World

Religion
1:00 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Tiny Italian Town Thumbs Its Nose At Lenten Abstinence

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 5:53 pm

On the first Sunday of Lent in Poggio Mirteto, a priest in the town's cathedral recalls the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

He admonishes parishioners in this hilltop hamlet just outside Vatican City to resist earthly delights during the time of penance and self-denial leading up to Easter.

"We must remember we are weak before evil, because the devil is very tricky," he says.

Just outside the doors, the warning goes unheeded as a parade of revelers passes.

The Freedom Festival

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Russia Vetoes U.N. Security Council Resolution On Crimea

Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would invalidate Sunday's referendum in Crimea. In Moscow, demonstrators and military veterans march in support of the Kremlin Saturday; nearby, a large march was held to protest Russia's policies.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:54 pm

One day before Crimea holds a referendum on leaving Ukraine, Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution to affirm Ukraine's sovereignty and national borders. The measure would have declared the referendum in Crimea invalid.

Russia, a permanent member of the council, was the sole vote against the resolution, which had the support of 13 countries attending Saturday's emergency meeting. China abstained from voting.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Indian Court Stays Death Penalty For Two In Rape Case

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:58 pm

The hanging of two of the four men convicted for raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi in late 2012 has been stayed, according to a ruling by India's high court that was issued Saturday. The men had been found guilty of raping and attacking a woman on a bus; they've been appealing that finding.

The four men were sentenced to death in September for a crime that sparked shock, anger and intense debate over how India handles violence against women.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Afghans Don't Need Help Securing Country, Karzai Says

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:45 am

Saying that more than a decade of warfare had been imposed on his country by the U.S. conflict with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says foreign troops aren't necessary to Afghanistan's long-term security.

"I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," he said, according to The Associated Press.

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Parallels
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Economic Sanctions Play Out In Strange Ways In Iran

Iranian shoppers buy vegetables from a street vendor in Tehran last November, a day after a six-month nuclear deal took effect. The U.S. says crippling sanctions — which caused prices for necessities like bread, rice and soap to increase — forced Iran's hand.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:02 pm

It's hard to see crippling sanctions at a modern shopping mall in north Tehran — the shops are stocked, the cafes are full. The latest western electronics – even iPhones and iPads, are available for those who can afford it.

But talk to middle class Iranians and you hear dire stories. They say they suffered as prices on almost everything rose dramatically for two years. International sanctions fueled skyrocketing inflation, estimated at 45 percent. Practically, that means that necessities – bread, rice, soap – got more expensive every month.

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Europe
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Author: Putin Has Always Been A 'Playground Bully'

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The crisis in Ukraine has many in this country wondering what on earth Vladimir Putin is thinking. Hillary Clinton compared him to Hitler; many world leaders have called his actions insane in recent weeks. How is it that we know so much about Russia's president and yet so little? To help us with that, we've called in someone who's spent a lot of time thinking about Vladimir Putin. Masha Gessen is the author of a best-selling biography of Putin called "The Man Without a Face." Masha Gessen, thank you for joining us.

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Europe
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Tension, Violence Build One Day Ahead Of Crimea Vote

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Crimea will hold a referendum on Sunday about whether to leave Ukraine. With reports of intimidation ahead of the vote, correspondent Gregory Warner gives NPR's Jacki Lyden the latest from Yalta.

World
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

New Zealanders Search For Symbol Of Identity, Independence

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

In New Zealand, the country's most important cut of cloth is at the center of a nationwide debate. New Zealand's flag has long been criticized by some as a symbol of British Colonialism. The U.K.'s Union Jack remains in the flag's upper left-hand corner. But it was only this year that Prime Minister John Key proposed a referendum to change it. Tim Watkin, journalist and founder of the politics and culture blog Pundit, is on the line with us now from Auckland, New Zealand to tell us more. Hello there, Tim.

TIM WATKIN: Hi. How are you?

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Africa
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Ill And Malnourished, CAR Refugees Flood Cameroon

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:20 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. More than 20,000 refugees fleeing religious violence in the Central African Republic crossed into Cameroon just in February alone. The refugees are predominantly Muslim and many more are expected to cross over in the coming weeks. They're finding shelter in towns and refugee sites near the border and many are suffering from malnutrition and malaria.

Andres Caballero reports from the border in Cameroon's east region.

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Middle East
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Syrian In Exile Writes On Despite Threats, Kidnappings

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:32 am

This weekend marks the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising. For perspective, NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with Yassin Haj Saleh, a Syrian writer who spent 16 years in Syrian prisons.

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