For four years, the Islamist militants of Boko Haram have been waging a deadly campaign in northern and central Nigeria, killing thousands of people. In response, the Nigerian military is cracking down on the group, and the United States last week designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:59 pm
Imagine how celery root feels at the vegetable beauty pageant. Everyone's falling over the tomato, that smug beauty queen. The cameras love elegant long carrots and parsnips, and the radishes blush in the spotlight. People coo over the potatoes even though they're not much to look at, because they're in it for the fries.
But homely celery root hovers by the concessions table with big, unremarkable rutabaga and antennaed kohlrabi.
Some 3,000 Afghan elders will assemble on Thursday in Kabul to consider a new security agreement with the U.S. The document will spell out the rules for American forces in Afghanistan troops after their combat mission ends in December 2014. U.S. officials say between 6,000 and 9,000 US troops would remain to train Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terror missions against al-Qaeda and other anti-government forces. That counter-terror mission remains a sticking point, though most other issues — like potential criminal liability of Americans in Afghanistan — have been resolved.
In 2010, British spy Gareth Williams was found dead, naked, and stuffed inside a duffel bag in his bathtub. Although a coroner initially suspected foul play, London police have determined that his death was probably an accident. Robert Siegel talks to spy historian Nigel West about the case.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Negotiators for Iran and six world powers returned to Switzerland to discuss limiting Iran's nuclear program. After reportedly coming close to a first-step deal earlier this month, some officials say an agreement is within reach this week. But critics warn a deal would be dangerous.
NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Geneva and has this report.
Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen is competing in the 2013 World Chess Championships. Melissa Block speaks with Joran Jansson, president of the Norwegian Chess Federation, for more on his rise to a number one ranking and what his popularity means for the game of chess.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:50 pm
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was thrust into the international spotlight after he admitted to smoking crack. Since then, a caricature of the politician has emerged: a bumbling, error-prone addict, whose everyman persona has helped him maintain his popularity in Canada's most populous city.
Shiite Muslims gathered in Kabul last week to celebrate Ashura, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar. Hundreds of shirtless men chanted and flogged themselves with chains tipped with knife-like shards of metal.
In the past, these public Shiite commemorations have become targets of the Taliban and other Islamist extremists. In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 56 Shiites marking Ashura. But this year, security was particularly tight.
Shopkeeper Noor Aga said the celebration was magnificent, and he felt safe.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:03 am
On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.
"Immigrant number 96153. That's how my great-grandmother was cataloged, that was the number on her immigration pass." says Gaiutra Bahadur, author of the new book Coolie Woman.
Bahadur set out to uncover her family's roots by following a paper trail of colonial archives and ship records that traced her great-grandmother's journey from a small village in India to the cane fields of Guyana.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll meet an author who managed to trace her own great-grandmother's journey from a small village in India to the cane fields of Guyana. We'll hear about this remarkable feat of reporting that sheds light on a system that's probably even less understood than slavery, which is indentured servitude.
Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 9:02 am
Twin explosions Tuesday near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killed more than 20 people, including Iran's cultural attaché, according to reports from The Associated Press and other news outlets. Dozens more people were injured.
From Beirut, producer Rima Marrouch tells our Newscast Desk that the blasts happened around 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET).
Two car bombs exploded in Beirut, Lebanon today. They exploded near the embassy of Iran in that city. The roughly two dozens dead include Iran's cultural attaché, we're told. The bombings draw attention for their violence, for their apparent target, Iran, and for the location. Lebanon is next door to Syria where Iran is deeply involved in a civil war supporting the government of President Bashar al Assad.
Let's go next to the New York Times Beirut bureau chief Anne Barnard. She's on the line from there. Hi, Anne.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 6:55 am
The director of the National Intelligence has released another set of previously secret documents about NSA surveillance programs. The released followed a freedom of information request by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The documents, many heavily redacted, reveal more about NSA programs.