World

7:36am

Thu May 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Chinese Activist Tells Of 'Crazy Retaliation' Against His Family

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 6:10 am

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says his family is being hounded by local authorities in his Shandong, his home province, with his brother and sister-in-law placed under house arrest and his nephew detained.

Chen's flight last month from house arrest and his request for refuge from U.S. diplomats has caused considerable embarrassment for Chinese authorities and threatened to damage U.S.-Sino relations. Since then, Beijing has agreed in a face-saving move to allow the blind, self-taught legal activist and his immediate family to study in the United States.

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6:39am

Thu May 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Greek Parties Struggle To Form New Government

With the future of Greece's internationally mandated austerity measures hanging in the balance, the prospects for a new government in Athens are rapidly fading just four days after inconclusive parliamentary elections.

The elections left no clear winner. The conservative New Democracy party, which won the most votes, and the Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, which came in second, have both already tried and failed to form a government. The baton now passes to the traditionally dominant socialist PASOK party, which came in a distant third in Sunday's polling.

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6:07am

Thu May 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Bomb Blasts Kill At Least 50

Syrian soldiers check a burned truck in front of a damaged military intelligence building where two bombs exploded, at Qazaz neighborhood in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday.
Bassem Tellawi AP

A pair of powerful explosions ripped through Syria's capital, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest attack in the country's 14-month uprising. Some 170 people were wounded, according to state television.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local TV reports called the attacks "terrorist bombings".

The explosions damaged a military intelligence building and left blood and human remains in the streets, according to The Associated Press.

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2:48am

Thu May 10, 2012
Middle East

Jihadist Group In Syria Carries Out Violent Attacks

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 6:17 am

Syrians appear behind the damaged windshield of a minibus as they inspect the site of a blast in the central Midan district of Damascus last month. A new jihadist organization in Syria claimed responsibility for the attack.
Louai Besharalouai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

It was Friday, April 27, when a car bomb exploded in the Damascus neighborhood of Midan. Syrian state television showed soldiers and civilians running from the smoke of the explosion under a bridge. Then the camera closed in on streams of blood and body parts.

The Syrian regime's narrative is that the uprising that has gripped the country for more than a year is not a case of people protesting and sometimes fighting for their rights; the official stance is that it's terrorism.

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12:55am

Thu May 10, 2012
Asia

After The Quake, Japanese Shop For Survival

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

Store manager Naoto Higashi models a helmet, a fully stocked kit in his backpack, and a windup flashlight. Such items have become popular in Japan following last year's huge earthquake and tsunami.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Walk into any large Japanese retailer nowadays, and you might think Japan had become a nation of survivalists.

Aeon, a Wal-Mart-like chain of stores, devotes a sizable chunk of floor space to something called bosai-yohin, or "disaster-protection gear."

Naoto Higashi, a manager at one of the Tokyo stores, demonstrates some of their best-sellers, flashlights that have become the Swiss Army knives of anti-earthquake gear.

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