World

Economy
4:04 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Global Leaders Watch As U.S. Budget Drama Unfolds

President Obama traded barbs with Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, but there was no sign that Congress is any closer to re-opening the federal government. At a news conference, Obama warned that the whole world is watching. It is, and so far the reviews aren't good.

Parallels
2:00 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Bound By Blood, Divided By Politics: Three Egyptian Sisters

Egyptian women queue outside a polling station during voting on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of then-President Mohammed Morsi, in Giza, Egypt, last December. In a country divided by a political crisis, families are not spared.
Nasser Nasser AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:44 pm

Nagwa, Dina and May are sisters. All three are married, all three have children. All three had always been close — until now.

Egypt's political crisis is changing those relationships. Nagwa and May sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood. Dina, on the other hand, supports the military, arguing that the generals are just keeping extremists at bay.

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Sweetness And Light
1:44 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Sick Of How U.S. Sports Are Run? Take A Look At Europe

Shadows of journalists are seen next to a FIFA logo after a recent press conference on controversy swirling around 2022 World Cup construction projects in Qatar.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:44 am

Complain all you want about how sports in the U.S. are run, but the playing fields aren't always greener on the other side.

In Europe, FIFA, the soccer federation, is dealing with problems associated with the 2022 World Cup's timing and venue. For one, after awarding the World Cup to Qatar, those running FIFA wonder now if it'd be better to play the games in winter when it will be cooler — only that's when all the European leagues are operating.

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Parallels
4:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Asian Allies' Anxieties Rise Amid Washington Paralysis

President Obama listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping answers a question after a bilateral meeting in California on June 7.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.

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Middle East
4:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Declassified Documents Shed New Light On 40-Year-Old War

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Forty years ago, the Middle East was at war.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED BROADCASTER: There were these developments in the Middle East war today. Israel says it has retaken the Golan Heights and has moved into Syria. And in the Sinai, Egypt and Israel are fighting about three miles east of the Suez Canal.

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Parallels
3:39 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Iran And Israel Go To Battle ... Over Denim

Two Iranian women look at clothing in a store in Tehran. Iranians have launched a "jeans protest" on the Web in response to a comment by Israel's leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:49 am

Iran and Israel are at it again, but at least it's not the nuclear issue. This time it's jeans.

It started last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told BBC's Persian TV that "if the Iranian people had their way, they'd be wearing bluejeans; they'd have Western music; they'd have free elections."

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Middle East
2:58 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Translating Iranian Dealings, One President At A Time

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani answers a question during a news conference in New York last month.
John Minchillo AP

U.S. and Iranian diplomatic relations made a big jump last month when President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke directly by phone. It's the first time an American president has spoken to an Iranian leader in more than three decades. That phone call, of course, wasn't a cure-all. The U.S. and Israel remain concerned about Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear program, among other things.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Study: U.S. Adults Below Average In Literacy, Basic Math

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:07 pm

Adults in the U.S. fall behind many of their developed-world counterparts in such basic areas as math, reading and problem-solving using technology, according to a newly released report authored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies surveyed 166,000 teens and adults ranging in age from 16 to 65 years old in 24 countries.

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The Government Shutdown
10:59 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama's Absence At Asia Summit Seen Hurting U.S. Trade

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks Tuesday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. President Obama missed the meeting due to the budget impasse in Washington.
Beawiharta/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:49 pm

Imagine a poker table.

At one seat, China's President Xi Jinping studies his cards. At another, Russian President Vladimir Putin is stroking his chin. Asian leaders fill the other seats, each trying to win the pot, which is filled — not with poker chips — but with jobs.

That's the kind of high-stakes game that played out this week in Indonesia, where global leaders got together to discuss trade relations. Their gathering ended Tuesday, and exactly who won what is not yet clear.

But this much is known: President Obama was not at the table.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

North Korea Has Restarted Nuclear Reactor, South Korea Says

An Aug. 31 image from DigitalGlobe shows the 5-megawatt reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility. South Korean officials say they have confirmed that the nuclear reactor has been restarted.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:44 pm

South Korean officials say they have confirmed that North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that had been shut down in 2007. The news bolsters reports last month that the reactor was operating once again.

In April, North Korea said it would restart the reactor to aid its nuclear weapons program, as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports for our Newscast unit:

"South Korea's National Intelligence Service delivered a report to a parliamentary intelligence committee saying that North Korea's 5-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.

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