World

Iraq
5:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices

A U.S. Army soldier guards the remains of a burned-out military ammunition truck after it was attacked in Fallujah, Iraq, on Oct. 19, 2003. Fallujah and its surrounds were the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for U.S. troops during the Iraq war.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:17 am

Will Walsh got to know the Iraqi city of Fallujah while running across its bridges in the middle of the night, under fire, looking for IEDs. That was nearly 10 years ago.

Last weekend, the former Army captain heard the news that Fallujah had fallen, again, to al-Qaida-linked groups.

"The question I have to ask myself is was that effort in vain?" he says now. "Was all the work that we did, all the sacrifice that we had, what is the benefit?"

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

U.N. Suspends Counting Deaths In Syria's Civil War

Syrians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government airstrike in Aleppo, in this image provided Monday that was taken by a citizen journalist.
AP

The United Nations says it can no longer verify the death toll in Syria's civil war and, as of Tuesday, will leave the figure at 100,000, where it stood in late July.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Run Run Shaw, Kung Fu Movie Pioneer, Dies

Sir Run Run Shaw in 2010.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Greene talks about Run Run Shaw

"If you've ever enjoyed an action-packed Kung Fu film," Morning Edition host David Greene says, "take a moment to thank Sir Run Run Shaw, who passed away Tuesday."

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Parallels
11:15 am
Tue January 7, 2014

How Al-Qaida Returned To A Troubled Part Of Iraq

Sunni Muslim fighters in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah take up positions on Sunday. The insurgents have been fighting government troops in battles similar to those a decade ago in the area.
Mohammed Jalil EPA /Landov

Yet again, Iraqi civilians are fleeing violence in Iraq's sprawling western province of Anbar. Years of under-the-radar daily tension and bloodshed has erupted into another al-Qaida surge and retaliatory Iraqi government airstrikes.

But the violence that brought Iraq back to the headlines, while tragic, was not surprising.

For months, observers had been warning about the combustible combination of the Syrian civil war next door and the alienation of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Dennis Rodman Defends North Korean 'Basketball Diplomacy'

Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:48 am

In a combative interview from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman defended his "basketball diplomacy" in the repressive country and seemed to imply that he believes American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime, is guilty.

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Parallels
6:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

London's Cheeky Skyscrapers

The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016 feet, was inaugurated in London in 2012. It got its formal name when the builders adopted the term used by critics, who called it a "shard of glass" in the city's skyline.
Ben Fitzpatrick AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 7:58 am

I arrived in London a few days ago for my new NPR assignment. As an unofficial part of my orientation, I decided to take a guided walking tour of the old city.

Yes, the history was fascinating. Yes, the city is beautiful. Well, most of it. Parts are not exactly my taste.

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NPR Story
4:59 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Can't Stand The Cold Snap? Don't Go To Antarctica

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And with much of the nation is in the middle of this brutal cold snap, let's take a moment to hear from scientists who study other planets or even the chilliest places on Earth. Those researchers commonly encounter temperatures that make this news-making cold seem downright balmy. We asked NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel to find out just how low it can go.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: I caught up with researcher Paul Mayewski yesterday just as he was headed out of town.

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Around the Nation
2:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Sunday Assembly: A Church For The Godless Picks Up Steam

Ian Dodd (center), co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Sunday Assembly, sings with other attendees. Chapters of the godless church, founded by British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, have been spreading since launching in London in January 2013.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 3:41 pm

It sometimes feels like church in the auditorium of the Professional Musicians union in Hollywood. It's a Sunday morning, and hundreds of people are gathered to meditate, sing and listen to inspirational poetry and stories.

But then the live band starts up — performing songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jerry Lee Lewis. And instead of a sermon, there's a lecture by experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Jessica Cail about the biology of gender identification and sexual orientation.

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The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Panama Asks Spain To Help Resolve Canal Expansion Dispute

President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli (left), talks next to Spain's Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ana Pastor, during a news conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Panama City, Panama, on Monday.
Alejandro Bolivar EPA/Landov

Panama's president on Monday expressed confidence that a multi-billion dollar Panama Canal expansion will get back on track after a European-led consortium threatened to halt construction unless it gets paid for massive cost overruns.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Foul Weather In Britain Linked To U.S. 'Polar Vortex'

High tide storm waves batter the Cumbrian coast, completely inundating the harbor wall at Whitehaven on Monday.
Ashley Cooper Barcroft Media/Landov

Britain's southwest coast is getting slammed by a winter storm, with high winds driving waves as high as 27 feet ashore in an unusual event that meteorologists say is likely linked to the bone-chilling "polar vortex" gripping much of the U.S.

The U.K. Met Office is warning of continued "exceptionally high waves."

It said the waves were triggered by a large, deep depression in the Atlantic which was "whipping waves up" out at sea.

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Africa
4:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

How I Almost Got Arrested With A South Sudanese Ex-Minister

South Sudan's then-Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Peter Adwok Nyaba (center) celebrates the first anniversary of the country's independence in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on July 9, 2012. Since then, all of South Sudan's Cabinet ministers have been sacked — including Adwok — for allegedly conspiring to overthrow President Salva Kiir.
Ding Haitao Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:28 pm

The unmarked, unpaved streets of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, can be tough for an outsider to navigate.

By the time I found the house of Peter Adwok Nyaba, the country's former minister of higher education, science and technology, it was already 5 p.m. The sun was dangerously low on the horizon. I had less than an hour to interview Adwok and get back to my hotel before the citywide curfew — imposed when the violence began three weeks before — took effect. After 6, there would be no one on the streets except myself and soldiers.

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Iraq
4:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Al-Qaida-Linked Militia Gains Control Of Fallujah

Robert Siegel talks to independent journalist Jane Arraf about the takeover of Fallujah and Ramadi by an al-Qaida-linked group. Arraf is based in Baghdad and was in Fallujah three weeks ago.

The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Deadly Violence Mars Elections In Bangladesh

Bangladeshi protesters burn election material Sunday at a polling station in the northern town of Bogra.
AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh's parliamentary election Sunday proved to be among the most violent vote in the country's short history. At least 18 people were killed, including an election officer who was beaten to death, and scores of polling stations firebombed, according to local media reports.

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Around the Nation
12:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Stories To Watch In 2014

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:42 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
12:34 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Global Youth Unemployment: Ticking Time Bomb?

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:42 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. Unemployment for young people is another one of those contentious political issues as well as a burden for people living through it. Overall, the unemployment rate in the U.S. is just over 7 percent, but for younger workers it's much higher. For some young workers or would-be workers in sub-groups like black teens, unemployment is at depression levels. But what you might not know is that youth unemployment is a global concern.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Reframing The Immigration Conversation For 2014

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:42 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, high unemployment in the U.S. is an ongoing political issue - one reason lawmakers right now are starting to talk about extending long-term unemployment benefits. But younger workers have been particularly hard hit during the world-wide economic slowdown. We're going to take a look how youth unemployment around the world is affecting political discussions. That's in just a few minutes.

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Law
12:28 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

In One Man's Story, Two Sides Of The Immigration Debate

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:42 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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U.S.
12:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Immigrant Turned Entrepreneur: 'Taco Stand Was My School'

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:42 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Story That Kim Jong Un Fed Uncle To Dogs Was Probably Satire

People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and Kim's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, circled in red, at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea on Dec. 3.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 11:45 am

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Parallels
10:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

In Fast-Changing China, Reality Can Overtake Fiction

Qiu Xiaolong in his ancestral house during a visit from his home in St. Louis.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:03 pm

One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast — sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong.

In one scene, Qiu's main character, Inspector Chen, sits in a Shanghai restaurant scanning a hotel where government agents are holding a corrupt official in secret detention.

Recently, Qiu took me on a tour of the book's real-life settings, including the site of that eatery.

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