World

The Salt
1:29 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

A Spice Buyer On Why Pepper Is Dirty, And How It Gets Clean

Pepper is the spice most commonly contaminated with salmonella and other pathogens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:40 am

This week's news that the Food and Drug Administration found that 12 percent of spices imported to the U.S. are contaminated was a little disheartening.

As the FDA reported, all kinds of nasty stuff hitch a ride with spices into the country — from insects to animal excrement to pathogens. The agency looked closely at pepper and sesame seeds, but says this is an issue with lots of other spices, too.

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Parallels
11:28 am
Fri November 1, 2013

London Wants To Be A Center Of Islamic Finance. Why?

London's Shard building was built with Islamic financing.
Karen Prinsloo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:56 pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week that he wanted London to become "one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world."

Cameron said Britain will issue sukuk, or Islamic bonds, valued at $320 million as early as next year.

But what does all that mean? We take a look:

What are Islamic bonds?

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Fri November 1, 2013

It Wasn't Crack Toronto's Mayor Was Smoking, Lawyer Suggests

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he faced reporters questions Thursday.
Mark Blinch Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 12:16 pm

An already dramatic story took another dramatic turn Friday when Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's lawyer challenged police to release a video that news outlets have said shows the mayor smoking what appears to have been crack cocaine.

What's more, attorney Dennis Morris suggested in an interview with CBC News that if Ford was caught on video smoking anything, it might have been marijuana or tobacco.

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Parallels
8:23 am
Fri November 1, 2013

World Headlines: It's Asia's Turn To Be Outraged Over Spying

A view of the Australian embassy (center-right) and surrounding buildings in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Indonesian government summoned the Australian envoy in Jakarta over reports that his embassy was involved in U.S.-led surveillance operations.
Mast Irham EPA /LANDOV

Indonesia, Kompas

There's more fallout over disclosures that the U.S. spied on many of its allies — this time in Indonesia.

The Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned Greg Moriarty, the Australian ambassador to Indonesia, over allegations that Australian diplomatic posts, including the one in Jakarta, were used as part of the U.S. surveillance network.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Fri November 1, 2013

U.S. Spying Efforts Sometimes 'Reached Too Far,' Kerry Says

Secretary of State John Kerry.
Fang Zhe Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:10 pm

Some of the electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency have been on "automatic pilot" in recent years and have inappropriately "reached too far," Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

Kerry's comments are causing something of a stir.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Obama Aides Considered A Clinton-For-Biden Switch, Book Says

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden at a White House event in October 2011. A new book says President Obama's aides were then studying whether to replace Biden with the former first lady on the 2012 ticket.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:52 am

"President Obama's top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama's re-election outlook appeared uncertain," The New York Times reports.

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Strange News
5:41 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Hallmark Under Fire For Dropping 'Gay' From Christmas Lyric

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:46 am

A Hallmark Christmas ornament has drawn criticism from people who accuse the greeting card company of political correctness and anti-gay bias. The ornament — a tiny sweater — is decorated with the words "Don we now our FUN apparel!" "Fun" replaces the word "gay" from the line in the Christmas song "Deck the Halls." Hallmark says it was trying to avoid misinterpretation and should never have made the change.

Middle East
5:30 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Iranian Hard-Liners Plan 'Grand Day Of Death To America'

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We've gotten used to seeing rallies in Iran where protestors chant death to America. But even before the new president's charm offensive, that slogan had waned, so much so that some hard-liners are planning a Grand Day of Death to America: Monday, the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979. And Revolutionary Guards promise the slogan will once again echo across the nation.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Israeli Warplanes Reportedly Strike Russian Missiles In Syria

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 8:57 am

Unnamed U.S. officials have told CNN and The Associated Press that Israeli warplanes destroyed a shipment of Russian missiles at a Syrian airbase. But officials in Tel Aviv won't comment on the reported attack near the port of Latakia overnight on Wednesday.

"We're not commenting on these reports," a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry told Reuters.

Reuters also reported an explosion in the area and said one Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought that Israel had carried out a strike, but stressed that he was not entirely certain.

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Judge Blocks Oversight For NYPD's 'Stop-And-Frisk' Policy

New York City Council member Jumaane Williams speaks at a March demonstration in Lower Manhattan against the city's "stop-and-frisk" searches.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:37 pm

A federal appeals court judge has put a temporary hold on changes to the New York Police Department's controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy ordered by a lower court and suspended the judge who made the earlier ruling.

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Shots - Health News
6:25 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Polio Has Not Returned To South Sudan, After All

We reported Wednesday that the polio outbreak in Somalia had spread to South Sudan. But health officials say that they were mistaken. There have been no polio cases in the country since 2009.

The World Health Organization said previously that it had confirmed three cases of polio in South Sudan back in August.

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World Cafe
6:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Laura Marling On World Cafe

Laura Marling.
Courtesy of the artist

There's no denying the alluring musical presence of 23-year-old Laura Marling. The U.K. singer-songwriter has already released four great albums — three of which were eventually nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize, a British music award.

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Author Interviews
6:00 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Writers Illustrated: Q&A With Jeff VanderMeer, Author Of 'Wonderbook'

When you hear the phrase, "writing guide," unpleasant things may spring to mind: sentence diagrams or even — shudder to think — your high school textbook.

Now, imagine the exact opposite, and you might get Jeff VanderMeer's Wonderbook. It's a writing guide, sure, but it's unlikely you've seen one like this before. Misbegotten fish serve as models for revision. Dragons butt in from the margins to contradict lessons. There's even a talking penguin — but don't get him started on what he thinks of the duck.

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Business
5:34 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

More Foreign Firms Look To Make It In The USA

Acura MDX sport utility vehicles roll off the assembly line at a Honda plant in Lincoln, Ala., in May. Overseas investors have U.S. assets totaling nearly $4 trillion, including auto plants, banks and mines.
Joe Songer AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:44 pm

When many Americans hear the word "globalization," they think: "jobs going overseas."

And sometimes it does mean just that.

But as globalization knits nations closer together, foreign companies increasingly are creating jobs in the United States, not luring them away. Despite the Great Recession, slow recovery and political dysfunction in Washington, the United States remains a top destination for the world's wealth.

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It's All Politics
5:22 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Booker Brings Dash Of Diversity To Still Old, White Senate

Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) as his mother, Carolyn, holds a Bible on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:05 am

Cory Booker is a Yale-educated lawyer and erstwhile tweeter who, as mayor of Newark, N.J., displayed a knack for grabbing headlines while building a mixed legacy as the troubled city's leader.

He's also black, and Thursday at noon the 44-year-old Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, making Congress's upper chamber just a tiny bit more diverse in more ways than one.

Booker, who on Oct. 16 was elected as New Jersey's first black senator, will join Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as the chamber's only black senators.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Everything At Stake, And Everything On The Table

Ender (Asa Butterfield) is a prodigy military cadet being trained by a team of adults — including Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) — to fend off a hostile alien race in a much-discussed adaptation of Ender's Game.
Richard Foreman Jr. Summit Entertainment

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:33 pm

"When the war is over, we can debate the morality of what we do."

This sentiment, expressed by Harrison Ford's gruff Col. Hyrum Graff, pretty accurately sums up what director and screenwriter Gavin Hood is trying to do in his adaptation of the widely read 1985 sci-fi novel Ender's Game.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

'Tai Chi' Master: Keanu Reeves Takes The Director's Chair

Making his directorial debut with Man of Tai Chi, Keanu Reeves also appears as the film's rich, ruthless villain.
RADiUS-TWC

Keanu Reeves' directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, is basically the anti-Kill Bill. Both movies are quilted together from their auteurs' favorite Asian action flicks, but where Tarantino's was overheated, Reeves' is elegantly iced. It's martial-arts mayhem with a touch of zen.

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Middle East
4:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Syrian Civil War Rooted In Drought Years Before Fighting Began

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

William Polk was a voice of caution against U.S. intervention in Iraq. And he is once again urging caution, this time against intervention in Syria. He knows the country; he traveled there for the first time in the 1940s. Polk served in Policy Planning at the State Department under President Kennedy. He also taught for many years, first at Harvard and then at the University of Chicago where he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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Middle East
4:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Disagreement On Syria Adds To Chill In U.S.-Saudi Relationship

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Im Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the Middle East this weekend. One key stop on his agenda, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. There, Kerry will try to fix a public dispute over Syria, as NPR's Deborah Amos reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF CALL TO PRAYER)

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Parallels
4:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Billionaire Who Personified Brazil's Boom Goes Bust

Batista appears with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a ceremony in celebration of the start of oil production by OGX, Batista's oil and gas company, in 2012. The company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:14 pm

He was boastful, he was brash and he came to represent a booming Brazil that was finally taking its place as an economic powerhouse on the world stage.

Eike Batista had the cars: a Mercedes McLaren worth a quarter of a million dollars parked in his living room; the boat, called "the Pink Fleet," and the women: He was married to a former Playboy model and a Carnival queen.

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