World

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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Africa
4:49 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Protesters Call For Justice In Brutal Gang Rape In Kenya

Hundreds take to the streets in Nairobi on Thursday, calling for justice for a 16-year-old girl dubbed "Liz," who was gang raped in rural Kenya. The men were caught by the police and let go after their punishment — cutting the grass at the police station.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:50 am

The gang rape of a 16-year-old Kenyan schoolgirl — and the lack of punishment given to the alleged rapists — has sparked outrage in the country and beyond.

The attack was so violent it left the girl in a wheelchair with a severe back injury. She identified some of her attackers, who police apprehended — only to let go after they were ordered to cut the lawn at the police station.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Local Charities Gear Up For Cut To Food Stamp Benefits

This shop in the GrowNYC Greenmarket in New York's Union Square accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), or food stamp benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:06 am

More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will be getting a bit less starting Friday when a temporary benefit enacted as part of the federal stimulus expires.

The Department of Agriculture, which runs the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, as the food stamp program is formally known, says a family of four receiving $668 per month in benefits will see that amount cut by $36. One in 7 Americans receives food stamps.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Hitler's Gestapo Chief Lies In Jewish Cemetery, Scholar Says

Dating to the 17th century, this Jewish cemetery may be the final resting place of Heinrich Mueller, the head of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo. A German historian says he has traced Mueller to the cemetery.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:12 pm

The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. Now a historian says he has traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.

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Parallels
1:52 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Thinking Of Working Abroad? Read This

This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week.
Dean Treml Red Bull/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:33 am

Thinking of living and working abroad for the experience? For those already doing it, Asia seems to be the preferred destination.

The HSBC 2013 Expat Survey asked 7,000 expatriates in 100 countries to rate nations on three factors: economics, experience and raising children.

China topped the list, followed by Germany, Singapore, Cayman Islands and Australia. The U.S. was No. 12.

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Parallels
1:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

As Iraq's Leader Meets Obama, Here's Why The Stakes Are High

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is welcomed by Vice President Biden in Washington on Wednesday. Maliki is asking for U.S. military hardware to fight radical groups behind a recent surge in violence in Iraq.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:26 pm

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last came to the U.S. in 2011 as American troops were pulling out of his country. But with violence again on the rise in Iraq, there's much at stake as he prepares to sit down with President Obama at the White House on Friday.

Here's a primer:

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Africa
11:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

In Uganda, "Cancer Is Death"

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S. is a fanfare of pink paraphernalia. But in developing nations like Uganda, cancer is stigmatized to the point that families often lie about their loved one's cause of death. Host Michel Martin speaks with journalist Joanne Silberner about her award-winning reporting on cancer around the world.

The Salt
11:48 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples

Howard Chandler Christy's painting Halloween, as reproduced in Scribner's in January 1916.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 6:22 am

A Halloween apple bob may seem as homespun as a hayride, but that shiny red apple has a steamy past. It was once a powerful symbol of fertility and immortality.

Apple bobbing and eating candy apples are "the fossilized remnants of beliefs that ultimately go back to prehistory," British apple expert and fruit historian, Joan Morgan, tells the Salt.

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Parallels
10:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

India's Low-Cost Mission To Mars

Scientists and engineers work on the Mars Orbiter at the Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite center in Bangalore, India, on Sept. 11. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched sometime in the next three weeks.
Manjunath Kiran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:39 pm

India is expected to launch a satellite to Mars next month at a cost of less than $80 million — a fraction of what it costs other countries.

The satellite, known as Mangalyaan, or Mars Craft, is designed to orbit Mars and study the planet's atmosphere and surface. It will not touch down on the planet.

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This Is NPR
10:09 am
Thu October 31, 2013

NPR's 'Axe Me Another' Celebrates Halloween With R.L. Stine

Always bewitching Ask Me Another House Musician Jonathan Coulton.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:53 am

NPR's Ask Me Another put a special Halloween spell during this week's show taping by bringing in an expert in all things scary for the occasion. R.L Stine, the man who sent 90s children running for their flashlights, joined the show this week as a VIP (Very Important Puzzler) for a night of word games, puzzles, trivia and costumes, of course!

No fake blood or irony was lost on the Ask Me Another team's costumes this year - check out the slideshow to see what they came up with.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Edward Snowden Has Job At Russian Website, Lawyer Says

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:22 am

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has leaked secrets about the agency's spying and surveillance programs, "has found a website maintenance job in Russia," according to that nation's RIA Novosti news agency.

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Parallels
8:11 am
Thu October 31, 2013

World Headlines: Maliki Seeks U.S. Help On Iraq Security

Vice President Joe Biden welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Iraq, Al Sabah

We begin with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's visit to Washington.

The newspaper reported on Maliki's meetings Wednesday with Vice President Joe Biden, who renewed U.S. support for Iraq's security.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Syria's Chemical Weapons Facilities Destroyed, Watchdog Says

In the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last month, there was a class about how to protect against chemical weapons attacks.
J.M. Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:15 am

A key deadline in the quest to rid Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical weapons has been met, according to international observers.

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NPR Story
5:18 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Red Sox Win World Series In Boston

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The city of Boston is still rejoicing this morning. With a decisive 6-1 victory at Fenway Park last night, the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. The Red Sox jumped on the St. Louis Cardinals early and this one was never much in doubt. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the game and brings us this report on Boston's third World Series win since 2004.

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NPR Story
5:18 am
Thu October 31, 2013

How Are Health Care Messages Playing With Americans?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Even as Sebelius testified, we brought two pollsters into our studios: one Republican, one Democrat. Both of these political pros spoke of Obamacare in intensely personal terms. Republican Whit Ayres spoke of someone unhappy at having to pay more for insurance. Democrat Anna Greenberg spoke of her brother getting insurance for the first time. She says the Obama administration has done a poor job selling the law for years.

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Parallels
4:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Case Of Marines Desecrating Taliban Bodies Takes A New Twist

A still frame taken from a YouTube video shows Marines who were later disciplined for desecrating three dead Taliban members in a 2011 incident in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:43 am

In a case that caused a major stir last year, a YouTube video surfaced showing Marines in Afghanistan joking and laughing as they urinated on three dead Taliban fighters. The Marines involved in the July 2011 incident in the southern province of Helmand were disciplined.

It seemed the case was over, but now it has taken a strange twist. There are allegations that the Marines' top officer, Gen. James Amos, illegally interfered with the judicial proceedings in an effort to ensure harsher penalties.

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The Two-Way
7:35 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Dell: 'Manufacturing Process' Made Laptops Smell Like Cat Urine

There's more than Intel inside Dell's Latitude 6430u laptop — some customers have reported a distinct and unpleasant smell emanating from the machines:

"A few weeks ago I got a new [Latitude] 6430u for work," one user called "Three West" complained on Dell's hardware support forum. "The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!"

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

U.S. Budget Deficit Falls Under $1 Trillion; Lowest Since 2008

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:19 pm

The U.S. government ran a deficit of $680 billion in the financial year that ended last month — the first time since 2008 that the annual shortfall has been under $1 trillion. It represents a fall from $1.09 trillion in 2012, but as the AP reports, "It's still the fifth-largest deficit of all time."

The Treasury Department announced the news along with the White House budget office Wednesday.

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