World

The Two-Way
11:50 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Pope Francis Says He'll Visit Holy Land In May

Pope Francis arrives for the Angelus noon prayer Sunday, during which he announced he would travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan on May 24-26. It would be Francis' first visit to the Holy Land.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 12:21 pm

The pope says he'll visit the Holy Land in May.

Pope Francis made the announcement Sunday while giving his weekly blessing at the Vatican.

"In the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land," he said.

The pope is expected to visit Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Israel's Sharon Fights For Life, But Doctors 'Pessimistic'

Former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been in a coma since 2006, but his condition is now deteriorating.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 3:41 pm

The outlook for Ariel Sharon's survival is "pessimistic," but the former Israeli prime minister is "fighting like a lion."

That's according to Dr. Zeev Rotstein, the head of the Chaim Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv where Sharon is being treated.

At a news conference this weekend, Rotstein said Sharon's condition was still critical, and that his organs weren't functioning. But, he added, doctors had stabilized the former leader's blood pressure and pulse.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun January 5, 2014

U.S. Icebreaker On The Way To Rescue Ships Trapped In Antarctic

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star, seen here in 1999, has been sent to help free Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which are gripped by Antarctic ice.
U.S. Coast Guard Handout Photo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:09 am

A U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker is sailing to Antarctica to rescue more than 120 crew members still aboard two ships trapped in the frozen continent. That's after the news that 52 scientists and paying passengers trapped aboard one of those vessels — the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy — were on their way home.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Sun January 5, 2014

At Least 20 Dead In Baghdad Blasts; Fighting In Anbar Continues

An Iraqi riot police officer flashes the V-sign as his unit returns to its headquarters from clashes with al-Qaida fighters in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, in the restive Anbar Province.
Nabil al-Jurani AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 4:24 pm

More news Sunday of violence in Iraq: At least 20 people are dead in the capital, Baghdad, following a wave of bombings.

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Iraq
5:16 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

Iraq's Anbar Province Under Threat From Al-Qaida

Heavy fighting has been reported in the Anbar province of Iraq this week. NPR's Arun Rath speaks to Middle East specialist Kirk Sowell about what it means.

The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

'No One Controls Fallujah,' Which U.S. Soldiers Fought To Free

In Fallujah on Saturday, Sunni fighters turned out for the funeral of a man killed by Iraqi army artillery fire.
Mohammed Jalil EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 2:42 pm

The latest headlines from the city of Fallujah, the scene of much intense fighting involving U.S. forces during the Iraq War, are ominous:

-- "Iraq Government Loses Control Of Fallujah." (Al-Jazeera)

-- "Sunni Fighters 'Control All Of Fallujah.' " (BBC News)

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Afghanistan
12:53 pm
Sat January 4, 2014

Texas Man Becomes Unlikely CFO Of Ragged Kabul Orphanage

Conditions are spare at the Window of Hope orphanage in Kabul, but American NGO worker Siavash Rahbari (upper left) says it's still better than how many Afghan children live.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 6:14 pm

On Saturday afternoons, sometimes with a coworker or two, Siavash Rahbari drives up a rutted side street in Kabul to visit the Window of Hope orphanage.

In the living room, there are a dozen boys and two girls. Some are playing, while others lie around on mats on the floor, clearly suffering from a range of disabilities. Rahbari, a Texan who works at an NGO in Kabul, gives the children a cursory inspection.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Wait Is Over For Antarctic Explorers: They Can Head Home

There's ice as far as the eye can see from the deck of the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which is stuck in the Antarctic. The captain says he and his crew can wait for conditions to improve.
Zhang Jiansong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 11:02 am

The on-again, off-again trip home for 52 people rescued from a ship stuck in the Antarctic is on again.

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Shots - Health News
8:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity

Neonatal nurse Florence Mwenifumbo monitors a newborn receiving bubble CPAP treatment in Blantyre, Malawi. The device was developed by students at Rice University in Houston.
Rice 360/Rice University

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:59 am

Good ideas don't only come from experts. An innovative engineering program in Texas has been proving that college undergraduates can tackle — and solve — vexing health challenges in developing countries.

Two engineers at Rice University in Houston are tapping the potential of bright young minds to change the world.

Big Problems, Simple Solutions

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Parallels
5:14 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

From The Ruins Of A Tsunami, A Rebuilt Aceh Rises Anew

A man rides a motorcycle near houses that were rebuilt in an area in Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province, that was devastated by the tsunami that hit on Dec. 26, 2004.
Heri Juanda AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 9:09 pm

As survivors of Haiyan — November's super typhoon in the Philippines — slowly put their lives back together, the rest of Asia has been marking the anniversary of another disaster.

Shortly after Christmas nine years ago, a huge tsunami swept across the region, killing at least a quarter of a million people.

Some of the worst damage was in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where whole villages were swept away by a wall of water so powerful it picked up ships and left them several miles inland.

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Business
4:43 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

How NAFTA Helped The Mexican Billionaires' Club

Carlos Slim Helu (left) talks with Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine. The magazine lists the Mexican telecom mogul as the world's richest man, with a net worth of $73 billion.
Jeremy Piper AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 3:50 pm

When the North American Free Trade Agreement was being negotiated, supporters promised it would increase the income of Mexicans. And the middle class did grow in Mexico over the past two decades. But it's clear that Mexico's ultrarich are among its big winners.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Did Kim Jong Un Feed His Uncle To 120 Dogs? Be Skeptical

Before their split: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in February 2012. Earlier this month, Jang was executed.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 1:13 pm

If you've done much Web surfing today you've probably come across a headline such as this one from NBC News:

"Kim Jong Un's executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report."

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri January 3, 2014

4 Killed As Cambodian Police Fire At Striking Garment Workers

A worker throws a petrol bomb after clashes broke out during a protest Friday near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At least four people were killed when police opened fire at the workers.
Samrang Pring Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 2:08 pm

Cambodian police killed at least four people Friday near the capital, Phnom Penh, when they opened fire on protesting garment workers who want the country's minimum wage doubled.

The Associated Press reports:

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TED Radio Hour
10:48 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Can One Girl Challenge The Traditions Of Her Village?

"It doesn't matter, your background. What matters is what you take from the opportunity you're given, where you go with that." — Kakenya Ntaiya
Ray Ortega TED

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:48 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Overcoming.

About Kakenya Ntaiya's TEDTalk

Kakenya Ntaiya tells the fearless story of challenging ingrained traditions, insisting on continuing school, and becoming the first girl to leave her Maasai village for college.

About Kakenya Ntaiya

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Fri January 3, 2014

One Of The Rescue Ships In Antarctic May Now Be Stuck, Too

The Xue Long in the much warmer waters of Taiwan in 2009.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:32 am

One day after helping to rescue 52 people from a ship stuck in Antarctic ice, a Chinese icebreaker is in danger of also being stranded for a while.

Australia's Maritime Safety Authority says the crew of the Xue Long sent out an alert Friday saying their ship may not be able "to move through heavy ice in the area."

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Shots - Health News
8:15 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Overweight People In Developing World Outnumber Those In Rich Countries

Government workers exercise at their office in Mexico City, August 2013. To counter the obesity epidemic, the city requires all government employees to do at least 20 minutes of exercise each day.
Tomas Bravo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:06 am

People are getting fatter around the world. And the problem is growing most rapidly in developing countries, researchers reported Friday.

"Over the last 30 years, the number of people who are overweight and obese in the developing world has tripled," says Steve Wiggins, of the Overseas Development Institute in London.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri January 3, 2014

In Israel, Ariel Sharon's Family Gathers At His Bedside

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:19 am

Doctors in Israel say that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "already critical medical condition is deteriorating further as key bodily organs continue to decline," The Associated Press writes.

Dr. Zeev Rotstein, director of Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv, told reporters that members of the 85-year-old Sharon's family are by his bedside, the AP adds.

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Iraq
6:38 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Iraq Fights To Quell Uprising By Al-Qaida-Linked Militias

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn our attention now to Iraq, where there's been a new bout of violence. The government there is fighting Al Qaida-linked militants who have reportedly overrun police stations and jails. Government forces have responded to this with missile strikes and ground troops. This fighting is in the country's western Anbar Province, which borders Syria.

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Africa
6:31 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Violence Welcomes New Year In Parts Of Africa

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The situation in South Sudan is, in many ways, emblematic of the troubled year the continent of Africa has endured. After two decades of democracies taking root and economies growing, 2013 brought a series of seemingly intractable conflicts: flare-ups in Mali, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and, as we've just heard, South Sudan.

To get a sense of why this is happening now, we spoke to NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who shared her fears and hopes for a part of the world she holds dear. Ofeibea, welcome.

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Africa
6:16 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Rebels In South Sudan Secure Control Over Bor

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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