Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.
Although, maybe not so many people subscribing in Argentina, that country has just imposed a heavy tax on international online shopping and it is restricting international online purchases to two per year.
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on the government's attempt to shore-up dipping reserves of foreign currency.
Wow. For all we know this could be the next European TV program to become a hit in the United States. You've heard of "Downton Abbey," this program goes a little more continental. The program by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is spreading to other countries, sparking a discussion of the edgy subject of inheritance.
Protesters in Ukraine have given their country's president an ultimatum. They say he must call early elections or unrest will grow even worse. This country of 45 million people is fighting over which way it leans - toward European nations to the West or eastward toward Russia, which once controlled Ukraine. Protests began when the president gave in to Russian pressure to block a trade deal with the European Union. And those protests have turned deadly this week with at least two people killed - more by some estimates.
Police in Ceres, Calif., have a warning: If someone comes up to you in a silver Lexus at dusk offering a ridiculously cheap iPad — don't buy it. Authorities say several people have fallen prey to the alluring low prices.
MONTAGNE: The video streaming company's shares spiked more than 17 percent yesterday during after-hours trading. That's thanks to better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Netflix reported a net income of $48 million for the last quarter of 2013 - up from eight million a year ago.
The World Economic Forum is underway at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. It's an annual meeting of the world's business elites but also in attendance are world leaders and academics, celebrities and charities.
Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times. He's a regular at Davos and he joined us from there. Good morning.
GIDEON RACHMAN: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Tell us about who is there this year and if there are some names that you're surprised to find are not.
Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.
Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.
It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.
On the outskirts of London, in a basement room of the British National Archives, a historian delicately turns pages that have the brittle feel of dead leaves. Each is covered in text — some typewritten, some in spidery handwriting from a pen that scratched across the page 100 years ago.
"Saturday, the 26th of September, 1914," reads one. "The most ghastly day of my life. And yet one of my proudest, because my regiment did its job and held on against heavy odds."
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:31 pm
After word went out that Jamaica's two-man bobsled team had qualified to compete in Sochi next month — but didn't have money to go to Russia — Internet donors saved the day. Thousands of people contributed to online campaigns, including one held in Dogecoin, the peculiar digital currency.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Just six months to go until Brazil hosts soccer's biggest tournament, the World Cup, and for Brazil, it is crunch time. Just yesterday, soccer's governing body, FIFA, issued a stark warning. One of the host cities is now in jeopardy of being dropped because its stadium is hugely delayed. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Sao Paulo on Brazil's mad scramble to get everything done on time.
Over the next 17 months, Turkey will see three elections: local and presidential elections this year, followed by parliamentary voting next year. With Turkey's political landscape unsettled by scandals and growing voter discontent, even the local elections are drawing intense interest and that is especially true in Istanbul. As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, the secular opposition sees the mayor's race there as its best chance in a decade of scoring a win over the dominant ruling party.
The Pentagon is saying that it needs to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghans and maintain a counterterror mission. But military officials are once again running into interference from Vice President Joe Biden. That's nothing new: Biden in particular has for years pushed for a counterterror option of only several thousand troops, though the military says that number is far too small. The Pentagon argues that Biden's proposal would mean the U.S. forces would be largely consigned to their bases.
In Mexico, thousands of federal troops remain in dozens of towns in the western state of Michoacan. That's where civilian vigilante groups have emerged in recent months to fight off the Knights Templar cartel. Authorities say they've arrested 38 cartel members, but won't move to disarm the so-called self-defense groups. Heroes to some, gang members to others, these vigilantes are now on the offensive, even taking to social media to spread their message. NPR's Carrie Kahn has the story.
For some people, the juxtaposition of a sectarian civil war unimpeded by intense diplomatic effort has a familiar ring and that ring recalls the war in Bosnia in the early 1990s. Yugoslavia had come undone. The patchwork of Serb, Croat and Muslim populations descended into a bloodletting.
Lord David Owen, the former British foreign secretary, was the European Union's negotiator for the Balkans and he joins us now from London. Welcome to the program once again.