The gun control debate continued to dominate the news this week with President Obama coming out strongly in support of reforming the current gun control laws alongside the Newtown families. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about that story along with the bird flu in China, North Korea and the Postal Service.
Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:54 am
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned, ending a power struggle with President Mahmoud Abbas that rose to new heights in recent months. Fayyad had reportedly tried to quit his job earlier this week; Abbas initially refused it, but he finally accepted the resignation Saturday.
A Cairo courtroom burst into chants of "The people want the execution of the president" on Saturday after the judge overseeing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's retrial withdrew from the case on opening day. NPR's Leila Fadel reports:
"The session lasted only seconds. Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah opened the trial, quickly recused himself and transferred the proceedings to the court of appeals for the case to be reassigned to a new court.
More than 100 passengers survived a crash into the sea, after the Boeing 737 they were traveling on from West Java to Bali, Indonesia, missed the runway at Denpasar International Airport. The plane came to rest in shallow waters, simplifying rescue efforts. Photographs showed the Lion Air jet in the water, its fuselage broken just behind its wings.
The aircraft was carrying 101 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed; afterward, rescue workers used rubber boats to get people off the plane.
Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Kerry sought China's help in easing tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Secretary of State John Kerry is asking China's government to help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea has issued threats of war as it tests its weapons systems. The top U.S. diplomat met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing just days before a North Korea-promised missile test.
"That meeting with the president ran over by quite a lot," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing. "And afterward, Kerry said it couldn't have been more constructive, and more forward-leaning."
Venezuela's acting president, Nicolas Maduro, speaks during his closing campaign rally in Caracas on Thursday. The hand-picked successor of Hugo Chavez faces opposition candidate Henriques Capriles in snap presidential elections on April 14.
In Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro — the president of a powerful government — should be at center stage. But as he runs in Sunday's snap presidential elections, it's his larger-than-life predecessor who is getting much of the attention.
The death of Hugo Chavez, who taunted the U.S. and empowered the poor, is triggering the special vote. And Maduro is using Chavez's voice and image to ensure that the late president's socialist system remains in power for many more years to come.
Human Rights Watch is calling on Egypt's president to make public a report that documents police and military abuses against protesters from January 2011 to June 2012. Parts of the report have been leaked to a local newspaper Al Shorouk as well as the British publication The Guardian. In the leaked chapters there are descriptions of police violence and military torture of detainees. While a lot of this is already known about the police and military, the report was referred to the presidency in December and so far no action has been taken.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block.
And we begin this hour with a mixed message on North Korea's nuclear threat. Yesterday, we told you about a U.S. intelligence report that suggested North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon small enough to launch on a missile. Well, today, traveling in South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry largely debunked that report. He insisted the North has not perfected the technology.
The announcement came from President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Cosmonaut's Day, the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Russian spacefarer Yuri Gagarin.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll speak with the Reverend Jim Wallis. He's a well-known evangelical leader. He's known for stepping into the political fray on issues he cares about. So we'll ask him why he chose to step out of the spotlight during last year's presidential campaign. That's later in the program.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:31 pm
Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. Radio 1 Will Play A Snippet:
There's word from NPR's Philip Reeves in London that BBC's Radio 1 now says its weekend Official Chart show will play "a clip in a journalistic environment" of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead," which critics of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pushed up the British charts this week after the Iron Lady's death.
Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 11:00 am
Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.
"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.
The late President Hugo Chavez appeared constantly on TV, and attacked media that criticized him. Now, only one opposition TV station remains. The left-leaning president called Globovision part of a right-wing conspiracy. Though Chavez is gone, the station's end may also be near.
Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, had a touch for the dramatic. He appeared on television all the time. It turns out, he also admired dramatic acting. In the 1990s, when he was in prison for an attempted coup, he never missed an episode of his favorite TV drama.
Once he gained power, a deeper drama developed. Venezuela was a huge exporter of Latin-American multi-episode dramas called telenovelas, until President Chavez's government changed that. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.
The slums in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are among the biggest in Africa. There is crushing poverty, high unemployment, poor sanitation and rampant crime. It is not the kind of place where you'd expect a burgeoning yoga scene to take root, but that's what reporter Jill Craig found.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. A stunning revelation today from a member of Congress. It came from Republican Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, during an exchange on Capitol Hill with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lamborn cited a Defense Intelligence Agency report on North Korea's military capability, one that had not yet been released. Here's what Rep. Lamborn said.
Passersby watch share prices spike in Tokyo on April 4, the day Japan's central bank announced a massive purchase of government bonds. The bank hopes the scale of the effort will boost Japan's slow-moving economy.
Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.
Audie Cornish talks to Steve Inskeep of Morning Edition from Venezuela about the country's presidential election. Thursday is the last day for the candidates to campaign. Venezuelans will choose a new president, replacing the late Hugo Chavez, on Sunday.
Boquillas, Mexico, a riverside hamlet of 90 people, sits a minute by foot across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park in Texas, a boundless tapestry of rock and high desert. Mexicans used to cross to work, buy supplies in the park or visit family. Americans would wade across the river to savor Mexico for a few hours. The border, at least here, was an abstract one that people on either side ignored. But that was before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Afterward, this part of the border was sealed.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
More than three million cars and trucks worldwide are being recalled. Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Pontiac all say some of their vehicles made between 2001 and 2003 could potentially have faulty airbags.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:08 pm
It's going to cost more to bail out Cyprus than originally projected, with officials now saying the cost will be $30 billion instead of the original estimate of $23 billion.
"It's a fact the memorandum of November talked about 17.5 billion [euros] in financing needs. And it has emerged this figure has become 23 billion [euros]," government spokesman Christos Stylianides was quoted by the BBC as saying on Thursday.
A South Korean soldier patrols as vehicles returning from the jointly run Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea arrive at a checkpoint in Paju, north of Seoul, on April 6.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Businessman Tiger Park is among the South Koreans affected by Pyongyang's decision to seal off Kaesong. Workers were able to retrieve some of the clothing manufactured in his factory in North Korea and deliver it to him in Seoul.
Credit Lee Jin-man / AP
Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea is seen from Dora Observation Post near the border village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, on Wednesday.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Elections come up in Venezuela this weekend and Pakistan next month, two very different places of critical importance to the United States and to their regions. More on Pakistan in a few minutes.
Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969), circa 1950.
Credit Pedro Valdes
Marcela Valdes was a founder of Críticas, the English-language magazine devoted to Spanish-language books. She is now serving her second term on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle.
Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.
For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:14 am
Some 3.4 million vehicles produced by four Japanese automakers are being voluntarily recalled due to faulty airbag inflators.
The inflators were installed in some of Toyota's top-selling Camry and Corolla models produced since 2000. Certain Honda Civics and Mazdas are also subject to recall, which also reportedly includes the Maxima and Cube, according to Reuters.
The defective passenger-side airbag inflators were produced by Tokyo-based Takata at a Mexican plant, Reuters says.