World

Parallels
12:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Did London Get An Economic Boost From The 2012 Olympics?

This cable car line in London, shown on Jan. 27, was built in time for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in the city. It is taking 35 percent fewer visitors than predicted.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 1:33 pm

Ronald Reagan once joked that the game Trivial Pursuit had a special economists' edition: It came with 100 questions and 3,000 answers. Economists are notorious for being unable to agree on anything. So it's striking that on the finances of the Olympics, they almost all agree.

"Investing in the Olympics is not worth the investment," says Andy Zimbalist of Smith College.

"You build all these facilities that are perfect for the Olympics, that are not really as desirable once the circus leaves town," says Allen Sanderson of the University of Chicago.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Mon February 3, 2014

As Search Ends, Toll Rises To 27 In Quebec Seniors' Home Fire

Jan. 23: Ice covers the remains of a home for seniors in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec. A fire there killed at least 27 people. Authorities fear another five people also died.
Remi Senechal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:27 pm

Twenty-seven bodies have been recovered from the ruins of a home for senior citizens in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec, and authorities believe that bone fragments found in the burned-out building will help them identify five more victims.

The search is over at the site, which was consumed by a fire on Jan. 23. It took 10 days to search the wreckage because water used to fight the flames had frozen. In some spots, ice was more than a foot thick.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Al-Qaida Says It Has No Ties With One Syrian Rebel Force

In January, this Free Syrian Army fighter stood in front of graffiti in Aleppo that read, roughly, "down with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant." On Monday, al-Qaida's leadership said it has no ties with that jihadist group.
Jalal Alhalabi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:17 am

In a statement posted Monday on websites where other messages from the terrorist network have appeared, al-Qaida's leadership reportedly denies it has any ties with one of the Islamist fighting groups that has joined the battle for control in Syria.

Reuters begins its report this way:

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Africa
4:08 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Musicians Tell Central African Republic It's Time For Peace

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Central African Republic has a new interim president, and she is pledging to reunite her divided nation. It won't be easy to end months of interreligious violence and anarchy. The Senegalese singing superstar Youssou N'Dour hopes things work out. He's teamed up with an artist from CAR to record a song for peace. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

YOUSSOU N'DOUR AND IDYLLE MAMBA: (Singing in foreign language)

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Latin America
4:03 am
Mon February 3, 2014

For Descendants Of Brazil's Slaves, A Quest For Land

Residents enjoy a meal at the Quilombo Sacopa in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. Brazil has some 3,000 quilombo communities, which were formed by runaway slaves, dating to the 19th century. Residents have been promised ownership of their land but say the legal process has moved slowly.
Victor R. Caivano AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:26 pm

Brazil was the last country in the Americas to outlaw slavery, and it imported more slaves than any other country in the region. Some 4 million Africans were enslaved in Brazil.

Some ran away from the brutal treatment, forming hidden communities all over the country known as quilombos. Their descendants — called the quilombolas — were granted land rights in 1988. That was exactly a century after slavery was outlawed. But to this day, very few have actually gotten legal ownership of the land where their families have lived for generations.

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Europe
4:01 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Sochi Games Open On Friday But Not Everything Is Completed

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Workers in the Russian resort town of Sochi are scrambling to put the finishing touches on President Vladimir Putin's multibillion dollar Winter Olympics. The 2014 Winter Olympics officially open on Friday, but it looks like some of the elements, including hotel rooms, may not be ready. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Sochi.

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Europe
4:01 am
Mon February 3, 2014

World's Top Diplomats Examine Security Concerns

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:43 am

Many of the world's top diplomats met over the weekend along with defense officials for an annual security conference in Munich, Germany. Top of the agenda were two countries in particular: Ukraine and Iran.

The Edge
2:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Games Are A Great Party, But Not A Great Investment

Graffiti covers a vent adjacent to the Athens Olympic Stadium in this photo from Feb. 18, 2012. Expenditures on the 2004 Athens Summer Games contributed to the country's debt load, which sparked the current economic crisis.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:02 pm

NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, in London, and Joanna Kakissis, in Athens, teamed up for this joint look at Olympics economics.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just a few days away. Russia has spent $50 billion on everything from construction to security, making these the most expensive games in history.

Countries often justify the Olympic-sized price tag by saying the investment pays off in increased business and tourism.

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Parallels
12:05 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead

A campaign banner is posted in Kabul, Afghanistan, for presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday.
Omar Sobhani Reuters/Landov

With the campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election officially underway, three questions are commonly asked around Kabul: Do you think the presidential election will be held on April 5? Will the election be held at all this year? Who do you think will win?

Right now, 11 men are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who is term-limited. If the election goes well, it would mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.

The Issue Of Timing

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Ukraine Protests Set To Widen As President Ends Sick Leave

Opposition supporters take part in a rally in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Ukraine, on Sunday.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych says he will return to work on Monday after a brief sick leave, likely setting the stage for a new round of anti-government unrest.

As many as 30,000 protesters gathered in the capital, Kiev, on Sunday, renewing calls for Yanukovych to step down.

The president had announced his sick leave on Thursday, prompting concern that, as The Associated Press writes, "he may have been taking himself out of action in preparation for declaring a state of emergency."

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