World

Parallels
3:21 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Latvia's Ex-President: 'We Have To Worry' About Russia

Latvia's former president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, is shown here at a NATO summit in 2006. During her presidency, Latvia joined both NATO and the European Union in 2004.
ROMAN KOKSAROV AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:45 am

Russia's takeover of Crimea sent shivers through Latvia.

The tiny Baltic state was itself taken over by the Soviet Union in 1940 and did not regain its independence until the Soviet breakup in 1991. Latvia has a population of just 2 million, and roughly a quarter of those are ethnic Russians.

Given this history, Latvia was eager to align itself with the West. In 2004, under then-president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia joined both the European Union and NATO and is counting on those allies for protection.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:38 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

I'm Darth Vader, And I Approve This Message

A man dressed as Darth Vader announced his candidacy for office, representing the Internet Party of Ukraine. The dark lord spoke at his party's conference in Kiev on Saturday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:12 am

Ukraine's presidential election season took an interesting turn over the weekend, as Darth Vader declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office, promising that he knows what it takes to rebuild an empire.

"I alone can make an empire out of a republic to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," said Vader, according to Agence France-Presse.

Read more
News
4:37 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Is The Latest Climate Report Too Much Of A Downer?

According to a new report, unless more is done to combat climate change, extreme weather like the drought now gripping California will only grow more common.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

Reading through the latest report from the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it's hard not to feel despondent about the state of the world.

The report's colorful charts and tables tell of droughts and fires; depleted fisheries and strained cropland; a world in which heat-related disease is on the rise and freshwater is growing scarce.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Russia May Withdraw Some Troops From Near Border With Ukraine

A Russian armored vehicle on the road between Simferopol and Sevastopol in Crimea earlier this month. Russia annexed the region two weeks ago. Other Russian forces, across the border from Ukraine, may pull back in coming days.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:21 pm

Russia is going to withdraw some of its troops from near the border with Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, according to the German leader's office.

Read more
Parallels
1:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

In A Former Afghan Hot Spot, The Taliban Are Subdued For Now

A boy on his bike, with a U.S. Stryker following behind, in the Panjwai district center in southern Afghanistan. For years, this area was one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. But it is now considered safe as Afghans prepare to vote in a presidential election Saturday.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

A convoy of hulking U.S. Army Stryker vehicles slowly makes its way through the main bazaar near the center of Panjwai district in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar province is the birthplace of the Taliban, and Panjwai district has seen some of the most brutal fighting of the Afghan war.

Some 90 NATO troops have been killed and more than 800 wounded in just this district.

But rather than having white-knuckled grips on their guns, U.S. soldiers are able to wave to the children in the streets. It's something that would have been unthinkable a year or two ago.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

At Indictment, Pakistan's Musharraf Asserts His Innocence

In Islamabad on Monday, this man was among supporters of former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf who gathered outside the court where he appeared.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:56 pm

Pervez Musharraf, the army chief who took over Pakistan in a 1999 coup and ruled as president for another nine years, was indicted Monday by a special court in Islamabad on five counts of high treason.

As The Associated Press says, those are charges that carry the death penalty and are "a sharp blow to the country's powerful military."

Read more
The Two-Way
9:42 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Japan Must Halt Whaling Program In Antarctic, Court Says

Packs of whale meat are seen in a specialty store in Tokyo last week. An international court ruled Monday that Japan must stop issuing permits to hunt whales in the Antarctic.
Shizuo Kambayashi AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:04 pm

An international court has ordered Japan to revoke whaling permits in the Antarctic and stop granting new ones.

The country's government had argued that hunting whales was part of a research program, but the International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan hasn't generated enough scientific research to justify killing hundreds of whales. Critics said the hunts were instead a way to justify commercial hunting.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:49 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Two Koreas Exchange Live Fire, Lob Shells Into Sea

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:32 pm

"The two Koreas exchanged artillery fire across the western maritime border on Monday after the North staged a live-fire drill that sent artillery shells into southern waters and prompted the evacuation of South Korean islanders," South Korea's Yonhap News writes.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Only 'Ocean Junk' Found So Far As Search For Jet Continues

One of the objects searchers have spotted floating in the southern Indian Ocean as they look for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Nothing they've seen so far has been connected to the missing jet.
Jason Reed AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:19 pm

The state of the now 24-day-old search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the 239 people on board can be summed up by these four reports:

-- "Objects sighted at sea on Sunday by an Australian Orion searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been identified as fishing buoys, nets and other ocean junk." (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Read more
The Two-Way
7:18 am
Mon March 31, 2014

U.N. Report Raises Climate Change Warning, Points To Opportunities

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report.
ipcc.ch

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Geoff Brumfiel on the U.N. panel's report

"The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans," and the world is mostly "ill-prepared" for the risks that the sweeping changes present, a new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes.

Read more

Pages