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Europe
5:01 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

As Protests Renew In Ukraine, Fears Of Violence Return

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to Ukraine where the crisis is intensifying. Today, there were more clashes between protesters and police in the capital city, Kiev. This after a massive protest turned violent yesterday, when more than 100,000 people turned out to denounce a new law that limits public protests. The protests have shaken Ukraine for two months, as the opposition claims President Viktor Yanukovych is turning increasingly autocratic and aligning his country with Russia.

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Middle East
5:01 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Surprise Invitation Lands Syrian Peace Talks In Hot Water

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:44 pm

The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference is again in turmoil. The U.N. secretary-general's surprise decision to invite Iran to attend the conference prompted a boycott threat from Syria's exiled opposition. At issue is the fact that Iran has not publicly committed to the framework for the conference or pledged to withdraw its troops and allied militias from Syria. Under pressure from the opposition groups and the U.S., the U.N. has since withdrawn its invitation to Iran.

Afghanistan
5:01 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks

NPR producer Sultan Faizy's car — parked right outside the NPR office in Kabul — was recently targeted by the police. Police say the policy is meant to prevent militants from stealing cars for use in bomb attacks.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:16 am

In Kabul, car theft isn't a big problem, but it is a big concern. Security officials fear that militants could use stolen vehicles as car bombs. So the police have turned to a rather controversial tactic to deter thieves.

On a recent evening, a guest left our office only to discover two of his car tires had been punctured. Moments later, my producer discovered two of his tires had been punctured. Both cars were parked on the side of the street in front of our office.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Two Killed, Others Hurt In Omaha Plant Explosion

The wrecked International Nutrition plant in Omaha, Neb., where a fire and explosion took place on Monday.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 10:49 pm

Update at 9:02 p.m. EST. All Workers Account For:

In a press conference Monday evening Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney said all of the 38 workers in the building have been accounted for. Officials say two died, 10 were hospitalized and seven others were hurt but refused treatment. The remaining 19 workers escaped.

Interim Fire Chief Bernard Kanger said that one body had been recovered but did not identify the person because the family has yet to be notified.

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Author Interviews
3:55 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

For World Superpowers, The Negotiating Table Often Had A Net

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

In the spring of 1971, two global antagonists found a diplomatic opening through an unlikely source, the game of ping-pong.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NEWSCASTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Good evening. The bamboo curtain has been cracked by a ping-pong ball.

MIKE WALLACE: China lifted the bamboo curtain today, long enough to let in 15 American ping-pong players.

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Education
3:55 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

The Second Lives Of 'Stuff' In Chicago Public Schools

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Over the past six months, Chicago has been emptying out dozens of school buildings. The city voted to close 50 schools last spring. The district said it needed to concentrate students in fewer buildings so resources wouldn't be spread so thin.

Reporter Linda Lutton, from member station WBEZ, has been tracking what's happened to the things that used to fill those schools.

(SOUNDBITE OF VEHICLE AND HORN)

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Public Safety
3:50 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help

Mentally ill inmates who are able to shower, eat, sit quietly and otherwise care for themselves live in the jail's Division 2. A psychologist is stationed right outside the room, and officers are specially trained to deal with psychotic episodes.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 8:55 am

Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Tom Dart walks the halls of his jail every day. With 10,000 inmates, this place is a small city — except a third of the people here are mentally ill.

Dart has created some of the most innovative programs in the country to handle mentally ill inmates, hiring doctors and psychologists, and training staff. But if you ask anyone here, even this jail is barely managing.

"I can't conceive of anything more ridiculously stupid by government than to do what we're doing right now," Dart says.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

New Zealand Quake Shakes Eagle Sculpture From Airport Perch

A giant eagle sculpture that was being used to promote The Hobbit film trilogy after a 6.3 quake caused it to fall from the ceiling of the Wellington Airport on Monday.
Hagen Hopkins AP

Travelers at Wellington Airport in New Zealand may have felt a bit like Bilbo Baggins on a quest through Middle Earth when a giant eagle descended from the ceiling during a strong 6.3-magnitude quake that shook North Island on Monday.

The eagle — a sculpture, actually — was one of two giant birds used to promote The Hobbit films, which were shot in New Zealand. The bird was shaken off its perch in the terminal and crashed to the floor.

No one was seriously hurt at the airport or anywhere else on the island, where damage from the earthquake was reportedly minimal.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Oxfam: World's Richest 1 Percent Control Half Of Global Wealth

Local villagers scavenging coal illegally from an open-cast mine in a village near Jharia, India, in 2012.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:16 pm

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.

Other key findings in the report:

-- The world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Rosetta Space Probe Gets Interplanetary Wake-Up Call

Rosetta, the European Space Agency's cometary probe with NASA contributions, is seen in an undated artist's rendering.
NASA Reuters/Landov

... That's the message received from a bleary-eyed comet-chasing space probe on Monday, much to the relief of ground-based controllers who sent it a long distance wake-up call after nearly a three-year nap.

The European Space Agency received the communique from deep space on schedule at 1 p.m. ET from Rosetta, some 500 million miles away on a trajectory to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August. It's been in sleep mode to conserve power.

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