international politics

Independence Referendum
2:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce

Pro-independence campaigners attend a rally In Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:22 am

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.

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International Politics
3:36 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Post-Chavez Venezuela: A Political House Of Mirrors

Demonstrators wave a Venezuelan flag during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 2, 2014.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Steve Scher talks with Jose Antonio Lucero, chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Washington, about the protests in Venezuela.

Ukaine Crisis
8:52 am
Mon March 3, 2014

After Entering Crimea, Where Will Russia Stop?

A soldier in an unmarked uniform, but believed to be from the Russian army, stands outside one of the Ukrainian military bases in Crimea that have been surrounded by Russian forces. Ukrainian guards look on from inside the base.
David Mdzinarishvili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:34 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Crimea

Update at 1 p.m. ET. Our Latest Head And Link, Part II:

Russia Denies Issuing Ultimatum Or Warning Ukraine Of 'Storm'

The top of that post:

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Government Upheaval
4:10 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: New Government Takes Shape As Crimea Simmers

Flags fly outside the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on Thursday during a rally by pro-Russian protesters. Gunmen seized government buildings in the city.
David Mdzinarishvili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:58 am

  • On the NPR Newscast: Peter Kenyon reports from Kiev
We're adding updates throughout this post as the day continues.

Tensions continue to rise in Ukraine, where months of public protests led last week to the downfall of President Viktor Yanukovych's government. His opponents are now installing pro-Western ministers to replace the pro-Russian leaders who worked for Yanukovych. The interim government is expected to be in charge at least until new elections can be held, perhaps in late May.

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Political Unrest In Kiev
3:34 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Ukraine Is 'Unique' Among Post-Soviet Countries

Activists pay respects to protesters killed in clashes with police, during clashes with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Ross Reynolds talks with associate professor Scott Radnitz about the growing tension in Ukraine and why there has been a rise in violence. Radnitz explains how the situation in Ukraine differs from the other post-Soviet countries.

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Olympic Games
3:31 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Is Russia Ready For The Winter Olympics?

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will start February 7.
Flickr Photo/Ryan Lejbak

Marcie Sillman discusses the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with Jill Dougherty, former CNN foreign affairs correspondent.

Dougherty spoke at the University of Washington's Ellison Center about the state of Russia and U.S. affairs.

Author Interview
3:09 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Joseph Cirincione On The Threat Of 'Nuclear Nightmares'

Author Joseph Cirincione in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel

Ross Reynolds talks with author Joseph Cirincione about his latest book “Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late.” 

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South Sudan Conflict
3:05 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Leaving Home, Local Refugee On The Conflict In South Sudan

The conflict in South Sudan has displaced thousands of people from their homes.
Flickr Photo/European Commission DG ECHO

Marcie Sillman speaks with Moses Monynhial Dut, a student and maintenance engineer for Seattle's Smith Tower, about his journey out of South Sudan and how he views the conflict today.

Gifts
12:37 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Weird Stuff World Leaders Give Each Other

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds up a pair of Idaho potatoes as a gift for Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, standing right, at the start of their meeting at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

You say potato, John Kerry says let's give it to Russia.

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Thailand Protests
2:01 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Thai Anti-Government Protesters Occupy Bangkok

Thousands of protesters against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra filled the streets of Bangkok.
Flickr Photo/Kitty Chirapongse

Ross Reynolds speaks with ​Thai political blogger and foreign correspondent Saksith Saiyasombut about the anti-government protests shutting down Bangkok streets, and what it means for the future of democracy in Thailand.

Free Agent
2:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Role Of 'Basketball Diplomacy' In North Korea

Dennis Rodman bows to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seated above in the stands, before an exhibition basketball game with US and North Korean players at a stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday.
AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon

When former basketball star Dennis Rodman implied to CNN that Kenneth Bae, a Lynnwood, Wash., man imprisoned in North Korea, had committed a crime, Bae’s sister lashed out.

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EarthFix Reports
6:59 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Officials In U.S. Stumped By China's Claim Of Tainted Northwest Shellfish

This diver is legally harvesting wild geoduck from 40 feet below the surface of Puget Sound.

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:16 pm

Environment and health officials in the U.S. say they are puzzled by China’s decision to ban shellfish harvested from Northern California to Alaska. State officials say their records don’t show the same unsafe toxin levels that were detected by a lab in China.

China says it found toxins in two shipments of geoducks. These giant clams harvested in Puget Sound and Alaska can go for $150 a pound. Washington’s shellfish industry overall is worth $270 million, and China is the top export market.

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EarthFix Reports
9:11 am
Fri December 13, 2013

China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban

Blake Severns inspects a wild geoduck just plucked from the bottom of Puget Sound. Severn is a diver with the the Washington Department of Natural Resources Aquatics Resource Division.

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:58 pm

China has suspended imports of shellfish from the west coast of the United States -- an unprecedented move that cuts off a $270 million Northwest industry from its biggest export market.

China said it decided to impose the ban after recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters were found by its own government inspectors to have high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.

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Obituary
7:15 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's 'Greatest Son,' Dies At 95

Nelson Mandela and former US President Bill Clinton.
AP Photo

Jamala Henderson interviews Robert Taylor, former dean of St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle, reflects on his anti-apartheid work as a teen in South Africa. "It was a criminal offense to bear an image of his in public and all of his writings were banned. They could not be quoted. And so Mandela was … when he was spoken about, it was in very hushed tones."

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon has died, according to South Africa President Jacob Zuma. He was 95.

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Child Brides
6:47 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Can Child Marriages Be Stopped?

Christina Asima says she had no choice but to marry last year at age 12 to help care for younger siblings after her mother abandoned the family. But she says her husband was abusive, so she left him, and now must look after her 8-month-old son, Praise, alone.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 3:05 pm

Christina Asima seems tired for a 13-year-old. I meet the shy-mannered girl in the remote farming village of Chitera, in the southern African nation of Malawi. She wears a bright pink zip-up shirt and a blue print cloth wrapped up to her chest. Snuggled in that, hugging her side, is a chubby-cheeked baby boy.

My gut assumption is that the infant must be Christina's little brother. I know 8-month-old Praise is actually her son. Still, it's startling when, as we speak, she shifts him around front to nurse.

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