Corey Flintoff

Corey Flintoff is NPR's international correspondent based in Moscow. His journalism career has taken him to more than 50 countries, most recently to cover the civil war in Libya, the revolution in Egypt and the war in Afghanistan.

After joining NPR in 1990, Flintoff worked for many years as a newscaster during All Things Considered. In 2005, he became part of the NPR team covering the Iraq War, where he embedded with U.S. military units fighting insurgents and hunting roadside bombs.

Flintoff's reporting from Iraq includes stories on sectarian killings, government corruption, the Christian refugee crisis and the destruction of Iraq's southern marshes. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti to report on the massive earthquake its aftermath. Two years before, he reported on his stint on a French warship chasing pirates off the coast of Somalia.

One of Flintoff's favorite side jobs at NPR is standing in for Carl Kasell during those rare times when the venerable scorekeeper takes a break from Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Before NPR, Flintoff served as the executive producer and host of Alaska News Nightly, a daily news magazine produced by the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage. His coverage of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was recognized with the 1989 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award.

In 1977, Flintoff got his start in public radio working at at KYUK-AM/TV, in Bethel, Alaska. KYUK is a bilingual English-Yup'ik Eskimo station and Flintoff learned just enough Yup'ik to announce the station identification. He wrote and produced a number of television documentaries about Alaskan life, including "They Never Asked Our Fathers" and "Eyes of the Spirit," which have aired on PBS and are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

He tried his hand at commercial herring fishing, dog-mushing, fiction writing and other pursuits, but failed to break out of the radio business.

Flintoff has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from the University of Chicago, both in English literature. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Drexel University.

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Africa
10:59 am
Tue April 24, 2012

The Two Sudans Appear On The Verge Of War

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visits the southern town of El-Obeid on April 19 amid rising tensions with South Sudan. The countries have been skirmishing, and there are fears of a full-scale war. Bashir says South Sudan's leaders only understand "the language of the gun."
Ebrahim Hamid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 11:16 am

Sudan and South Sudan are careering closer to a full-scale war, with fighting along their ill-defined border and belligerent rhetoric coming from both sides.

The conflict threatens to cripple the fragile economies in both nations, and it could create new burdens on neighboring countries in east and central Africa, a region prone to humanitarian disaster.

In the latest developments, South Sudanese officials say that Sudan's air force bombed its territory for a second straight day on Tuesday.

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Middle East
10:46 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Despite Protests, Bahrain Hosts Grand Prix Race

The Formula One Grand Prix Race set for Sunday in Bahrain has drawn attention to the island nation that was rocked by protests last year. Demonstrators are being kept away from the racing circuit. Driver Nico Rosberg of the Mercedes team is shown here during a practice session Friday.
Karim Jaafar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:50 pm

A year after an uprising threatened Bahrain's monarchy, the royal family is hosting a Formula One Grand Prix race this Sunday as it attempts to show life has returned to normal.

But racing fans will have to make their way through ranks of police and soldiers who are part of a heavy security presence. And riot police have been using tear gas, stun grenades and birdshot to hold back demonstrations around the capital city, Manama.

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Latin America
3:13 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Ignoring Critics, Argentina To Nationalize Oil Firm

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez holds a petroleum sample as she announces plans for her government to nationalize a giant oil company that is largely owned by a private Spanish company, Repsol. Behind her is an image of the country's former first lady, Eva Peron.
Daniel Garcia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:39 am

It's sounds like a story from the past: A Latin American leader announces plans to nationalize a large foreign company, touching off a high-stakes battle that involves money, politics and diplomacy.

Yet it's happening right now. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez said this week that her country plans to take over a giant Spanish oil company at a time when the economies in both countries are facing challenges.

Spanish officials are threatening to retaliate against Argentina for seizing a majority of shares in the biggest oil company in Argentina, YPF.

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U.S.
8:24 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Where Does America Get Oil? You May Be Surprised

The U.S. now imports far more oil from Canada than from any other country. Persian Gulf imports now account for less than 15 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. This photo shows the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in 2009.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1960s and 70s, it's been conventional wisdom to talk about American dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But the global oil market has changed dramatically since then.

Today, the U.S. actually gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Latin America.

And many Americans might be surprised to learn that the U.S. now imports roughly the same amount of oil from Africa as it does from the Persian Gulf. African imports were a bit higher in 2010, while Persian Gulf oil accounted for a bit more last year.

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Africa
10:26 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Mali's Rebellion Stirs Fear Of Wider Saharan Conflict

Tuareg rebels eat a meal last month near the Malian city of Timbuktu, which they recently captured. The rebels have taken control of northern Mali, raising concerns about stability in the broader region.
Ferhat Bouda DPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 11:26 am

Rebels from the Tuareg ethnic group now control most of northern Mali, a territory as big as France on the edge of the Sahara desert.

A column of trucks loaded with Tuareg fighters rolled into the ancient desert town of Timbuktu on Sunday, taking over the positions abandoned by fleeing government soldiers.

They include an Islamist faction that wants to impose Shariah law throughout Mali and are believed to include elements with links to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:55 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Like The U.S., Europe Wrestles With Health Care

A patient is treated at the Nord Hospital in Marseille, France, in February. European countries have also been engaged in intense debates on the future of their health care systems, where universal coverage is the norm.
Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 1:57 pm

The U.S. has been absorbed by the Supreme Court case this week on the future of health care. But Americans are not alone.

Several European nations, where universal health care has been the norm for decades, have been waging their own intense debates as they also deal with aging populations and rising costs.

Britain passed a new health care measure earlier this month, after more than a year of rancorous debate. Can the European experience cast some light on the American debate over health care?

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Africa
11:09 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Mali's Coup A Setback For A Young African Democracy

The leader of the junta that seized power in Mali, Army Capt. Amadou Sanogo, announces a curfew in the capital, Bamako, on Thursday, in this photo taken from television.The coup ousted an elected president who was due to step down after a new election next month in the West African nation.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:50 pm

The scene in Mali's capital, Bamako, shows what used to be a familiar sight: an African capital in chaos, with drunken soldiers firing into the air and looting government buildings in the wake of a coup.

Military coups were dishearteningly common for people in Africa and Latin America during the 1960s and '70s, as governments fell to opportunistic military men.

But that trend had been slowing in the past two decades, as more and more governments began to hold regular elections.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Sifting Through What We Know About The French Shootings Suspect

Police officers stand near the apartment building where a suspect in the shooting at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school is barricaded in Toulouse, southern France on Wednesday.
Bob Edme AP

The standoff between a murder suspect and French police in Toulouse, France, has stirred up a swirl of speculation about the man's background and motives, but so far there are relatively few confirmed facts.

French officials say the suspect is a 23- or 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian decent by the name of Mohammed Merah, who had a long record as a juvenile delinquent.

He's suspected in the killings this month of three French paratroopers of North African descent, as well as a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren.

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National Security
8:48 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Accused Sergeant Heads Down A Long Legal Road

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, will have the case heard in the military justice system, which has significant differences from the civilian courts. Here, Bales is shown in a training exercise in Fort Irwin, Calif., last August.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AP

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 9:50 am

The military justice system has been crafted to work efficiently, but Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales can expect a lengthy legal process as he faces accusations that he killed 16 men, women and children in Afghanistan

Bales is locked up in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as he and his lawyer prepare for a case that involves a horrendous mass murder. In addition, it's a stress point that could trigger retaliation against American troops and even affect the course of a U.S. war that's more than a decade old.

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Middle East
11:39 am
Mon March 19, 2012

New Sanction Severely Limits Iran's Global Commerce

Iran has been denied access to the worldwide messaging system used to arrange money transfers, a move that is expected to affect Iran's oil exports and economy. The South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh, Iran, is shown here in 2010.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 1:16 pm

Iran has faced international sanctions for more than three decades, which have hurt, but never crippled its economy.

Now, a new move by a relatively obscure financial institution in Europe could make it much more difficult for Iran to do basic things crucial to its economy, such as selling oil and obtaining hard currency.

As of Saturday, many Iranian banks, including the Central Bank, have been refused access to a worldwide financial messaging system that's used to arrange transfers of money.

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Europe
1:57 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

For Russia's Troubled Space Program, Mishaps Mount

Russia's unmanned Progress space freighter, headed for the International Space Station, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Oct. 30, 2011. A string of mission failures has raised concerns over the reliability of Russia's space program.
STR Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 7:56 pm

Russia was once the world leader in space exploration, but its space program has suffered a string of costly and embarrassing mishaps over the past year.

NASA says Russia is still a trustworthy partner, but critics say the once-proud program is corrupt and mismanaged โ€” good at producing excuses, but not results.

The Memorial Space Museum in Moscow showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union's space program.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Remaking Russia's Military: Big Plans, Few Results

Russian tanks drive through Moscow's Red Square during a military parade in May 2011, in commemoration of the end of World War II. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has called for revamping Russia's military for years, but the results have been limited.
Dmitry Kostyukov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 3:23 am

Every May, Russia displays its military might in a parade on Victory Day, commemorating the surrender of the Nazis to the Soviet Union in World War II.

The marching men and rolling tanks put on an impressive show, but Russia's military, and especially its defense industry, has fallen on hard times.

"The industry, much like other parts of the economy, hasn't seen proper investment for over a decade, if not more," says Lilit Gevorgyan, a Russia analyst for the defense industry consultant IHS Jane's.

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Europe
2:00 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Putin Gives Victory Speech, Charges Of Flawed Voting

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 8:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Vladimir Putin claimed his expected win last night in Russia's presidential election. He gave a fiery victory speech, displaying plenty of anger at the protesters who, in recent months, have challenged his authority. Exit polls showed Vladimir Putin winning 60 percent of the vote, but independent observers say the election was riddled with violations.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: With the Kremlin - Russia's citadel of power - at his back, Putin told a cheering crowd that they had won.

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Europe
2:03 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

After Fraud Charges, Russian Election Under Scrutiny

There were widespread allegations of fraud in Russia's parliamentary polls in December. In advance of Russia's presidential election Sunday, Russian citizens abroad have been allowed to vote early. This woman casts a ballot in Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 26.
Vyacheslav Oseledko AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 4:01 pm

Just three months ago, Russia's parliamentary elections prompted widespread allegations of fraud and drove thousands of protesters into the streets in the days afterward.

The Russian government and government critics both say they are trying to prevent a similar outcome in Sunday's presidential poll.

Valdimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister for the past 12 years, is widely expected to win another six-year term as president. But the credibility of Russian elections is also at stake.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Putin Heavily Favored As Russians Pick A President

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a campaign speech during a rally of his supporters in Moscow, Feb. 23. Putin is mounting a vigorous campaign in the face of growing opposition but is expected to win Sunday's presidential elections.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:12 am

When Russians go to the polls Sunday, they will have several choices for president. But none is a serious threat to Vladimir Putin, who has been the most powerful figure in Russia for the past 12 years.

Boris Makarenko, a longtime observer of Russian politics, says the candidates arrayed against Putin are all more or less part of what Kremlin leaders call "the systemic opposition."

In other words, he says, they are "the tolerable opposition ... which can never even hope of replacing them in the Kremlin."

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World
6:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

For And Against Putin, Russians Share Their Opinions

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

With a presidential elections just a week away, thousands of Russians formed a human chain around Moscow today to demonstrate for a, quote, Russia without Putin.

Much has been made of all the big opposition rallies held recently in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But Russia is vast, and its provinces are very different places than the major urban areas.

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Europe
2:48 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Rent-A-Crowds May Be Boosting Pro-Putin Campaign

Russians take part in a pro-Putin rally at a Moscow park on Feb. 4. Pro-Kremlin forces have been accused of paying people to attend campaign events ahead of the presidential election in March.
Alexey Sazonov AFP/Getty Images

With fewer than two weeks remaining before Russia's presidential elections, supporters and opponents of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are trying to show their strength with rallies and demonstrations.

After being stunned by the size of opposition rallies in December, pro-government forces bounced back with competing events of their own.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Sun February 19, 2012

Signs Of A Media Crackdown Emerge In Russia

Alexei Venediktov, then editor-in-chief of Moscow Echo radio station, talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during an awards ceremony in Moscow, Jan. 13. Venediktov's ouster this month is seen as a sign that the Russian government may be cracking down on the independent media.
Yana Lapikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 4:56 am

With less than two weeks to go before Russia's presidential elections, the country's independent journalists are in a state of anxiety. Government-run media seem more open than ever to divergent viewpoints โ€” but officials may be cracking down on independent outlets that go too far.

Two incidents last week suggest that the Russian government is prepared to lean on journalists โ€” both domestic and foreign.

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Europe
1:56 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

In Russia, A Debate Over How To Set The Clock

Moscow's city center at dawn. Some Russians are upset that President Dmitry Medvedev put the country on daylight saving time year-round, which means it doesn't get light until 9 a.m. or later in winter.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 4:16 pm

In just a few weeks, most of the United States will shift back to daylight saving time โ€” and Americans will lose an hour of sleep but gain an extra hour of light in the evening.

That won't be happening in Russia, though, where President Dmitry Medvedev has put the country on permanent summer time.

Medvedev's decree, issued last fall, means that it doesn't get light in Moscow now until around 9 a.m. Back in January, it was dark until 10 in the morning.

This has become an issue in Russia's presidential election next month.

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World
2:21 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

In Russia, Punk-Rock Riot Girls Rage Against Putin

Russian feminist collective Pussy Riot stages a protest in Moscow's Red Square against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Members were arrested and detained briefly after their mid-January protest.
Pussy Riot

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:18 am

Anti-government protests in Russia are taking many different forms, from mass rallies and marches to defiant street art and music.

Just recently, members of a feminist punk group were arrested in Moscow's Red Square after they performed a song ridiculing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The group, which calls itself Pussy Riot, says it's planning more stunts before March's presidential elections.

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World
1:00 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Tens Of Thousands Protest Russia's Putin

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 3:57 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Turning now to Russia. In Moscow, tens of thousands of people took to the streets today in dueling demonstrations for and against the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin is seeking to return to the presidency in next month's elections.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from the Russian capital.

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National Security
9:48 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Obama's Military Tactics: Risky Missions, Elite Units

President Obama has called on small, elite military units to carry out several risky operations in the past year, like the hostage rescue this week in Somalia. Here, Navy SEALs are shown during a training exercise at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
John Scorza U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 12:51 pm

President Obama has authorized several risky military missions in the past year and can claim major successes: the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan; the airstrike that killed terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; and the ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan.

The latest operation, a hostage rescue in Somalia carried out by Navy SEALs, is part of a pattern established by a commander in chief who has shown a clear preference for limited, small-scale military action.

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Afghanistan
3:26 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Viral Images, The Military's Recurring Nightmare

A still frame taken from a YouTube video purportedly shows Marines who desecrated three dead men thought to be members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
YouTube

The U.S. military says it's investigating a video that appears to show Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of those findings, the outrage in the Islamic world is likely to be severe, as with other disturbing images that have surfaced during U.S. wars in Muslim countries over the past decade.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Losing Touch: Peace Corps In Search Of 100,000 Old Volunteers

The National Peace Corps Association says it's looking for about 100,000 good volunteers.

They're people who served in the overseas development program at some time in its 50-year history but later lost touch with their former colleagues.

NPCA President Kevin Quigley says there's no complete list of the 200,000 Americans who volunteered for the program, in part because key records were lost during its early days.

"When the agency was in its infancy [in the early 1960s], a lot of systems for tracking former volunteers just didn't exist," Quigley says.

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Asia
12:01 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

In India, The Pressure Cooker Of College Admissions

Competition for admission to India's top school, Delhi University, is particularly fierce. Here students fill out forms at the Arts Faculty in New Delhi, India, on June 21.
Tsering Topgyal AP

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 8:41 am

This can be a harrowing time for high school seniors and their parents in the U.S. as they wait to hear from college admissions offices. But the pressure can be equally intense, if not more so in India, where the massive number of applicants and one make-or-break exam keeps students on edge.

Admission to Delhi University, one of India's most prestigious schools, is considered as tough, if not tougher than the process at many leading schools in the U.S.

"It's a very difficult game, given the numbers," says Dinesh Singh, the vice chancellor of Delhi University.

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Asia
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

India's Economic Battle: Development Vs. Tradition

Villagers in the southeastern Indian state of Orissa are opposed to a large steel mill, though it would bring thousands of jobs. The villagers, shown here in October, say they want to keep their land and their lifestyle. Such conflicts have become more common as India's economy expands.
Courtesy of Diana Derby

As India's economy rapidly expands, there is a recurring theme that plays out across the country: Plans for major development projects come into conflict with traditional ways of life centered around farming.

One of those showdowns has been dragging on for years in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. A proposed $12 billion steel plant has been facing resistance from local farmers and fishermen, but an endgame may be at hand.

The project is being promoted by the South Korea-based firm POSCO, the world's fourth-largest steel producer.

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Asia
10:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Absent President Ignites Rumors In Pakistan

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari speaks in Sri Lanka on Nov. 29. The president has been treated at a hospital in Dubai since Dec. 6. Aides say he is recovering.
Ishara S. Kodikara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 6:59 am

Pakistan is a country where rumors are always flowing. So when President Asif Ali Zardari was rushed to a hospital in the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 6, it set off all sorts of speculation.

His aides are doing their best to quell talk that he might step down. They say Zardari has been undergoing treatment and tests for a pre-existing heart ailment, and is recovering well in Dubai.

But that hasn't stopped politicians from considering what Pakistan's political landscape might look like without him.

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Afghanistan
1:12 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Angry Pakistan Boycotts Meeting On Afghanistan

Pakistani students protest the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani troops, in a march at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Dec. 2. Pakistan said it could not attend the Bonn conference on Afghanistan unless its security was ensured.
Rizwan Tabssum AFP/Getty Images

The United States and dozens of other countries convened in Bonn, Germany, Monday to discuss Afghanistan's future. But Pakistan, a key player in any Afghan settlement, boycotted the conference.

Pakistani leaders were deeply angered by the killing of 24 of their soldiers in a NATO airstrike along the Afghan border last month.

Many in Pakistan say relations between the United States and Pakistan have never been worse, though there may be signs of a coming thaw.

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World
6:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Pakistan Awaits U.S. Apology Over Deaths

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 8:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is in crisis after last weekend's deadly border incident in which NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis have cut off a key NATO supply line to Afghanistan, and they refused to take part in an upcoming conference on Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow.

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Religion
10:01 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

In India, Spreading A Green Gospel Among Pilgrims

Sikh pilgrims stream into the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Nov. 10. Devout Sikhs from all over India and the world come to Amritsar by the tens of thousands every day รขย€ย” adding to an already sizable carbon footprint. So city and temple officials have joined an environmental group to learn how to incorporate environmentally friendly practices.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 10:36 am

The Golden Temple at Amritsar, India, doesn't look like an environmental pressure point. The gold-sheathed building gleams serenely as a jewel box in the midst of a broad reflecting pond. Music serenades pilgrims as they cross a causeway to reach the shrine.

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