World

The Two-Way
6:32 am
Fri December 27, 2013

VIDEO: Rescuers Are Drawing Near To Ship Stuck In Antarctic

Stuck in the ice: The MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
Chris Turney Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:24 pm

Update at 6:15 p.m. ET. Chinese Icebreaker Gets Stuck:

The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon became stuck in the ice itself as it tried to reach the stranded vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority tweeted:

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Bomb Blast In Beirut Kills Former Ambassador To U.S.

Some of the destruction at the scene of Friday's car bombing in Beirut.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:23 am

  • Correspondent Susannah George describes the scene in Beirut

An explosion in Beirut on Friday killed at least six people, including a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. who was a leader of the Western-backed coalition that opposes the militant group Hezbollah.

More than 70 other people were injured by the car bomb, authorities say.

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National Security
4:15 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Strategist Kilcullen: Warfare Is Changing In 3 Ways

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:30 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

In these last days of the year, we're airing conversations about the future. Today, we turn to David Kilcullen, who imagines future wars in his book, "Out of the Mountains." Kilcullen served in the Australian Army then went on to advise U.S. General David Patraeus in Iraq. Kilcullen told my colleague Steve Inskeep that warfare is chanting in three ways. First, it's becoming more urban. Second, technology is changing warfare; he notes how quickly news spread of Moammar Gadhafi's death in Libya in 2011.

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Parallels
2:25 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014

Women walk along on the street in Kabul, Afghanistan, last week. The country faces many changes next year, including a presidential election and the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces. There are also concerns that advances made by women over the past decade could be in jeopardy.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:27 am

To many Afghans, 2014 is more than a year — it's a sword of Damocles hanging over the fragile nation. It's the year the country will elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai and the U.S.-led military mission will end. Many fear that will open the door to chaos.

But on a chilly winter day in Kabul, it's still business as usual in the city center.

In a stationary market, you can still buy calendars for this year — the year 1392. Afghanistan uses the Persian solar calendar, and in March the year 1393 begins.

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Planet Money
3:42 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

The Tragic Number That Got Us All Talking About Our Clothing

A Bangladeshi worker participates in a protest outside a garment factory in Dhaka.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 4:31 pm

1,134 is the official government death toll of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The building, which collapsed in April, was home to five garment factories.

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Parallels
3:40 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Syria's War Creates A Demand For Artificial Legs

A staff member at the clinic in southern Turkey works on a prosthetic leg that will be given to a victim of Syria's civil war.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:53 am

In a clinic in southern Turkey, Mohammed Ibrahim helps 23-year-old Syrian Mustapha Abu Bakr take his first steps since he lost his legs, holding on to a set of bars for balance.

"He can't express his feelings," Ibrahim says. "It's a new thing completely for him."

Ibrahim explains that patients who have lost a leg below the knee can walk out of the clinic without crutches after a day of practice. For double amputees like Abu Bakr, who was injured in Syria's civil war, the adjustment takes more time.

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Parallels
3:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Venezualan Flights Are Dirt Cheap ... If You Can Get A Ticket

At the official rate, 1 U.S. dollar is worth 6.3 Venezuelan bolivars. But in a country with runaway inflation, the black market rate is about 60 bolivars to the dollar. This has made airfares extremely cheap for those using currency acquired on the black market.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:35 pm

Reporter John Otis was looking for a flight to Venezuela. That may sound like a simple task, but air travel to and from that Latin American country turns out to be extremely complicated these days. Here's his story.

A direct flight from my home in Bogotá, Colombia, to Caracas, Venezuela, takes about 90 minutes. But when I tried to buy a ticket recently, none were available. I was offered a flight with an overnight stop in Miami, but that would have cost $5,000.

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Middle East
3:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

In Gas-Rich And Fast-Growing Qatar, A Focus On Food Security

The Gulf nation of Qatar has nearly depleted its groundwater, and will increasingly need to import food. Some farms still operates on ground water, but in the long haul, Qatar is counting on desalination and using money to import food.

The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Thai Government Says It Won't Postpone Parliamentary Elections

Anti-government protesters flee from tear gas sprayed by police in Bangkok on Thursday.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 3:04 pm

Thailand's government has rejected a call from the country's Election Commission to delay a February vote to choose a new parliament, as protesters opposed to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra increasingly resort to violence to disrupt the polls.

Anti-government demonstrations have been going on for weeks as "yellow shirt" protesters — most drawn from the ranks of Thailand's urban middle class — have sought to oust Yingluck, whose government was elected in a 2011 landslide, mostly with support from the country's poorer, rural farming communities.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu December 26, 2013

American Kidnapped By Al-Qaida In Pakistan Seen In Video

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 11:41 am

An American development worker and Peace Corps veteran who was kidnapped more than two years ago from his home in Pakistan by men claiming to be affiliated with al-Qaida, asks President Obama in a newly released video "to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release."

Warren Weinstein, 72, is also heard saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten."

According to The Associated Press:

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