World

Parallels
10:20 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Do You Know What The U.S. Government Is Up To In Syria?

Syrian youths line up for food distribution in the Maiber al-Salam refugee camp in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey. The U.S. government has provided more than $1.5 billion in aid to Syrians since the uprising began in 2011.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:47 am

Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.

"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.

Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.

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It's All Politics
7:38 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix

Anti-Obama demonstrators in Indonesia will have to hold their protests without him. He cancelled his Asian trip due to the U.S. government shutdown. (Their signs accused him of murdering Muslims.)
BAY ISMOYO AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 8:16 am

Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. Of course, it's hard to be happy if you're one of the more than two million federal workers either furloughed or working without pay, or one of the millions of other Americans whose lives are disrupted by official Washington's dysfunction. It's Day Four of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition. And an end to the disagreement still doesn't seem in the offing.

On that grim note, here are some items of political interest worth mulling over this morning.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Grim Search Resumes Off Sicily; It's Feared 300 Drowned

Hearses were waiting Friday outside a hanger at the airport in Lampedusa, Italy, where the bodies of victims from Thursday's ship wreck were being held.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:43 am

The news has only gotten worse about the sea disaster near Sicily, where a ship packed with about 500 African migrants caught fire and sank on Thursday.

When we first posted about the tragedy, the death toll stood at just under 100. Now, as Reuters reports:

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World
5:13 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Skydive And Build A Website At The Same Time

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Some people skydive, others build websites. Designers Chris Hirst and Leo Zhao have now done both, at once. The stunt was to promote their product, Designbymobile. The message: We've made Web designing so easy, you can do it anywhere. On their first jump, they gathered video. On the second, they used that footage to create a website. It only took a minute, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the 8,000-foot plunge.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
5:23 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Supporters Of Greek Neo-Nazi Party Tested By Arrests

Supporters of the ultra-right-wing Golden Dawn Party wait outside the Athens courthouse for the transfer of party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos to the prosecutor Wednesday. Four lawmakers from Greece's neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have been indicted on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
Simela Pantzartzi EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:38 am

The Greek lawmaker who leads the neo-fascist Golden Dawn Party is behind bars, awaiting trial for allegedly running a criminal organization. Nikolaos Michaloliakos' views are racist and anti-Semitic, and he's been blamed for inciting violence, especially against immigrants.

He says he's not a criminal and is being persecuted for his beliefs.

But will shutting down the party shut down its support?

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Latin America
4:52 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Trade Dispute With Mexico Over 'Dolphin-Safe' Tuna Heats Up

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Look closely at just about any can of tuna sold in the U.S. and you'll find a tiny stamp. Now for more than 20 years, that stamp has certified that no dolphins were harmed or killed when the tuna was caught. For nearly that long, Mexico and the U.S. have been fighting over that label. Mexico says it's made great strides protecting dolphins and that the U.S. now unfairly blocks Mexican tuna from its markets.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Israel's Netanyahu Says He'd 'Consider' A Meeting With New Iranian Leader

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
Andrew Gombert AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:06 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered some rare, if fleeting, hope Thursday in regard to his country's relationship with Iran.

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, he said the election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani "might" offer an opportunity for diplomacy and that he would "consider" meeting him.

"I don't care about the meeting. I don't have a problem with the diplomatic process," Netanyahu said.

"You're saying you would meet him?" Steve asked.

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Middle East
4:23 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Chemical Weapons Inspectors In Syria Just Getting Started

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

International weapons inspectors have begun the process of verifying Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. A team of 19 inspectors, plus staff, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday. New York Times reporter Anne Barnard is also in the Syrian capital, and I asked her how the inspectors' mission will work.

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Parallels
3:01 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Ask Me Anything: Sylvia Poggioli Answers Redditors' Questions

Instagram

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 4:27 pm

NPR's Rome-based senior European correspondent Sylvia Poggioli fielded topics ranging from Pope Francis and the Vatican and rising xenophobia in Europe to the one thing she wished more Americans knew about Europe and her favorite TV show (The Wire!) during her Reddit "Ask Me Anything" Thursday.


Highlights

On Pope Francis

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Books
2:06 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Rick Najera: A Latino In Hollywood Is 'Almost White'

Omar 'Yogi' Torres Courtesy of Shabazz Communications, Inc.

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:32 am

Rick Najera doesn't remember his wife Susie dialing 9-1-1. She came home six hours after Najera had taken a fall that left him bleeding on the floor of his home. The Hollywood actor/writer/producer had pneumonia and ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma.

Rick Najera told NPR's Michel Martin that his near-death experience caused him to reflect.

"I really looked at my life and I said I wanted to chronicle it. I wanted to bring it down and talk about it in a very human, honest way," he says.

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