World

Middle East
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Reflecting On 3-Year Syrian War: 'There But For The Grace Of God'

Saturday is the three-year anniversary of the war in Syria. Nigel Timmins of Oxfam talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the humanitarian crisis there and the Syrian people he has met.

World
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Ukrainians Scramble For Information Ahead Of Crimean Vote

On the eve of the referendum in Crimea, Ukrainians are reportedly nervous about what will happen after Sunday's vote. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the mood in Kiev.

All Songs Considered
4:15 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

SXSW 2014: Everything Is Better In Slow Motion

Future Islands, frozen in time (or at least slowed wayyy down).
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 6:03 pm

With hundreds upon hundreds of bands and tens of thousands of music lovers descending upon Austin for just five days, South by Southwest moves pretty fast. So we slowed it down for you. Because they're awfully considerate, NPR Music's video team — led by Mito Habe-Evans — picked out some of the fastest moments at SXSW 2014 and made them go real slow.

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Health
3:59 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

When Loved Ones Go Missing, Ambiguity Can Hold Grief Captive

Subramaniam Gurusamy holds a portrait of his son Puspanathan, who was onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, on Friday in his home in Teluk Panglima Garang, outside Kuala Lumpur.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:33 pm

It has been more than a week since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, and despite a massive search effort, the whereabouts of the plane and the 239 people on board are unknown.

The airline has told the families and friends of those missing to "expect the worst."

But it's tough for families to grieve without knowing the answer to a crucial question: Could my loved one still be alive?

Dr. Pauline Boss works with people in this kind of situation. She's the author of Loss, Trauma and Resilience and a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Did The Malaysian Airliner Land? Here Are Possible Runways

A map shows runways that would potentially be within range of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
WNYC

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:17 pm

The fate of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 isn't known — and officials have stated their search will now focus on a large area to the west of the plane's planned flight path from Kuala Lampur to Beijing. Experts say it isn't likely to have landed — in part because the large plane would attract notice.

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Parallels
2:54 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

What Are The Rules For Changing A Country's Borders?

A Russian flag blows outside the entrance of Crimea's parliament building in Simferopol on Thursday. Crimeans vote Sunday on whether they want to join Russia, though the international community says it will not recognize the ballot.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 10:35 am

Redrawing national borders may feel like a historical relic that belongs to an earlier century, yet Crimea's crisis shows there are still places that don't fit neatly on the map — and may not for years to come.

Just last month, Crimea was part of Ukraine. On Sunday, Crimeans vote on whether they want to become part of Russia. Nevermind that the rest of the world rejects the validity of the ballot; no country appears willing or able to prevent Crimea from leaving Ukraine and joining Russia.

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Religion
1:00 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Tiny Italian Town Thumbs Its Nose At Lenten Abstinence

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 5:53 pm

On the first Sunday of Lent in Poggio Mirteto, a priest in the town's cathedral recalls the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

He admonishes parishioners in this hilltop hamlet just outside Vatican City to resist earthly delights during the time of penance and self-denial leading up to Easter.

"We must remember we are weak before evil, because the devil is very tricky," he says.

Just outside the doors, the warning goes unheeded as a parade of revelers passes.

The Freedom Festival

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Russia Vetoes U.N. Security Council Resolution On Crimea

Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would invalidate Sunday's referendum in Crimea. In Moscow, demonstrators and military veterans march in support of the Kremlin Saturday; nearby, a large march was held to protest Russia's policies.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:54 pm

One day before Crimea holds a referendum on leaving Ukraine, Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution to affirm Ukraine's sovereignty and national borders. The measure would have declared the referendum in Crimea invalid.

Russia, a permanent member of the council, was the sole vote against the resolution, which had the support of 13 countries attending Saturday's emergency meeting. China abstained from voting.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

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Shots - Health News
11:58 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Gay Couples Entitled To Equal Family Health Coverage, Fed Says

The family health insurance rule applies only to married couples and not to those who are in domestic partnerships or civil unions.
iStockphoto

What insurers offer to spouses in a traditional marriage, they must make available to same-sex couples, the federal government said Friday.

The change means that same-sex couples, who haven't been able to buy family health policies, will be able to do so now.

"It's a big deal," says Katie Keith, director of research at the Trimpa Group, a consulting firm that works on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. "If you identify as married, it's hard to stomach that you can't get family coverage."

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The Record
11:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Lady Gaga At SXSW: 'Don't Sell Out. Sell In.'

Lady Gaga donned luxurious plastic bags for her SXSW Keynote on Friday.
Michael Buckner Getty

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 12:20 pm

On Friday, March 14, Lady Gaga gave the keynote at SXSW 2014, a long interview conducted by John Norris that covered her career in pop, from her roots in the rock clubs of downtown New York to her decision to partner with a corporate sponsor for the concert she performed at Stubb's the night before. (You can see the complete video of the interview on this page.)

NPR Music's Ann Powers was in Austin for the keynote, and she filed this report.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Indian Court Stays Death Penalty For Two In Rape Case

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:58 pm

The hanging of two of the four men convicted for raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi in late 2012 has been stayed, according to a ruling by India's high court that was issued Saturday. The men had been found guilty of raping and attacking a woman on a bus; they've been appealing that finding.

The four men were sentenced to death in September for a crime that sparked shock, anger and intense debate over how India handles violence against women.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Afghans Don't Need Help Securing Country, Karzai Says

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:45 am

Saying that more than a decade of warfare had been imposed on his country by the U.S. conflict with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says foreign troops aren't necessary to Afghanistan's long-term security.

"I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," he said, according to The Associated Press.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:03 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Beware Of The Quick-Fix Mirage

Just because you can get your body or your mind in shape doesn't mean you will actually do the hard work necessary to succeed. Inertia is powerful thing.
iStockphoto

An article last week in The New York Times reported that the scientific jury is still out on brain-fitness programs. It seems that playing computer games designed to work your powers of perception, memory and attention can lead to significant and lasting improvement in one's ability to play those very games. But the benefits don't transfer. You may perform the relevant tasks like a 20-year-old, but you'll still have the mind of a 60-year-old.

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Parallels
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Economic Sanctions Play Out In Strange Ways In Iran

Iranian shoppers buy vegetables from a street vendor in Tehran last November, a day after a six-month nuclear deal took effect. The U.S. says crippling sanctions — which caused prices for necessities like bread, rice and soap to increase — forced Iran's hand.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:02 pm

It's hard to see crippling sanctions at a modern shopping mall in north Tehran — the shops are stocked, the cafes are full. The latest western electronics – even iPhones and iPads, are available for those who can afford it.

But talk to middle class Iranians and you hear dire stories. They say they suffered as prices on almost everything rose dramatically for two years. International sanctions fueled skyrocketing inflation, estimated at 45 percent. Practically, that means that necessities – bread, rice, soap – got more expensive every month.

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Music Interviews
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

A Fresh Vocalist From The Same School As Adele, Winehouse

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Discovering Zara McFarlane's voice is like discovering something exquisite and lush and gorgeous.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ZARA MCFARLANE: (Singing) There you are, though I cannot see your face. I feel you, your presence just entered this place...

LYDEN: Zara McFarlane's latest album is called "If You Knew Her." And she's at our London bureau to talk to us about her music and so that we can get to know here. Zara McFarlane, thank you so much for joining us.

MCFARLANE: Hello. How are you doing?

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Sports
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

An Ex-Dolphin Gets A New Home: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's time now for sport.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LYDEN: This week, former Miami Dolphin's offensive lineman Jonathan Martin found a new home with his new team, the San Francisco 49ers. Martin tweeted this week that he's beyond blessed about being traded and can't wait to get to work. Jonathan Martin is, of course, the player who was the primary target of taunts and racist insults by his teammates on the Dolphins.

ESPN's Howard Bryant is with us now taking a break from the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament. Hello there Howard.

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Africa
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Ill And Malnourished, CAR Refugees Flood Cameroon

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:20 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. More than 20,000 refugees fleeing religious violence in the Central African Republic crossed into Cameroon just in February alone. The refugees are predominantly Muslim and many more are expected to cross over in the coming weeks. They're finding shelter in towns and refugee sites near the border and many are suffering from malnutrition and malaria.

Andres Caballero reports from the border in Cameroon's east region.

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Middle East
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Syrian In Exile Writes On Despite Threats, Kidnappings

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

This weekend marks the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising. For perspective, NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with Yassin Haj Saleh, a Syrian writer who spent 16 years in Syrian prisons.

Asia
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

'Deliberate Action' Took Malaysian Airliner Off Its Route

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Malaysia's prime minister said Saturday that the missing airline left its planned route as the result of deliberate action by someone aboard. Reporter Anthony Kuhn gives NPR's Jacki Lyden the latest.

World
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

New Zealanders Search For Symbol Of Identity, Independence

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

In New Zealand, the country's most important cut of cloth is at the center of a nationwide debate. New Zealand's flag has long been criticized by some as a symbol of British Colonialism. The U.K.'s Union Jack remains in the flag's upper left-hand corner. But it was only this year that Prime Minister John Key proposed a referendum to change it. Tim Watkin, journalist and founder of the politics and culture blog Pundit, is on the line with us now from Auckland, New Zealand to tell us more. Hello there, Tim.

TIM WATKIN: Hi. How are you?

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