The Chinese border town of Suifenhe is a port of entry for almost all of the hardwood coming from the Russian Far East. Russia is the world's largest exporter of timber, but illegal logging is a growing problem.
Credit Smityuk Yuri / ITAR-TASS /Landov
Siberian tigers at a wildlife park in Primorsky Krai in Russia's Far East. Illegal logging in the region is seen as a threat to the habitat of the tigers, whose numbers are dwindling number.
Forests cover about half of Russia's land mass, an environmental resource that President Vladimir Putin calls "the powerful green lungs of the planet."
But Putin himself acknowledges that Russia, the world's biggest exporter of logs, is having its timber stolen at an unprecedented rate.
The demand for high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging in the Russian Far East. The hardwood cut in the endless forests often ends up as flooring and furniture in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Philip Reeves discusses the Amnesty International report on U.S. drone strikes
Two reports released on the eve of a White House visit by Pakistan's prime minister allege that the U.S. has "violated international law with top-secret targeted-killing operations that claimed dozens of civilian lives in Yemen and Pakistan," as McClatchy Newspapers writes.
The University of Miami's athletic director, Blake James, walks to an NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing in Indianapolis in June. The school's failings "enabled a culture of noncompliance," the NCAA said Tuesday, in announcing penalties for the school and its football and men's basketball coaches.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:14 pm
The University of Miami "lacked institutional control" and didn't notice multiple violations by a booster who for years gave cash and gifts to athletes, the NCAA said. But the organization says the school's football team can play in the postseason, stopping short of the harshest punishment available.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 12:19 pm
Wildfires are burning to the north, south and west of Sydney, Australia, and smoke "has been rolling in for days," correspondent Stuart Cohen said Tuesday on Morning Edition.
While the fires are mostly in sparsely populated areas, Sydney is blanketed — "you can smell smoke inside buildings" and health authorities are expecting a surge in cases of people with respiratory problems, Cohen added.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 12:46 pm
Michael Landsberry, the 45-year-old middle school math teacher and Afghan War veteran who was killed Monday trying to talk down a student shooter at a Nevada middle school, is being remembered as a hero.
Witnesses at Sparks Middle School in the city of Sparks, near Reno, described how Landsberry approached the armed 13-year-old boy and tried to get him to surrender a semi-automatic pistol he had used to shoot two fellow students. The boy then turned the weapon on Landsberry, fatally shooting him, before using the pistol to take his own life.