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Asia
3:20 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Become A Successful Chinese Bureaucrat, In 5 Easy Steps

The Civil Servant's Notebook, which recently was translated into English." href="/post/become-successful-chinese-bureaucrat-5-easy-steps" class="noexit lightbox">
Former civil servant Wang Xiaofang is the author of 13 books on "bureaucracy literature," including The Civil Servant's Notebook, which recently was translated into English.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:16 pm

Forget Fifty Shades of Grey. In China, "bureaucracy lit" is flying off bookstore shelves. With the books' stories of Machiavellian office politics, they're read avidly, both as entertainment and as how-to guides for aspiring civil servants.

So what is the secret to success in the corridors of power?

Here is a five-point guide to success, with tips gleaned from the pioneers of bureaucracy lit.

Lesson 1: Cultivate your connections.

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The Two-Way
5:55 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Venezuela's Chavez To Miss His Inauguration

President Hugo Chavez is too ill to attend his inauguration this week, the Venezuelan government announced Tuesday.

In a letter to the National Assembly, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said the president's medical team said Chavez's recovery should be extended beyond Thursday – the day he is scheduled to be sworn in. The Associated Press reports: "Maduro said Chavez was invoking a provision in the constitution allowing him to be sworn in before the Supreme Court at a 'later date.'"

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Middle East
5:20 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Syrian Refugees Attack Aid Workers Amid Deteriorating Conditions

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Call it a stampede or a riot or the chaos born of desperation. Syrian refugees in a camp in northern Jordan attacked aid workers today, using sticks and stones, after a major winter storm blew down tents and flooded streets. Police say seven aid workers were injured in the attack.

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Middle East
5:20 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

A Welcoming Way Station For Syrians Fleeing Home

Beit Qamishlo is a modest house in southern Turkey that caters to Syrian exiles seeking temporary refuge. It also hosts frequent discussions on Syria's future. Here, Malik Dagestani (center), a former political prisoner in Syria, talks about his detention in the 1980s and 1990s.
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:37 pm

It's called Beit Qamishlo, or the House of Qamishlo. It's named after a city in northeastern Syria, though the house isn't even in Syria — it's just across the border in southern Turkey.

The house is humble, made of concrete blocks, with tile floors. Arabic slogans are taped on the walls: "Beit Qamishlo is a house for everyone," "It's a window to Syria's future," "Under one roof we plant life together and freedom."

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Europe
5:19 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

A Dash Of Olive Oil May Preserve British Cathedral

The stones of York Minster in northern England are decaying. Olive oil may be just the dressing the cathedral needs to preserve its Gothic architecture.
Nigel Roddis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:24 am

The British have some stunning cathedrals, and York Minster, in the north of England, is one of the most magnificent of all.

Construction on it began 800 years ago, and a mere 2 1/2 centuries later, work was complete.

The result was one of Europe's largest Gothic cathedrals and one that's had a rough ride through history: It's been pillaged and looted, and damaged by devastating fires and lightning strikes.

Today, there's another threat: acid rain. As a result, the cathedral's stones are decaying.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

European Union Reports Highest Unemployment Rates Ever For Eurozone

In Badalona, Spain, people waited outside an employment office last summer.
Albert Gea Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:24 pm

In the European Union, unemployment rates in the region that uses the euro currency are at their highest ever, as a returned recession, falling income levels and persistent debt concerns trouble the region's economy, as its latest statistics show.

After nearly five years of economic crises, the European Union is also seeing more divergence between its member nations, particularly in the north, where economies have resilience, as opposed to the south, where unemployment rates are an average of more than 7 points higher.

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Middle East
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

President Bashar Assad: His Inner Circle And His Options

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:36 pm

The United Nations released statistics estimating that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011. In his first public appearance in six months, President Bashar Assad addressed a crowd of supporters in Damascus Sunday to outline new structural reforms within the government.

The Two-Way
11:18 am
Tue January 8, 2013

A Life Examined: Who Was The Victim So Brutally Murdered In India?

At a vigil last week in Calcutta, India, the victim was remembered and calls were made for new laws to protect women.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:37 pm

Her death has caused outrage in India and around the world.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Benghazi Attack: Only Man Who Was In Custody Is Now Free, Lawyer Says

A burned vehicle outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 9:22 am

Ali Harzi, the only person who had been known to be in custody in connection with last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been released by authorities in his native Tunisia, the suspect's lawyer tell The Associated Press.

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World
6:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

How Will New Administration Nominees Affect Foreign Policy?

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now two critical views of the foreign policy and national security team that President Obama is assembling for his second term. Yesterday, the president nominated his longtime aide John Brennan as director of the CIA. He named Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, as secretary of Defense.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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