World

The Munich Security Conference is usually a forum for world leaders to meet on the sidelines and strive for consensus and compromise. But this year's gathering is more likely to be remembered for sabre-rattling and ultimatums, and the lack of discernible progress on resolving lingering conflicts or brewing crises around the world.

One of the more dramatic moments came Sunday during a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who was at the conference, but not in the audience at the time.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Bank Theft Brazilian Style

1 hour ago

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In the Winter Olympics, where races can be won or lost by thousandths of a second, tiny imperfections can make all the difference.

Nowhere is this more true than in the ice venues, where skilled technicians called "ice meisters" have honed their expertise over years of crafting the perfect surface.

Make that surfaces: It turns out that all ice is not created equal.

Depending on the sport, the ice might need to be softer or harder, colder or warmer, textured or smooth.

We expected the cold. It was, after all, the Winter Olympics.

But the wind is what has made an impression on many of us visiting Pyeongchang. It's even caused competition schedules to be rewritten.

For a string of days last week, the wind blew steady at 15 to 20 mph, with gusts of 45 mph. Concession stands and security scanners were toppled; temporary tents were blown away.

On the worst day, it looked as if a massive dust storm had descended. Three days later, we were still shaking sand out of our boots.

Nick Cunningham grew up far from the snow in Monterey, on California's central coast. He ran track at Boise State University.

None of that hinted at the route he would take after graduation — trying out for the U.S. bobsled team.

"I figured it would be a graduation gift for myself to kind of do something that's outside the box, outside my comfort zone," said Cunningham, 32. "Just try something none of my friends could ever say that they tried out for. And so I went and tried out. And 18 months later, I went to my first Olympics."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed that it has begun proceedings against Russian curler Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal in curling as part of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Krushelnitckii finished third in the mixed-doubles curling tournament, competing with his wife and teammate, Anastasia Bryzgalova.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The city of Raqqa was the de facto capital of the Islamic State. ISIS fighters were defeated there back in October, and they scattered in all directions. But they left behind a deadly legacy - thousands upon thousands of explosive booby traps.

Now U.S. and Syrian trainers are teaching young men how to dismantle those bombs, at a village on the outskirts of the city.

When it comes to global politics off the rink — most of the spotlight has fallen on North and South Korea. But just as the two Koreas have been making nice, South Korea and Japan have gotten chilly.

On the ice — Nao Kodaira of Japan and two-time gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa of Korea are the world's best at the 500 meter speed skate. They have finished within fractions of a second of each other for years and are constantly compared to one another. Sunday's much-watched showdown between the two was packed with extra meaning because their countries compete so fiercely, too.

Oxfam International says three members of a team it deployed to Haiti in 2010 who were investigated for sexual exploitation there threatened a key witness in the inquiry.

The U.K.-based aid group has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks after The Times of London reported that some of its staff working in the Caribbean country after a devastating earthquake had hired local prostitutes. Oxfam's senior official in Haiti at the time was among those implicated.

Five women were killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a Russian Orthodox church in the restive Northern Caucasus region of Dagestan.

Russian news sources quoted a priest from the church in Kizlyar in western Dagestan as saying the attacker, described as a local man in his 20s, began firing on churchgoers as they were leaving following Sunday afternoon service.

Pages