Corey Flintoff

Corey Flintoff is a correspondent with the Foreign Desk. His career has taken him to more than 45 countries.

Since 2005, Flintoff has been part of the NPR team covering the Iraq War. He has embedded with U.S. military units fighting insurgents and hunting roadside bombs. His stories from Iraq have dealt with sectarian killings, government corruption, the Christian refugee crisis, and the destruction of Iraq's southern marshes.

In 2008, Flintoff sailed on a French warship to cover the hunt for pirates off the coast of Somalia, and in 2009 he visited the mountains of Haiti, reporting on efforts to restore the country's devastated forests.

Flintoff joined NPR as a newscaster in 1990. For years, he was a part of NPR listeners' homeward commutes, reporting the latest news at the start of each hour of All Things Considered. He referred to newscasting as "news haiku" — distilling the day's complex events into short, straightforward stories that give listeners a fair grasp of what's going on in the world at any given time. Flintoff has also been heard as a reporter for NPR's newsmagazines, as a fill-in host, and as Carl Kasell's understudy on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. He performs in radio dramas and travels frequently to speak on behalf of NPR member stations.

Flintoff is part of NPR's "Alaska Mafia," which includes Peter Kenyon, Elizabeth Arnold, and other top reporters who got their start with the Alaska Public Radio Network. He was APRN's executive producer for seven years, hosting the evening newsmagazine Alaska News Nightly. He also freelanced for NPR, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Monitor Radio and the Associated Press. Flintoff won a 1989 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award for his coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Prior to APRN, Flintoff worked as a reporter and news director for KYUK-AM/TV in Bethel, Alaska, and KSKA-FM in Anchorage. He wrote and produced a number of television documentaries about Alaskan life, including "They Never Asked Our Fathers" and "Eyes of the Spirit," which have aired on PBS and are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Flintoff's first radio experience was at a bilingual English-Yup'ik Eskimo station in Bethel, Alaska, where he learned enough Yup'ik to announce the station identification. He tried commercial herring fishing, dog-mushing, fiction writing, and other pursuits, but failed to break out of the radio business.

Flintoff has a bachelor's degree from University of California at Berkeley and a master's from the University of Chicago, both in English Literature.

Pages

5:29pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Europe

Ex-Diplomats: U.S.-Russian Relations Not As Dire As They Seem

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:11 am

Former U.S. and Russian diplomats gather at RIA Novosti in Moscow on Tuesday. From left: former Russian or Soviet ambassadors to the U.S. Vladimir Lukin, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Viktor Komplektov; Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute of USA and Canada; and former U.S. ambassadors to Russia James Collins, Jack Matlock, Thomas Pickering and John Beyrle.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Relations between the United States and Russia are testier than they have been in years. The two nations are at odds over human rights, the civil war in Syria and even the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.

But former American diplomats say things aren't as bad as they may seem. They say the two countries should work together on economic and security issues.

Four former U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union and Russia were in Moscow this week for talks with their counterparts, former Russian ambassadors to the United States.

Read more

3:13pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Europe

Once Championed By Putin, Medvedev Falls Precipitously Out Of Favor

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:56 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, heads a State Council session alongside Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow last year. Increasing political attacks on Medvedev have accompanied Putin's suspicions about his erstwhile partner's ambitions.
Yekaterina Shtukina AP

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev appears increasingly isolated from the centers of power surrounding President Vladimir Putin.

Analysts say Medvedev is the target of a campaign to wreck his reputation and drive him from office. It's a risky situation for the former president, who was once regarded as Putin's partner.

The attacks have come from many directions. One of the harshest was an anonymous, documentary-style film that was posted on the Internet in January.

Read more

1:32pm

Wed March 27, 2013
Europe

In Crackdown, Some Russian Groups Labeled As 'Foreign Agents'

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

The chief of Amnesty International Russia, Sergei Nikitin, at his Moscow office on March 25, after Russian prosecutors and tax police carried out a search. The group is one of many that have been searched under a new law that critics say is being used to stifle dissent.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Russian investigators have descended on the offices of nongovernmental organizations across the country, demanding to inspect financial records and other documents.

This follows the recent passage of a law designed to impose tighter controls over these NGOs, especially those that receive funding from abroad. Critics say it's part of a broader crackdown on dissent since Vladimir Putin regained the presidency last year.

The offices of the human rights group Memorial are still abuzz after a team of government inspectors paid an unannounced visit

Read more

3:25am

Thu January 10, 2013
Europe

Rubles For Minutes, Not Mochas, At Russian Cafe Chain

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

Tsiferblat, or Clockface Cafe, in Moscow draws a young crowd, from students to entrepreneurs. The cafe provides Wi-Fi, printers, books and art supplies. Drinks, snacks, atmosphere and the space are free. All customers pay for is time.
Courtesy Of Diana Derby

Cafe life has taken hold in modern Russia. From Starbucks to local chains such as Kofe Khaus and Schokoladnitsia, there are lots of places to hang out, see and be seen.

It's a striking change in a country where, in Soviet times, the best an ordinary comrade could expect was a mug of tea in a workers canteen.

The world over, the basic contract between cafe and customer is this: You buy a drink or a snack, and you get to use the premises for as long as it takes to consume it.

Read more

5:09am

Sun December 30, 2012
Europe

The Mysterious Disappearance Of The Russian Crown Jewels

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:49 am

This necklace appears in the 1922 album at the USGS library, but not in the 1925 book on the Russian crown jewels.
www.usgs.gov

The story of the missing Russian crown jewels begins, as so many great adventures do, in a library.

In this case, it was the U.S. Geological Survey Library in Reston, Va.

Richard Huffine, the director, was looking through the library's rare-book collection when he came upon an oversized volume.

"And there's no markings on the outside, there's no spine label or anything like that," he says. "This one caught our eye, and we pulled it aside to take a further look at it."

Researcher Jenna Nolt was one of those who took a look.

Read more

5:06am

Fri December 28, 2012
Europe

Russia's Putin Signs Controversial Adoption Bill

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a measure into law that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

Russia's parliament had overwhelmingly approved the ban, which was designed as retaliation for a new U.S. law that sanctions Russian officials accused of human rights violations.

The adoption ban stirred outrage in Russia as well as the United States.

An online petition against the measure rapidly collected more than 100,000 signatures in Russia.

Read more

8:42am

Sat December 22, 2012
World

Adoption Ban Puts Orphans At Center Of U.S.-Russia Dispute

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Police officers detain a protester outside the lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday. This week, Russian legislators passed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children after the U.S. passed a law that rebukes Russia for human rights abuses.
Evgeny Feldman AFP/Getty Images

Russian lawmakers have approved a measure that would bar Americans from adopting Russian children, a move that comes in retaliation for a U.S. law that seeks to "name and shame" Russian officials who violate human rights.

President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the adoption ban, but it's not clear whether he'll actually sign the measure, which has potential pitfalls.

Read more

3:33pm

Mon December 17, 2012
The Salt

Wine And Food May Rekindle Love Lost Between Russia And Georgia

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:10 am

Eating lamb dumplings called khinkali at a table in Tbilisi, Georgia.
ostromentsky Flickr.com

It's a big day in the religious and culinary calendar of the Republic of Georgia. Georgian Orthodox believers observe Dec. 17 as St. Barbara's Day, in honor of an early Christian martyr. And they typically mark the occasion by eating a type of stuffed bread called lobiani, baked with a filling of boiled beans with coriander and onions.

Read more

3:16am

Tue December 11, 2012
World

Russian Scandal Hints At Larger Political Battle

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:33 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who was recently fired, review military officers on Moscow's Red Square in May. Putin's decision to sack Serdyukov has touched off widespread speculation on the motive.
Alexei Druzhinin AP

Russia is in the middle of a blazing tabloid-style scandal that features a bejeweled blonde, a luxury love nest, and an alleged scam worth more than $200 million.

But that's not where some Kremlin watchers are putting their attention. They see the scandal as just the visible fallout from a vicious backroom fight among Russia's ruling elite.

Read more

2:45pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Sports

Russia's Hockey Glad To Have NHL-Lockout Orphans

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 3:43 am

Erik Christensen, right, from Lev Praha challenges Alexander Ovechkin from Dynamo Moscow during their KHL ice hockey match in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 9. Ovechkin is among those NHL players who were signed by European clubs because of the NHL lockout.
Petr David Josek AP

As the National Hockey League lockout drags into its 86th day, which featured news that more games have been cancelled including the All-Star game, some of the league's biggest stars are getting plenty of action back in their home countries.

In Russia, major NHL players such as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are giving a boost to the fledgling KHL—the Kontinental Hockey League.

Russian NHL players are scattered throughout the KHL teams that still carry names from the Soviet era when Russia dominated world hockey.

Read more

5:13am

Wed November 28, 2012
World

In Russia, Pro-Putin Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Activists from the Young Guard, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been protesting the Mormon church in Russia, calling it a "totalitarian cult."
Konstantin Zavrazhin Getty Images

Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI.

The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.

Read more

2:32pm

Fri November 23, 2012
World

Russia, U.S. Seek To Resolve Friction On Adoptions

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Misha Japaridze AP

Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.

Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.

Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.

Read more

9:45am

Wed November 7, 2012
World

Russia's Putin Welcomes Obama's Re-Election

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent word congratulating President Obama on his victory. Still, as NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow, during the campaign, the Russian government and state-run media sough to discredit the American electoral process.

Read more

5:16am

Sat November 3, 2012
Europe

Putin, Russia's Man Of Action, Is Slowed By Injury

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:25 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin pilots a motorized hang glider while taking part in a project to help endangered cranes on Sept. 5. Shortly after, the president — who has cultivated the image of a man of action — was photographed wincing in apparent pain.
Alexey Druzhinin/Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Take it easy, tough guy.

Russian officials are acknowledging that President Vladimir Putin has been slowed by back problems, but they insist he won't be sidelined for long.

Rumors about an injury began to float in early September, when the Russian leader was seen wincing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok.

A Kremlin spokesman said it's a minor injury, about what you'd expect in an athletic fellow like the 60-year-old Putin. Nonetheless, several overseas trips have been canceled.

Read more

5:59am

Thu November 1, 2012
World

Russia Set To Redefine Treason, Sparking Fears

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:41 am

Russia's parliament has approved an expanded legal definition of high treason, prompting accusations that President Vladimir Putin's government wants to further crack down on opponents.

Supporters say the proposed changes bring Russia's law up-to-date and will help the country's security service counter modern forms of spying and interference by foreign governments.

Opponents, including human rights groups, say the bill's language has been made so vague that it could potentially be used to punish almost any Russian who has contacts with foreigners

Read more

2:29pm

Thu October 18, 2012
World

Radio Liberty Going Off The Air In Russia

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:42 am

Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.

Read more

4:36pm

Wed October 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Texas Company Charged In Illegal Technology Transfers To Russia

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:22 pm

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say they have broken up a ring that allegedly exported sensitive electronic technology to Russia.

Eight people were arrested today in Houston, including Alexander Fishenko, an immigrant from Kazakhstan who built a multi-million dollar export firm called Arc Electrics.

Read more

5:20pm

Tue October 2, 2012
Europe

Opposition Victory Signals New Direction For Georgia

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:14 pm

Georgian billionaire and opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) reacts with supporters at his office on Monday. Ivanishvili defeated Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the election, clearing the way for a new government.
Uncredited AP

Parliamentary elections in Georgia, the former Soviet republic, delivered a resounding defeat for the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday. Preliminary election results showed the opposition winning 57 percent of the vote.

A day later, the president conceded defeat. In a televised address, Saakashvili said he respected the decision of the voters, and that he would clear the way for the opposition Georgian Dream party to form a new government, a move that would install opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili as prime minister.

Read more

5:08pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Religion

For Hasidic Jews, A Slow, Steady Rebirth In Russia

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 4:24 pm

Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.

Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits — along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque — on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.

Read more

2:38am

Wed September 5, 2012
Europe

Educated Russians Often Lured To Leave

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am

Russia is suffering from an exodus of educated, talented citizens, including scientists. Here, scientists rally in Moscow to demand the government increase funding for science last October.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Russia has been facing troubling demographics ever since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. The population has contracted by several million people over this period. The birth rate is low. Life expectancy for men is still less than 65 years.

And there is also a sense that many educated, talented people are leaving the country.

To take one example, the world of science lit up in July, when a billionaire Internet investor named Yuri Milner announced nine prizes for some of the world's most innovative thinkers in physics.

Read more

6:24am

Sun September 2, 2012
World

In Russia, 200-Year-Old Battle A Day To Remember

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Members of historical clubs, dressed as Russian cavalry, advance during the 2010 re-enactment of the 1812 battle between Napoleon's army and Russian troops in Borodino.
AFP/Getty Images

Two hundred years ago this week, Napoleon Bonaparte fought a battle in Russia that may have begun his undoing. He led his Grand Army against the Imperial Russian Army near a village called Borodino, about 70 miles from Moscow.

It was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's remembered by Russians as a symbol of national courage. An army of re-enactors relived that Sunday.

Read more

5:08pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Europe

Russian Rockers Get Prison Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Human rights groups are denouncing the sentence handed down today to members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. The group's crimes? It staged a protest in Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral last winter. A judge convicted the three women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced each of them to two years in a labor camp.

Read more

5:18pm

Thu August 16, 2012
Europe

Raid In Russia Brings Underground Sect To Light

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:41 pm

Gumar Ganiyev opens the gates of the compound where members of the Islamic sect he belongs to have lived in seclusion since the early 2000s outside Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, earlier this month.
Nikolay Alexandrov AP

The recent headlines in the Russian press were sensational: Members of a reclusive Islamic sect were said to be living in an isolated compound with underground burrows, some as deep as eight stories underground, without electricity or heat.

Reporters have descended on the compound, on the outskirts of the city of Kazan, but have had only limited access and have not been able to confirm all the allegations by Russian officials.

Read more

4:47pm

Mon July 30, 2012
The Record

Feminist Punk Band, Imprisoned For Five Months, Gets Next Gig: Russian Courtroom

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezha Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center) and Maria Alyokhina, at a hearing in Moscow court on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov Getty Images

After more than five months in prison, some Russian dissidents are getting their day in court. The three young women are accused of being members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band that staged a protest against then presidential-candidate Vladimir Putin in February.

Read more

6:25pm

Sat June 30, 2012
Middle East

Sanctions May Squeeze Iran ... And Raise Oil Prices

European countries have agreed to stop importing Iranian oil as of Sunday. This could make it harder for Iran to find markets for its crude. Iran has been filling up tankers off its coast, but analysts say it could run out of storage capacity. This photo shows oil tankers off Iran's coast in January.
Kamran Jebreili AP

The sanctions noose around Iran is set to tighten Sunday as the European Union imposes a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil.

The new sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to make concessions on its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is limited to peaceful, civilian purposes, but many Western nations believe Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions.

The move against Iran comes at a time when oil prices have been dropping for the past couple of months.

Read more

3:23pm

Wed June 27, 2012
Europe

Months After Protest, Russian Rockers Still Jailed

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:45 pm

Women in a Russian punk rock group briefly perform a protest song at Moscow's main cathedral, Christ the Savior, in February. The singers criticized the church and Vladimir Putin, who is now president. Three women have been arrested and jailed for months, and the church is demanding harsh punishment.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

The Russian government is facing a growing chorus of criticism over its harsh treatment of three women from an all-female rock band who staged a "punk" prayer service last winter in Moscow's most prominent cathedral.

Back on Feb. 21, two weeks before Russia's presidential election, several members of the band Pussy Riot, wearing brightly colored balaclavas, rushed onto the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Read more

2:55am

Mon June 25, 2012
Dead Stop

In Alaskan Cemetery, Native And Orthodox Rites Mix

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:33 am

A spirit house in the Eklutna Cemetery in Alaska.
Diana Derby

The first thing you see at Alaska's Eklutna Cemetery is a tidy white church, with copper-colored onion domes that are topped by the three-barred Russian Orthodox cross.

The church is a reminder of the days when Alaska was claimed by imperial Russia. But it hardly prepares you for the unique combination of Native American and Russian Orthodox influences in the graveyard beyond.

Our guide is Aaron Leggett, who waits patiently under a light but steady rain to explain his community's burial traditions.

Read more

3:06pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Middle East

Syria Creates Hand-Wringing, But No Intervention

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 3:50 pm

A Syrian rebel fires his weapon during clashes with Syrian troops near Idlib, in northern Syria, on June 15. The conflict has gone on for well over a year, but the international community has shown no appetite for a military intervention.
Anonymous AP

The fighting in Syria has been escalating. The U.N. peace effort is in shambles. And there's no appetite right now for outside military intervention.

The Syrian crisis is prompting renewed calls for international action, and there have been plenty of dire warnings and lots of hand-wringing. But after a decade of fighting in the broader region, the United States and its Western allies have shown no interest in getting involved in another military adventure in a Muslim country.

Read more

5:03pm

Fri June 1, 2012
World

Struggling U.S. Economy Drags Down The World

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 5:38 pm

Slow economic growth in the U.S. is having an impact on many countries around the world. Here, people walk past a board flashing the Nikkei index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan last month.
Toru Yamanaka AFP/Getty Images

The sputtering U.S. economy isn't just bad news for America, it's a drag on the global economic outlook as well.

"What matters to the rest of the world is the amount of demand the United States is going to generate," says economist Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell.

"Weak job growth translates to weak domestic demand in the U.S., and that concerns all of the U.S.'s major trading partners," he says.

Read more

7:42am

Fri May 18, 2012
Europe

Is Now The Time To Vacation In Greece?

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 10:08 am

Greece depends heavily on tourism, but the economic crisis is driving away visitors like these ones photographing the Acropolis in Athens from the top of a tour bus last October.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Despite all the chaos and misery of the Greek debt crisis, the country still has some major assets: It's a stunningly beautiful place, with sunny weather, great beaches, ancient marvels and modern amenities.

Greece has been attracting visitors for centuries — at least since Darius the Great led an unsuccessful Persian military package tour about 2,500 years ago.

That didn't work out so well for Darius, who was defeated at the Battle of Marathon.

Read more

Pages