Michele Kelemen http://wkar.org en In Trafficking Report, A Stark Warning About Thai Fishing Industry http://wkar.org/post/trafficking-report-stark-warning-about-thai-fishing-industry The U.S. state department has issued its annual report on human trafficking. According to the report, Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela have not been doing enough to combat modern slavery. And the report includes a warning to American importers of seafood: Clean up supply chains that include Thailand, where fish may be caught or processed using slave labor. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 55544 at http://wkar.org White House Plans To Mark Off World's Largest Ocean Sanctuary http://wkar.org/post/white-house-plans-mark-worlds-largest-ocean-sanctuary Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama is once again exercising his executive authority for an environmental cause. Today he announced plans to create the world's largest marine preserve. His proposal came in a video shown at the State Department's "Our Ocean" conference. The White House says it will seek input from fisherman, scientists, and other experts before setting boundaries for the preserve. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 55357 at http://wkar.org As Iraq Comes Apart At The Seams, Washington Weighs What To Do http://wkar.org/post/iraq-comes-apart-seams-washington-weighs-what-do Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>We now return to NPR's Michele Kelemen on how the White House is weighing its options in aiding Iraq and its Confrontation with ISIS extremist and finding limited options.<p>MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: For those experts who argued that the U.S. should have tried harder to reach an agreement with Iraq to leave some troops there rather than pull out completely in 2011 this is their nightmare scenario. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 20:02:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 55119 at http://wkar.org Russia Takes Helm Of UN Security Council, Turns Focus On Ukraine http://wkar.org/post/russia-takes-helm-un-security-council-turns-focus-ukraine Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Russia holds the presidency at the United Nations Security Council at the moment. That role rotates monthly. And this is shaping up to be a month of high diplomatic drama. Russia's ambassador is trying to keep the council focused on Ukraine. He's calling for humanitarian corridors to provide aid the east of the country. The U.S. and other council members accused Russia of hypocrisy. And they plan to focus on other humanitarian concerns like Syria. Tue, 03 Jun 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 54669 at http://wkar.org Frustrations Defeat Another Diplomat, As U.N. Syria Envoy Quits http://wkar.org/post/frustrations-defeat-another-diplomat-un-syria-envoy-quits Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. The conflict in Syria now in its 4th year, and a diplomatic solution seems as far off as ever. The international diplomat who's been trying to lead negotiations announced he's stepping down. It's a new sign of just how bad things are Syria. And as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, there doesn't seem to be a plan B.<p>MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Two seasoned diplomats have now tried their hand at diplomacy on Syria only to quit out of frustration. Tue, 13 May 2014 20:05:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 53631 at http://wkar.org The Nation That Elects The Most Women Is ... http://wkar.org/post/nation-elects-most-women As Rwanda began to rebuild itself from the ashes of the 1994 genocide, something unexpected happened: Women began playing a much more influential role on many fronts, including politics.<p>Traditions that had limited women previously were cast aside, and President Paul Kagame also actively pushed for women to be in more prominent positions.<p>Today, women make up 64 percent of the country's lower house of Parliament — a far higher percentage than in any other nation, according to figures compiled by the <a href="http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm" target="_blank">Inter-Parliamentary Union</a Thu, 08 May 2014 17:43:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 53379 at http://wkar.org The Nation That Elects The Most Women Is ... U.S. Offers Aid In Search For Nigerian Girls, But Is It Too Late? http://wkar.org/post/us-offers-aid-search-nigerian-girls-it-too-late Nigeria is offering a $300,000 reward for anyone who can find the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/05/06/310100085/boko-harams-local-fight-suddenly-gets-international-scrutiny">Islamist group Boko Haram</a>. The U.S. is also pitching in with hostage negotiators and intelligence experts. President Obama says <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/06/310125233/u-s-sending-team-to-help-with-search-for-abducted-nigerian-girls">the U.S. Wed, 07 May 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 53348 at http://wkar.org U.S. Offers Aid In Search For Nigerian Girls, But Is It Too Late? In Ukraine, West's New Diplomatic Options May Be Few http://wkar.org/post/ukraine-wests-new-diplomatic-options-may-be-few 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. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. won't sit idly by while Russia fans the flames of instability in Ukraine. But so far, U.S. and European sanctions haven't changed Russia's calculations. Kerry blames Russia for failing to calm the crisis. Russia says Ukraine should stop its offensive against separatists in the east. Tue, 06 May 2014 21:34:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 53290 at http://wkar.org In Rubble Of Middle East Peace Talks, Kerry Seeks Way Forward http://wkar.org/post/rubble-middle-east-peace-talks-kerry-seeks-way-forward Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is a challenging time for Secretary of State John Kerry. His Middle East peace process has collapsed. He's also taking a lot of heat for suggesting that Israel could become an apartheid state if it doesn't negotiate with the Palestinians on two states for two peoples. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on how Kerry is trying to dig out.<p>MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Kerry doesn't call this a failure and his spokesperson says he has no regrets about the time he put into peace talks. Thu, 01 May 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 53063 at http://wkar.org Out Of North Korea, A Sexist Rant Against South's President http://wkar.org/post/out-north-korea-sexist-rant-against-souths-president Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>North Korea is offering its view of President Obama's trip to Asia and it isn't pretty. The official North Korean news agency used especially harsh language about South Korea's president who hosted Obama last week. By the way, we're about to hear more about that harsh language, so consider this a head's up if any children are listening. Here's NPR's Michele Kelemen.<p>MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: The statement is ironically from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea. Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:17:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 52893 at http://wkar.org Obama: May Be Time For A Pause In Mideast Peace Talks http://wkar.org/post/obama-may-be-time-pause-mideast-peace-talks Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Obama administration's recent efforts to try to steer Israel and Palestine into - and the Palestinians into a lasting peace accord have failed. President Obama isn't giving up, but as he acknowledges, it may be time for a pause. He says Israelis and Palestinians have both taken unhelpful steps in recent weeks and neither side looks ready to compromise. Sat, 26 Apr 2014 11:51:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 52794 at http://wkar.org Syria Is On Track To Meet Chemical Weapons Deadline http://wkar.org/post/syria-track-meet-chemical-weapons-deadline Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>This is about as close as we're going to get to good news out of Syria. The country is on track, we're told, to meet a deadline to give up its chemical weapons arsenal. The most dangerous chemicals in Syria's declared stockpile are supposed to be removed by Sunday, yet Syria now faces suspicion that it's using less toxic chemicals, possibly chlorine. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.<p>MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Secretary of State John Kerry counts the chemical weapons deal he negotiated with Russia as one of his diplomatic wins in his first year in office. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 09:03:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 52738 at http://wkar.org Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy http://wkar.org/post/taunt-or-miscalculation-irans-provocative-pick-un-envoy Iran's reported decision to name Hamid Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the United Nations has ignited anger in the U.S. That's because the diplomat was part of the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979. Now, dozens of lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to deny him a visa.<p>It's the latest sign of just how difficult it will be for Washington and Tehran to overcome decades of mistrust.<p>By most accounts, Aboutalebi wasn't directly involved in the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:45:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 51726 at http://wkar.org Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy Russia Cautions Against A Return Of Cold War Rhetoric http://wkar.org/post/russia-cautions-against-return-cold-war-rhetoric Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Ever since Russia annexed Crimea, NATO has been watching and waiting for Russia's next moves. This morning, NATO's military commander, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said Russia has the forces it needs along Ukraine's border to carryout a full scale invasion of the eastern part of that country within a matter of days. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:38:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 51567 at http://wkar.org Russia Votes To Annex Crimea, As The West Looks On http://wkar.org/post/russia-votes-annex-crimea-west-looks 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>Russia's President Vladimir Putin moved today to overturn recent history by reclaiming Crimea for Russia. Putin signed a treaty to annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and gave a rousing speech to parliament laying out his case. He is also blasted the West for trying to frighten him with sanctions.<p>The United States calls Putin's actions illegal. But as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the U.S. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50853 at http://wkar.org Yatsenyuk Appeals For International Aid For Ukraine http://wkar.org/post/yatsenyuk-appeals-international-aid-ukraine Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk takes his case to the United Nations on Thursday, as he tries to build support for his country in its territorial conflict with Russia. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 10:47:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50588 at http://wkar.org Ukraine's Interim Prime Minister To Visit White House http://wkar.org/post/ukraines-interim-prime-minister-visit-white-house Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>Ukraine's interim prime minister meets with President Obama today at the White House. That visit comes at a time when Ukraine's territorial integrity is under threat. The country's region of Crimea is expected to vote this weekend to secede and join Russia. U.S. efforts to resolve this diplomatically with Moscow have gone nowhere. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 09:04:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50522 at http://wkar.org Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air http://wkar.org/post/pending-russian-response-kerrys-travel-plans-are-air Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>I'm Robert Siegel.<p>And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50434 at http://wkar.org Kerry And Russian Diplomat Talk Crimea In Paris http://wkar.org/post/kerry-and-russian-diplomat-talk-crimea-paris Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Yesterday, he was in Ukraine. Today, it's Paris. Secretary of State John Kerry is logging a lot of miles these days, trying to find a diplomatic solution to the unfolding crisis in Crimea. In Paris, he met with Russia's foreign minister. Kerry said the discussions were substantive. Diplomatic sources tell NPR the results were inconclusive. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50240 at http://wkar.org Kerry's In Kiev And He Comes Bearing Gifts — One Billion Of Them http://wkar.org/post/kerrys-kiev-and-he-comes-bearing-gifts-one-billion-them Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kiev Tuesday, offering $1 billion in American loan guarantees and promises of technical assistance to the new Ukrainian government. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50184 at http://wkar.org Syria On Track To Become World's Largest Source Of Refugees http://wkar.org/post/syria-track-become-worlds-largest-source-refugees A photo from Syria is grabbing the world's attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of a Palestinian refugee camp inside Syria.<p>Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia was so moved by the image, he took to the Senate floor, saying "a country of 23 million people, a proud country, is being transformed before our eyes to a land of rubble, skeletons, refugees and ghosts."<p>Syria was once a destination country for refugees. Now, it is fast becoming the world's biggest source of them. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:58:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50049 at http://wkar.org Syria On Track To Become World's Largest Source Of Refugees Secretary Of State Kerry Says Ukraine Is Not A 'Cold War Story' http://wkar.org/post/secretary-state-kerry-says-ukraine-not-cold-war-story Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/28/283878194/ousted-president-is-ready-to-fight-for-the-future-of-ukraine">emerged Friday</a> to give a news conference on Russian soil, not far from the Ukraine border. Russia is not only giving Yanukovych shelter — it's also <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/26/282872811/putin-flexes-moscows-military-muscles-puts-army-on-alert">carrying out military exercises</a> that have raised alarms in Washington.<p>The U.S. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:25:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 50012 at http://wkar.org Secretary Of State Kerry Says Ukraine Is Not A 'Cold War Story' U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela http://wkar.org/post/us-has-little-leverage-stop-political-violence-venezuela The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:49:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 49946 at http://wkar.org U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela Will Ukraine Do What It Takes To Unlock International Aid? http://wkar.org/post/west-eyes-new-leaders-same-money-issues-ukraine The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday.<p>"The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.<p>After three months of street protests and the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, the U.S. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 49829 at http://wkar.org Will Ukraine Do What It Takes To Unlock International Aid? U.S., Allies Urge All Sides In Ukraine To Pull Back From Brink http://wkar.org/post/us-allies-urge-all-sides-ukraine-pull-back-brink Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Poland are traveling to Ukraine in hopes of persuading all sides in the country's recent violence to pull back from the brink and restart a political dialogue. The U.S. is also urging the country's president to calm the situation and restart a dialogue with the opposition. But the U.S. and Europe seem to have few levers of influence, as the crisis spins out of control.<p>U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before reporters in Paris Wednesday to restate his hope for a negotiated settlement to the political crisis in Ukraine. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:45:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 49596 at http://wkar.org U.S., Allies Urge All Sides In Ukraine To Pull Back From Brink More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees http://wkar.org/post/more-ambassador-posts-are-going-political-appointees The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right?<p>But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 00:07:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 49358 at http://wkar.org More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees Leaked Ukraine Phone Call Puts U.S. Credibility On The Line http://wkar.org/post/leaked-ukraine-phone-call-puts-us-credibility-line Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>An embarrassing moment today for the U.S. State Department. A recording surfaced on YouTube, purportedly of two senior U.S. diplomats talking about Ukraine. The timing was inconvenient. The assistant secretary of State for Europe is in Kiev to talk about how to resolve the political crisis there. And the contents of the recording were also embarrassing. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:59:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 49014 at http://wkar.org Kerry: 'No Other Alternative' To Ending Violence In Syria http://wkar.org/post/kerry-no-other-alternative-ending-violence-syria Transcript <p>ARUN RATH, HOST: <p>It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.<p>The U.S. and other world powers have agreed on a plan with Iran to start rolling back parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal goes into effect later this month.<p>SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: As of that day, January 20th, for the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance. Sun, 12 Jan 2014 21:57:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 47885 at http://wkar.org U.N. Ambassador Laments Misery In Central African Republic http://wkar.org/post/power-laments-tyranny-mob-central-african-republic You don't have to venture far to see the misery caused by the latest crisis in the Central African Republic.<p>On the edge of the airport in the capital Bangui, tens of thousands of people are sleeping out in the open with no basic services. It's here that Samantha Power, the U.S. Fri, 20 Dec 2013 08:54:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 46952 at http://wkar.org U.N. Ambassador Laments Misery In Central African Republic U.S. Envoy: Time For Intervention In Central African Republic http://wkar.org/post/us-envoy-time-intervention-central-african-republic The Obama administration's ambassador to the U.N. says this is a pivotal moment for the Central African Republic and time for the international community to take steps to prevent further atrocities there.<p>Samantha Power, a former journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is well-known as an advocate for humanitarian intervention. Wed, 18 Dec 2013 21:16:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 46883 at http://wkar.org U.S. Envoy: Time For Intervention In Central African Republic