World

NPR Story
5:41 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Islamists Failed To Quiet Mali's Music

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Hey, Mississippi can righteously proud of the part it played as the cradle of America's quintessential music, the blues. American music by way of Africa. One place in particular, Mali, has long laid claim to giving birth to the blues.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Here the legendary Ali Farka Toure.

Mali's musical tradition was threatened this past year when Islamist militants took over the vast deserts of Northern Mali and immediately banned music - an incredibly painful experience for Malians.

Read more
NPR Story
5:41 am
Tue February 19, 2013

India, Italy Accused Of Kickbacks In Defense Deal

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with begins with a corruption case in India.

India has dispatched investigators to Italy to examine allegations of kickbacks, kickbacks involving a $700 million defense deal. The case involves the sale of a dozen helicopters to India from one of Italy's largest industrial groups.

From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy has more on a case that's rattling the Indian government.

Read more
NPR Story
5:41 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Italy's Berlusconi Returns From Political Graveyard

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Italy, elections begin this coming Sunday and voters appear disoriented by a motley array of parties. Even political analysts are finding it difficult to explain how the disgraced former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has managed to resurrect himself.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports that he's pulled his rightist coalition into second place, just behind the center-left Democratic Party.

Read more
NPR Story
5:41 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Report Links Cyber Attacks On U.S. To China's Military

The building housing Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army is on the outskirts of Shanghai. A U.S. security firm claims that cyberattacks against more than 140 targets in the U.S. and other countries have been traced to the Chinese military unit in the building.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:17 pm

Cyberattacks on dozens of American companies have been traced to an area on the outskirts of Shanghai that houses a Chinese military unit, according to a report out Tuesday by Mandiant, a U.S. cybersecurity company.

The 60-page document, first reported by The New York Times, says the group behind the attacks — nicknamed "Comment Crew" — is the most prolific the company has ever tracked and has been hacking U.S. companies since at least 2006.

Mandiant says the hackers' real identity is Unit 61398 of China's People's Liberation Army, or PLA.

Read more
NPR Story
5:41 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Does Having Children Make You Happier?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There's been a debate raging in academic circles for years. Does having children really make one happier? Most parents say their kids absolutely make them happy, but some researchers have come to question that.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam sat down with MORNING EDITION's Steve Inskeep to take on this question.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Good to be here, Steve.

Read more
Africa
3:21 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Kenya's Graffiti Train Seeks To Promote A Peaceful Election

"This is something that's never been done in Africa," says artist Swift9. "People will have to pay attention. And they'll have to think about it, when they go to vote."
Mark Brecke for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Kenya's peace train is ready to roll.

Kenyan graffiti artists received permission from the Rift Valley Railway to spray-paint a 10-car commuter train with peace messages and icons. It may be the first train in Africa with officially authorized graffiti.

The train will travel through the massive Nairobi slum of Kibera, one of the largest in Africa, where young gangs torched, looted and killed in the spasms of violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential election.

Read more
This Is NPR
5:43 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Reginald Hudlin Hearts NPR

Angie Hamilton-Lowe NPR

Reginald Hudlin produced one of this year's most talked-about films, Django Unchained. He is also one of just a handful of African-Americans among nearly 6,000 voting members of the Academy Awards, the group that decides who gets an Oscar.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Israel's 'Prisoner X' May Have Passed State Secrets

The story of "Prisoner X" is dominating the media in both Australia and Israel.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:49 am

Last week we told you about "Prisoner X," the mysterious Israeli-Australian citizen who worked for Israel's spy agency Mossad. Australian media broke the story of how the man identified as Ben Zygier languished for months in an Israeli prison until he was found dead of an apparent suicide. Now we have new details on the case.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Chinese Students Wore Uniforms With Cancer-Causing Dyes

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:45 pm

Students in 21 schools in the Chinese city of Shanghai have been ordered to stop wearing uniforms that were found to contain a dye that causes cancer.

NPR's Frank Langfitt is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit. Here's his report:

Read more
Science
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

New Project Would Map The Human Brain

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Dr. Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about the Brain Activity Map project written about in today's New York Times. If it goes forward, the project would seek to find treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, psychiatric disorders and more.

Latin America
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Venezuela's Chavez Returns Home After Cancer Treatment

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:53 pm

President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return to Venezuela on Monday after more than two months of cancer treatment in Cuba. He immediately was taken to a military hospital and has not been seen publicly. Venezuela has been in a leadership vacuum in his absence. Melissa Block speaks with NPR's Juan Forero for the latest on Chavez' ability to rule, and how Venezuelans are reacting.

Europe
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Spread Of 'Baby Boxes' Alarms Europeans

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:03 pm

Scores of "baby boxes," where mothers can anonymously and safely "post" newborns they cannot care for, have appeared in houses and hospitals across Europe in the past decade. The boxes are extremely controversial. Advocates say they save babies' lives, while the U.N. is alarmed at their rising numbers.

U.S.
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

What Happens When Someone Else Gets Your Tax Refund

Todd Macy, a banker from Marin County, Calif., was the victim of identity theft. Nearly a year after filing his return, he's still waiting for his federal tax refund.
Courtesy of Todd Macy

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:27 pm

If you usually wait until April to file your taxes, you might want to hurry up — before identity thieves beat you to it. Using stolen names and Social Security numbers, these criminals file fake tax returns with false wage and withholding information. This generates big — and fraudulent — refunds, before the real taxpayer gets around to filing.

The Internal Revenue Service says it's busy working to combat what prosecutors call a fraud epidemic.

Most taxpayers don't have any idea something is wrong until they hit the send button on their taxes and get an error message.

Read more
World
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Mexico Tries To Rein In Billionaire Carlos Slim

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:54 pm

Regulators in Mexico are struggling to rein in what they say are grave and repeat monopolistic practices by the richest man in the world. Carlos Slim Helu, the owner of Mexico's telephone company, just received another multimillion-dollar fine from the country's fledgling anti-corruption regulatory agency. Slim has successfully appealed or fought previous fines. But lawmakers say they are determined to make him play fairly and by the rules.

Middle East
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Newly Displaced Syrians Head For Turkish Border

Syrian people wait at a customs gate at the Turkey-Syria border near Reyhanli, Turkey, last week. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing central Syria, heading to southern Turkey.
Gaia Anderson AP

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 9:01 pm

A new surge of Syrian refugees is swamping humanitarian aid agencies in southern Turkey, where official refugee camps are full.

But the newcomers may be just the tip of the iceberg. In central Syria, civilians under attack by combat jets, tanks and artillery have fled towns and villages north of the city of Hama, and thousands are on the move.

"What they do now, they burn everything ahead of them. They bomb this area with everything they've got," says Hossan Hamadah, a Syrian-American from Texas.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Quvenzhane Wallis: "If I Have To Be Fierce, I'll Be Fierce"

Quvenzhane Wallis plays Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:38 pm

Quvenzhane Wallis was just 5 years old when she auditioned for a role in the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, and 6 when she shot the movie. Now, at age 9, she is the youngest ever to receive a best actress Oscar nomination.

In the film, Quvenzhane plays a wild child named Hushpuppy, who lives with her sick father in a ramshackle, isolated community called the Bathtub, on the fringes of the Louisiana coast.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Maker's Mark Reverses Course On Lower Alcohol Content

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

An update now to a story we reported last week, a story about a dramatic change in the lives of whiskey drinkers. Well, some of them at least - the ones who drink Maker's Mark bourbon, because Maker's Mark cut its alcohol content, watered it down from 90-proof to just 84. They said it was because they had to meet bigger demand.

JERRY RODGERS: People just went bananas.

BLOCK: This is Jerry Rodgers, who knows his Maker's.

Read more
Remembrances
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Longtime Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dies At 80

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The basketball world lost both a huge fan and one of its most innovative team owners today. Jerry Buss turned the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA's glamour franchise and won 10 championships. Buss died early this morning at the age of 80. NPR's Ted Robbins has this remembrance.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Jerry Buss once said: I don't just want winners, I want champions. And, boy, did he get them. Yet when Buss was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he remembered feeling humbled back in 1979 when he bought the Lakers.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Sen. Mike Johanns Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:39 pm

Mike Johanns, the Republican senator from Nebraska, announced Monday that he won't seek another term in the Senate.

Here's more from the Omaha World-Herald:

"Johanns said it was time to 'close this chapter' in his life. He noted that he and his wife, Stephanie, have spent 32 years in public life and that they want to spend more time with family.

Read more
Europe
2:58 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Greece's Economic Crisis Reveals Fault Lines In The Media

People read newspaper headlines in Athens. In 2009, there were 39 national dailies, 23 national Sunday papers, 14 national weekly papers and dozens of TV and radio stations for a population of 11 million.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:05 pm

Three years of spiraling economic crisis in Greece have devastated every sector of the economy. The Greek media are among the hardest hit. Many newspapers and TV outlets have closed or are on the verge, and some 4,000 journalists have lost their jobs.

Many people believe the country's news media have failed to cover the crisis — and lost credibility along the way. And many Greek journalists acknowledge that a massive conflict of interest sooner or later had to explode.

Read more

Pages