World

Media
5:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

How Will NBC Cover Gay Issues During Sochi Olympics?

Russian police officers detain a gay-rights activist during a protest outside the Winter Olympics organizing committee office in Moscow. Clashes over gay rights put NBC in a difficult position: Olympic officials insist that the games should not be politicized, while activists push the network to report on the issue as a journalistic enterprise.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:47 pm

The Winter Olympics next month, held in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, should provide mesmerizing athletic spectacle on ice and snow. But each Olympics also affords a brief global platform for dissidents in host countries to get the attention of the world — primarily through the media. And the exclusive American broadcaster, NBC, is coming under pressure to do more on behalf of gay rights and journalists there.

A 'Last Chance' To Shape Russian Attitudes

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The Salt
4:57 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Borscht Make Your Heart Beet? They're Serving 70,000 Gallons In Sochi

There are dozens of varieties of borscht — but at its most basic, it's a beet soup with potatoes, tomatoes and often beef or pork.
Flickr/Liz West

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 8:57 am

Russia's Soviet days are well behind it, but if you're headed to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, your dining options will still run deep red — as in borscht.

Organizers in Sochi expect to serve 70,000 gallons of this Russian staple — a hearty soup whose color comes from beets — to spectators. Borscht has graced both the high table of the Kremlin and the lowly tables of peasants across the former Soviet Union.

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Italians To New Yorkers: 'Forkgate' Scandal? Fuhggedaboutit

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza on Staten Island on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:10 pm

Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:37 pm

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pope Calls Abortion Evidence Of 'The Throwaway Culture'

Pope Francis received applause from hundreds of worldwide ambassadors to the Holy See on Monday as he entered a huge hall in Vatican City.
Osservatore Romano Press Office EPA/Landov

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

Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."

In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.

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World
11:41 am
Mon January 13, 2014

'Weight Of The World' On Syrian Boy's Shoulders

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:42 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the good news in many cities is that the murder rate is at historic lows, but the bad news is that many of those murders remain unsolved. We'll take a look at New York City, where a newspaper's close look at the issue is raising some uncomfortable questions about race and geography. But first, we return to a major international story that's also provoking some uncomfortable questions for world powers - the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Thailand's Opposition Launches Mass Rallies To Close Bangkok

Anti-government protesters cheer as they occupy a major intersection in central Bangkok on Monday. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters occupied parts of the capital.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have thronged key intersections in the capital, Bangkok, in the start of a mass demonstration aimed at thwarting elections and forcing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.

For months, opposition protesters have been engaged in an on-again, off-again effort to topple Yingluck, and have said they want to replace her government with an unelected ruling council.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Ariel Sharon Remembered As Man Of War And Peace

Israeli soldiers carry the coffin of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday in Jerusalem.
Daniel Naupold DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:19 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Emily Harris reports on the funeral for Ariel Sharon

As Israelis paid their respects Monday to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a memorial service and funeral, one of his contemporaries on the world stage offered this view of the general and statesman who an iconic and controversial figure:

"The idea that he changed from man of war to a man of peace," is mistaken, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during a memorial service at the Knesset, Israel's legislature.

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Middle East
5:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Remembered

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 12:18 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's get the latest now from Israel, where former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be buried today. Sharon died Saturday, after spending eight years in a coma. Here's NPR's Emily Harris.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: The memorial service for Ariel Sharon opened with a prayer.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing in foreign language)

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Middle East
4:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Kerry: 'No Other Alternative' To Ending Violence In Syria

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

The U.S. and other world powers have agreed on a plan with Iran to start rolling back parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal goes into effect later this month.

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Parallels
3:06 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The U.N. Has Stopped Counting, But Syrians Keep Dying

Kotaiba Mohammad poses during an anti-goverment demonstration in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. He worked as a nurse, helping those wounded in the country's civil war. He was seized and shot dead last month by Islamic extremists.
Courtesy Malek Al Shemali

The United Nations announced this week it is no longer updating the Syrian death toll, which has surpassed 100,000, because it cannot accurately confirm the number of dead due to chaotic conditions in the country. But Syrians are still being slaughtered, and the fighting has gotten more complicated than ever.

It's not just President Bashar Assad's government army versus the rebels. The rebels are also battling rebels, and civilians are often the casualties, including a male nurse from Aleppo.

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Latin America
10:53 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Four Years After Earthquake, Many In Haiti Remain Displaced

Boys at a camp for earthquake victims look out from their shelter in Petion-ville, Haiti, outside of Port-au-Prince in November.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:41 am

Four years ago Sunday, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, destroying its capital of Port-au-Prince and killing more than 200,000 people.

Today, much of Port-au-Prince looks like it did before the quake. Most of the tent camps in the city itself are gone, and streets are loaded with overcrowded buses and women selling vegetables.

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Middle East
10:00 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Ariel Sharon Was Part Of Israel's Tragedy And Solution

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:41 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is lying in state in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, today. He died yesterday after eight years in a coma. Ariel Sharon was a soldier-turned-politician who believed in hard-line military solutions, but who also looked beyond force to try to bring peace in Israel.

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Middle East
9:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

New Constitution Is A Sign Of Tunisia's Optimism

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On Tuesday, Tunisia will celebrate the third anniversary of its revolution. Tunisia is the country that inspired uprisings across the Arab world. Since then, that country has gone through tough times but it seems to have found its way again. Opposing sides have drafted the new constitution together. It will be ready in a couple days, and new elections are set for this year. That sets Tunisia apart from neighboring Egypt and Libya, where the Arab Spring uprisings have brought violence and political upheaval.

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Movie Interviews
9:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Death Squads Re-created 'The Act Of Killing' For The Camera

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced this coming week. One film widely expected to make the list is the documentary "The Act of Killing." It was just released on DVD and digital platforms last week. The film is about a massacre of communists in Indonesia in the 1960s. But rather than hearing from the victims, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer takes an unusual perspective. He shows the perpetrators reenacting their crimes. The result is haunting, even revolting at points and hard to describe.

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Europe
9:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

New Tax Can't Keep Greeks From Smoking

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

To Greece now, a country with one of the highest percentages of smokers in the world. At least 40 percent of the population over the age of 15 smokes, leading, of course, to rising rates of lung disease and lung cancer. Several years ago, the Greek parliament banned smoking inside restaurants, bars and public buildings. But it's rarely enforced. And even a new tax on cigarettes doesn't seem to be deterring Greek smokers. Joanna Kakissis has the story from Athens.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Afghanistan
9:14 am
Sun January 12, 2014

The Struggle Against A Newly Resurgent Al-Qaida

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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World
5:35 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

New Iranian President Brings 'Resurgence Of Hope' For Some

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

Reporting on Iran is difficult and frustrating, and for those on the ground there, dangerous. It was especially bad after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, which triggered massive protests. Iran cracked down hard on the dissenters and heavily restricted Western reporters' access. But the country's recently elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has started to change things.

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World
5:34 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon's Death Sparks Strong Emotions Across Middle East

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died today at the age of 85. The controversial military and political leader had spent the last eight years in a coma following a stroke. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris reports.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Ariel Sharon was part of the nearly-gone generation of leaders who fought for Israel before the state's founding. That history built trust, says Israeli military analyst Jonathan Spyer.

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World
5:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Egyptians To Vote On New Constitution For Troubled Nation

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Now to another country where the political process has been animated by an intense mix of optimism and fear: Egypt. Voters there are deciding whether to adopt a new constitution this week. The hopes that sprang out of the popular uprising that ejected President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 had been tempered by the political instability in the years that have followed. Last summer, President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown in a military coup. And this week's constitutional referendum is the third in as many years.

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