World

A judge in Italy on Wednesday ordered the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last year, killing 32 people, to face charges of manslaughter.

Francesco Schettino, 52, is accused of negligence that led to the grounding of the ship and for abandoning the vessel while a rescue of the 4,200 passengers and crew was still underway.

Sweden is one of the wealthiest, most stable and smoothly running countries in the world.

Which would explain why the country's 9.5 million residents may be shocked by the events of the past few days.

For the past three nights, hundreds of youths have been rampaging through parts of the capital, Stockholm, torching cars, setting fires, and throwing rocks at police and fire trucks.

The man ArtReview magazine named the most powerful artist in the world is trying his hand at rock stardom. In 2011, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention. He was later let go and charged with tax evasion.

Great Britain is in the midst of a measles epidemic, one that public health officials say is the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children after a safety scare that was later proved to be fraudulent.

More than 1,200 people have come down with measles so far this year, following nearly 2,000 cases in 2012. Many of the cases have been in Wales.

An international group of plant pathologists has solved a historical mystery behind Ireland's Great Famine.

Sure, scientists have known for a while that a funguslike organism called Phytophthora infestans was responsible for the potato blight that plagued Ireland starting in the 1840s. But there are many different strains of the pathogen that cause the disease, and scientists have finally discovered the one that triggered the Great Famine.

Apple was criticized in a Senate committee hearing Tuesday for using complex accounting to minimize the corporate taxes it pays. One key piece of the company's tax strategy: It funnels lots of its profits through subsidiaries in Ireland.

Offering low corporate tax rates has been a fundamental part of Ireland's economic strategy for decades — a way to get foreign companies to set up operations in the country.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads back to Israel and the West Bank on Thursday for more talks on restarting peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. When he was there last month, he walked away with at least one agreement — to improve the West Bank economy. Here's how he put it as he left Israel:

Iran's powerful Guardian Council has disqualified two key candidates — a former president and a top aide to the current president — from running in the June 14 presidential election.

The Guardian Council, which vets all candidates, approved eight names Tuesday but left out former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who was handpicked by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mashaei said he would appeal the decision to the country's supreme leader; Rafsanjani did not comment.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

There was a dramatic scene today at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral. A far-right historian and activist shot himself to death after calling for action to - in his words - protect France's identity. He was 78-year-old Dominique Venner. And as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he was vehemently opposed to France's new law authorizing gay marriage and adoption.

When I found out that one of my cousins — now 88 — had hidden from the Nazis in Amsterdam, just like Anne Frank, it was a revelation. It made me want to know more about my cousin's life and story.

"I like to analyze what happens and to put it in writing; that gives you neatness in your head, and that is what I'm after," says my cousin, retired Judge Suzanne Hoogendijk. She was 87 at the time, and was talking about why she loved being a judge. But delving into her personal past was another matter.

Raising chickens has become so fashionable among some urban Americans that there's now a market for chicken diapers, as we reported this month.

Artifacts that once belonged to Mohandas K. Gandhi, the Indian independence leader who took a vow of poverty, could fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of the government's decision to keep photos and video of the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden a secret, rebuffing a conservative watchdog group that had sought their release.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington accepted a White House assertion that releasing the images, including death photos of bin Laden, could spark violence and risk the lives of Americans abroad.

Shanghai did something last fall that few other cities on the planet could have even considered. It opened two massive art museums right across the river from one another on the same day.

The grand openings put an exclamation point on China's staggering museum building boom. In recent years, about 100 museums have opened annually here, peaking at nearly 400 in 2011, according to the Chinese Society of Museums.

Pakistanis have coped with — even rioted — over the country's frequent power cuts. Now, the government is feeling the impact, too. The country's caretaker prime minister has banned air conditioners in government offices and instituted a dress code for civil servants. Among his recommendations: no socks.

Pages