World

Europe
5:26 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Activists In Sochi Say They're Harassed For Speaking Out

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Social activists say they're being silenced by local authorities for calling attention to problems such as corruption and environmental degradation related to the Winter Olympics.

Middle East
5:23 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Syrian Peace Talks Continue, Civilians Evacuated From Homs

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Two Syrian delegations — one from the Assad regime and one from the opposition — are in Geneva for peace talks. Meanwhile, hundreds of civilians have been evacuated from the besieged Syrian city of Homs. They've been able to leave during a ceasefire.

Middle East
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Iranians Look Back On 35 Years Since The Revolution

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Iran is marking the anniversary of its Islamic revolution. It's the 35th anniversary of the protests that ended in 1979 with the overthrow of a U.S. ally, the Shah of Iran. The government that has ruled ever since uses Death to America as one of its basic slogans but the possibility of better relations emerged after the election of a new Iranian president last year.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Iran. Hi, Peter.

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Sports
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Despite German Domination, More Athletes Drawn To Luge

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

At the Winter Olympics, the men's singles luge competition wrapped up last night. That's the sport where athletes lie on their backs, feet first, on a tiny sled and slide down an ice track at speeds of over 80 miles an hour. It looks dangerous and it is. But even athletes with little chance of winning gold keep taking the risk to compete. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUGE)

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Europe
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

EU Mute On U.S. Diplomat's Criticism Involving Ukraine

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

There was a U.S. diplomatic gaff last week. It involved an expletive used by an assistant secretary of State to express a rather rude form of anger at the European Union during a private phone conversation. The phone call was intercepted by someone — presumably another government — and leaked.

Business
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Why Europe Is Interested In Closer Ties With Cuba

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Foreign ministers from the 28 nations of the European Union are meeting in Brussels Monday to discuss boosting trade with Cuba. The EU lifted diplomatic sanctions on Cuba in 2008. Now Spain is leading an effort to lift commercial restrictions too.

Sports
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Takes Bronze In Team Figure Skating In Sochi

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Russia won its first Olympic gold on Sunday. The Olympic host took first in the team figure skating, a new event for these games. Canada won silver and the U.S. team won bronze.

NPR Story
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Hollande's U.S. Visit To Send Signal To French Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

French President Francois Hollande arrives in the U.S. on Monday. In addition to a stop at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, Hollande will travel to Silicon Valley. The French president has been seen as anti-business, but he is trying to send a positive signal to French entrepreneurs with his visit to the world's high-tech capital.

The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Giraffe Despite Online Protest

Copenhagen Zoo's giraffe Marius was put down Sunday by zoo authorities who said it was their duty to avoid inbreeding.
Keld Navntoft EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:47 am

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo, has been euthanized; his body was cut up and fed to lions.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Syrian Official Says 600 Evacuated From Rebel-Held Homs

Syrians on two buses followed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's vehicles evacuate Syria's battleground city of Homs, on Friday.
Uncredited AP

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Swiss Narrowly Approve Rollback Of Immigration Allowances

Members of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) cheer after the results after winning a narrow vote on an anti-immigration referendum on Sunday.
Marcel Bieri EPA/Landov

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

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The Edge
10:19 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Team Figure Skating Already Has Its Share Of Controversy

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the team ice dance short dance figure skating competition at Sochi on Saturday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 12:37 pm

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bangladesh Factory Owners Surrender In 2012 Fire That Killed 112

A Bangladeshi police officer walks between rows of burned sewing machines in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, in Nov. 2012.
Khurshed Rinku AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:59 am

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

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Middle East
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Aid Workers Continue Efforts To Reach Besieged Syrian City

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Humanitarian workers continue to try to evacuate civilians from the besieged Syrian city of Homs as negotiators in Geneva prepare for the next round of peace talks. NPR's Rachel Martin gets the latest from reporter Alice Fordham in Geneva.

Sports
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Was That Jump A 6? Subjectivity In Olympic Judging

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And it's time to talk sports, specifically the Olympics; the skill, the precision, the pure athleticism. And yes, the style. And we're talking specifically about ice skating, because our own Mike Pesca has some thoughts on that sport.

Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you?

MARTIN: Hello. I am well. So, I understand Olympic ice skating has undergone some reforms in recent years. Do tell? What changed?

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Animals
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

France Takes A Stand, Crushing Ivory Beneath The Eiffel Tower

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR NEW. I'm Rachel Martin.

This past week, France became the first European country to destroy illegal ivory in a high profile public demonstration. It did so underneath the Eiffel Tower as part of a global effort to call attention to the illicit ivory trade. Officials say the trade not only wipes out the world's population of elephants, it also funds terrorism.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Plan Aims To Assure Afghanistan Aid Goes Where It's Supposed To

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

This coming week, the U.S. Agency for International Development plans to announce a new monitoring program that is designed to keep track of the aid dollars being spent in Afghanistan. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Larry Sampler, head of USAID programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Al-Qaida Steps In To Step Out Of Syria

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parallels
5:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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Parallels
5:45 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Turning A Million Cubic Yards Of Post-Typhoon Trash Into Jobs

Locals working for a UNDP cash-for-work program clear debris in one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the typhoon that hit Tacloban, Philippines, last November. Tim Walsh runs the program, which he hopes will help keep the local economy going.
RV Mitra/UNDP Flickr

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

In an open dump, in a village outside of Tacloban in the central Philippines, we're sloshing through rainwater and leachate — that's the goo that comes out of rotting trash — while Tim Walsh surveys the site.

"Just walk on the dry bit," he says. "I've got used to the smell over the years and you get immune to it. But for most people the smell of decaying rubbish is not really very pleasant."

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