World

The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Satellite Image Suggests North Korea Is Restarting Reactor

This is a DigitalGlobe image of the 5-megawatt (electric) reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility, Aug. 31, with steam seen coming from the electrical power generation building.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

North Korea appears to be in the process of restarting a nuclear reactor used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, five years after shutting the facility down as part of international disarmament efforts.

New satellite imagery appears to reveal that the 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon, which experts believe can produce enough plutonium for one to two bombs a year, shows signs of being operational.

Analysts Nick Hansen and Jeffrey Lewis, writing for the website 38 North, say the satellites show:

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World
4:44 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

What's Driving Russia's Tactical Change On Syria?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to avoid a strike by the U.S.
Michael Klimentyev/Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 6:14 pm

For months, Russia has been playing a defensive game on Syria, blocking U.N. resolutions that could have led to the ouster of its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But Russia is now on the offense, running with a plan that could avert U.S.-led strikes against Syria by having Syria place its chemical weapons under international control.

So why the change in tactics?

There are several different strands in Russian thinking on the issue.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
3:39 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Can The U.N. Security Council Produce A Syria Solution?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:59 pm

Robert Siegel talks with David Hanney about prospects for a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria's chemical weapons. Lord Hanney represented Britain in the United Nations during the first Iraq war, when the UN Security Council voted unanimously to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

The U.S. Response To Syria
3:39 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Kerry's Syria Switch May Not Have Been Offhanded After All

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

This week's diplomacy over Syria was widely described as improvisational. John Kerry made a comment that his own aides were at pains to describe as rhetorical. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pounced on it opportunistically. Well, today there's some revisionist reporting on that score, reporting that Kerry and Lavrov were actually building on a year's worth of U.S.-Russia conversations.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

From Anonymous To Media Star To Unemployed In A Week

A screen grab of Elizabeth O'Bagy's appearance on Fox News on Sept. 5. She has been on many news programs in recent days commenting on the Syrian war. She was fired on Wednesday for falsely claiming to have a Ph.D., according to her employer, the Institute for the Study of War.
Fox News

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:06 pm

If you're following the Syrian debate, there's a good chance you've come across Elizabeth O'Bagy, an analyst on the Syrian war, who went from obscure think tank analyst to media darling to unemployed in roughly a week.

Here's how she did it.

O'Bagy, 26, was a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. Her specialty, the Syrian rebels, received only periodic flickers of attention.

Then came the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria, followed by President Obama's declared intent to carry out a military strike in Syria.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Vatican's Secretary Of State Says Celibacy Is An Open Question

Pietro Parolin in 2009.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:33 pm

The Vatican's new secretary of state made some comments in an interview with a Venezuelan newspaper earlier this week that have surprised many.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, whom Pope Francis appointed on Aug. 31, said the issue of priest celibacy is open to discussion.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya

Members of the El Molo tribe are pictured in the village of Komote, on the shores of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya, last year.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:07 pm

Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

U.S. Troops Oppose Striking Syria, Online Survey Suggests

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps listen to President Obama during his visit to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in August.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

An online survey of 750 active-duty U.S. troops suggests that opposition to striking Syria is "more intense" among military personnel than among the American public.

Military Times, a publication and newssite owned by Gannett Co. (not the federal government) reports that:

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The Salt
12:25 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Wasted Food Around The World Takes Heavy Toll On Environment

A farmer carries a bag of rice in China's Jiangxi province in July 2013.
Zhou Ke Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:07 pm

It's one of the great paradoxes of our time: Hundreds of millions of people go hungry, and yet we waste a whopping 1.43 billion tons of food — one third of what we produce. Food waste is a problem in rich countries and poor countries alike, and it's happening throughout the supply chain — from the farm to the truck to the warehouse to the store to your refrigerator.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Chinese Premier Says Foreign Companies To Get 'Equal Treatment'

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) listens to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a meeting last month.
How Hwee Young AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:25 pm

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to treat foreign multinational companies on a par with the country's own state-owned enterprises, but he warned that an economic rebound remains fragile.

Li, speaking at a business forum in the northeastern city of Dalian on Wednesday, cautioned that the global economic outlook was a "complex situation" and outlined a series of steps designed to keep the country on a moderate but sustainable growth path.

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