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Author Interviews
6:07 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Sushi Chef Was Confidant To North Korea's Kim Jong Il

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 1:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died two years ago, his son Kim Jong Un rose to power. The world knew practically nothing about the young and untested leader. In fact, nobody knew exactly how young he was until his birth date was revealed by a man who goes by the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, Kim Jong Il's former sushi chef and longtime confidante.

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Middle East
5:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Violent Protests Persist In Turkish Cities

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. It was another night of violent protest in Turkey.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING, GUNFIRE)

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Middle East
5:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Sons, Who Belonged To Hezbollah Died 'Heroically' In Syria

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 8:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.N. says hundreds of wounded, along with thousands more civilians, are trapped inside the embattled Syrian town of Qusair. The Syrian army, along with fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, have the town surrounded. Up until recently Hezbollah's involvement in the fight was kept secret. But now, as NPR's Kelly McEvers reports, the group's supporters are readying for what could be a bigger, more regional fight.

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Parallels
3:31 am
Mon June 3, 2013

For Young Somali Journalists, Work Often Turns Deadly

Reporter Donna Ali, 18, awaits her turn to go on air. Shabelle hires reporters as young as 15.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 9:05 pm

Shabelle Media is Somalia's largest news outlet — and a very dangerous place to work. Of the 12 journalists gunned down in the country last year, four were reporting for Shabelle.

A number of the reporters are teenagers, some as young as 15. The reporters almost never venture out of the office, which is outfitted with sleeping quarters and a kitchen.

Why are Shabelle's young journalists being targeted more than others?

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Egypt Court Says Upper House Of Parliament Elected Illegally

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Sunday that the country's upper house of parliament — the so-called Shura council — was illegally elected.

As CBS News reports, that is a serious blow to President Mohammed Morsi's Freedom and Justice party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It will essentially cast a pretty big question mark over the constitution the Shura Council drafted and will no doubt embolden the opposition. CBS News explains:

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Parallels
1:06 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Greece Has A PR Problem. Can It Be Fixed?

A protester burns an effigy depicting a Greek worker, in front of parliament in Athens on April 28. A few hundred public servants protested peacefully as lawmakers voted on a new austerity bill.
Kostas Tsironis AP

Greece used to be a place with a positive global image: gorgeous islands, friendly people, great food and stunning history.

Then came the financial meltdown. Three years ago, when Greece became the first eurozone country to receive a multibillion-dollar bailout, many international media organizations portrayed Greeks as corrupt tax-evaders who liked to riot instead of work.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Sun June 2, 2013

After Two Violent Days, Protesters In Turkey Return

Protesters clash with riot police between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul, on Sunday.
Gurcan Ozturk AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 3:00 pm

This morning central Istanbul was quiet. It was still reeling from two days of anti-government rallies that led to violent confrontations with police. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Turkey that some 900 people were arrested across the country and several hundred were wounded.

Peter said officials "are beginning to ask questions about who ordered the fierce police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators that triggered the massive anti-government reaction."

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Parallels
5:49 am
Sun June 2, 2013

U.S. Tourists Become Israeli Commandos For A Day

Businessmen from Philadelphia practice with wooden cutouts of rifles at Caliber 3, a counter-terrorism training center amid Israeli settlements south of Jerusalem. Millions of tourists visit Israel each year and for those interested in Israel's security, for a price they can spend a few hours learning commando techniques.
Emiliy Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 8:29 am

After two hours of yelling, shooting and getting tough with a group of American businessmen one hot spring afternoon, Steve Gar turned to storytelling.

Gar is an instructor at Caliber3, a private counterterrorism training center in an Israeli settlement area south of Jerusalem that offers short shooting courses for tourists. Wrapping up the Americans' two-hour session, he called them all to gather around.

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Parallels
5:40 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Nodding Syndrome: A Devastating Medical Mystery In Uganda

Most of the children in the nodding syndrome ward at the Atanga Health Center in the Pader district in Uganda are severe cases, who first showed symptoms as early as 2002, or children who have been neglected by their parents. Staffers here treat these patients with a generic anti-convulsant drug called sodium valproate. They also provide the children and their caretakers with food.
Matthew Kielty for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:11 am

It starts with the nodding — otherwise normal children begin to nod their heads, pathologically. Then come the seizures. The children stop growing and stop talking. Ultimately, the disease wrecks the children, physically and mentally.

The strange and deadly illness known as nodding syndrome affects only children, and only in a small pocket of East Africa. It has affected more than 3,000 children since the late 1990s, when it first appeared in what was then southern Sudan. And for more than three years, the cause of nodding syndrome has eluded epidemiologists around the globe.

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Parallels
5:24 am
Sun June 2, 2013

A City Of Assad Supporters In War-Ravaged Syria

The port city of Tartous is in a region loyal to President Bashar Assad. The city has been a refuge for supporters to vacation and seek work.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 2:33 pm

Many people in Syria are accustomed to the sound of daily gunfire. It is normal in battle-scarred cities like Damascus or Qusair.

But along the beaches and in the cafes of Tartous, an area that is a center of support for the embattled President Bashar Assad, the sounds are a bit more peaceful.

Near the water's edge of the Mediterranean, tables, chairs and umbrellas sit upon huge stones. At one of these tables sits a brother and sister on vacation.

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