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.

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11:48am

Thu January 26, 2012
National Security

Obama's Military Tactics: Risky Missions, Elite Units

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 2:51 pm

President Obama has called on small, elite military units to carry out several risky operations in the past year, like the hostage rescue this week in Somalia. Here, Navy SEALs are shown during a training exercise at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
John Scorza U.S. Navy

President Obama has authorized several risky military missions in the past year and can claim major successes: the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan; the airstrike that killed terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; and the ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan.

The latest operation, a hostage rescue in Somalia carried out by Navy SEALs, is part of a pattern established by a commander in chief who has shown a clear preference for limited, small-scale military action.

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5:26pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Afghanistan

Viral Images, The Military's Recurring Nightmare

A still frame taken from a YouTube video purportedly shows Marines who desecrated three dead men thought to be members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
YouTube

The U.S. military says it's investigating a video that appears to show Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of those findings, the outrage in the Islamic world is likely to be severe, as with other disturbing images that have surfaced during U.S. wars in Muslim countries over the past decade.

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12:19pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Lost Touch: Peace Corps In Search Of 100,000 Old Volunteers

The National Peace Corps Association says it's looking for about 100,000 good volunteers.

They're people who served in the overseas development program at some time in its 50-year history but later lost touch with their former colleagues.

NPCA President Kevin Quigley says there's no complete list of the 200,000 Americans who volunteered for the program, in part because key records were lost during its early days.

"When the agency was in its infancy [in the early 1960s], a lot of systems for tracking former volunteers just didn't exist," Quigley says.

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2:01pm

Tue January 10, 2012
Asia

In India, The Pressure Cooker Of College Admissions

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 10:41 am

Competition for admission to India's top school, Delhi University, is particularly fierce. Here students fill out forms at the Arts Faculty in New Delhi, India, on June 21.
Tsering Topgyal AP

This can be a harrowing time for high school seniors and their parents in the U.S. as they wait to hear from college admissions offices. But the pressure can be equally intense, if not more so in India, where the massive number of applicants and one make-or-break exam keeps students on edge.

Admission to Delhi University, one of India's most prestigious schools, is considered as tough, if not tougher than the process at many leading schools in the U.S.

"It's a very difficult game, given the numbers," says Dinesh Singh, the vice chancellor of Delhi University.

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12:01am

Tue January 3, 2012
Asia

India's Economic Battle: Development Vs. Tradition

Villagers in the southeastern Indian state of Orissa are opposed to a large steel mill, though it would bring thousands of jobs. The villagers, shown here in October, say they want to keep their land and their lifestyle. Such conflicts have become more common as India's economy expands.
Courtesy of Diana Derby

As India's economy rapidly expands, there is a recurring theme that plays out across the country: Plans for major development projects come into conflict with traditional ways of life centered around farming.

One of those showdowns has been dragging on for years in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. A proposed $12 billion steel plant has been facing resistance from local farmers and fishermen, but an endgame may be at hand.

The project is being promoted by the South Korea-based firm POSCO, the world's fourth-largest steel producer.

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12:01am

Mon December 12, 2011
Asia

Absent President Ignites Rumors In Pakistan

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 8:59 am

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari speaks in Sri Lanka on Nov. 29. The president has been treated at a hospital in Dubai since Dec. 6. Aides say he is recovering.
Ishara S. Kodikara AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan is a country where rumors are always flowing. So when President Asif Ali Zardari was rushed to a hospital in the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 6, it set off all sorts of speculation.

His aides are doing their best to quell talk that he might step down. They say Zardari has been undergoing treatment and tests for a pre-existing heart ailment, and is recovering well in Dubai.

But that hasn't stopped politicians from considering what Pakistan's political landscape might look like without him.

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3:12pm

Mon December 5, 2011
Afghanistan

Angry Pakistan Boycotts Meeting On Afghanistan

Pakistani students protest the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani troops, in a march at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Dec. 2. Pakistan said it could not attend the Bonn conference on Afghanistan unless its security was ensured.
Rizwan Tabssum AFP/Getty Images

The United States and dozens of other countries convened in Bonn, Germany, Monday to discuss Afghanistan's future. But Pakistan, a key player in any Afghan settlement, boycotted the conference.

Pakistani leaders were deeply angered by the killing of 24 of their soldiers in a NATO airstrike along the Afghan border last month.

Many in Pakistan say relations between the United States and Pakistan have never been worse, though there may be signs of a coming thaw.

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8:00am

Sun December 4, 2011
World

Pakistan Awaits U.S. Apology Over Deaths

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 10:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is in crisis after last weekend's deadly border incident in which NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis have cut off a key NATO supply line to Afghanistan, and they refused to take part in an upcoming conference on Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow.

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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Asia

Poor Get A Stake In India's Booming Economy

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As Americans debate how to revive their economy, nations in the developing world are looking for ways to keep their growth going - including India, where the government promises to help some of its poorest people, who live in remote areas without services or even official identities. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on a program that starts with a tiny piece of land.

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12:01am

Mon November 21, 2011
Religion

In India, Spreading A Green Gospel Among Pilgrims

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 12:36 pm

Sikh pilgrims stream into the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Nov. 10. Devout Sikhs from all over India and the world come to Amritsar by the tens of thousands every day — adding to an already sizable carbon footprint. So city and temple officials have joined an environmental group to learn how to incorporate environmentally friendly practices.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

The Golden Temple at Amritsar, India, doesn't look like an environmental pressure point. The gold-sheathed building gleams serenely as a jewel box in the midst of a broad reflecting pond. Music serenades pilgrims as they cross a causeway to reach the shrine.

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4:00am

Fri November 4, 2011
Asia

Pakistan, India Trade Deal Sprouts New Possibility

Pakistan has opened the door to billions of dollars worth of new trade with India. The decision might help reduce political and military tensions between the two rival nations.

3:53pm

Wed November 2, 2011
Asia

Will Cheap Computer Bridge India's Digital Divide?

Indian students pose with the supercheap Aakash tablet computers, which they received during the Oct. 5 product launch in New Delhi. The Indian government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to college students across India at a subsidized price of $35.
Gurinder Osan AP

India has unveiled what its government says is the world's cheapest tablet computer, along with a promise to make the device available to the country's college students, and possibly, to those in high school as well. The government says it's a major step toward bridging the country's gigantic digital divide.

The tablet is called "Aakash," the Hindi word for "sky," and boosters say it could give Internet access to billions of people.

The Aakash was developed for the government by Datawind, a London-based company founded by two brothers from India's Punjab state.

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5:29am

Sun October 30, 2011
7 Billion And Counting

When Humans Hit 7 Billion, Will It Happen In India?

The maternity ward at Swami Dayanand hospital in northeast Delhi, the most densely populated district in India. U.N. demographers say the world's 7 billionth citizen could be born in India on Oct. 31.

Diana Derby NPR

The world is anticipating the birth of its 7 billionth person, as the United Nations predicts that the milestone baby will be born on Monday, Oct. 31. Demographers say the baby might be born in India, where an average of 51 babies are born every minute.

To get a feeling for the kind of world in which our 7 billionth citizen could grow up, it's worth a visit to the place that India's Census Bureau has identified as the densest place in the country.

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5:00am

Fri October 28, 2011
Asia

In India, Once-Marginalized Now Memorialized

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 8:48 am

Stone elephants line a newly inaugurated park dedicated to Dalit, or lower caste, leaders in a suburb of New Delhi, India. Mayawati, a politician known as the "Dalit queen," says previous governments did nothing to honor the leaders who fought for Dalit rights.

Pankaj Nangia AP

In India, a land of ancient monuments, people are talking about a newly built monument for the nation's most marginalized people.

It's a memorial to India's Dalits, the people once called "untouchables," and it was built by the country's most powerful Dalit politician.

The Indian monument best known to Westerners is the Taj Mahal, but the country is bejeweled with magnificent temples and palaces, built by whoever happened to be ruling India at any given time.

This latest monument continues that tradition: It's a colossal domed building carved from pink sandstone.

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3:43pm

Tue October 4, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Post Revolution, Libyan Women Seek Expanded Roles

In Tripoli, Libya, women celebrate the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi's regime and call for a strengthening of women's rights, Sept. 2. After playing large but largely unsung roles during the uprising, women are now seeking a greater political role.

Alexandre Meneghini AP

One recent day in Tripoli, hundreds of people strolled through a charity fundraiser organized by the women in Libya's capital city.

Ladies sold baked goods and handicrafts in rows of stalls. For the kids, there was a moon bounce and face painting. There was even a rock band that could use some practice.

It was a lot like charity bazaars in towns across the U.S., with a couple of notable exceptions: most of the women wore headscarves and among the more popular items for sale were hand-knitted versions of the Libyan flag.

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3:00pm

Fri September 30, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Libya's Newest Concern: Looming Political Battles

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 6:48 pm

Abdel Hakim Belhaj (center left), a prominent militia commander, walks with Transitional National Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli on Sept. 10. The battle to oust Moammar Gadhafi produced a number of leaders who will have to work together to form a new government.
Francois Mori AP

Libya's victorious militias are still fighting the last forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi, but as the military endgame draws closer, some are worrying about the political battles that are just beginning.

The question is an old one for revolutionaries: How to go from a military triumph to a civilian government?

In Libya, the problem is magnified because the fighting is still going on and the military consists of various regional militias that don't answer to a single commander.

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3:05pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Conflict In Libya

In Libya, Some Just Learning Of Gadhafi's Demise

Libyans flee on foot along the main road heading west, away from Sirte, on Tuesday. Sirte, cut off from the rest of the country, is the last major town controlled by forces loyal to toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Gaia Anderson AP

In Libya, civilians are fleeing from Sirte, the last major town that is still in the hands of forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Many say they were cut off from the rest of the country, without electricity and with dwindling food supplies. Some say they knew nothing of the rebel advances in the past month, including the capture of the capital, Tripoli.

They didn't know that they would be emerging into a new country.

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3:48pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Conflict In Libya

What Role Will Islamists Play In Libya?

Libyan rebels pray before going out on patrol outside the port city of Misrata on April 30. Religion plays a major role in Libyan life, and Islamist groups want to be part of the new government.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

As Libyans work to form an interim government, some of those competing for power are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, raising fears that Islamist radicals may try to hijack the revolution. But many Libyans say those fears are mostly in the minds of Westerners.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi banned the Muslim Brotherhood. The group attempted to overthrow Gadhafi in the 1990s, and he responded with a ferocious crackdown that put many of its members in jail.

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2:40pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Libya's Bankers: Treasury Protected From Plunder

Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 5:26 pm

A fighter loyal to the Transitional National Council sits with money that has been donated to pay fighters at a checkpoint outside Bani Walid, Libya, on Monday. It was widely feared that ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi and his supporters spirited away much of the country's wealth. But those fears have yet to materialize, as Libya's central bank holdings appear to remain largely intact.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

As a new Libyan leadership assesses the country's financial condition, there were fears that ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi, his family and his cronies had looted the treasury.

But it now appears much of that wealth remains frozen in foreign accounts, and Libyan bankers say the billions of dollars worth of gold and cash held by the Central Bank remained basically intact throughout the chaos of the revolution.

One of the many rumors and claims was that a convoy of more than 200 Libyan military vehicles had crossed the border into neighboring Niger.

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4:14pm

Thu September 8, 2011
Africa

Libyan Rebels Vie For Key Posts In Tripoli

Libyan rebel fighters raid a house in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday as they search for supporters of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. The rebel leadership is trying to get various rebel factions to work together to create a new government and security force.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Rebel soldiers in the streets of Tripoli are still savoring the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi and his forces. But rebel commanders are facing the difficult task of uniting disparate militias and consolidating their powers.

By some accounts, members of a newly formed security council are spending more time vying for power among themselves than they are in ensuring security.

At a checkpoint in Tripoli, young men in scavenged military garb chant, "God is greatest."

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12:01am

Tue August 16, 2011
Asia

Chew On This: Indians Trading Betel For Tobacco

In India, the centuries-old tradition of chewing betel leaves, or paan, spread with spices and sweeteners is losing popularity. In this file photo from 2006, an Indian shopkeeper arranges silver foils of paan at his roadside shop in New Delhi.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

For centuries, Indians have chewed betel leaves, or paan, regardless of caste or economic lines. It's been the daily chew of everyone from the poorest farmer and rickshaw puller to the richest maharaja and gold merchant.

A plump little bundle of flavor, paan consists of various spices and sweeteners, spread on a betel leaf and folded into a neat packet.

But the leaf and the traditional ritual of preparing it are rapidly giving way to an even more dangerous habit: chewing tobacco.

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3:14pm

Mon August 8, 2011
Asia

In India, Snake Charmers Are Losing Their Sway

Snake charming is a dying art in India. Here, a man named Buddhanath is shown at a New Delhi market during Nag Panchami, the yearly religious festival in honor of the king cobra. The charmer plays a gourd flute and his snake responds.
Corey Flintoff NPR

Snake charmers used to be a fixture at Indian markets and festivals, beguiling crowds with their ability to control some of the world's most venomous reptiles.

But one of India's iconic folk arts is fading away — and animal rights activists say it can't happen soon enough. They say it's an art based on cruelty.

These days, it's not easy to find a snake charmer, even on Nag Panchami, the yearly religious festival in honor of the king cobra, which fell on Aug. 4 this year.

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9:37am

Thu August 4, 2011
Asia

Farmers Seek Fair Share Amid India's Housing Boom

Workers construct an apartment building in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Aug. 3, 2011. As many as 100,000 new apartment units are scheduled to be built on land that previously belonged to farmers. A court has halted some development on the grounds that the farmers weren't fairly compensated.
Gurinder Osan AP

A land crisis is gripping India. The country's growing prosperity has created a rapidly expanding middle class that is demanding modern housing and has the money to pay for it.

But building millions of new houses and apartments isn't easy, especially in a country where land is hard to come by.

A land battle on the outskirts of New Delhi illustrates the point.

The property, in an area known as Greater Noida, is undergoing the transition from cropland to towering apartment blocks. Right now, though, it's a visual and legal mess.

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12:01am

Fri July 15, 2011
Conflict In Libya

In Gadhafi's Tripoli, Libyans Cautiously Voice Dissent

The Libyan government maintains that the capital, Tripoli, is a stronghold of support for leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The government routinely organizes pro-Gadhafi demonstrations, and state-run TV channels keep up a steady flow of videos that portray Libyans as victims of NATO aggression.

But for reporters who manage to slip away from their government minders, pockets of opposition aren't hard to find.

The dissidents say opposition to the government is widespread, despite a state security crackdown that keeps them in a constant state of fear and distrust.

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3:35pm

Tue July 12, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Libyan Rebels, Regime Put Attention On Gharyan

Reporters outnumber women who are showing their weapons expertise at a small pro-Gadhafi demonstration in the mountain city of Gharyan, a key target for rebels who are trying to advance toward Tripoli.
Corey Flintoff NPR

In Libya, rebels are eying the western mountain city of Gharyan as the next step in their advance toward the capital, Tripoli.

The Libyan government insists that the city is firmly on the side of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but NPR reporters who were recently taken there say the real extent of government support is unclear.

Regime Stages Pro-Gadhafi Display

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4:00am

Tue July 5, 2011
Africa

No Formal Peace Talks Set In Libya

A senior Libyan official said progress has been made in talks with rebels on ending more than four months of fighting. But a top rebel leader has denied that any negotiations are taking place.

12:01am

Mon June 27, 2011
Middle East

Egypt's State TV Has New Masters, But Old Habits

Shahira Amin, shown here in 2004, is a veteran of Egypt's State TV. She says changes at the network since Egypt's February revolution have been largely cosmetic.
via Facebook

When Egyptian protesters clamored for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February, State TV journalist Shahira Amin took a bold move: She quit her job, joined the demonstrators and denounced her network's coverage.

Mubarak fled his presidential compound in Cairo on Feb. 11, and Amin and many others believed it would usher in a new era of media freedom.

She soon rejoined Nile TV, the English-language division of State TV, and said she hoped to help reform the agency.

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3:00pm

Fri June 24, 2011
Africa

Libyan Rebels, Loyalists Clash In Tunisia Border Town

Until several months ago, the Tunisian town of Djerba was a placid, sun-bleached stretch of the Mediterranean coast with white-washed hotels that catered mainly to vacationers from Europe.

But the Tunisian revolution that began last December scared away the foreign tourists. And now the fighting in Libya is spilling over the border and turning the town into a place of intrigue.

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12:01am

Mon June 20, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

Indians Uneasy As China Builds Ports Nearby

Workers unload cargo from the first vessel to enter the Chinese-funded port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, in November 2010. China's Export-Import Bank provided 85 percent of the financing for construction of the port.
Ishara S. Kodikara AFP/Getty Images

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investments, infrastructure, military power and more.

As China flexes its economic and military muscle, it's bumping elbows with Asia's other big and fast-growing power: India.

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4:07pm

Tue April 26, 2011
Asia

Is The Dalai Lama Playing A Dangerous Game?

Just last month, the Dalai Lama sent a shockwave through the world of Buddhism when he announced that he was giving up his political powers as head of the Tibetan government in exile.

For more than 50 years, the Nobel peace laureate has been the public face of resistance to Chinese control of Tibet.

Some analysts say the aging leader is playing the opening moves of a risky strategy to preserve the spiritual leadership of Tibetan Buddhism in the event of his death.

'It Is Something That Is Unthinkable'

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