The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Report Lays Out 10 Most Censored Countries

Protesters support jailed veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu during a rally outside the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong last week. China ranks eighth on the Committee to Protect Journalists' list of 10 most censored countries.
Kin Cheung AP

The Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual report on the 10 Most Censored Countries today, with Eritrea, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia leading the list.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Saudis Say Operation In Yemen Entering New Phase

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 3:54 pm

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

The Saudi-led military operation in Yemen is shifting gears, moving from airstrikes against Houthi rebels to a new phase that will include diplomatic and political efforts alongside military operations, Saudi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said.

"The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen," Asiri said at a news briefing in Riyadh.

He said coalition airstrikes had destroyed the ballistic missiles operated by the Shiite Houthis.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

China's President Promises Pakistan $45B In Investment

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:17 pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ended a visit to Pakistan after signing $45 billion worth of investment agreements in the South Asian nation.

NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast unit that Xi's visit is being seen as a "game changer." Here's more from him:

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The Salt
11:56 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: Tea, Tao And Tourists — China's Mount Hua Is Three-Part Harmony

You can get a cup of tea at Cuiyun Palace on the west peak of Mount Hua.
Courtesy of James Guo

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:56 am

Imagine yourself clinging to a cliff face with nothing but uneven, worn wooden planks and chains to keep you from plummeting 7,000 feet to your untimely demise. Don't worry: You can rent a little red safety harness for $5. No one will make you wear it, though.

Oh, and you will probably encounter someone coming the other way, in which case you will have to maneuver around your neighbor as if playing a deadly game of Twister. Someone has to go on the outside, so I hope you're good at not blinking first.

You wouldn't do this for all the tea in China, you say?

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Ex-Auschwitz Guard Says He Was 'Morally Complicit' In Atrocities

Former SS guard Oskar Groening, now 93, enters a car after the first day of his trial in Lueneburg, Germany, on Tuesday. He faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that tests the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:50 am

A 93-year-old former guard at Auschwitz said his work at the concentration camp made him "morally complicit" in the atrocities committed there, but he told judges at the opening of his trial they "must decide on the question of ... criminal liability."

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10:12 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Menaced By War, An Ancient Christian Village In Iraq Returns To Life

Three men water newly planted trees on March 18 in al-Qosh, an ancient Christian village in northern Iraq. The village emptied out last August as Islamic State fighters approached. But the extremists never entered al-Qosh and the village and residents have returned. The men are watering outside a monastery that dates to the 7th century.
Alex Potter for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:31 am

The ancient Rabban Hermizd Monastery, on a hill overlooking the northern village of al-Qosh, is a testament to the long history of Christians in Iraq. Stone walls leading up the hill are decorated with iconography, and the 7th-century monastery is covered with the ancient Syriac language, still spoken today by the people of al-Qosh.

"Christians have been here in the Ninevah plains for thousands of years. It would be a tragedy if we just disappeared," said Athra Kado, a local Syriac language teacher.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Captain In Deadly Migrant Boat Sinking Charged With Manslaughter

Mohammed Ali Malek (left) and Mahmud Bikhit (center) were identified by survivors as the captain and a crew member of the vessel that sank in the Mediterranean this weekend. They're seen here shortly before an Italian coast guard ship took them to Catania, Sicily.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:27 pm

Italian authorities have arrested the captain and a crew member of the boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The pair are among the boat's 28 survivors; the United Nations says more than 800 would-be migrants died after cramming themselves onto the 66-foot boat.

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6:34 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Isis Booted From List Of Pacific Hurricane Names

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Egypt's Former President Morsi Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi gestures from the defendants' cage during his trial in Cairo on Tuesday. An Egyptian court sentenced the ousted leader to 20 years in prison for abuses of protesters.
Mohamed El-Shahed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:18 am

Less than two years after he was removed from power by the military, an Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his tenure.

The charges stem from the months of protests between late 2012 and July 2013, when Morsi was kicked out of office.

Twelve other defendants were also found guilty and received the same sentence as Morsi; they include former Muslim Brotherhood legislator Mohamed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Aryan, the group's former spokesman.

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Goats and Soda
4:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming

A forest worker fells palm trees on an illegal palm oil plantation in the province of Aceh, Indonesia.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:18 pm

Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses.

But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.

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