World

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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Europe
5:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Anti-Government Protests In Ukraine Turn Deadly

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

New laws to curb protests are in effect in Ukraine but anti-government demonstrators remain on the streets of the capital Kiev. For more on the protests that have turned deadly, Renee Montagne talks to David Stern, a reporter for the BBC.

It's All Politics
6:14 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Finding Common Interests, Obama And The Pope Set A Date

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday. President Obama will meet with the pope for the first time in March.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 8:32 pm

President Obama plans to meet this spring with Pope Francis.

On Tuesday, a White House spokesman announced the president will visit the Vatican as part of European trip in March. The president is said to be looking forward to talking with the pope about their "shared commitment to fighting poverty" and income inequality.

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Middle East
6:14 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Report Claims 'Systematic Torture And Killing' By Syrian Regime

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

A prominent team of war crimes prosecutors has released a harrowing report, saying it's reviewed what it calls clear evidence of systematic torture and killing by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The report is based on tens of thousands of carefully catalogued government photographs that show the bodies of some 11,000 Syrian detainees.

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Africa
6:14 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

In Kenya, A Fraught Return To The Site Of A Massacre

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Nairobi, four men are on trial for helping the terrorists who stormed Westgate Mall in September. More than 70 people were killed in that attack. Today, the judge and lawyers on both sides left the confines of their courtroom and took a field trip to the mall.

As NPR's Gregory Warner reports, they went looking for the truth of what happened that day. But they also went looking for closure.

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Asia
6:14 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Of Emergency Raises New Questions In Bangkok

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

To Thailand now, where the government has declared a 60-day state of emergency ahead of next month's snap elections. The move comes after weeks of anti-government protests and it gives authorities the power to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge and ban public gatherings of more than five people.

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Middle East
6:14 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Table's Laid And Guests Are Ready: Syria Peace Talks Set To Begin

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Syrian peace conference begins tomorrow following a tumultuous 24 hours. Yesterday, at the last minute, the UN withdrew Iran's invitation after the Syrian opposition threatened to boycott the meeting. The aim of the talks: to end a three-year war that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 people.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Thai Government Declares State Of Emergency

An anti-government supporter displays her donations for the cause during a street rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday. Thailand has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and its surrounding areas to cope with anti-government protests that have stirred up violent attacks.
Wally Santana AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:54 pm

Thailand's government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in Bangkok and surrounding areas amid massive protests that have rocked the country since last November.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Om My: Chinese Buddha Booted Over Booty

It seemed like a good idea at the time: A restaurateur in the Chinese city of Jinan wanted to advertise a dish so good that the Buddha himself scaled walls for a taste, so the owner put up giant sculptures of naked Buddhas climbing over the restaurant.

The South China Morning Post has the background:

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