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.

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Asia
7:05 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Young Indians Learn To Fight Pollution To Save Lives

Smoke rises from chimneys of coal-based power plants in the Sonbhadra District of Uttar Pradesh, India.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 1:19 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Head Of UN Climate Change Panel Resigns Amid Harassment Allegations

Rajendra K. Pachauri speaks at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 11, 2014. He is stepping down as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:51 pm

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.

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Asia
4:48 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Modi's Fancy Pinstripe Suit Lands $694,000 At Auction

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wears a dark pinstriped suit with his name monogrammed in dull gold stripes Jan. 25 during a reception for U.S. President Obama in New Delhi, India. The suit was auctioned off Friday for more than 43 million rupees, or about $694,000.
Saurabh Das AP

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:44 am

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.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

India's Ruling Party Routed By Upstart In Delhi Elections

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, center, waves to the crowd as his party secured a landslide victory in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday. The result is a huge blow for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.
Tsering Topgyal AP

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 1:42 am

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.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

In India, Obama Speeches Spark Debate On Religious Tolerance

A policewoman detains one of the Indian Christians protesting against recent attacks on churches in the Indian capital outside the Sacred Heart Church in New Delhi, India, on Thursday.
Manish Swarup AP

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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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Pope Francis Canonizes First Sri Lankan Saint

Pope Francis arrives for Wednesday's canonization Mass for Joseph Vaz at Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 7:13 pm

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.

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Goats and Soda
4:06 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

India's Philanthropist-Surgeon Delivers Cardiac Care Henry Ford-Style

Dr. Devi Shetty meets with a patient. The surgeon, who says heart disease is on the rise in India, has never turned away a patient who had no money to pay.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 1:35 pm

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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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Popular Indian Politician's Corruption Conviction Spurs Nervousness

Supporters of J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of India's Tamil Nadu state and head of the AIADMK party, hold a protest against a prison sentence for the popular politician in the southern Indian city of Chennai Sunday.
BABU Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 2:04 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

At U.N., India's Modi Discusses Pakistan, Terrorism, And Peace

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York City Saturday. Addressing the question of peace talks with Pakistan, Modi said they must happen "without the shadow of terrorism."
John Angelillo UPI /Landov

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 4:22 pm

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."

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Parallels
5:59 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

India's Orbiter To Join NASA's Maven Around Mars — On A Shoestring

Scientists and engineers at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) monitor the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in Bangalore, India on Sept. 15. MOM is expected to enter into Mars orbit on Wednesday.
Jagadeesh NV Landov

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 9:21 am

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.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Fri September 19, 2014

India's Modi Calls Al-Qaida's Plans For His Country 'Delusional'

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says al-Qaida will fail to attract recruits among India's Muslims, whom he praised as patriots.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 11:56 am

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.

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Parallels
3:21 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Will Al-Qaida Find Followers In India?

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is shown here in a still image posted online in 2011. In a video released this week, he announced that al-Qaida was establishing a faction in the Asian subcontinent with a focus on India.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 7:39 pm

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."

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Asia
3:27 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Security Vs. Free Speech: India Blocks Film On Assassination

Kuam De Heere, or Diamonds of the Community, depicts the assassination of Indira Gandhi and focuses on the personal lives of her killers. Critics say it glorifies them. The film has been screened in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, but its release has been blocked in India.
Kaum de Heere

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:49 am

A new film projects a decidedly different perspective about one of the most convulsive episodes in India's modern age.

Kaum De Heere, or Diamonds of the Community, looks at the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi — through the lens of her assassins.

Producer Satish Katyal rejects the criticism that the film eulogizes Gandhi's killers. "It has a human angle," he says. "It's about their personal lives. Why did they suddenly commit this act?"

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Parallels
5:18 am
Tue August 26, 2014

In India, Hindu Nationalists Feel Their Moment Has Arrived

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at Delhi's Red Fort on India's Independence Day, Aug. 15, where he said that religious and caste strife was blocking India'€™s progress. However, newly empowered Hindu nationalists are asserting their ideology and agenda.
Saurabh Das AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:27 am

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.

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Asia
6:47 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Why India's Modi Defied The WTO

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 10:54 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
1:23 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

In Blogs And Tweets, India's New Leader Bemoans Lack Of 'Honeymoon'

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves from a MIG 29 fighter aboard the country's largest warship, INS Vikramaditya, off the coast of Goa, India, on June 14.
STR Xinhua /Landov

India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, says he has been denied the "honeymoon" period that new governments traditionally enjoy. Just one month after taking office, he has also asserted that he has defied expectations and secured a firm grip on India's sprawling government.

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Asia
3:15 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Iraqi Crisis Brings Focus On Indian Migrants Who Seek Profit Amid Peril

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 6:14 pm

Transcript

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.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Indians Caught In Middle Of Iraq's Worsening Crisis

Relatives hold up photographs of Indian workers who have been kidnapped in Iraq.
Adnan Abidi Reuters/Landov

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.

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Parallels
3:58 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

India's Transgender Community Turns Seat Belt Safety Into Video Hit

India's transgender community, known as hijras, stars in an ad promoting seat belt use across the country.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 1:36 pm

Members of India's transgender community, known as hijras, are now the stars of an entertaining advocacy campaign aimed at persuading India's motorists to buckle up.

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Parallels
8:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

How A Lack Of Toilets Puts India's Women At Risk Of Assault

Women shout slogans during a protest against the gang rape and hanging of two teenage girls. Beyond highlighting the rampant sexual violence in India, the crimes are drawing attention to a glaring and fundamental problem across the country that threatens women's safety: the lack of toilets.
Altaf Qadri AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:27 am

A young girl sweeps fallen debris from a tempest that blew through her village of Katra Sahadatganj one recent evening. This remote spot in Uttar Pradesh — India's largest state — has become the center of another gathering storm.

It was here two weeks ago where two young girls were audaciously attacked: raped and hanged from a tree. Inter-caste violence and patriarchal attitudes combined to make a chilling spectacle in this impoverished place of mud-caked children and hand-pumped water.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Attack On Mother In India Underscores U.N. Call For Action

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 9:00 am

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.

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Parallels
5:20 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Double Rape, Lynching In India Exposes Caste Fault Lines

The gruesome gang rape and lynching of two young girls in northern India has sent shockwaves through the country and abroad. Vivendr Shakya, 21, brother of the younger victim, holds photos of both girls.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 1:42 am

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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Asia
3:59 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

India's New Prime Minister Sworn In

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 4:43 pm

Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, officially takes office as India's new prime minister in a ceremony in New Delhi that broke with the past. More than 3,000 guests witnessed the most elaborate oath-taking India has ever staged.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
4:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Brash On The Campaign Trail, Modi Steps Into Parliament Humble

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 7:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Narendra Modi will be sworn in Monday as India's next prime minister. Today, the country's president invited him to form a new government. And Modi thanked his Hindu nationalist party for unanimously naming him as their parliamentary leader.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports his speech was filled with emotion and some surprise.

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Asia
4:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

In Sea Change Election, Young India Ushers In A New Political Era

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

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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News
3:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

After Weeks Of Voting, India's Opposition Party Gets A Sweeping Win

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 9:51 pm

After several weeks, India's parliamentary elections have finally finished. Voters swept opposition leader Narendra Modi into power as prime minister, voting for the Hindu nationalist party he leads.

Asia
3:59 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Opposition Party Wins, India's Congress Party Concedes Defeat

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:07 am

Transcript

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)

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Parallels
6:13 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India

Abhina Aher was born a boy biologically and is now a hijra, a member of an ancient transgender community in India. Of her painful physical and psychological transformation, Aher remembers now: "I just wanted to become a beautiful butterfly."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 8:25 am

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."

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Parallels
2:40 am
Mon April 14, 2014

A Gold Obsession Pays Dividends For Indian Women

The R.C. Jewelry Store in New Delhi. Indian women have always treasured gold for its beauty and for providing a measure of social security. Today it is also being used to give them a larger say in the family's finances.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:24 pm

It's indestructible. It's fungible. It's beautiful. And for Indians, gold – whether it's 18-, 22- or 24-carat — is semi-sacred.

The late distinguished Indian economist I.G. Patel observed, "In prosperity as in the hour of need, the thoughts of most Indians turn to gold."

No marriage takes place without gold ornaments presented to the bride. Even the poorest Indian outfits girls in the family with a simple nose ring of gold.

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News
3:08 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Out Of Delhi, A Potential Sea Change For India Election

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today marks a milestone in India's marathon national election for a new Lower House of Parliament. One-fifth of the 543-seats will be decided. Nationally, the big fight is between the ruling Congress Party and the opposition BJP. But one of the most closely watched contests is in Delhi, where corruption and anti-incumbency are hot button issues.

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