled Nation

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Now to another country where the political process has been animated by an intense mix of optimism and fear: Egypt. Voters there are deciding whether to adopt a new constitution this week. The hopes that sprang out of the popular uprising that ejected President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 had been tempered by the political instability in the years that have followed. Last summer, President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown in a military coup. And this week's constitutional referendum is the third in as many years.

Read more
Parallels
1:50 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

A Feud That Lasted A Lifetime: Ariel Sharon Vs. Yasser Arafat

Ariel Sharon, who was Israel's foreign minister in 1998, negotiated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Wye River Plantation, Md. They reached a limited agreement, but Sharon refused to shake hands with Arafat, his life-long rival. This is one of the few photos showing them together.
Israel Government Press Office AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 2:38 pm

Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat. It's hard to speak of one and not mention the other. They were inextricably linked by the Israel-Palestinian conflict, symbolizing a feud so enduring it's now outlasted two of its most prominent protagonists.

Neither would appreciate being compared to the other. But you could track the conflict from its earliest days to its present state by charting the lives of Sharon, who died Saturday, and Arafat, who was recently in the news following the latest inquiries into the still-fuzzy cause of his 2004 death.

Read more
Middle East
9:27 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Al-Qaida-Linked Group Faces Backlash In Iraq

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 10:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, the war in Syria jumped two borders - East into Iraq and west into Lebanon. And the combatants come in at all three countries, but belong to an extremist group affiliated with al Qaida, know by the name ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. Now, they claimed a car bombing in Lebanon and seized parts of two towns in Iraq's Anbar Province. But in Syria, the homegrown rebel groups mounted a surprising challenge to the extremists, kicking them out of some safe havens in Northern Syria.

Read more
Middle East
9:27 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Israel's Ariel Sharon: A Man Of War's Journey Toward Peace

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 10:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I'm going to take this moment to remember the life of Ariel Sharon, Israel's former prime minister. Mr. Sharon suffered a devastating stroke in 2006 at the height of his political power. He died today after spending years in a coma. Former ambassador Dennis Ross has played a leading role in shaping U.S. policy on Israel and the Middle East and he first met Ariel Sharon in 1982, and joins us now. Mr. Ambassador, thanks very much for being with us.

Read more
Middle East
6:27 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon, Whose Life And Career Shaped Israeli History, Dies

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks during a news conference in his offices on Nov. 21, 2005, in Jerusalem. Sharon announced his split from his right-wing Likud party to form a new political party, Kadima. He was on the way to re-election in 2006 when he suffered a stroke and fell into a coma from which he never awoke.
David Silverman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:09 am

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a towering figure in the history of Israel as a soldier and politician, died on Saturday. He was 85.

His death was announced by Shlomo Noy, the director of Sheba Medical Center where Sharon was being treated. Sharon had been in a coma since he suffered a massive stroke in January 2006 during the last Israeli election campaign, in which he was assured of re-election.

Read more
Parallels
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

An Execution In North Korea Has A Chilling Effect In China

The Chinese and North Korean flags are seen attached to a railing as trucks carrying Chinese-made goods cross into North Korea on the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge at the Chinese border town of Dandong on Dec. 18, 2013. Ties between the two longtime allies are strained after the execution of the North Korean official in charge of economic relations with China.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:48 pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shocked the world last month when he accused his uncle and mentor of treason and had Jang Song Thaek executed.

The consequences of that purge are reaching beyond North Korea's border. Jang had been in charge of trade with China, and his death has had a chilling effect on ties with North Korea's neighbor and longtime ally.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Central African Republic's President Resigns At Regional Summit

Central African Republic's interim President Michel Djotodia sits during a conference in Bangui in this Dec. 8 file photo. Djotodia resigned Friday after a two-day summit in neighboring Chad.
Herve Serefio Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 11:17 am

Central African Republic's interim president resigned Friday under pressure from fellow leaders at a regional summit to end the violence in his country.

Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye resigned at the regional meeting in Chad.

Read more
Parallels
7:58 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Cuba, Land Of The $250,000 Family Sedan

Cubans look at new and used foreign-made cars for sale at a car dealer in Havana on Jan. 3.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 11:57 am

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Cuban government began selling new and used vehicles last week to anyone with the money to buy one. And as crowds gathered at state-owned car lots in Havana to check out the inventory, a consensus quickly emerged.

The cars on sale had either been priced by callous, greedy idiots, or the Cuban government had become the most incompetent automobile retailer in the world.

Read more
Africa
6:47 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Central African Republic President Resigns

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Afghanistan
3:15 am
Fri January 10, 2014

'Pious Spy' Article Casts Doubt On Taliban Chief's Death

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It really wasn't that many years ago, the 1990s, when a power struggle waged by warlords in Afghanistan ended up bringing the Taliban to power in that country. Journalist Mujib Mashal was just a boy when the Taliban marched into Kabul. And in the January issue of Harpers he writes about one of the more memorable characters in that repressive regime: The Minister of Intelligence.

Renee Montagne reached him in Kabul.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Africa
3:13 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Fighting In South Sudan Forces Residents To Seek Safety

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Friday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Read more
Middle East
3:05 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Turkish Scandal Shines Light On 'Shadowy' Muslim Leader

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more

Pages