Julie McCarthy

Julie McCarthy has spent most of career traveling the world for NPR. She's covered wars, prime ministers, presidents and paupers. But her favorite stories "are about the common man or woman doing uncommon things," she says.

One of NPR's most experienced international correspondents, McCarthy opened the network's Tokyo bureau, "and never looked back." She has come full circle, recently returning to Asia to open the newest in the constellation of NPR's overseas bureaus in Manila.

In an overseas career spanning 25 years, she's covered Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Before assuming her current post as NPR's South East Asia correspondent based in Manila, McCarthy served as NPR's international correspondent based in New Delhi, India, where she spent six years. She'd crossed the border from Pakistan, where McCarthy had established NPR's first permanent bureau in Islamabad.

McCarthy won a Peabody Award for her coverage of Pakistan. She was named the Gracie Correspondent of the Year in 2011, and she was honored with the Southeast Asia Journalists Association's Environmental Award for her coverage of Pakistan's 500-year flood in 2010.

Before moving to Islamabad, McCarthy covered South America as NPR's bureau chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 2005 to 2009. She covered the Middle East for NPR from 2002 to 2005, when she was first dispatched to report on the Israeli incursion into the West Bank, and later the war in Iraq and the turmoil in Saudi Arabia.

McCarthy's stint as London Bureau Chief for NPR often took her far afield from Britain. She spent months at NATO covering the war in the Balkans, reported for weeks on the devastating earthquake in Turkey in 1999 and devoted much of summer of 2001 at UN headquarters in Geneva covering the run-up to the Durban Conference on Racism. She covered the re-election of the late Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and traveled to the Indian island nation of Madagascar to report on political and ecological developments there.

Following the terror attacks on the United States, McCarthy was the lead reporter assigned to investigate al-Qaida in Europe. She traveled extensively in Iran following the Sept. 11 attacks to report on the Iranian reaction and the subsequent war in Afghanistan.

McCarthy was the first staff correspondent in Japan, assuming leadership of NPR's Tokyo Bureau in 1994. Her tenure there was a rich tapestry of stories including 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 distinguished coverage of Japan won the East-West Center's Mary Morgan Hewett Award for the Advancement of Journalism.

McCarthy's coverage of the Asian economic crisis earned her the 1998 Overseas Press Club of America Award. That same year, McCarthy chronicled the dramatic fall of Asia's longest-running ruler President Suharto and the chaos that followed his toppling from power.

Prior to moving overseas for NPR, McCarthy was the foreign editor for Europe and Africa. She served as the Senior Washington Editor during the first Persian Gulf War. NPR was honored with a Silver Baton in the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for its coverage of the conflict.

In her capacity as European and African Editors, McCarthy was awarded a Peabody, two additional Overseas Press Club Awards and the Ohio State Award.

NPR selected McCarthy to spend the 2002-2003 academic year at Stanford University where she won a place in the Knight Journalism Fellowship Program. Her time at the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1994 as a Jefferson Fellow helped launch her long career as an international correspondent for NPR.

McCarthy holds degrees in literature and history, and is a lawyer by training.

As India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the U.S. over the weekend, President Trump tweeted a warm welcome, calling the Indian leader "a true friend." The two are meeting for the first time at the White House Monday afternoon, Modi having arrived for a brief, two-day call — not a state visit, but a working one.

Perhaps that's fitting, as there is so much in the relationship to work on.

Madeshwaran Subramani is the human face of IT disruption in India. He recalls being recently summoned to the HR office of his employer in southern city of Coimbatore at 11 a.m. By noon, the 29-year-old software engineer was out of a job. He worked for Cognizant Technology, a U.S.-based firm with offices in India.

Typically, India's Bollywood film industry depicts older women as maternal and virtuous. Younger ones often are eye candy, propping up male leads. But a recent crop of films is showing more complex female characters, training a spotlight exclusively on the lives of women — and, even more unusually, on their sexuality.

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In India, Hindu nationalists have swept recent elections, and flush from victory, stand accused of using vigilantism to promote a Hindu way of life for all Indians.

At a buffalo market outside the town of Nasirabad in central Rajasthan, transporters say Hindu vigilantes have targeted them on rumors that they have sold, bought, or killed cows for beef.

Rap music has found an outlet in Kashmir, the border state between India and Pakistan.

The Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley, tucked in the Himalayas, might not seem the most likely venue for this music. But Roushan Illahi, Kashmir's leading rapper, says the guns, soldiers and protracted conflict provide the "street reality" that hip-hop is meant to capture.

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A holy man, recently installed as the chief minister of India's largest state, is stirring things up. A meat crackdown began within 48 hours of Yogi Adityanath assuming office. Critics say this has antagonized the country's largest religious minority: its Muslims.

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Married at 14 and divorced by 16, Seema Parveen had a marriage as brutal as it was short.

Now 42, Parveen remembers her husband threatening to hurl her from the balcony of their home. She blinks back tears recalling his rage when she bore him a daughter and not a son.

Late last year, India sought to force people with large amounts of cash stashed away to deposit it in bank accounts. It was a tax-collecting exercise to get people to disclose unreported wealth and pay up.

The government credits the move for a 12 percent increase in tax collections from the previous year.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET Monday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is calling for a "New India" in the wake of his party's unprecedented showing in voting in the country's biggest, most important battleground state. Results from five states electing legislative assemblies were announced over the weekend.

Young Indians who want a more prosperous country in their lifetime especially seized on Narendra Modi to deliver it.

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With the Trump administration vowing to tighten rules for skilled workers entering the United States, India's software services companies are worried. Indian IT giants outsource tens of thousands of tech specialists to the United States each year, and limiting the visa program that brings them in could disrupt their multibillion-dollar industry.

Ever since Genghis Khan used tree bark as legal tender and backed it up by threatening anyone who didn't use it with death, governments have manipulated paper money to suit their purposes.

When India abolished its highest-value rupee notes last November, it sought to rein in hoarders of big bills who evade tax. However, the move sucked so much cash out of circulation that it destroyed the wages of millions of Indians who earn in cash, and deprived millions more of access to their money.

One of the biggest-ever overseas successes for Disney is grounded in a real-life story out of India.

In November, India's government declared all high-value currency invalid and withdrew them from circulation. Starved of cash, the economy seized up.

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Imagine living in a world where you need cash to buy virtually everything — from food to clothes to a new home. Yet you have no cash. The best you can do is stand in line at the bank for hours in the hope of withdrawing a small amount of paper money.

Maybe you could use a smartphone to pay for goods — only you're too poor to afford one.

Welcome to India, land of the cash crunch.

The Trump Organization has more interests in India — at least five — than anywhere else outside North America. With an ever-increasing taste for luxury, India offers the Trump brand a lucrative market, no matter who runs the company after President-elect Donald Trump separates from his global enterprises, as he's said he would do.

Gautam Lewis has had the sort of life that could spring from the pages of a fairy tale.

Afflicted with polio at 18 months, he was taken in by Mother Teresa when he was 3. He doesn't know all the details of how he came to live at her Home for Children in Kolkata, but he does speak of the courage his family must have had to give him up.

In an amateur video, four frightened men, stripped to the waist and tethered to a truck, are publicly flogged on a busy street in broad daylight.

Their assailants accused the four men of killing a cow — a sacred animal in India. Calling themselves protectors of the cow, they filmed themselves beating the foursome with iron rods and wooden sticks on July 11 — then posted their video on social media.

A steady rain falls on velvet green terraces, releasing a powerful scent of newly harvested tea. A ripple of voices tumbles down the hillside as a man barks orders.

The tea pickers, all women, many in bare feet, expertly navigate the leech-infested slopes. Balancing hampers on their backs loaded with freshly plucked tea leaves, they descend for their morning tea break.

The move has sent shockwaves across India's financial sector: Raghuram Rajan, the governor of India's Reserve Bank who's been buffeted by political attacks, announced that he will be leaving. The 53-year old economist had said he was open to a second term, but will instead be returning to academia in the United States when his three-year tenure is up in September.

There has been intense speculation about whether Rajan, who had been appointed Reserve Bank chief by the previous government, would serve a second term under the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With near universal literacy and long life expectancy, the small Indian state of Kerala is a model for the rest of India.

In recent weeks, however, the small state tucked at the bottom of the country has been in the spotlight for what its glowing human development indicators do not reveal.

It sometimes takes an awful event to uncover maladies beneath the surface, and here, it was the savage murder of an underprivileged law student.

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Tukaram Jadhav was barely surviving off of his tiny cotton farm when he killed himself last September. His widow, a petite mother of two, pulls her purple sari tightly around her, and says she discovered her husband as he lay dying.

"I was the one who found him. I was sleeping and woke up to the powerful smell of pesticides that we use to farm," Bhagyashree Jadhav says. She says she thought there had been a spill. "I asked my husband if he smelled it, then I realized he couldn't speak. He'd swallowed the pesticide." Tukaram languished in the hospital for two days before dying.

A fire crackles along the banks of the Yamuna River: a cremation of a young mother, struck by a car while she was fetching water.

The stench of the river engulfs the sad assembly.

Before the hissing funeral pyre, floating down the river, white blocks of what looks like detergent appear like icebergs. It is 95 degrees in Delhi this night. This is chemical waste from factories that have sprung up across the city, manufacturing leather goods, dyes and other goods.

Downstream, the living reside along garbage-strewn banks.

Early morning light filters into the cavernous gymnasium as Neetu lunges, climbs and contorts her body into impossible positions. She shimmies up a thick rope that dangles from the two-story ceiling, her heavily muscled arms propelling her upward. She races through calisthenics with 25 other young women in the boot camp atmosphere of Chhotu Ram Stadium and Wrestling Center, in the Indian state of Haryana, known for its wrestling tradition.

The grueling twice-a-day practice– 4 hours in the morning and 3 1/2 in the afternoon-- is her ordinary routine.

Vijay Mallya is one of India's most flamboyant business figures, known as a liquor baron, an airline owner, and a man who reportedly owns 250 vintage cars.

But Mallya, 60, is now known as a debtor who is being pursued by banks to recover the mountain of debt he has accrued. He left the country on March 2, just as some 17 banks were closing in on him for payment of delinquent loans totaling the equivalent of nearly $1.5 billion.

The local media are calling it the "Robin Hood" budget. The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eager to win support among the urban and rural poor, is announcing programs to improve conditions for low-income people and provide tax breaks for necessities and items that might improve their lives.

Meanwhile, to bring in more funds for government spending, there are now higher taxes for luxury items.

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