World

Race
4:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Chinese-American Descendants Uncover Forged Family Histories

William Wong (standing) poses with his parents and nephew in an old family photo. Wong's mother immigrated to the U.S. from China as his father's "sister" to bypass the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Courtesy of William Wong

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

What if you discovered the last name you've lived with since birth is fake?

That's what happened in many Chinese-American families who first came to the U.S. before World War II, when the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banned Chinese laborers from legally entering the country.

The law, formally repealed by Congress 70 years ago Tuesday, prompted tens of thousands of Chinese to use forged papers to enter the U.S. illegally.

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Middle East
4:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Destruction Plan To Be Announced For Syrian Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You're listening to MORNING EDITION on NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

There's another milestone today in the long effort to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. The international overseeing the effort is unveiling more details of its plan and this is all a bit complicated. The first stage could be the hardest - moving the chemicals overland in the middle of a civil war to a Syrian port.

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Energy
3:04 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Environmentalists Split Over Need For Nuclear Power

Southern California's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, shown here in April 2012, was closed after small radiation leaks.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

California is regarded as the leading state when it comes to addressing climate change. But in 2012, according to analysts at Rhodium Group, California's carbon emissions actually increased more than 10 percent, bucking the national trend of decreases. That's in large part because California shut down one of its few remaining nuclear power plants.

That rise in carbon emissions underscores the huge impact nuclear power can have in efforts to combat climate change.

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Parallels
4:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Denmark's 'Fix Rooms' Give Drug Users A Safe Haven

Inside the drug consumption room in Aarhus, Denmark's second-largest city.
Sidsel Overgaard for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Martin Jensen smokes heroin.

In the past, when this gaunt-faced Dane had to hide in elevators and stairwells to feed his addiction, he probably wouldn't have been so willing to advertise that fact. Back then, his days were spent scouring Copenhagen — mostly the notorious Vesterbro neighborhood — for places to smoke, out of sight of the police and children. He says he never felt safe, understandably, given what happened to one of his friends.

"My friend, he [was trying to] get some sleep, when he had smoked," Jensen recalls.

That's when an arsonist stopped by.

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Europe
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

The Shipping Forecast: From Britain's Seas Into Its Soul

Fisherman Teddy Head tells a story to a group of children while mending his nets in Hastings in 1952. The fishermen of Hastings are tightknit; fathers, brothers and sons work together in rugged boats no more than about 30 feet long. Some families in Hastings have worked this way for centuries.
Fred Morley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 2:29 pm

It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

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Shots - Health News
3:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different materials to mimic the look and feel of human tissue.
Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:58 am

There's no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery.

But it's hard for beginner neurosurgeons to get real hands-on experience. Most residents learn by watching and assisting experienced surgeons.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Russia Reportedly Near To Signing Loan Guarantee For Ukraine

Anti-government protesters gather on Independence Square on Friday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Russia is reportedly on the cusp of agreeing to a major loan guarantee for economically troubled Ukraine in an effort to keep the former Soviet republic in its sphere of influence, even as anti-government protesters in Kiev push for closer ties with Europe.

Reuters says:

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Trains To Roll Through Devastated Quebec Town Again

Scene of the disaster: On July 6, smoke rose from the tank cars that derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec. The explosions and fires killed 47 people.
Paul Chiasson AP

For the first time since a July 6 derailment that caused massive explosions and fires that killed 47 people, freight trains are due to roll again through Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, starting on Wednesday.

According to Toronto's Globe and Mail:

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World
12:23 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

With Mandela Gone, How Will South Africa Go On?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, if you're shopping for Christmas gifts this week, you might have recent stories about racial profiling in your mind. We'll talk about what you should do if you think you are a target or you see someone else who is.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Mandela Interpreter Says He Was In Group That Killed Two Men

Thamsanqa Jantjie.
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi AP

As we continue to follow the story of the apparently bogus sign language interpreter who stood beside President Obama and other world leaders at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, there's word that:

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Mon December 16, 2013

6 Things To Know About Chile's Once And Future President

Presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet waves during a victory rally in Santiago, Chile, on Sunday. She defeated her conservative rival Evelyn Matthei with 62 percent of the vote.
Luis Hidalgo AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:42 am

Chilean voters returned Michelle Bachelet to the presidency Sunday, in a landslide victory in the runoff against her conservative rival, Evelyn Matthei.

Here are five things to know about Bachelet and her return to power:

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Asia
5:10 am
Mon December 16, 2013

India's Workplace Cases Highlight Abuse Against Women

As India marks the anniversary of the infamous gang rape in New Delhi, it is ending the year as it began: in upheaval over its treatment of women. In a recent series of cases, men in positions of privilege are alleged to have sexually harassed or assaulted female employees. The episodes spotlight the absence of women's rights in the Indian workplace.

Africa
5:08 am
Mon December 16, 2013

South Africa Lays Mandela To Rest Near His Childhood Home

It's National Reconciliation Day in South Africa — an annual public holiday. The country is marking it for the first time without Nelson Mandela. On Sunday, South Africa bid a final, emotional goodbye to Mandela.

Europe
4:35 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Germany's Merkel To Be Sworn In Again As Chancellor

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:46 am

Weeks of post-election political limbo have ended in Germany. The country's main center-left party has voted to join the coalition government of Angela Merkel. The move clears the way for her to start her third term as chancellor.

The Salt
2:50 am
Mon December 16, 2013

When Craft Beer Goes Global: A Kansas City Brewery's Tale

Boulevard Brewing's lineup includes seven year-round beers, five seasonal beers and 13 beers in its Smokestack series.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:07 am

Kansas City residents are proud of their barbecue, their Chiefs football, their national champion soccer team and Boulevard Brewing, a local brewery that has built up quite a local following since its launch in the late 1980s.

"It's our thing. You know, like la cosa nostra, it's our thing," says Char O'Hara, a Kansas City, Mo., resident who, like thousands of other local 20-somethings, grew up with Boulevard.

But soon, it will be a Belgian thing, too. Any day now, Belgian beer maker Duvel is expected to finalize its purchase of the Kansas City brewery.

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Parallels
2:49 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Battle Of The Bottom Feeder: U.S., Vietnam In Catfish Fight

Freshly caught catfish wriggle in large nets in Doddsville, Miss.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:17 pm

Bill Battle peers through the window of a pickup truck at his catfish farm, Pride of the Pond, near Tunica, Miss. The land is pancake-flat, broken up by massive ponds, some holding up to 100,000 pounds of catfish.

Cormorants fly low over the ponds, keeping an eye out for whiskered, smooth-skinned fish. Battle keeps a shotgun in the front seat; business is hard enough without the birds cutting into his profit.

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Europe
6:56 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Ireland Exits Bailout Program, But Economy Still On The Mend

On Sunday, Ireland became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:24 am

Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.

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Code Switch
6:37 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Zoinks! Tracing The History Of 'Zombie' From Haiti To The CDC

A still from the 1943 film I Walked With A Zombie.
RKO The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:14 am

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

"Who doesn't like zombies?"

That was the subject line of an email blast that landed in my inbox recently from a major online retailer as it announced it was "bringing their Black Friday deals back to life."

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Music Interviews
6:07 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Nine Months In Nigeria, One Brilliant, Difficult Funk Musician

Since recording in the 1970s and '80s, Nigerian William Onyeabor has dropped off the music map.
Courtesy of the artist

Yale Evelev, head of world music label Luaka Bop, digs up information about great-but-forgotten musicians for a living. His quest to compile and release the work of Nigerian funk legend William Onyeabor, though, was a unique challenge.

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Sports
4:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Deep In China, 'Cowboys' Have Skied For Thousands Of Years

A lassoed elk struggles after Serik demonstrates the age-old technique of capturing game in deep snow.
Jonas Bendiksen National Geographic

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:21 am

The birthplace of skis is under debate, but the ski is believed to be even older than the wheel.

"So they're one of the very first forms of transportation," travel writer Mark Jenkins says.

Jenkins recently traveled to China, which claims to have invented skis almost 10,000 years ago. His exploration is documented in the December issue of National Geographic.

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