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



Wed November 21, 2012
The Two-Way

India Executes Mumbai Attack Gunman

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 12:42 pm

Nov. 26, 2008: Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, during the attack, in Mumbai's Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station. He was executed today.
Sebastian D'Souza AP

Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the three-day attack on Mumbai in November 2008 that killed more than 160 people, has been hanged in India.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi that the execution took place in secret inside a high-security jail in the Indian city of Pune, just days before the anniversary of the Mumbai siege:

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Thu October 18, 2012
Shots - Health News

With An Army Of Vaccinators, India Subdues Polio

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:31 pm

An Indian child receives the oral polio vaccine. Twice a year, an army of 2 million volunteers fans out across India to administer the vaccine. India has not reported a single case of polio in more than a year-and-a-half.
Julie McCarthy NPR

All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.

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Tue October 9, 2012

U.S., India Try To Boost Economic Ties

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:25 am



NPR's business news starts with a passage to India.


INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meet their counterparts in India today. The U.S. wants to boost economic ties with the country that it on its way to becoming the most populous in the world. Talks have been pushed forward by India's new liberalizing economic reforms.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Delhi.

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Wed September 26, 2012

Tourists Banned From India's Tiger Reserves

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:27 pm

A tiger is seen in June 2008 at Sariska Tiger Reserve in the western state of Rajasthan, India, after being shifted from Ranthambore National Park. In an attempt to help revive western India's tiger population, a female tiger was airlifted to join a male at the national reserve.

Can tigers and tourists coexist? The debate is rumbling through India, where the Supreme Court has temporarily banned tourism in core areas of the country's 41 tiger reserves. The unexpected and controversial ruling is aimed at protecting the last of India's 1,700 tigers.

Up until the late 1960s, big game hunters trod the forests of Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park, part of a sprawling tiger reserve southwest of Delhi. Under the court's recent ban, spotting one of India's big cats — a tiger or the more elusive leopard — inside the park is forbidden.

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Tue September 4, 2012

Generators Power Through India's Blackouts

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 5:30 pm



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The blackout that recently disrupted electricity across northern India is said to have affected more people than any previous power outage ever. It covered an area that's home to some 670 million people; that would be roughly 10 percent of the world's population. Still, large numbers of Indians living in the blackout zone barely noticed it happened. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy explains.

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Tue August 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Indian Parliament Adjourned After Row Over 'Coal-Gate'

India's parliament was adjourned briefly today as the opposition called for the resignation of the prime minister, saying he was complicit in what has become known as "coal-gate."

The uproar stems from an official audit issued last week accusing the government of selling coal mining rights for too low a price.

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Mon August 20, 2012

India Accuses Pakistani Websites Of Inciting Panic

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm



India's government has persuaded companies to shut down more than 150 websites. Authorities blame those sites for circulating claims that led to panic. The claims fueled fears of violence during the Muslim festival of Eid. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.

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Thu June 21, 2012

In Pakistan's Anti-Corruption War, A Lonely Warrior

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:35 pm

Retired senior police investigator Zafar Qureshi, 59, stands outside his home in Lahore, Pakistan, where security guards are stationed 24 hours a day. The former police official has probed some of the highest profile cases of official misconduct in Pakistan, and says he fears for his safety and that of his children in a country that he says is steeped in a "culture of corruption."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Pakistan's National Assembly has been summoned to elect a new prime minister for the fragile coalition of President Asif Ali Zardari. A consensus candidate, current Textile Industry Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, emerged soon after the Supreme Court's dramatic firing of outgoing Premier Yusuf Reza Gilani.

The court disqualified Gilani from office this week for defying court orders to pursue dormant corruption charges against President Zardari.

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Mon May 21, 2012

Pakistan Signals Afghan Supply Route Will Reopen



With world leaders gathered for a NATO summit in Chicago, high on their agenda is the future of Afghanistan once Western troops withdraw. Among the leaders there is the president of Pakistan. Pakistan has been keeping NATO from using critical military supply routes running through that country to Afghanistan, something that's irritated NATO countries, whose troops are fighting in Afghanistan.

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Thu April 19, 2012

Avalanche May Alter Himalayan Combat Zone

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:44 pm

Pakistani army soldiers work Wednesday at the site of a massive avalanche that buried 140 people, including 129 soldiers, April 7 at the Siachen glacier. Pakistan's army chief called for the peaceful resolution of the Himalayan glacier dispute with rival nuclear power India.
B.K. Bangash AP

In the chill of the world's highest combat zone lies the prospect of warmer relations. Pakistan's army chief said Wednesday that there's a need to resolve the conflict that has Indian and Pakistani troops facing off at frigid altitudes of up to 20,000 feet in the Himalayan Mountains. An estimated 3,000 Pakistani soldiers have died from the atrocious weather conditions since deployments on the Siachen glacier began in 1984.

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Fri April 13, 2012

Pakistan's Parliament Approves Steps For U.S. Ties



This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

In Pakistan, a joint session of parliament has unanimously passed list of tough demands regarding that country's relations with the U.S. They want to restrict the U.S. military presence in the country with demands the U.S. is likely to resist, like banning drone missile attacks. The new guidelines are all part of an effort by the parliament to redefine Pakistan's relations with the U.S. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Islamabad.

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Thu January 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Pakistan's Prime Minister Appears Before Country's Supreme Court

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 2:53 pm

The prime minister's legal counsel Aitzaz Ahsan (center) outside the Supreme Court, following the appearance of Prime Minister Yousef Reza Gilani before a seven member bench. Gilani faces contempt charges for his government's refusal to re-open a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Sajid Mehmood NPR

Extending the political crisis that has churned up a media frenzy and put the nation on edge, Pakistan's Supreme Court has given the Prime Minister ten more days to answer contempt of court charges

Prime Minister Yusef Reza Gilani drove himself to the imposing Supreme Court building framed by stormy skies this morning. Facing contempt charges, he stood in the well of the packed court and defended his refusal to re-open a graft case against his boss, President Zardari.

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Thu December 22, 2011

U.S. And Pakistan Relations: From Bad To Worse

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 11:04 am

Relations between the U.S. military and the Pakistan military have become even more strained since American forces were involved in a shooting last month that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead. Here, Pakistani soldiers march during a ceremony in September.
Arif Ali

In Pakistan, transit routes for NATO supply trucks heading to Afghanistan remain shut. The CIA drone missile program has gone quiet in Pakistan's tribal area. Pakistan's government has called for a re-negotiation of its troubled relationship with the U.S.

All of this is fallout from an attack on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last month in which NATO fire from helicopter gunships killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

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Wed November 23, 2011

Former Cricket Star Finds Fans In Pakistani Politics

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 11:01 am

Former cricket star Imran Khan waves to supporters during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, last month. Khan, who is campaigning to be prime minister, attracted a crowd of some 100,000 at the rally.
K.M. Chaudary AP

After 15 years on the fringes of Pakistani national politics, Imran Khan is at the epicenter.

He first rose to prominence decades ago as the rakish star of Pakistan's cricket team, the country's national passion. He's now trying to reshape Pakistan's political game, outmaneuvering old-time political pros with his Tareek-e-Insaf (Justice Party).

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Wed November 9, 2011

Criminals, Militants Align In Pakistan Kidnappings

In Pakistan, several high-profile kidnappings reveal the cunning of the captors and confusion among police.

American aid expert Warren Weinstein was seized from his home in Lahore in mid-August. Two weeks later, publishing scion Shahbaz Taseer was snatched from his Mercedes at gunpoint, also in an upscale neighborhood of the Punjab capital.

The trail is leading investigators to Pakistan's militant-dominated tribal areas. North Waziristan, on the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is now believed to be a destination of choice for militant kidnappers.

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Mon November 7, 2011

U.S. Urges Pakistan To Nudge Haqqani Millitants Toward Peace

Washington is no longer demanding that Pakistan launch a military offensive against the Haqqani network which is based along the Afghan border. Instead, the U.S. wants Pakistan to supply intelligence on the militants and get them to the negotiating table.


Wed November 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Pakistan Gives India 'Most Favored Nation' Trade Status

Indian Border Security Force soldiers (in khakhi) and Pakistani Rangers (in black) perform the daily retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan border in Wagah. It's hoped that freer trade will reduce tensions between their two nations.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

The news today that Pakistan's cabinet has moved to normalize trade with India — giving its neighbor "Most Favored Nation" status — is being viewed as a positive first step toward the possible normalization of diplomatic relations between the two nuclear rivals.

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Fri October 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Rallies Decry Death Sentence For Confessed Assassin In Pakistan

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 1:44 pm

Protesters rally in support of Mumtaz Qadri, who was sentenced to death for the murder of Gov. Salman Taseer. Qadri appealed his sentence Thursday.

Sajid Mehmood NPR

Crowds protested in Pakistan's major cities Friday, against the death sentence handed down last week to the self-confessed killer of Punjab province's Gov. Salman Taseer. One of the governor's bodyguards, Mumtaz Qadri, shot him in cold blood outside a café in Islamabad in January.

Religious parties supporting Qadri rallied in solidarity one day after Qadri filed an appeal challenging the death sentence handed down by an anti-terror court.

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Sat September 10, 2011

Pakistan Could Be Vital To 'Afghan-Led' Peace Process

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 1:05 pm

Pfc. Natan Martinez fires a machine gun from a position near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan. There is concern in Pakistan about the U.S. preserving a security presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, the deadline to pull out most if not all U.S. combat troops.
David Gilkey NPR

An end to the war in Afghanistan is slowly beginning to come into view, 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks. Few countries have been as deeply affected by the decade of fighting as Pakistan.

Since 2001, Islamist extremism fueled by the Afghan conflict has claimed the lives of 35,000 Pakistanis — 30,000 of them civilians.

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Thu September 1, 2011

Pakistan's Biggest City Torn By Ethnic Violence

A man walks past a burning van in Karachi, Pakistan, on Aug. 4. Hundreds of extra paramilitary troops have been deployed in Pakistan's economic capital, which is struggling to end violence that has killed more than 300 people in recent weeks.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan's long list of problems has a new addition this summer: vicious communal violence in Karachi.

More than 300 people have been killed in recent weeks, some under grisly circumstances that include decapitations, torture chambers and bodies placed in gunnysacks and dumped on the side of the road.

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Mon August 22, 2011

In Rural Pakistan, A Rare Hospital Geared For Women

Mumtaz Ali (left) established the hospital in response to the dying wish of his wife, Umrana Mumtaz, who wanted to bring badly needed medical services to Pakistan's rural poor. Dr. Qasim Nasruddin (right) joined the hospital when it opened three years ago with a small staff that treats more than 120 patients a day.
Julie M. McCarthy NPR

In a landscape where decent clinics are scarce, the Umrana Mumtaz Healthcare Trust Hospital is a beacon of hope.

And a bustling one: on a sweltering afternoon worried mothers wrapped in traditional white robes and headscarves crowd the hospital's shaded amphitheater clutching their ailing babies. More than 120-thousand patients, mostly women and children, have received free basic health care at this facility since it opened just three years ago.

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Sun August 14, 2011

No Claims For American's Abduction In Pakistan

The whereabouts of an American development expert are still unknown 24 hours after he was abducted by a group of armed men in Pakistan. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on the abduction of Warren Weinstein, who was within days of leaving the country when he was kidnapped Saturday during a brazen early morning raid on his home.


Wed August 10, 2011
Global Health

In Pakistan, Birth Control And Religion Clash

Tariq Ahmed, a jobless father of six sons and one daughter, insisted on having another child. His wife, Rani Tariq, said she was already ill and over-burdened with seven children. But she's pregnant again.
Julie McCarthy NPR

In Pakistan, family planning is an uncomfortable topic fraught with religious overtones.

But in one of Asia's fastest growing populations, a story of women giving birth challenges stereotypes, including what Islam has to say about women's health and family planning.

According to a new government survey, Pakistan is producing nearly 4 million babies every year, and most are born into poverty. The World Bank says 60 percent of Pakistanis live on less than $2 a day.

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Mon July 25, 2011

Pakistan Bids To Change The Minds Of Swat Radicals

Nearly 200 boys aged 12 to 17 are residents at Sabaoon, meaning "New Dawn." The Lahore-based NGO Hum Foundation runs the project with funding from UNICEF and support and security from the Pakistan army.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Pakistan's army is deploying alternative methods to deal with the menace of militants.

The same Pakistani army that crushed the Taliban extremists two years ago in the Swat Valley is trying to deradicalize some 200 young militants from that conflict. Doctors, teachers and psychologists are taking up the challenge.

Speaking in Swat, Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani told a first-of-its-kind conference on the subject, "There is no military solution to terrorism."

Access to the young men is extremely limited.

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Thu June 30, 2011

Clashes Rage In Pakistan's Baluchistan Province

While Pakistan battles an Islamist militancy that seeks to overthrow the state, another lesser-known conflict rages on its soil. In the southwest province of Baluchistan, separatist fighters are clashing with security forces and killing anyone they see as the enemy.


Tue June 21, 2011

Journalist's Killing Unites Pakistan's Media

Saleem Shahzad is the latest journalist to be killed in Pakistan. Over the last 18 months, at least 16 journalists have been killed there. Last week, other members of the media held a 24-hour sit-in across from Parliament to say the killers of Shahzad would be uncovered regardless of where the trail leads.


Wed June 15, 2011

Pakistan Arrests CIA Informants Tied To Bin Laden Raid

Pakistanis who fed information to the CIA in advance of the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound have been arrested by Pakistan's intelligence agency. While people have been taken into custody, there are differing reports about who they are.


Mon May 16, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

John Kerry Visits Pakistan With List Of Demands

John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the first American emissary to visit Pakistan since the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. He is known to be a friend of Pakistan, and what he is told by Pakistani army and civilian leaders could be key to American policy going forward. Kerry arrived late Sunday and went quickly to see army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, handing him the list of U.S. demands.


Sat May 14, 2011

Pakistan Grills Army But Still Condemns U.S.

Pakistan's parliament unanimously approved a resolution condemning the U.S. Bin Laden mission as a "violation of Pakistan's sovereignty" on Saturday, calling to review the country's "terms of engagement with the United States." It warned Pakistan could cut supply lines to American forces in Afghanistan if there were more such attacks.

The Parliament also said all U.S. drones attacks "must be stopped forthwith."

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Thu May 12, 2011

Pakistan Update

Most Pakistanis say it is inconceivable that the army chief of staff and the head of intelligence knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding in the country.