Julie McCarthy

Julie McCarthy has traveled the world as an international correspondent for NPR, heading NPR's Tokyo bureau, reporting from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and covering the news and issues of South America. McCarthy is currently NPR's correspondent based in New Delhi, India.

In April 2009, McCarthy moved to Islamabad to open NPR's first permanent bureau in Pakistan. Before moving to Islamabad, McCarthy was NPR's South America correspondent based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. McCarthy covered the Middle East for NPR from 2002 to 2005, when she was dispatched to report on the Israeli incursion into the West Bank.

Previously, McCarthy was the London Bureau Chief for NPR, a position that frequently took her far from her post to cover stories that span the globe. She spent five weeks in Iran during the war in Afghanistan, covered the re-election of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and traveled to the Indian island nation of Madagascar to report on the political and ecological developments there. Following the terror attacks on the United States, McCarthy was the lead reporter assigned to investigate al Qaeda in Europe.

In 1994, McCarthy became the first staff correspondent to head NPR's Tokyo bureau. She covered a range of stories in Japan with distinction, including the Kobe earthquake of 1995, the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the turmoil over U.S. troops on Okinawa. Her coverage of Japan won the East-West Center's Mary Morgan Hewett Award for the Advancement of Journalism.

McCarthy has also traveled extensively throughout Asia. Her coverage of the Asian economic crisis earned her the 1998 Overseas Press Club of America Award. She arrived in Indonesia weeks before the fall of Asia's longest-running ruler and chronicled a nation in chaos as President Suharto stepped from power.

Prior to her assignment in Asia, McCarthy was the foreign editor for Europe and Africa. She served as the Senior Washington Editor during the Persian Gulf War; NPR was honored with a Silver Baton in the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for its coverage of that conflict. McCarthy was awarded a Peabody, two additional Overseas Press Club Awards and the Ohio State Award in her capacity as European and African Editor.

McCarthy was selected to spend the 2002-2003 academic year at Stanford University, winning a place in the Knight Journalism Fellowship Program. In 1994, she was a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii.

The apparent suicide of a farmer at a rally in central Delhi has turned into a political mud-slinging contest.

Gajendra Singh, reportedly in his 40s, was found hanging from a tree during a rally in New Delhi earlier this week. His death has quickly become a powerful symbol for disaffected and destitute farmers who oppose a government push to loosen restrictions on industrial acquisition of farmland.

China's pollution is epic enough that even the mayor of Beijing said his city "is not livable" because of its noxious smog.

But a new study, published Saturday in the Economic & Political Weekly, shows that 660 million people — half the population — live in areas where fine particulate matter pollution is above levels considered safe under Indian standards.

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri, stepped down Tuesday amid allegations of sexual misconduct that have engulfed the celebrated Indian economist and engineer.

Pachauri is one of the world's top climate change officials. His departure from the IPCC is a huge embarrassment for the group, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for their role in galvanizing international action against climate change.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is noted for making bold statements — both in policy and fashion. When Modi sported a suit with pinstripes that spelled out his name in tiny gold lettering, his critics called it the height of vanity.

But the controversial suit raised more than eyebrows: It sold at auction today for nearly $695,000.

The "selfie" suit was debuted when Modi wore it to a bilateral meeting with President Obama during his visit to India last month.

Not even the most starry-eyed optimists of India's upstart Aam Aadmi [Common Man] Party dared predict they would pierce the armor of Prime Minister Narendra's Modi political invincibility as convincingly as they did today.

The party won a 95 percent landslide, capturing 67 out of 70 seats in the local assembly election in Delhi to decide who will govern the Indian capital.

The subject of religious intolerance is emerging as an irritant in U.S.-India relations.

Senior Indian government officials pounced on remarks by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday. Referencing India, he evoked religious discrimination.

He said: "In past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs— acts that would have shocked Gandhi-ji," meaning Mahatma Gandhi.

Pope Francis gave majority Buddhist Sri Lanka its first Catholic saint today during a seaside ceremony before thousands of people who packed the oceanfront of the capital, Colombo.

Francis is in Asia on a six-day tour intended to build the Roman Catholic Church's following on a continent that holds 60 percent of the world's population but only 12 percent of Catholics.

As church bells rang, the pope canonized Joseph Vaz, a priest who worked against the persecution of Catholics by the island's 17th-century Protestant Dutch rulers.

Heart surgery is a spectacle to behold. Even more so to see it on a mass scale, which is what happens at the Narayana Health, a state-of-the-art medical center in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

I am invited to scrub up and witness renowned surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty at work. The operating room is a symphony of all things medical: monitors beeping out a metronome-like rhythm, forceps and scissors clanging onto metal tables, a heart-lung machine gurgling as it does the work of the patient's stopped heart, and, curiously, pop music drifting though the room.

In India, the law has caught up with one of the country's most powerful political figures. A court has sentenced the popular J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to four years in prison and a record $1.5 million fine.

Her crime: accumulating vast wealth for which the 66-year-old veteran politician could not account.

It is India's highest-profile corruption case addressing illegally amassed wealth; the ruling has stunned an Indian political class that is widely seen as permeated with graft.

Saying his country is prepared to resume peace talks with Pakistan, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the U.N. General Assembly Saturday that the discussion must take place "without the shadow of terrorism."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said al-Qaida will fail to attract recruits among his country's Muslims.

Earlier this month, al-Qaida said it had created a new branch to bring Islamic rule to the entire Indian subcontinent.

After a year of silence, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has exhorted his "Muslim brothers" to join a newly established South Asia faction that would "defend the vulnerable in the Indian subcontinent."

There are signs of rising tensions between India's Hindu and Muslim communities since Narendra Modi, a self-avowed Hindu nationalist, took power as prime minister in May. Most of the small skirmishes have played out in India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, or UP.

There, Hindu nationalists from Modi's BJP Party have seized on charges of an alleged forced religious conversion to say that Hindu India is under siege.

District party leader Sanjay Prajapati says the Muslim community has harmed the Hindu community, India's largest.

Aiming for a fresh start in troubled U.S.-India relations, U.S. Sen. John McCain met with newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in New Delhi. But McCain's two-day visit was overshadowed by reports that the U.S. National Security Agency was granted permission in 2010 to spy on Modi's political party.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. When ISIS militants took control of wide swaths of northern Iraq, foreign workers in those areas ended up being trapped. India is working to win the release of some 40 of its citizens abducted in the Iraqi city of Mosul. There are also hundreds more in other locations who are clamoring to leave. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.

The kidnapping of 40 Indian construction workers in Iraq by suspected militants has rapidly become the first foreign policy test for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, barely a month after he assumed office.

The workers are believed to have been captured by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) when the jihadist group overran the northern Iraqi city of Mosul this past week.

As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took notice of the global assault against women and girls, another brutal attack in India has highlighted once more the prevalence of gender-based crime in the world's largest democracy.

Police say a mother of five was shot dead by militants in a remote village in the northeast of the country after she resisted attempts to molest her.

A mother and grandmother's wailing rises in the garden of their cement-and-thatched home in the impoverished village of Katra Sahadatganj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They mourn two young girls who were raped and murdered a week ago.

The fresh scent of mint from nearby fields competes with the smell of cow dung baking in the sun.

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TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Tess Vigeland in for Arun Rath. This week, Narendra Modi and his BJP party won India's general election in a landslide. Modi's historic victory upends years of political domination by the Gandhi family, which has been a ruling power since India's independence. NPR's Julie McCarthy is in New Delhi, and I asked her what Modi's election says about the kind of country India is now?

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. We have today the sound of an historic election victory in India.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS AND MUSIC)

The signs came early that Abhina Aher was different.

Born a boy biologically and given the male name Abhijit, Aher grew up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai, India. The son of a single mother who nurtured a love of dance, Aher would watch enthralled as she performed.

"I used to love to wear the clothes that my mother used to wear — her jewelry, her makeup," Aher, now 37, recalls. "That is something which used to extremely fascinate me."

A watershed moment occurred in global health Thursday: The World Health Organization said that its Southeast Asian region is now officially polio-free.

The milestone means that 80 percent of the world's population now lives without fear of the paralyzing disease.

India announced Wednesday that national elections for the lower house of Parliament will be staggered over nine separate days and begin April 7.

The voting to elect the 543-seat body will occur in stages to accommodate the scale of voters in what is expected to be the world's largest democratic exercise.

In New Delhi an unprecedented two-day sit-in that pitted the local government against the national authorities has come to an end following altercations between police and protesters.

Some 30 people were injured during the demonstration that was led by newly elected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the local administrator who rallied members of his Aam Aadmi Party, named for the "Common Man," against the central government.

India's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition Wednesday against one of its own retired judges over allegations that he sexually harassed a former intern — the second such case to be made public in as many months.

The alleged incidents have cast a cloud over the country's highest court and pressure has mounted for it to comply with its own 1997 rulings requiring panels in the workplace to hear harassment complaints. Critics say such a panel for the Supreme Court itself is long overdue.

Bangladesh's parliamentary election Sunday proved to be among the most violent vote in the country's short history. At least 18 people were killed, including an election officer who was beaten to death, and scores of polling stations firebombed, according to local media reports.

Sachin Tendulkar: The very name evokes Indian national pride, and it resounded through Wankhede Stadium Thursday in the cricket superstar's hometown of Mumbai.

That's when Tendulkar took the field for the final test match of his fabled 24-year long career. There are fevered celebrations for the 40-year-old batsman who has dominated the Indian imagination on and off the field, and whose self-effacing demeanor masked a steely determination to win.

The atmosphere was electric as India's favorite son stepped onto the field.

The four men convicted of the New Delhi gang rape that took the life of a 23-year-old woman last December will learn their fate on Friday.

The court considered Wednesday whether they should get capital punishment or life in prison.

In sentencing arguments that stretched to three hours, public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan called on the court to impose the death penalty for what he called a "diabolical" crime.

Raghuram Rajan, the new governor of India's central bank, swept into office this week infusing a sense of optimism.

He announced hard-headed measures Wednesday that remove uncertainty that has characterized the Reserve Bank of India's moves.

By Friday, Indian equities and the rupee were clawing back.

But analysts say the exuberance — and honeymoon with the suave MIT-trained economist — is unlikely to last.

After decadelong high growth rates, India is now the sick man of Asia.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed a steep slide in the country's currency in recent weeks in a rare public speech on Friday, hoping to assuage concern over the rupee's sudden depreciation and blaming the opposition for inaction in Parliament that he said was sending the wrong signals to the markets.

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