Asia

3:11am

Thu May 29, 2014
It's All Politics

More Diplomacy, Fewer Military Missions: 5 Obama Statements Explained

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 10:13 am

President Obama and superintendent of the Military Academy, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., take the Pledge of Allegiance at the West Point graduation ceremony on Wednesday. In an interview with NPR, President Obama said U.S. foreign policy should focus more on diplomatic efforts than on large-scale military operations.
Peter Foley EPA/Landov

In an interview with NPR, President Obama says now is an appropriate time to step up aid to moderate Syrian rebels. But most of his foreign policy aims are geared toward expanding diplomatic efforts in a host of regional disputes.

Obama has come under fire from critics who say he has failed to show American leadership on issues ranging from Syria's civil war to Ukraine's crisis to China's growing clout in Asia.

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5:16am

Wed May 28, 2014
World

In Buddhist-Majority Myanmar, Muslim Minority Gets Pushed To The Margins

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Muslim Rohingya women are pictured at the Thae Chaung camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Myanmar, on April 22. The stateless Rohingya in western Myanmar have been confined to the camps since violence erupted with majority Buddhists in 2012. The camps rely on international aid agencies, but still lack adequate food and health care.
Minzayar Reuters/Landov

Thirteen-year-old Zomir Hussein lives with his family in a simple wooden home in a village outside the city of Sittwe, the capital of western Myanmar's Rakhine state. Not long ago, he accidentally overdosed on medicine he was taking to treat his tuberculosis.

Now he lies on the floor, his hands curled into claws, his eyes staring vacantly. He cries out to his parents for help. His mother cradles him, and for a moment, he seems to smile.

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2:14pm

Wed April 23, 2014
The Salt

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Vincent Mourou, co-founder of Vietnam's first artisan chocolate maker Marou, inspects cacao beans at a farmer's garden in Go Cong Tay district.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

When you think about Vietnamese food, you might think of savory beef noodle soup, or endless fields of rice paddies. But chocolate?

As the world's demand for chocolate grows, Vietnam is making a bid to become one of the world's newest high quality suppliers.

Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou are two players in the country's small but growing cocoa industry. They founded Marou, an artisan chocolate company, three years ago in Ho Chi Minh City.

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5:44am

Thu March 13, 2014
World

Hitching A Ride On The World's Biggest Cargo Ship

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:17 am

NPR's Jackie Northam on the Maersk McKinney Moller, a new container megaship that can carry about double what many other big cargo ships can carry. It's 20 stories high and four football fields long.
Jackie Northam NPR

I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.

I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.

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3:14pm

Fri January 31, 2014
The Salt

Southern Fishermen Cash In On Asia's Taste For Jellyfish

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:39 pm

Cannonball jellyfish soak up the sun on a South Carolina beach. Fishermen are now pursuing the pest that used to clog their shrimping nets.
Courtesy of Steven Giese

On the Southeast coast of the U.S., jellyfish have earned a lengthy rap sheet for stinging beachgoers and getting tangled in shrimpers' nets. But lately, the tides have turned for shrimping, and some fishermen in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida are reaping profits from their local pests, the cannonball jellyfish, or "jellyballs."

"The shrimp season [of 2013] was the worst ever in history here," says Howell Boone, a shrimp trawler in Darien, Ga."The jellyfish industry has been about the best thing that's happened to us."

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