Julie McCarthy

Julie McCarthy has spent most of career traveling the world for NPR. She's covered wars, prime ministers, presidents and paupers. But her favorite stories "are about the common man or woman doing uncommon things," she says.

One of NPR's most experienced international correspondents, McCarthy opened the network's Tokyo bureau, "and never looked back." She has come full circle, recently returning to Asia to open the newest in the constellation of NPR's overseas bureaus in Manila.

In an overseas career spanning 25 years, she's covered Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Before assuming her current post as NPR's South East Asia correspondent based in Manila, McCarthy served as NPR's international correspondent based in New Delhi, India, where she spent six years. She'd crossed the border from Pakistan, where McCarthy had established NPR's first permanent bureau in Islamabad.

McCarthy won a Peabody Award for her coverage of Pakistan. She was named the Gracie Correspondent of the Year in 2011, and she was honored with the Southeast Asia Journalists Association's Environmental Award for her coverage of Pakistan's 500-year flood in 2010.

Before moving to Islamabad, McCarthy covered South America as NPR's bureau chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 2005 to 2009. She covered the Middle East for NPR from 2002 to 2005, when she was first dispatched to report on the Israeli incursion into the West Bank, and later the war in Iraq and the turmoil in Saudi Arabia.

McCarthy's stint as London Bureau Chief for NPR often took her far afield from Britain. She spent months at NATO covering the war in the Balkans, reported for weeks on the devastating earthquake in Turkey in 1999 and devoted much of summer of 2001 at UN headquarters in Geneva covering the run-up to the Durban Conference on Racism. She covered the re-election of the late Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and traveled to the Indian island nation of Madagascar to report on political and ecological developments there.

Following the terror attacks on the United States, McCarthy was the lead reporter assigned to investigate al-Qaida in Europe. She traveled extensively in Iran following the Sept. 11 attacks to report on the Iranian reaction and the subsequent war in Afghanistan.

McCarthy was the first staff correspondent in Japan, assuming leadership of NPR's Tokyo Bureau in 1994. Her tenure there was a rich tapestry of stories including 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 distinguished coverage of Japan won the East-West Center's Mary Morgan Hewett Award for the Advancement of Journalism.

McCarthy's coverage of the Asian economic crisis earned her the 1998 Overseas Press Club of America Award. That same year, McCarthy chronicled the dramatic fall of Asia's longest-running ruler President Suharto and the chaos that followed his toppling from power.

Prior to moving overseas for NPR, McCarthy was the foreign editor for Europe and Africa. She served as the Senior Washington Editor during the first Persian Gulf War. NPR was honored with a Silver Baton in the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for its coverage of the conflict.

In her capacity as European and African Editors, McCarthy was awarded a Peabody, two additional Overseas Press Club Awards and the Ohio State Award.

NPR selected McCarthy to spend the 2002-2003 academic year at Stanford University where she won a place in the Knight Journalism Fellowship Program. Her time at the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1994 as a Jefferson Fellow helped launch her long career as an international correspondent for NPR.

McCarthy holds degrees in literature and history, and is a lawyer by training.

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Driving east out of Kathmandu, the road turns north and coils toward the Chinese border, up past the treeline, with breathtaking views of the indelible, snow-capped peaks of the Langtang Mountain Range. The valley fans out below, carpeted with ancient terraces.

It's a singular Nepali panorama. But alongside it another more sobering scene unfolds on the landscape.

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Blue-uniformed police do the heavy lifting in Dubar square in the city of Patan, one of Nepal's oldest. Moving wooden beams and stacking broken bricks, they sift through ruined monuments, some of which date back four centuries and more.

He carried his 70-year-old mother on his back for five hours.

Then he traveled with her by bus for 12 more.

She suffered a severe head injury when the earthquake rumbled through her village of Thumi. He was trying to get her to a hospital in the Gorkha district in northern-central Nepal.

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Over the weekend, I heard from a friend in Nepal. He described people spending their nights outdoors even if their homes survived Saturday's earthquake.

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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.

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"I have no one. I've lost everything. My children are gone, my parents are gone. My husband's family doesn't ask about me. They don't even look for me, they don't even know if I eat," says Manu Ghosh, 85.

That's her above, seen before and after the Hindu festival of Holi at her ashram in northern India.

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.

Imagine living in a world with little or no light when the sun set. That's the plight of an estimated 300 million Indians — a quarter of the population, mostly the rural poor.

They're not left completely in the dark. Kerosene lamps provide light. Cow dung patties provide fuel for cooking. But these options take a toll on time and health. That's why India's prime minister is calling for global partnerships to bring green energy to the powerless millions.

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.

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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.

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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."

India achieved a major scientific milestone this week by placing a space probe into orbit around Mars. But there is another fascination with the celestial bodies that is much older than India's space program.

Astrology plays a role in the day-to-day lives of millions of Indians. And how does a leading Indian practitioner see this study of human destiny — as superstition or science?

Anticipation is building in India over its rendezvous with Mars.

NASA erupted into cheers after confirmation Sunday night that its space probe MAVEN injected into the Martian orbit. NASA's success came two days ahead of a critical engine burn designed to place an Indian spacecraft around the Red Planet, in a project dubbed MOM, Mars Orbiter Mission.

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.

Deepika Padukone, 28, is one of the biggest stars in Bollywood, and her many fans came rushing to her support after she slammed the country's leading newspaper, The Times Of India, over comments and a photo on its website about her cleavage.

The ensuing storm on social media has revealed how many women are no longer accepting entrenched sexist attitudes in India.

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