World

Middle East
3:54 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Head Of Military Police Defects To Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel and we begin this hour with fighting in Syria and the terrible impact of that fighting on children. In a few minutes, we'll hear from a refugee camp in Turkey, where families have fled the violence. First, today the Syrian regime appeared to suffer another high level defection. NPR's Peter Kenyon is monitoring that news and other developments from Istanbul.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: The day began with rebel fighters announcing a new offensive in the northern Raqqa Province.

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World
2:52 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Brazil's Drug Epidemic: Welcome To 'Crackland'

A member of Rio de Janeiro's Social Work Department speaks with crack addicts in a slum area known as "Crackland," during a police operation in the city in November.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:19 pm

Brazilian health officials say an epidemic is taking hold — an outbreak of crack cocaine use nationwide, from the major cities on the coast to places deep in the Amazon.

It's an image at odds with the one Brazil wants to project as the country prepares to host soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics two years later. But the problem has become too big to ignore.

The Luz district of central Sao Paulo was once grand, with its old train station and opulent buildings. Now, this neighborhood is known as Cracolandia — Crackland.

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Middle East
12:54 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Syria's War Leaves Its Scars On The Children

Maysam Selmo, 8, during her first week at Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children in Antakya, Turkey. She and her extended family fled their village in northwestern Syria, and now live in a crowded apartment.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:57 pm

The war in Syria is taking a huge toll on the children. An international team of researchers that interviewed Syrian kids in a refugee camp in Turkey found that 3 out of 4 have lost a loved one. Almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder and elevated levels of depression.

There are efforts to help, but it's challenging. In the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, the bell rings at 8 a.m. at the Friendship Elementary School. Syrian kids, in fresh school uniforms, cram into desks, with more than 40 students in every classroom.

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Middle East
6:07 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Despite Protests, Egypt Has A New Constitution

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:02 am

After weeks of protests and intermittent violence, Egypt officially has a new constitution. Election officials say the Islamist-backed constitution passed a referendum with nearly 64 percent in favor. Secularists fear the charter would usher in Islamic rule and restrict freedoms.

Middle East
3:59 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

'Prophet School' Trains A New Generation In Israel

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 8:34 am

Hear the word "prophet" and the names Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus or Mohammed may come to mind. While these are figures from the distant past, Rabbi Shmuel Fortman Hapartzi is training a new generation of prophets for a new age.

Fortman runs the Cain and Abel School for Prophets in Tel Aviv. It's named for the sons of Adam and Eve who, in the Bible, were the first human beings born of woman to speak directly to God and therefore, Fortman says, the first prophets.

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Religion
3:59 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Pope Calls For Peace And Hope In Middle East

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Robert Siegel shares Christmas messages from the Pope and Queen Elizabeth.

Africa
3:59 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Islamist Militant Groups On The Rise In Africa

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 4:23 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Ofeibea Quist-Arcton and Tom Bowman about the U.S. fight against terrorism in Africa, where the number of Islamist militant groups is on the rise — some with close ties to al-Qaida.

The Salt
3:59 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Computers May Someday Beat Chefs At Creating Flavors We Crave

Does bell pepper and black tea sound appetizing? A computer may think so.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:06 am

Mario Batali, watch your back.

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Books
10:18 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual 'Christmas Book Flood'

A shopper browses in a branch of the Icelandic book chain Penninn-Eymundsson.
Courtesy of Bryndís Loftsdottir

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 2:46 am

In the United States, popular holiday gifts come and go from year to year. But in Iceland, the best Christmas gift is a book — and it has been that way for decades.

Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world, with five titles published for every 1,000 Icelanders. But what's really unusual is the timing: Historically, a majority of books in Iceland are sold from late September to early November. It's a national tradition, and it has a name: Jolabokaflod, or the "Christmas Book Flood."

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Asia
6:08 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Christmas In India

Carolers from St. Columba's School in New Delhi stage their annual Christmas program, where the student body is Catholic, Sikh and Hindu.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 5:43 pm

India, the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, marks the birth of Jesus with a national holiday.

Indians call Christmas bara din, or the Big Day.

Chef Bhakshish Dean, a Punjabi Christian, traces the roots of Christianity in India through food.

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