World

Parallels
2:21 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

For The Saudis, A Smooth Succession At A Difficult Moment

Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who assumed the throne on Friday, is shown at the G20 conference in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 15, 2014, when he was the crown prince. His succession went smoothly, but the new monarch faces a region in turmoil.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 6:37 pm

For the sixth time since Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, died in 1953, one of his sons has ascended to the throne, and it took place Friday without a hitch.

When King Abdullah died early Friday at age 90, his half-brother, Salman, was named the new monarch within an hour. There's also a new crown prince, Muqrin, who is the youngest surviving son of Abdulaziz and a relative youngster at 69.

The new King Salman quickly sent a message of stability and continuity. But the death of a Saudi monarch has brought the problems facing the country into sharper focus.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Boyish Engineer-Turned-Protester Could Be Next Greek Prime Minister

Opposition leader and head of radical leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras leaves a news conference in Athens January 23, 2015. (MIlos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Greeks will elect a new government on Sunday, and the new prime minister could be a charismatic leftist named Alexis Tsipras, a boyish engineer-turned-protester.

He’s promised to end painful austerity measures while stimulating the country’s ravaged economy, but he may be on a collision course with the Europeans who have lent Greece billions in bailout loans. Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Ebola Denial Still A 'Huge Problem,' Despite Few New Cases In Guinea

A Guinean student gets his temperature checked on January 19, 2015 as he enters at the Oumou Diaby school in the Ratoma area of Conakry as students head back to school after nearly four months of school recess due to the Ebola outbreak. (Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:15 pm

The number of new Ebola cases in Guinea is dropping steadily. According to the World Health Organization, there were a total of 20 confirmed cases this week, down from 45 last week, the lowest number since August of last year.

The government is shooting for zero Ebola cases by mid-March, and schools are back in session for the first time since July of last year.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

After Hacking Attack, Sony Delays Earnings Announcement

A general view shows Sony's headquarters in Tokyo on September 18, 2014. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Sony said Friday that it would push back its earnings report for the quarter that ended December 31, because of problems relating to the November hacking attack on Sony’s American film studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The company said in a filing in Japan today that Sony Pictures had to shut down its entire computer network in response to the hack, and that many programs were still not up and running. Mike Regan of Bloomberg News joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

On Stage: Broadway Shows From Vampires To Vegas

Actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson star in "Constellations" at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 13, 2015 in New York City. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

This Friday we go on stage, the ultimate stage perhaps, Broadway. January and February are usually considered the “zombie months” on Broadway, says New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley. However, this season is a “surprisingly good one,” he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young. Even better, tickets are still available for some of Brantley’s favorite shows this winter. He shares his four top picks.

Ben Brantley’s 4 Broadway Picks

1. Constellations

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Ukrainian Separatists Reportedly Abandon Peace Talks

Ukraine's Russian-backed separatists appear to have turned their backs on peace talks in the wake of recapturing a key airport in the country's east from government forces.

Reuters says there are signs of an impending rebel offensive against the few areas in the region still under government control and that "One separatist leader said his pro-Russian rebels have launched a multi-pronged offensive and won't join further peace talks - but left unclear whether they would respect this week's agreement to pull back heavy weapons from the front line."

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NPR Story
1:44 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

How 'The Good War' In Afghanistan Went Bad

In his new book "The Good War," Jack Fairweather writes that the war in Afghanistan could turn out to be the defining tragedy of the 21st century. (thegoodwar.com)

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:28 pm

In his State Of The Union address, President Obama touted the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan, but a new book says it could turn out to be the defining tragedy of the 21st century.

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NPR Story
1:44 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Washington State 911 Operators Want To Know if You're A Veteran

Officer Andy Gould of Auburn, Washington is a veteran. He says his military experience sometimes helps him establish rapport with other veterans.

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

New recruits at Washington state’s Law Enforcement Academy are learning how to handle police calls that involve military personnel and veterans.

Washington is home to more than 65,000 active duty service members and more than 600,000 veterans.

Through their military training, veterans know how to “shoot, move and communicate” in ways that can be dangerous for officers trying to help.

The training helps police recognize the challenges that some service members face when they return home from war and the potential challenges they may pose to law enforcement.

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Remembering The Children's Blizzard Of 1888

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Cover of

At this time of year in 1888, people across the Upper Midwest were mourning the deaths of hundreds of people in a snowstorm.

Most of them were children from pioneer families who came from Germany and Scandinavia.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

How To Keep That Fitness Resolution

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Has the early January crowd at your gym finally dispersed? Or do you not know because you stopped going? If it’s yes to either, that could be because it’s drop-off time.

Studies have shown that people go gangbusters on their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or get fit, but after just a few weeks, not so much.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with Richelle Melde, owner of Ultimate Body Boot Camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, about how to motivate and keep fitness resolutions.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Duke Basketball Coach On The Verge Of 1,000th Win

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils gestures during a game against the Army Black Knights at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 30, 2014 in Durham, North Carolina. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Coach Mike Krzyzewski leads the Duke University men’s basketball team into Madison Square Garden this weekend. The legendary “Coach K” is simply treating it as the 19th game of this season for his Blue Devils.

But Jeff Tiberii of Here & Now contributor North Carolina Public Radio, explains there is a milestone within reach: Krzyzewski’s 1,000th win.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Saudi Arabia In Transition After King Abdullah's Death

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks with the U.S. Secretary of State during a meeting at the King's desert encampment on January 5, 2014 in Rawdat al-Khuraim. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Saudi Arabia has a new king. The former Crown Prince Salman assumed the throne today after his half brother, King Abdullah, died this morning at the age of 90.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Yochi Dreazen, managing editor of Foreign Policy, about King Abdullah’s legacy, the transition and the challenges facing the new king.

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Music
1:25 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Producer Cosimo Matassa Always Believed In New Orleans

New Orleans music didn't do as well in the 1960s, a few hits notwithstanding, as it had done. Musicians left town, major labels lost interest, and Motown and Memphis took over the black music charts. Nonetheless, the late Cosimo Matassa, who owned the only recording studio in town, kept busy. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story today.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Who Is The New Saudi King?

Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud makes his first speech as king following the death of his half-brother Abdullah on Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 3:03 pm

King Salman, who has assumed the Saudi monarchy after the death of his half-brother King Abdullah, has promised it will be business as usual in the oil-rich Arab kingdom.

Salman, 79, has pledged to "continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment."

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:19 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Gary Burton On Piano Jazz

Gary Burton.
Courtesy of the artist

On this episode of Piano Jazz, innovative vibraphonist Gary Burton stops by the program to perform a set of tunes by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart and more.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:29 am
Fri January 23, 2015

The Ethics Of The 'Singularity'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 9:31 am

Some people argue that we will one day reach a point when our machines, which will have become smarter than us, will be able themselves to make machines that are smarter than them. Superintelligence — an intelligence far-outreaching what we are in a position even to imagine — will come on the scene. We will have attained what is known, in futurist circles, as the "singularity." The singularity is coming. So some people say.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Argentine President Now Says Prosecutor's Death 'Not A Suicide'

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association community center, talks to journalists in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013. Nisman was found shot dead in his apartment on Sunday.
Natacha Pisarenko AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 4:41 pm

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez has done an about-face on her initial statements that prosecutor Alberto Nisman's death earlier this week was suicide.

Nisman, 51, had been investigating an alleged government cover-up of Iran's suspected role in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

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Goats and Soda
10:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Dear World: Bill And Melinda Gates Have 'Big Bets' For 2030

Cellphones are everywhere in the developing world, as this Nairobi street scene shows. Bill and Melinda Gates believe the phones can be used for everything from farmer education to instant banking.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 1:19 pm

Each year for the past six years, Bill and Melinda Gates have written a letter about how their foundation is trying to make the world a better place, how they're trying to improve health and education and end poverty. Their 2015 letter was published Wednesday on the foundation's blog. (Note: The Gates Foundation is a supporter of NPR.)

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Yemeni Rebels Call For Mass Rallies After President Steps Down

Houthi Shiite Yemeni carry coffins of fellow men killed during recent clashes with presidential guard forces, during their funeral procession in Sanaa, Yemen, on Friday.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 4:44 pm

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have controlled the capital, Sanaa, for months, are staging mass rallies there today in the wake of the resignation of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his Cabinet.

Hadi on Thursday "succumbed to an apparent coup attempt" by the rebels, The Washington Post says.

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