World

The Two-Way
7:02 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Thai Court Removes Prime Minister Yingluck From Office

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra received roses from supporters in a Bangkok suburb on Wednesday.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:29 am

Saying Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had violated Thailand's constitution, the country's Constitutional Court ordered the caretaker leader to step down from office, along with nine ministers. She had held the post since the summer of 2011.

The court's ruling Wednesday stems from accusations that Yingluck abused her powers in 2011 by transferring the national security chief, who had been appointed by the opposition. The court's nine judges went on national television to broadcast their decision.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
6:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Chasing Life In An Inhospitable Universe

An illustration imagines what Kepler-186f may look like.
T. Pyle NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

Let's face it, the evidence is hard on the case for life elsewhere in the universe. This, of course, doesn't mean that there is no life on another world. We couldn't ever make a statement like that. Science is better at finding things than at ruling things out. Or, as Carl Sagan used to say, "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

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Africa
5:14 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Kidnapped Nigerian School Girl Escapes, Talks About Ordeal

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:47 am

Renee Montagne talks to Michelle Faul, the Nigeria bureau chief for The Associated Press, on the latest regarding the abductions of Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram terror group.

NPR Story
5:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Chinese E-Commerce Giant To Offer U.S. IPO

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A Chinese e-commerce giant filed for an initial public stock offering yesterday. Alibaba - which has no exact equivalent in the U.S. - will, however, conduct its IPO here. And it's expected to raise billions. The IPO could be the biggest since Facebook back in 2012. To learn more about Alibaba, we turn to NPR's Frank Langfitt, who's in Shanghai. Good morning.

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: So exactly what is Alibaba?

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

South Africans Cast Ballots 20 Years Since Apartheid

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:47 am

This election marks 20 years since Nelson Mandela was elected and will be the first since his death. Renee Montagne talks to Verashni Pillay, associate editor for the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg.

NPR Story
5:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Yogurt May Become New York's Official Snack

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: A Yogurt State of Mind.

The New York State Senate voted on yesterday on the official state snack.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

They were voting to give that honor to yogurt. Apparently, New York is the leading yogurt producer in America. But in a state famous for bagels and giant pretzels, not to mention big apples, the debate got heated.

MONTAGNE: The social media site BuzzFeed tweeted the highlights, such as a state senator asking, was yogurt the only option?

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Nigeria's Economy Leads Other African Nations

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:27 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Matthew Bishop, New York bureau chief at The Economist, about Nigeria's economy. The biggest country in Africa has also just become the continent's largest economy.

Middle East
5:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Syrian Opposition Finds A Voice On Pirate Radio

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 9:09 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Syrian journalist Obadah Al-Kaddri about being named one of Time magazine's top 100 influential people. Al-Kaddri is director of Radio Watan, a pirate station heard in Syria.

Parallels
3:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

In Ukraine's Corridors Of Power, An Effort To Toss Out The Old

An activist waves the Ukrainian national flag at Independence Square on April 6.
Valentyn Ogirenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 10:57 am

The first time I saw the word "lustration," I thought it was a case of bad translation from Ukrainian. In Kiev, a flyer advertised a talk by the head of parliament's "lustration" committee.

"What does this word mean in English?" I asked a press aide.

"I don't know the English word for it, but it will be an interesting speech," he replied.

And indeed, it was.

Weeks later, Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College in London, explained to me that lustration actually is an English word.

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It's All Politics
10:11 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Establishment Favorite Thom Tillis Wins Senate Nod In N.C.

Thom Tillis greets supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:23 pm

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, a victory for GOP establishment forces over the Tea Party in a battleground state that will feature one of the nation's most competitive Senate races this fall.

Tillis, who avoided a runoff by winning more than 40 percent of the vote, will face first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November. Hagan rates among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Code Switch
9:52 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Critics Find Little Humor In 'SNL' Writer's Jokes About Slavery

Leslie Jones played an "image expert" on last weekend's SNL.
NBC

Almost 21 years ago, Whoopi Goldberg was honored at the New York Friars' Club. More than 3,000 people crowded into the New York Hilton to hear Goldberg roasted by her celebrity friends.

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The Two-Way
8:07 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

LA Clippers President To Take Indefinite Leave, NBA Says

LA Clippers President Andy Roeser (left) with forward Lamar Odom (center) and head coach Vinny Del Negro in July 2012.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:17 pm

A week after the NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life for racist remarks he made, the league announced that the team's president is taking an indefinite leave of absence.

Andy Roeser's leave is effective immediately and will "provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances," league spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement.

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Sports
6:13 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Brewskee-Ball Founders Refuse To Be Sidelined By Trademark Case

Brewskee-Ball has built a league of competitive Skee-Ball players, but the owners of the name Skee-Ball are not amused.
Courtesy of Eric Pavony

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:04 pm

The founders of Brewskee-Ball like to say they've taken Skee-Ball from the arcade to the bar, turning the old-time amusement park game into a competitive sport with hundreds of dedicated players in a handful of locations across the country, including Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and Austin.

But the company that makes Skee-Ball machines is not amused.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'Hair-Hanging' Acrobats Remain In Serious Condition After Fall

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:26 pm

Four acrobats injured during a circus performance over the weekend in Rhode Island are listed in serious condition, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey says. Four others are in good condition, and one has already been released from the hospital.

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Politics
6:06 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Gaffe Breathes New Life Into Iowa Senate Race

Iowa Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst debates fellow U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs, a retired CEO, in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:04 pm

This year, Iowa will elect a new U.S. senator, thanks to the retirement of five-term Democrat Tom Harkin.

For a time, this was a seat Democrats didn't think they needed to worry about; Rep. Bruce Braley was considered the favorite to win the seat in November.

Thanks to a serious gaffe, though, the seat looks to be in play. Now, five Republican hopefuls, none well-known statewide, are all racing toward the June primary.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Can Africans Do A Better Job Of Peacekeeping In South Sudan?

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a child at a refugee camp in Juba, South Sudan, on Tuesday. There have been increased calls for a contingent of African troops to be involved in peacekeeping operations.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:25 pm

The commander of the rebel movement in South Sudan has agreed to talk peace — if he can make it out of his secret war bunker.

Riek Machar told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by phone on Tuesday that he would "try his best" to make it to Friday's scheduled sit-down in Ethiopia, but that he was "now in a very remote area."

There might be some truth to it: South Sudan is one of the least developed countries in the world, with almost no paved roads outside of the capital. The current rainy season can make travel virtually impossible.

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World
5:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

UN Committee Grills Vatican Officials On Sex Abuse

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:05 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For the second time this year, Vatican officials were subjected to scathing questions by a U.N. panel. The questions focus on the church's handling of cases of sexual abuse by priests. The grilling came in two days of hearings in Geneva by the U.N. Committee on Torture. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is following this and joins me now. And, Sylvia, earlier this year, it was a U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child that issued a very harsh report about clerical sex abuse. What is the Committee on Torture saying now, and is it different?

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Africa
5:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

With UN Chief In South Sudan, Warring Sides Agree To Talk

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The president of South Sudan and the commander of the rebels there have agreed to sit down and talk. That's one thing that's come out of a visit to the country by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

As NPR's Gregory Warner reports, the U.N. chief also addressed calls to bring African troops into the troubled peacekeeping process.

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NPR Story
5:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Study: To Command Respect, Try Using Your Middle Initial

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:20 am

Robert Siegel talks to a pair of researchers who have studied names and how they are perceived by others. Are our evaluations of people's credibility swayed by how easily we can pronounce their names? Researchers in New Zealand have tried to find out. And in the U.K., another study has assessed how middle initials have a particular and powerful effect on how people are perceived.

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NPR Story
5:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

'Born Frees' Prepare To Vote In South Africa

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:26 am

South Africans head to the polls Wednesday for general elections. The African National Congress is likely to take a majority of the vote, despite pervasive unemployment and a recent corruption scandal involving President Jacob Zuma, explains the BBC's Audrey Brown.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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