Julie McCarthy

Julie McCarthy has traveled the world as a foreign 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. 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 in 1994

Pages

7:13pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Parallels

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

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 12:44 pm

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

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."

Read more

3:40am

Mon April 14, 2014
Parallels

A Gold Obsession Pays Dividends For Indian Women

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 7:24 pm

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

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.

Read more

4:08pm

Thu April 10, 2014
News

Out Of Delhi, A Potential Sea Change For India Election

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:12 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.

Read more

4:33pm

Wed March 5, 2014
The Two-Way

India Sets Date For What Will Be World's Largest Vote

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:02 pm

A wholesale shop in New Delhi was selling various Indian national and regional political party flags and campaign materials ahead of elections in India, the world's largest democracy.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

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.

Read more

5:56pm

Sat February 8, 2014
The Edge

Sochi Games Expose Indian Corruption And Redemption

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 7:11 am

Independent Olympic participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the men's luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia.
Al Bello Getty Images

It's one of the most dangerous sports at the Olympic Games. And when Indian slider Shiva Keshavan crashed from his sled during a training run at the luge track Friday, his miraculous recovery went viral.

Flying through icy curves feet first, Keshavan thundered down the frozen tunnel, the scraping blades or "steels" of his small sled sounding like a runaway train.

Read more

5:19pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Parallels

Indian Village Elders Accused Of Ordering Gang Rape

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 10:50 pm

Police lead suspects in a gang rape case to a courthouse near the eastern Indian village of Subalpur on Thursday. A 20-year-old woman was allegedly gang raped on orders from tribal elders who objected to her relationship with a man outside her community.
STRDEL AFP/Getty Images

Atrocious instances of gang rape over the past year or so have shaken India, but the one this week in West Bengal has a particularly sinister twist.

An all-male village tribunal, said to be upset that a 20-year old tribal woman had fallen in love with a man outside the community, is alleged to have ordered she be gang-raped as punishment.

Read more

12:20pm

Wed January 22, 2014
The Two-Way

New Delhi's 'Agitator' Administrator Ends Unusual Protest

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:56 pm

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (center) greets supporters from his blue wagon, which became a de facto local government headquarters during a two-day protest in New Delhi.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

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.

Read more

2:48pm

Tue January 14, 2014
The Two-Way

India's High Court Rocked By Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:02 pm

Former justices on the Supreme Court of India have been accused of sexual harassment.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

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.

Read more

2:01pm

Mon January 6, 2014
The Two-Way

Deadly Violence Mars Elections In Bangladesh

Bangladeshi protesters burn election material Sunday at a polling station in the northern town of Bogra.
AFP/Getty Images

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.

Read more

2:40am

Sun December 1, 2013
Parallels

Restoring The Mausoleum That Helped Inspire The Taj Mahal

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

Elaborate scaffolding was erected to complete the work on the exterior of Humayun's Tomb.
Courtesy of the AKTC

Think Taj Mahal and then try to imagine what came before it. What was the inspiration for that masterpiece?

Archaeologists and architects say a 16th century tomb tucked in the southeast corner of Delhi presaged the jewel of Muslim art in India.

The recent restoration of the mausoleum built to memorialize the Muslim emperor Humayun has created a sensation in the city, drawing sightseers, schoolchildren and history buffs to the site that is now a showcase for India's architectural patrimony.

Read more

6:41pm

Thu November 14, 2013
Sports

End Of An Era: India's Greatest Cricketer Begins Final Match

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 2:25 am

Cricket fans holding an Indian national flag cheer in front of a billboard of superstar cricketer Sachin Tendulkar outside a stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. India's favorite son dominated the sport for nearly a quarter of a century. Now, that fabled career is coming to a close.
Danish Siddiqui Reuters /Landov

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.

Read more

1:52pm

Mon September 9, 2013
Parallels

Zubin Mehta's Concert Strikes A Discordant Note In Kashmir

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:58 pm

Zubin Mehta conducts the Bavarian State Orchestra in Srinagar, India, on Saturday night. The heavy security surrounding the event was an affront to many citizens of the state, which has chafed under heavy police presence for the better part of two decades.
Julie McCarthy NPR

In Kashmir, the Shalimar Gardens of Srinagar, a relic of Mughal-era emperors, has been restored to its imperial tranquility with murmuring fountains, shallow pools and manicured beauty.

Read more

5:02am

Mon September 9, 2013
Asia

Concert Stirs Strife In Disputed Kashmir Region

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The New York City Opera may be forced to cancel the rest of its current season and all of its next season, if it is not able to raise $20 million by the end of the year. It has been known as the People's Opera since it debuted 70 years ago. Its mission: Making opera more accessible and affordable. City Opera, as it's called, has experienced what it calls a cash crisis for some years. And now, it's started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money it needs to survive.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more

4:59am

Fri September 6, 2013
Parallels

India's New Central Banker Steps Into A Perfect Storm

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 8:54 pm

Raghuram Rajan, the new head of the Reserve Bank of India, has his work cut out for him. India's economic growth has crashed, its currency has plunged and prices are up.
Rajanish Kakade AP

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.

Read more

11:41am

Fri August 30, 2013
The Two-Way

India's PM Tries To Reassure Country Over Rupee's Slide

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:03 pm

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a diplomatic signing ceremony with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in New Delhi last week.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

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.

Read more

7:06am

Thu August 29, 2013
Crime In The City

Mystery Series' Portly P.I. Peels Back The Layers Of Delhi Society

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:55 pm

In Tarquin Hall's novels, Vish Puri's detective office is located in Khan Market, near shops like this one.
Julie McCarthy NPR

For an introduction to India's cultural and culinary delights, you might hop a flight to Delhi or book a trip to Mumbai. But to meet the country sans passport free of airport indignities, you could just curl up with the crime novels of Tarquin Hall.

Vish Puri, Hall's opinionated private investigator, is a 50-something Punjabi super sleuth with a fondness for family and food. The mustachioed detective cracks open India's underbelly with a caseload that delves into forbidden love, corruption in Indian cricket and the deadly clash between science and superstition.

Read more

10:51am

Tue August 6, 2013
The Two-Way

India Accuses Pakistan Of Killing 5 Soldiers

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:35 pm

Supporters of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protest Tuesday in Allahabad, India, against the deaths of five Indian soldiers. India has accused Pakistani soldiers of firing across the Line of Control in Kashmir; Islamabad denies the charge.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

India has accused Pakistani troops of killing five Indian soldiers after firing across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies any firing from its side, and calls the allegation "baseless."

This latest incident comes amid attempts to renew diplomatic overtures for peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Indian officials say Pakistani soldiers fired into Indian territory overnight, ambushing a patrol of Indian troops.

Read more

12:28pm

Mon August 5, 2013
Parallels

Why India's Next State Is Not Likely To Be The Last

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:35 pm

Visitors ride in a carriage at the entrance of the Jewel of the Nizams "Falaknuma Palace," the former residence of Nizam Mehaboob Ali Khan in the old city area of Hyderabad. The legacy of these Muslim rulers — and the disenfranchisement of the Hindu majority — contributed to the economic gap in Andhra Pradesh.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

India's cartographers may soon be redrawing the country's map. If events go to plan, India will inaugurate Telangana, its 29th state, perhaps as early as next year — casting the spotlight anew on the challenges of governing a country as vast, and with a population as diverse, as India.

Telangana, on the arid Deccan plateau, is due to be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India's fifth most populous state, with a population of 85 million.

Read more

10:22am

Fri July 26, 2013
Parallels

Indian School Deaths: A Village's Pain Compounded By Poverty

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:13 pm

Chandra Devi lost two of her children last week when they consumed a free school lunch in Gandaman village, India. They were among 23 children who died in the tragedy.
Anoo Bhuyan NPR

"We are small people. What can we really do about this?" asks Surendra Prasad, perched on the steps outside the Patna Medical College and Hospital in the state capital of Bihar in eastern India.

Read more

4:13pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Asia

Families Of Poisoned Children Try To Cope In India

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In India, police have widened their hunt for the principal of an elementary school. It's the place where 23 children died last week after eating a toxic school lunch. The principal has been missing, along with her husband, since the day the children fell sick. An arrest warrant has been issued for her. In the meantime, parents of the victims are trying to cope with the tragedy. NPR's Julie McCarthy visited some of the families who live in one of India's poorest states.

Read more

8:37am

Wed July 10, 2013
Parallels

Bangladesh Collapse: The Garment Workers Who Survived

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:57 pm

Rebecca Khatun, a worker at Rana Plaza, lies in a hospital bed. She lost her left leg and right foot in the collapse, which also killed five members of her family. Khatun received $120 and free medical care for her loss --€” compensation she says won't be enough for what she's been through.
Julie McCarthy NPR

(We updated this post at 11:58 a.m. ET to include a statement released Wednesday by Walmart. Click here to see that)

It's been 2 1/2 months since the Rana Plaza collapsed on garment workers in Bangladesh, exposing abysmal safety conditions in the country's factories.

Read more

5:55am

Sat May 25, 2013
Parallels

In India, More Women Are Playing Matchmaker For Themselves

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:52 pm

A bride and groom exchange rings during a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. Although most marriages in India are still arranged, a growing number of women are taking matters of the heart into their own hands, using social networking clubs and matrimonial websites.
iStockphoto.com

In India, some of the most entertaining reading on a Sunday afternoon is found in the classified ads. Page after page, the matrimonial section trumpets the finer qualities of India's sons and daughters.

Parents looking to marry off their children often place ads such as this one: "Wanted: Well-settled, educated groom for fair, beautiful Bengali girl, 22, 5'3"."

The matrimonial ads are a hallowed tradition in the quest to find a life partner — part of the institution of matchmaking that is as old as the country itself.

Read more

2:33pm

Fri May 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Mother Of India Gang-Rape Victim Faces Suspects In Court

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 2:31 am

In India, the mother of the 23-year-old woman fatally gang-raped on a moving bus last December appeared in court Friday and for the first time put eyes on the men accused in the heinous attack on her daughter.

The four men on trial have been charged with murder and face capital punishment for the crime that convulsed the country and prompted harsher punishments for rape.

Read more

4:21am

Mon May 13, 2013
Asia

Nawaz Sharif Expected To Win Pakistan's Elections

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The last time Nawaz Sharif was prime minister of Pakistan, it did not work out so well for him. Sharif won a big election, moved to consolidate his power, and named a new army chief - only to see that same general overthrow him in a coupe in 1999.

Read more

1:18pm

Fri May 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Will Imran Khan Shake Up Pakistani Politics This Time?

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 2:38 pm

A supporter greets Imran Khan at a campaign rally on May 6, in Multan, Pakistan. Pakistan's parliamentary elections will be held on Saturday, and Khan's party is hoping the large, enthusiastic crowds at rallies will translate into a strong showing at the polls.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

After retiring as Pakistan's most celebrated cricket player, Imran Khan has dabbled on the margins of Pakistani politics for nearly two decades, trying to make a mark.

The sportsman turned philanthropist who led a playboy lifestyle in his younger days has attracted endless media attention, but until now neither he nor his movement has had any real impact.

As Pakistanis vote in a crucial parliamentary election on Saturday, could this time be different?

Read more

4:35pm

Thu May 9, 2013
Asia

Pakistani Women Still Struggle For A Voice In Politics

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:41 pm

One of the few women competing in Pakistan's parliamentary election on Saturday is Naz Baloch, 33, a first-time candidate. She's the daughter of a politician, but is running for a different party than her father.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Flags of the competing political parties whip in the wind of seaside Karachi. But little else is stirring in this city of 18 million this day.

The MQM, a leading political party in the megacity, has shut Karachi down with a general strike in response to a deadly bombing at its election office. But as soon as the strike ends, the streets spring to life as if nothing were amiss.

Read more

8:37am

Fri May 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Pakistani Prosecutor Investigating Bhutto Death Is Gunned Down

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 9:19 am

Pakistani police officials examine the bloodied, bullet-riddled car of slain government prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali after an attack by gunmen Friday in Islamabad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

In Pakistan, police say two unidentified gunmen fatally shot the special prosecutor investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Friday's attack on Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali in Islamabad deepens the mystery surrounding one of the country's most politically charged cases, which remains open six years later.

Read more

3:28pm

Sun April 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Outrage Erupts In India Over 5-Year-Old Girl's Rape

Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 10:28 pm

Activists from India's main opposition party jostle with police outside Sonia Gandhi's residence on Sunday.
AP

"What has changed?" That is the question echoing through Delhi on Sunday. Public frustration over sexual crimes against women is erupting again, this time over a gruesome sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.

The protests are smaller than those that swept over the capital in December with the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman, but the incident has revived debate over the startling state of sexual violence in India.

Read more

10:56am

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Purging Candidates Offers Pakistan A Bit Of Comic Relief

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 12:05 pm

Pakistani vendors in Lahore fix posters of candidates taking part in the upcoming May parliamentary elections. Pakistani officials have provoked both laughter and criticism in recent days as they vetted potential candidates in the country's upcoming national elections with questions that veered between the controversial and the bizarre.
K.M. Chaudary AP

The culling of candidates in the run-up to Pakistan's May 11 election is providing the country some badly needed levity.

The "Pakistani Inquisition," as it's been dubbed, has election commission officials grilling office-seekers on their Islamic bona fides.

Many have stumbled badly, only to be disqualified.

But not Mussarat Shaheen, who performed impeccably. The former dancer — fabled for her Pushto films — was asked by an official in the city of Dera Ismail Khan to recite a verse of the Holy Quran, to test her mettle as a candidate for the National Assembly.

Read more

12:28pm

Fri March 29, 2013
The Two-Way

In Court, Former Pakistan President Faces A Flying Shoe

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:09 pm

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (center) arrives in court in Karachi on Friday. An angry lawyer threw a shoe at Musharraf, who was not hit. He faces legal charges following his return to the country after four years in self-imposed exile, police said.
Fareed Khan AP

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suffered only a blow to his dignity when a lawyer hurled a shoe at him Friday as he entered the High Court in the southern city of Karachi.

The shoe missed its target but made its point. Many in Pakistan's legal fraternity still harbor anger toward the former president for a number of actions he took against the judiciary during his military rule from 1999 to 2008.

Read more

Pages