World

The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

French Experts Say There Is No Proof Arafat Was Poisoned

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2002.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 8:17 am

Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not poisoned, French investigators have concluded.

After the results of the long-running investigation started to leak, Arafat's wife, Suha Arafat, told reporters in London that French scientists had ruled out the possibility that Arafat was poisoned with polonium-210.

Case settled? Not quite. This piece of news just means that the three teams tasked with the investigation have come to three different conclusions:

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Planet Money
4:06 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Two Sisters, A Small Room And The World Behind A T-Shirt

Minu (left) and her younger sister Shumi worked on the Planet Money men's T-shirt.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:39 pm

Part of the Planet Money T-shirt Project

This is the story of how the garment industry is transforming life in Bangladesh, and the story of two sisters who made the Planet Money T-shirt.

Shumi and Minu work six days a week operating sewing machines at Deluxe Fashions Ltd. in Chittagong, Bangladesh. They each make about $80 a month.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

North Korean Leader's Uncle Reportedly Sacked From Top Post

In a photo from July, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (second left) is flanked by top advisers, including his uncle Jang Song Thaek, at far right in white uniform.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:24 pm

An uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly been dismissed from a key post as the vice chairman of the country's National Defense Commission, an assessment by South Korea's intelligence service says.

In addition, two close aides of Jang Song Thaek were reportedly executed for corruption.

Jang, who is married to the sister of late leader Kim Jong Il, is said to have been fired last month. But, according to The Associated Press, purges against Jang have been reported in the past only to find him later back in power, apparently rehabilitated.

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Parallels
3:27 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Some Turkish Churches Get Makeovers — As Mosques

The fifth century Byzantine Stoudios monastery in Istanbul housed a church and was later turned into a mosque and then a museum before falling into disrepair.
Peter Kenyon NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:11 pm

A historically significant but now-crumbling fifth century Byzantine monastery in Istanbul is finally slated for restoration. But for Turkey's dwindling Greek community, the bad news is that the government wants to turn the Stoudios monastery into a mosque.

It's just one of several such conversions of historically Christian sites that the government is considering. And there's even talk that the Hagia Sophia, the most famous Byzantine structure in modern Istanbul, will be reconverted into a mosque.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Cookie-Baking Chemistry: How To Engineer Your Perfect Sweet Treat

Engineering the perfect cookie: You can control the diameter and thickness of your favorite chocolate chip cookies by changing the temperature of the butter and the amount of flour in the dough.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 1:38 pm

Baking cookies is almost magical. You put little balls of wet, white dough into the oven and out pop brown, crispy, tasty biscuits.

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Parallels
2:28 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

The High Price Egyptians Pay For Opposing Their Rulers

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood run from tear gas during clashes with riot police near Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya square on Nov. 22.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 7:11 pm

Mohamed Yousef is a tall, handsome practitioner of kung fu. In fact, he's an Egyptian champion who recently won an international competition.

But a month ago, when he collected his gold medal at the championship in Russia, he posed for a picture after putting on a yellow T-shirt with a hand holding up four fingers.

That's the symbol of Rabaa al-Adawiya, the Cairo square where Egyptian security forces opened fire in August on supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Hundreds were killed, including seven of Yousef's friends.

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Parallels
2:14 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

And The Award For Most Corrupt Nation Goes To ...

A young Afghan balloon seller runs toward a customer in Kabul on April 2. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are the most-corrupt countries, according to the annual Corruption Perception Index released Tuesday.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 3:41 pm

Each year, Transparency International releases its Corruption Perception Index, and this year, like most, the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand were at one end of the spectrum as the least-corrupt nations in the world.

In the category of most-corrupt, there was a three-way tie: Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.

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NPR Story
12:09 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Sylvia Porter: Right On The Money

Tracy Lucht is author of a new biography, Sylvia Porter: America's Original Personal Finance Columnist.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 2:57 pm

Although she's little-remembered today, personal finance columnist Sylvia Porter was one of the best-known and most admired women in 1950s America. A nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, she also wrote books, appeared on TV shows such as Meet the Press and advised presidents. Her monthly column in the Ladies Home Journal broke ground by encouraging women to control their own finances.

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NPR Story
12:09 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

The Season Of Giving... And Getting Scammed?

It's the season of giving, but scammers are trying to take as much as they can this holiday season. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sheryl Harris, consumer columnist for The Plain Dealer, about avoiding seasonal scams.

NPR Story
12:09 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Immigration Activists Push For Reform With Water-Only Diet

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, we're going to spend some time talking about money management in the season of giving. We'll talk about some of the scams that always seem to crop up at this time of year, and we'll talk about how you can spot them and avoid them.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Thai Anti-Government Protesters Claim 'Partial Victory'

An anti-government protester cuts a lock on a gate outside Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 12:12 pm

Anti-government protesters in Thailand are claiming a symbolic victory Tuesday after police allowed them to swarm into the prime minister's compound and shout slogans.

The protests began Nov. 24 but turned violent two days ago when police clashed with demonstrators opposed to the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Four people were killed and more than 250 others wounded in the past three days, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Six-Year Jail Term For Dancer In Bolshoi Acid Attack

Pavel Dmitrichenko, a former leading dancer in Russia's Bolshoi ballet, stands inside the defendant's cage in a Moscow court Tuesday. He was sentenced to six years in prison for ordering an acid attack on the Bolshoi's artistic director, Sergei Filin.
Alexande Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 1:53 pm

A Moscow court on Tuesday sentenced the man who ordered an attack on Bolshoi Theater artistic director Sergei Filin to six years in a penal colony.

Former Bolshoi ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, 29, was one of several people convicted in the attack in which a masked assailant threw acid into Filin's face, nearly blinding him.

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Asia
5:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Thai Protesters Swarm Government House After Barriers Removed

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn to a country in the region that's been racked by violent protest in recent days. And now the capital, Thailand, is suddenly calm. Riot police have taken down barricades and left their defensive positions around Government House, which is the symbolic seat of power there. Protesters are now inside, moving about freely.

To get a better idea of what this all means in a country of nearly 70 million people, where the big industry is tourism, we turn to reporter Michael Sullivan in Bangkok. Good morning.

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Asia
5:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Biden's Pre-Planned Asia Visit Becomes High-Stakes Mission

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene, good morning.

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Business
5:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Planet Money Spins A Yarn And Makes A 'Perfect' T-Shirt

Inside a yarn factory in Indonesia.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:10 pm

NPR's Planet Money team has manufactured a T-shirt. All this week we're following its journey around the globe. Today, the T-shirt makes a detour in the Pacific Ocean. Cotton from America gets shipped to a factory in Indonesia where it gets transformed into yarn.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Fine Art
3:19 am
Tue December 3, 2013

For Miami, A New Art Project, Complete With Drama

The boats of For Those in Peril on the Sea, by artist Hew Locke, hang in the entrance hall of the Perez Art Museum Miami, which opens this week.
Daniel Azoulay Perez Art Museum Miami

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.

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Shots - Health News
6:55 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

As Polio Spreads In Syria, Politics Thwarts Vaccination Efforts

Syrian boys line up to get the polio vaccine at a refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon, on Nov. 7. The Lebanese government plans to vaccinate all kids under age 5 for the virus, including Syrian refugees.
Mohammad Zaatari AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:31 am

The World Health Organization has declared a polio emergency in Syria.

After being free of the crippling disease for more than a decade, Syria recorded 10 confirmed cases of polio in October. Now the outbreak has grown to 17 confirmed cases, the WHO said last week. And the virus has spread to four cities, including a war-torn suburb near the capital of Damascus.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

'TipsForJesus' Is Leaving Thousands Of Dollars For Servers

One of the two checks that "TipsForJesus" signed at a restaurant in South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 19. The anonymous givers added $5,000 to each of the bills.
@TipsForJesus

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:57 pm

"Crazy-generous" tips, as Gawker says, have been showing up on checks across the nation as some anonymous good Samaritans known only as "TipsForJesus" add hundreds or thousands of dollars to their restaurant and bar bills.

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It's All Politics
5:48 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban

This image, provided by the Obama For America campaign, shows a still frame made from a video ad entitled "Only Choice."
Uncredited AP

While lawyers dismantle many restrictions on political money, the rules affecting Morning Edition and Downton Abbey still stand tall. A federal court in San Francisco says public radio and TV stations cannot carry paid political ads.

The 8-3 decision Monday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling last April by a smaller panel of the court. NPR and PBS both joined the case as friends of the court.

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World Cafe
5:09 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

World Cafe Next: Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett.
Lisa Sorgini Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear Two Songs By Courtney Barnett

This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Melbourne, Australia's Courtney Barnett. The 25-year-old singer and guitarist has been self-releasing EPs since 2012; two of them were recently combined to form The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

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