Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson http://wesa.fm en Not An April Fools' Joke: Russians Petition To Get Alaska Back http://wesa.fm/post/not-april-fools-joke-russians-petition-get-alaska-back President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago.<p>Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs.<p>A recent petition written in clunky English on the official <a href="https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/alaska-back-russia/SFG1ppfN" target="_blank">White House website </a>seeks Alaska's secession and return t Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:47:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 26849 at http://wesa.fm Not An April Fools' Joke: Russians Petition To Get Alaska Back Caught Between Russia And Ukraine, Border Cities Share Only Worry http://wesa.fm/post/caught-between-russia-and-ukraine-border-cities-share-only-worry The deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops along their country's western border with Ukraine worries the new government in Kiev and its Western allies, including President Obama.<p>In a phone call Friday, he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull those forces back, a demand likely to be repeated by Secretary of State John Kerry when he meets with his Russian counterpart in Paris Sunday.<p>But people in the Russian border city of Belgorod, one of the places where troops have been gathering, say they can't understand why the U.S. Sun, 30 Mar 2014 16:17:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 26733 at http://wesa.fm Caught Between Russia And Ukraine, Border Cities Share Only Worry With Ribbons, Russians Show Support For Takeover In Crimea http://wesa.fm/post/ribbons-russians-show-support-takeover-crimea It's hard to keep up with the vast array of colored ribbons that convey causes around the world, especially when the same color has multiple meanings. Red ones, for example, represent AIDS awareness but also drunk driving prevention, among other things.<p>Last week, deputies in the Russian parliament, or Duma, adopted their own ribbon to signal approval for Russia's takeover of Crimea – ones with black and orange stripes.<p>As <em>The Moscow Times</em> noted in a story Tuesday, it became "an almost obligatory accessory for ... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:32:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 26458 at http://wesa.fm With Ribbons, Russians Show Support For Takeover In Crimea EU Rejects Crimean Vote, Weighs Sanctions Against Russia http://wesa.fm/post/eu-rejects-crimean-vote-weighs-sanctions-against-russia Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And as Eleanor just told Renee, the government in Kiev says the world is with them, and not with Russia.<p>Let's bring in NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson into this conversation. She's in Berlin. She's been monitoring the European reaction to the vote in Crimea.<p>And, Soraya, as we mentioned, the EU, like the United States, threatening sanctions against Russia. EU foreign ministers are actually meeting today to draw some up and take a vote. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:07:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 25961 at http://wesa.fm Germany Changes Its Tone On Russia, And EU Sanctions May Follow http://wesa.fm/post/germany-changes-its-tone-russia-and-eu-sanctions-may-follow Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>The chancellor of Germany is warning Russia to step back from its confrontation with the West over Ukraine.<p>CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: (Foreign language spoken)<p>SIEGEL: Angela Merkel says if Moscow continues its present course, it will change Europe's whole relationship with Russia. She told the German Parliament today that this would cause massive damage to Russia, economically and politically. It's a sharp change in tone for Merkel. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:28:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 25823 at http://wesa.fm In Kiev, Leaders Ink A Deal — But Will The People Follow? http://wesa.fm/post/kiev-leaders-ink-deal-will-people-follow Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>An uneasy calm settled over Kiev today since opposition leaders signed a peace deal with Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych. But after three days of fighting left scores of people dead, protesters are still trying to decide if the deal is worth the sacrifice. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 24811 at http://wesa.fm At Least 70 Killed In Kiev, With Casualties Still Mounting http://wesa.fm/post/least-70-killed-kiev-casualties-still-mounting Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>In Ukraine, protesters and police clash today in the worst violence yet during the three-month old uprising against President Viktor Yanukovych. A flurry of diplomatic visits to Kiev and the EU's threat of sanctions have failed to slow the carnage. At least 100 people are reported dead after two days of fighting. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 24737 at http://wesa.fm From The Streets Of Kiev, A Firsthand Look At the Protests http://wesa.fm/post/streets-kiev-firsthand-look-protests Police in Kiev continue to try to clear protesters from the streets of the Ukrainian capital, where violence has left both police and demonstrators dead. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 24678 at http://wesa.fm Iran's Nuclear Talks: What To Expect Next http://wesa.fm/post/irans-nuclear-talks-what-expect-next The next round of Iranian nuclear talks with world powers is fast approaching, and there's still a lot of skepticism in the air over the prospects for a comprehensive deal.<p>Iran will sit down with the U.S. and five other major powers in Vienna on Feb. 18 as they try to hammer out a long-term agreement on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:18:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 23891 at http://wesa.fm Iran's Nuclear Talks: What To Expect Next Germany's New Defense Minister: More Peacekeeping Missions Welcome http://wesa.fm/post/germanys-new-defense-minister-more-peacekeeping-missions-welcome Many Germans were surprised in December when Ursula von der Leyen was named the country's first female defense minister.<p>Some people questioned whether a medical doctor with seven children, who championed Germany's generous parental leave policy, was the right choice to shepherd the country's military through the challenges of being a newly minted volunteer force.<p>Others wondered whether a woman with no military experience could even do the job. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 09:55:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 23724 at http://wesa.fm Germany's New Defense Minister: More Peacekeeping Missions Welcome Heinrich Himmler's Private Letters Published In German Newspaper http://wesa.fm/post/heinrich-himmlers-private-letters-published-german-newspaper "The Handwriting of a Mass Murderer" is how Germany's <em>Die Welt </em>newspaper bills its <a href="http://www.welt.de/himmler/">eight-part series</a> featuring excerpts of Heinrich Himmler's personal letters accompanied by family photos, which are reportedly being published for the first time.<p>(An English-language version is <a href="http://www.welt.de/geschichte/himmler/article124223862/Insight-into-the-orderly-world-of-a-mass-murderer.html">here</a>.)<p>The excerpts, published this weekend, come from roughly 700 letters that Himmler, leader of the Nazis' notorious, black-uniformed SS cor Sun, 26 Jan 2014 21:39:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 23401 at http://wesa.fm Heinrich Himmler's Private Letters Published In German Newspaper Restaurant Owner Loved The Patrons He Died Trying To Protect http://wesa.fm/post/restaurant-owner-loved-patrons-he-died-protecting Taverna du Liban was a welcome respite from the pressures of living in a third-world war zone.<p>The cozy, Kabul restaurant with its Middle Eastern décor served up a tasty variety of Lebanese dishes and the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten, courtesy of the Lebanese owner, Kamal Hamade, who baked the cakes himself.<p>But the appeal of Taverna — where I ate nearly every week when I lived in Afghanistan — was about much more than the food. It was about friendship.<p>Kamal treated each of his customers as a personal friend. Whenever my friends and I went there, he'd come over to chat. Sat, 18 Jan 2014 09:52:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 23017 at http://wesa.fm Restaurant Owner Loved The Patrons He Died Trying To Protect German Farmers Fear For Europe's Bacon With U.S. Trade Deal http://wesa.fm/post/german-farmers-fear-europes-bacon-us-trade-deal When German farmers and activists descended upon Chancellor Angela Merkel's office building Wednesday morning, they brought along some special guests — 17 pigs. The stunt was the latest European backlash against a proposed free trade deal with the U.S. that could lift restrictions on American meat sold in Europe.<p>Under the watchful eye of German police officers, the pigs munched happily on straw strewn across the pavement to keep the herd from running amok.<p>The protesters said the pigs at today's protest were meant to symbolize wholesome farming, rather than to insult Merkel. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:31:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 22891 at http://wesa.fm German Farmers Fear For Europe's Bacon With U.S. Trade Deal Despite Dim Prospects, Syrian Exodus To Germany Continues http://wesa.fm/post/despite-dim-prospects-syrian-exodus-germany-continues Human rights officials say the Syrian civil war is creating Europe's biggest refugee crisis in decades, but that countries across the continent are doing little about it.<p>Most European nations are refusing to take in Syrian refugees, choosing instead to send money to the United Nations and other international agencies. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 22628 at http://wesa.fm Despite Dim Prospects, Syrian Exodus To Germany Continues Berlin Clinic Aims To Make Genital Cutting Survivors Feel Whole http://wesa.fm/post/berlin-clinic-aims-make-genital-cutting-survivors-feel-whole At a recent sewing class held in Berlin at <a href="http://www.mama-afrika.org/" target="_blank">Mama Afrika</a>, which helps immigrants adjust to life in Germany, most of the African and Middle Eastern students feign ignorance when founder Hadja Kaba asks them about female genital mutilation.<p>Turning to one young woman wearing a veil she asks, "Have you been cut?"<p>"Yes," the woman answers, holding up the cloth she is sewing.<p>Kaba tries again. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 22256 at http://wesa.fm Berlin Clinic Aims To Make Genital Cutting Survivors Feel Whole 'Jihad Tourism': From Germany To The Syrian Battlefield http://wesa.fm/post/jihad-tourism-germany-syrian-battlefield More than 240 people have left Germany to join the civil war in Syria — the largest reported number from a European country.<p>One was Burak Karan, a rising German-Turkish soccer player who died in northern Syria in October at age 26. <em>Bild</em> newspaper quoted his brother saying Karan had gone to the border region between Turkey and Syria to help distribute aid.<p>But <em>Spiegel</em> magazine reports that a video posted on YouTube on Oct. 22 by an unknown Islamist group showed Karan posing with an assault rifle. Sun, 22 Dec 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 21817 at http://wesa.fm 'Jihad Tourism': From Germany To The Syrian Battlefield Is A 500-Year-Old German Beer Law Heritage Worth Honoring? http://wesa.fm/post/500-year-old-german-beer-law-heritage-worth-honoring Germans are serious about their beer. Serious enough for the European country's main brewers association to urge the United Nations to recognize that fact.<p>The brewers association wants a five-century-old law governing how German beer is made to become part of the <a href="http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/">UNESCO World Heritage</a> list. Wed, 18 Dec 2013 08:05:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 21569 at http://wesa.fm Germany's Merkel To Be Sworn In Again As Chancellor http://wesa.fm/post/germanys-merkel-be-sworn-third-term Weeks of post-election political limbo have ended in Germany. The country's main center-left party has voted to join the coalition government of Angela Merkel. The move clears the way for her to start her third term as chancellor. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 09:35:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 21438 at http://wesa.fm Grandma Exodus: German Seniors Look To Poland For Care http://wesa.fm/post/grandma-exodus-german-seniors-look-poland-care A handful of German and Polish residents at a nursing home in the Polish mountain town of Szklarska Poreba play a Scrabble-like game using blocks with large letters.<p>The seniors are tended to by Polish workers who offer a steady supply of smiles, hugs and encouragement.<p>Leonardo Tegls says such personal attention makes this nursing home, Sun House, special. The 87-year-old Dutch-born immigrant to Germany says he first learned about the Polish nursing home from a TV ad.<p>He says he had become too frail live on his own, but his German stepdaughter didn't have enough room to take him in. Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:43:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 18280 at http://wesa.fm Grandma Exodus: German Seniors Look To Poland For Care German Voters Expected To Elect Merkel To Third Term http://wesa.fm/post/german-voters-expected-elect-merkel-third-term Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>German voters are expected to elect Chancellor Angela Merkel to a third term on Sunday. Now, if she wins, Merkel, who is a former physicist, will be on the path to becoming Europe's longest-serving female head of government. The prospect of another four years of Merkel unsettles many Europeans outside Germany. But she is respected at home. Fri, 20 Sep 2013 08:47:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 16851 at http://wesa.fm Germany's Refugee Policy Tested By New Arrivals http://wesa.fm/post/germanys-refugee-policy-tested-new-arrivals As many as 5,000 Syrian refugees are <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/09/12/221764124/for-some-syrian-refugees-a-new-home-in-germany" target="_blank">moving to Germany this month</a> after Chancellor Angela Merkel's government agreed to a U.N. request to host them. But they aren't receiving the warmest welcome in a country where a growing number of Germans are unhappy about the steady stream of asylum seekers. Mon, 16 Sep 2013 11:18:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 16592 at http://wesa.fm Germany's Refugee Policy Tested By New Arrivals Like Anthony Weiner, German Politician Gives One-Finger Salute http://wesa.fm/post/anthony-weiner-german-politician-gives-one-finger-salute If two politicians on different continents both give an upthrust middle finger to the camera in the same week, is that enough to call it a global trend?<p>Perhaps we need one more, but here's what we have so far.<p>First there was failed New York mayoral candidate <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/10/anthony-weiner-middle-finger_n_3903886.html" target="_blank">Anthony Weiner</a>, who, in a rare display of impulsive behavior, expressed his feelings toward a reporter as he left his election night party Tuesday.<p>Then there's <a href="http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/peer-steinbru Fri, 13 Sep 2013 16:20:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 16508 at http://wesa.fm In Egypt, 'Third Square' Protesters Seek Middle Road http://wesa.fm/post/egypt-third-square-protesters-seek-middle-road <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9pPijKhnpE</p> Fri, 02 Aug 2013 20:28:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 14216 at http://wesa.fm In Egypt, 'Third Square' Protesters Seek Middle Road Egypt Clashes Among Country's Worst Bloodshed http://wesa.fm/post/egypt-clashes-among-countrys-worst-bloodshed Transcript <p>SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg.<p>Egypt's Health Ministry reports more than 70 people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters that took place on a major road in Cairo. Most of them were supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails.<p>Reaction to the fighting in Egypt is rather muted at the moment. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 11:07:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 13886 at http://wesa.fm Crackdown In Egypt Shows Shift In Military's Approach http://wesa.fm/post/crackdown-egypt-shows-shift-militarys-approach In Egypt, protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/27/206015254/dozens-killed-as-egypt-demonstrations-turn-deadly">turned deadly Saturday</a>, after Egyptian security forces launched the most violent crackdown yet on those demonstrators.<p>The Egyptian Health Ministry says around 80 people were killed — most of them in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which the deposed president hails, put the death toll at nearly twice that number. Sat, 27 Jul 2013 22:22:00 +0000 Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson 13869 at http://wesa.fm Crackdown In Egypt Shows Shift In Military's Approach