World

Middle East
5:01 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Syrian Peace Talks Open With Bitterness And A Bit Of Hope

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Syrian peace conference got off to a bitter start today with sharply opposing visions over a future role for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. More than 40 countries sent delegations and many of their speeches struck similar themes decrying the vast human suffering in Syria and calling for a political solution to the crisis.

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Parallels
12:32 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Komla Dumor: The African Journalist Who 'Lifted The Continent'

Komla Dumor, who hosted the BBC program Focus on Africa and was perhaps the best-known journalist on the continent, died of a heart attack last Saturday in London at age 41.
BBC World Service/Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:40 pm

Americans probably didn't know the name Komla Dumor unless they were real news junkies. But for Africans, he was a household name for anyone who followed news across the continent.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

New Delhi's 'Agitator' Administrator Ends Unusual Protest

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (center) greets supporters from his blue wagon, which became a de facto local government headquarters during a two-day protest in New Delhi.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:56 pm

In New Delhi an unprecedented two-day sit-in that pitted the local government against the national authorities has come to an end following altercations between police and protesters.

Some 30 people were injured during the demonstration that was led by newly elected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the local administrator who rallied members of his Aam Aadmi Party, named for the "Common Man," against the central government.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Hopping Mad: Rabbit In Mandela Statue's Ear Is On Burrowed Time

Look closely and you can see the tiny rabbit that sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren put inside the ear of their nearly 30-foot-tall statue of late South African President Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:23 pm

We don't often do hare-raising tales on The Two-Way, but here's one from South Africa.

Two sculptors who were refused permission to engrave their signatures onto their giant statue of Nelson Mandela came up with a novel solution: They hid a bronze rabbit in the statue's ear.

Our story begins Dec. 16, a day after Mandela's funeral, when President Jacob Zuma unveiled the statue by Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren at Pretoria's Union Buildings, the government's headquarters.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Antarctic Travelers Who Got Stuck In Ice Finally Get Home

Back home: Passengers disembark from the icebreaker Aurora Australis on Wednesday at a harbor in Hobart, Australia. The ship brought 52 scientists and adventure tourists back to Australia from Antarctica, where the ship they had been on got stuck in ice.
Rob Blakers EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:36 pm

The 52 scientists and paying passengers who spent more than a week aboard a ship that was trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica over the holidays are now safely back home in Australia.

From Sydney, correspondent Stuart Cohen tells our Newscast Desk that
"three weeks after being rescued from their stranded research vessel," the members of the exhibition are in the city of Hobart.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Wed January 22, 2014

'Accusations And Acrimony' At Start Of Talks On Syria

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem (left) at the peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:24 pm

Update at 1:20 p.m. ET. No Peace As Long As Assad Remains, Kerry Says:

After what appeared to be a difficult start to talks aimed at eventually ending the civil war in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry repeated the U.S. position that President Bashar Assad must give up his post.

"You can't have peace and stability, you cannot restore Syria or save Syria as long as Bashar al-Assad remains in power," Kerry said, according to NPR's Michele Kelemen.

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Iraq
6:57 am
Wed January 22, 2014

In Op-Ed, Jeffrey Argues For U.S. To Do More In Iraq

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

The death toll in Iraq this month is nearly 700 and rising — the result of a wave of bombings and open clashes between government-led Iraqi security forces and Sunni extremists with ties to al Qaida. Steve Inskeep talks to former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, who says the U.S. should be doing more in Iraq.

Animals
6:55 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Ambassador Kennedy Criticizes Japan's Dolphin Hunt

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

The dolphin roundup by a Japanese community is an annual hunt. But this time, new U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has weighed in with displeasure. That puts her on the side of several wildlife and animal rights advocates who've condemned the annual slaughter. The Japanese defend it as traditional — just as the U.S. does with native Alaskans who kill whales.

Parallels
6:40 am
Wed January 22, 2014

What's At Stake In The Syrian Peace Conference

A man runs with a child after an attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Activists said President Bashar Assad's military carried out an airstrike.
Ammar Abdullah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:34 am

With a major push from the U.S., a new Syrian peace conference opened Wednesday in Switzerland, the first such effort since the middle of 2012. It wasn't easy getting everyone there, and it will be harder still to achieve a breakthrough.

Here are a few key things to know about the conference:

1. What's the goal?

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Middle East
5:30 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Peace Conference On Syria Opens In Switzerland

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's go next to Switzerland, where the Syrian peace conference began this morning, with diplomats making public statements filled with accusations and acrimony - just how you'd want to start a peace conference. The civil war has gone on for almost three years now, killing well over 130,000 people and displacing some nine million others. Much of the fight hinges on whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should remain in power. Let's go now to NPR's Deborah Amos, who's covering the talks. Deborah's on the line. Hi, Deborah.

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