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Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

Germany enjoys a reputation as a pioneer of clean energy. Its leader Angela Merkel was even dubbed the "climate chancellor" when she decided to ditch nuclear power in 2011. But the reality is much dirtier.

Centuries-old villages across the country are being bulldozed to make way to mine brown coal — one of the filthiest and cheapest fossil fuels. As the world's biggest brown coal miner, Germany is at risk of missing its 2020 carbon emissions targets.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the White House is ready to enforce sanctions against Iran that will be re-imposed starting Monday — an effort by the U.S. to "push back" against Tehran's "malign activity."

The renewed sanctions follow President Trump's decision in May to withdraw the U.S. from the multi-nation nuclear accord with Tehran. The 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, of JCPOA, brought a suspension of U.S. sanctions in exchange for Tehran's agreement to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Updated at 6:40 a.m. ET on Monday

At least 91 people are dead after a major 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Lombok on Sunday, jolting nearby Bali. It was the second deadly quake in a week to hit the major tourist destinations.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

There is confusion this morning over what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is calling an attempt on his life. Maduro was giving a televised speech in the capital, Caracas, when this happened.

Three Czech service members with NATO's Resolute Support mission were killed Sunday in eastern Afghanistan by a suicide bomber, the U.S. military and Czech authorities said.

In addition, one American service member and two Afghan soldiers were injured.

They were on foot patrol with Afghan forces, according to NATO.

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DON GONYEA, HOST:

Updated at 11:03 p.m. ET

Venezuelan officials say that President Nicolás Maduro has escaped an assassination attempt unharmed.

Maduro was giving a live televised speech in the capital city of Caracas on Saturday when, a government spokesman said, explosive-carrying drones went off near the president.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez called the incident an "attack" on the leader, reports The Associated Press, and said seven National Guard soldiers were injured.

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

Chinese authorities are razing one of the Beijing studios of dissident artist Ai Weiwei. He said that demolition crews showed up without advance warning, and have begun the process of tearing down the studio.

Ai has been a longtime critic of the government, and on Saturday, he began posting videos to his Instagram feed of the studio's destruction. "Farewell," Ai wrote. "They started to demolish my studio 'Zuoyuo' in Beijing with no precaution."

Last week was a momentous one for the future of genetically engineered foods, both in the U.S. and in Europe. On July 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Impossible Burger, an all-veggie burger that "bleeds" and sizzles just like meat.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

All roads lead to Rome, but the roads in Rome full of potholes and uncollected trash. Romans are not happy and blame the Five Star Movement political party. It's run Rome for two years and recently took hold of the national government. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To the outsider, there is a beguiling charm and tranquility about the farming town of Central do Maranhão in northeast Brazil. It's tucked amid the palm groves, mango trees and rice fields that cover the landscape rolling gently toward the Atlantic Ocean, some 30 miles to the north.

It's 'Shark Tank' For Global Health Inventions

Aug 4, 2018

What would happen if global health innovators appeared on "Shark Tank," the reality TV show that judges business concepts from straightforward to zany?

The Treasury Department slapped sanctions on a Russian bank on Friday, accusing it of processing transactions for North Korea in violation of United Nations sanctions.

Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank knowingly facilitated "a significant transaction" on behalf of a person affiliated with North Korea's weapons of mass destruction, the agency said in a statement.

The individual was named as Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of North Korea's primary foreign exchange bank, the Foreign Trade Bank.

A new study reveals that the architects and builders of Stonehenge may have been Welsh, from more than 100 miles away. The journal Scientific Reports reveals some human remains excavated at the site were from the Preseli Mountains in Wales. While many studies have focused on the construction of Stonehenge, this is one of the first to explore who the people were that built it.

It was 1981.

A new Republican president with a background in the entertainment business was trying to jump-start the U.S. economy out of a brutal recession.

The president pushed tax cuts.

Then his administration had to come up with a plan to deal with trade. America's auto industry was suffering, as new competition came in from Japan.

What the Reagan administration did about it has shaped the auto industry we see today in America. And it could serve as an example for the Trump administration in its ongoing, rancorous trade battles.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

China has announced a plan to impose new tariffs on $60 billion of American goods, in retaliation for the latest tariff threats from the Trump administration.

Earlier this week, the White House said it was considering boosting tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, raising those tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent. That particular set of tariffs has not yet taken effect.

Tension is rising between Iran and the United States these days. But Iran's leaders are facing pressure from various sides at home, too.

Ordinary Iranians are mounting protests that refuse to go away, despite a sharp response from the authorities.

The demonstrations began to make news late last year, focusing largely on economic hardship. As those protests continued in cities around the country, another movement re-emerged: young women standing up against the enforcement of conservative Muslim strictures on their dress and behavior.

Morning News Brief

Aug 3, 2018

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NOEL KING, HOST:

White House officials came out yesterday, and they showed a rare unified front. They said they're focused on preventing interference in U.S. elections.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Yeah. Here's how Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats put it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Three Russian journalists were killed on Monday night in the Central African Republic as they were investigating a private military company with ties to the Kremlin.

Acclaimed war correspondent Orkhan Dzhemal, documentary filmmaker Alexander Rastorguyev and cameraman Kirill Radchenko traveled to the country to make a documentary for a news website funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oil tycoon who was imprisoned in Russia and then exiled.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This week in Zimbabwe, there was a vote, then accusations of vote rigging followed by street protests and a military crackdown. At least six people died. Now finally we have results in Zimbabwe's first election since Dictator Robert Mugabe was forced out in November.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Google was once criticized for running a censored version of its search engine in China, at one point being taken to task by lawmakers in hearings on Capitol Hill. Here's tape from New Jersey Representative Chris Smith in 2006.

Japanese media is buzzing about reports that a prestigious Tokyo medical school systematically lowered women's scores on an admission test in order to admit fewer women.

Starting in about 2011, Tokyo Medical University started deducting points from female applicants' entrance exam scores, according to multiple reports.

Just minutes after Caucher Birkar was given a golden Fields Medal at a ceremony Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, it vanished.

Birkar, a Kurd who fled Iran and became a Cambridge University professor, was one of four people to win the award.

"I really want to help people in less privileged locations, countries. ... Especially in the case of Kurds," he said in receiving the award. "And I'm hoping that this news would maybe put a little smile on the lips of these 40 million people."

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