World

The Two-Way
8:51 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Mediator: Syrian Peace Talks Have 'Not Come Out With Very Much'

UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has been mediating negotiations on Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 3:35 pm

Direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition fighting to topple the regime have ended in what international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi described as a frustrating round of negotiations that have "not come out with very much."

About all that was decided in the latest round of the talks in Geneva that ended on Saturday was an agenda for a third set of meetings at an unspecified date.

"I apologize that these two rounds have not come out with very much," Brahimi said.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Push Comes To Shove In Turkey's Parliament Over Judicial Bill

Members of Parliament from the ruling AK Party and the main opposition Republican People's Party scuffle during a debate on a draft law to give the government tighter control over the judiciary.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 3:25 pm

Passage of a bill to increase the Turkish government's control over the country's judicial system on Saturday came down to a real fight in Parliament, literally.

Two members of Parliament were injured — one with a broken nose — during debate over the controversial measure to give the Justice Ministry greater control over the selection of judges. The measure ultimately passed, but not before some minor bloodshed.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

A view of Venus, black dot at top center, passing in front of the sun during a transit in 2012. A quarter of Americans questioned failed to answer correctly the most basic questions on astronomy.
AP

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

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Parallels
5:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Will Helping Muslims Flee Central African Republic Aid 'Cleansing'?

Muslim women line up at a Red Cross distribution outside the mosque in Bouar. United Nations peacekeepers guard the mosque, where thousands of Muslim residents gather each evening for safety.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:58 pm

It is almost impossible to buy soap anymore in most small towns in the Central African Republic. Same with sugar, powdered milk, batteries, baby formula. Up until January, these kinds of imported goods — in the stratified society of this country — almost always would have been sold to you by a Muslim.

But for the past few weeks, bands of Christian militia groups called anti-Balaka have waged war on Muslims and their property.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

When Not In Sochi, Order The Khatchapuri And Eat Like You Are

Traditional foods in Sochi may be Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian or from the surrounding Krasnodar region. This table is set at Mari Vanna restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:57 am

We've got more snow here in Washington, D.C., than they have in Sochi, and it's colder. But still it's hard not to dream about being at the Winter Olympics, especially since reports from athletes and spectators say that the food in Sochi is beyond delicious.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WATCH: A Death-Defying Climb To The Top Of Shanghai Tower

Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov scale Shanghai Tower.
YouTube

A pair of daredevils, a Russian and a Ukrainian, scales the as-yet-unfinished Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building.

As Russia Today writes:

"Donning army camos, black hoodies and face masks, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov evoke a Black Bloc aesthetic and an even more nonchalant attitude when readying themselves to scrape the sky with their own fingers."

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Music
1:19 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Ladysmith Black Mambazo On A Mission To Preserve Culture

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:55 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Finally, on this President’s Day, we hear, again, from a group that was a favorite of another president – former South African president Nelson Mandela. Now if you are a fan of world music, they need no introduction. Ladysmith Black Mambazo have been singing together for 50 years. They were brought together in 1964, after Joseph Shabalala, a young farm boy turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith, had a dream.

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World
1:19 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Friend Finds Humanity In The Death Of Journalist Daniel Pearl

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:55 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parallels
12:37 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

At Iranian Colleges, Some See Brighter Future In Another Country

Iranian high school students sit for their university entrance examination in Tehran in 2009. Iran's economy has been struggling in recent years, and many graduates feel they have few career options.
Mona Hoobehfekr AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

President Hassan Rouhani appeals to Iranian college students when he talks about creating more opportunities for the young. But the clock is ticking. Many of those born long after the 1979 Islamic Revolution see limited prospects at home and envision a better future abroad.

Outside Tehran University, Iran's largest, you can find earnest young students like Fazle Mahmoudian, 21, a math major who says he knows job prospects are grim, though he's not looking to leave.

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