World

Asia
5:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:45 am

Defying international warnings, North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket on Wednesday. The launch was something of a surprise because Pyongyang had indicated technical problems might delay it.

Europe
5:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Russia's Defense Shuffle May Tarnish Its Military

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:32 am

The Russian military is plagued by problems: A top heavy senior officer corps and a defense industry that churns out obsolete equipment, to name just two. Analysts in Russia say the U.S. should be worried about a weaker Russia, which may be becoming a front line in the battle against Islamist extremism.

Middle East
5:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Obama Adds Legitimacy To Syrian Rebel Group

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:55 am

President Obama said the U.S. will recognize a newly formed Syrian opposition group as the country's legitimate representative. That will allow the group to channel international aid money into Syria as well as draw-up plans for a transitional government if the regime of Syrian President Assad falls.

The Salt
3:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:39 am

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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Latin America
5:22 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Venezuela's Chavez Headed For More Cancer Surgery

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
5:20 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

U.S. Doctors Provide Supplies, Training To Syrians

Dr. Mazen Kewara, an American vascular surgeon, trains Syrian doctors during a workshop in Antakya,Turkey.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Syria's health care system is collapsing after 21 months of revolt. According to a new report by the World Health Organization, half of the country's public hospitals have been destroyed in the fighting.

Pharmacies are running out of medicine for even the most basic care. In rebel-controlled areas, field clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed. A group of Syrian-American doctors has stepped in to help, bringing in crucial supplies and providing training.

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Africa
5:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

New Draft Constitution Divides Egyptians

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery was elected to the now disbanded Egyptian parliament as a candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party. That's the party aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Egyptian President Morsi. Dr. Dardery is a member and spokesman for the Foreign Relations Committee of the party, and he's in Berlin today.

Welcome back to the program. And is it fair to say that you're among the more liberal members of the Freedom and Justice Party?

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Africa
5:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Egyptians Stage Rival Demonstrations In Cairo

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery was elected to the now disbanded Egyptian parliament as a candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party. That's the party aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Egyptian President Morsi. Dr. Dardery is a member and spokesman for the Foreign Relations Committee of the party, and he's in Berlin today.

Welcome back to the program. And is it fair to say that you're among the more liberal members of the Freedom and Justice Party?

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World
4:20 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Spain's Civil Servants Draw Grumbles, And Envy

People queue up at a government job center in Madrid this month. The unemployment rate in Spain now tops 25 percent, but many government workers still enjoy job security and higher wages than their private sector counterparts.
Daniel Ochoa De Olza AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:54 pm

Antonio, Domingo and Pepe are old friends in their late 40s and 50s. All unemployed, they meet most mornings for coffee and cigarettes in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square and rant about the government.

The nation's civil service is a particularly attractive target. The men grumble about what they imagine is the life of a government worker — long coffee breaks, siestas and lots of paid time off.

"They earn much more than they're worth," Antonio says. "That's something that's got to change. They earn a lot, and they hardly do anything."

Jobs For Life

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Syrian Defector: Assad Will Use Chemical Weapons If He's Desperate

Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2009.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:25 pm

If Syrian President Bashar Assad gets desperate enough he will use chemical weapons against his own people, the former chief of staff for that country's chemical weapons tells NPR's Deborah Amos.

Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu, who defected in July and is now in Turkey, is convinced that if rebel forces close in on Damascus, Assad will order the use of mustard gas, sarin or other chemicals in a "last desperate act," Deb reported today on Morning Edition.

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