World News

It started so well. When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, the United States swiftly cobbled together a broad coalition, unleashed a stunning new generation of air power and waged a lightning ground offensive that lasted all of four days. Iraqi troops were so desperate to quit that some surrendered to Western journalists armed only with notebooks.

Anytime I need to update a bunch of apps on my smartphone, I'm going to fly to South Korea to do it.

I'm only partly joking.

The Internet speeds are so fast here, they make me feel like the U.S. is living in the past.

And it's not just the Internet. The subways here are clean, and on time, with air conditioning and Wi-Fi.

Since I arrived in Seoul, I've lost track of the number of Americans who've told me, "Incheon in my favorite airport in the world."

Now, the journalistic cliché would be to say, "This didn't happen overnight!"

Rivers Run Through This Exhibit Of Colombia Art

2 hours ago

You walk into an air-conditioned building in Washington, D.C., and suddenly you're surrounded by rivers.

You can hear them, from the bubbling chuckle of a current to an unforgiving roar.

You can see them, foamy currents rushing past on video screens.

And when you take a break and sit down on a chair — carved out of reclaimed rainforest wood — you look up to see cascades of linen and plastic that seem to pour from the ceiling like flowing water.

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We learn to make a "counterfeit" version of duck confit, a classic French dish that traditionally can take days to prepare.

Two non-profit conservation groups in Zimbabwe are telling distinctly different stories about a lion that's seen as an ally of Cecil, the popular 13-year-old animal whose death at the hands of an American hunter in July sparked international outrage.

"We are absolutely heart broken," the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Saturday, announcing via Facebook page that Jericho, which it called Cecil's brother, was shot and killed at 4 p.m. (local time) Saturday afternoon.

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Kira Grunberg, Austria's top women's pole vaulter who suffered a horrible injury during training Thursday, is breathing on her own and could soon leave intensive care. The 21-year-old underwent emergency surgery after fracturing at least one of her cervical vertebrae.

Doctors say the fall has left Grunberg a paraplegic — a development that shocked the sporting world in Europe and brought offers of emotional and financial support for the young athlete who holds Austria's record for the women's pole vault.

Saying that recent stories about raw sewage in Brazilian waterways that will serve as Olympics venues in 2016 helped "wake us up again and put this back on the agenda," the head of sailing's world governing body says his group will test for viruses and bacteria in the water.

The International Sailing Federation's chief executive, Peter Sowrey, tells the AP that the move is prompted by concerns over athletes' health and safety.

The piece of a jet that's believed to be from a Boeing 777 — the same model of a Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing last year — is now in France, where it will be examined in a government laboratory near Toulose.

After the large piece of debris was discovered on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean this week, Malaysia Airlines said it "is almost certainly part of a Boeing 777."

The airline also says that MH370 "is believed to be the only 777 to have crashed south of the equator since the jet came into service 20 years ago."

For pharmacists in ever-diverse Berlin, communicating with customers requires a variety of languages.

Just ask German pharmacist Julia al-Erian, who tries in English to engage a young Arab man who is trying to buy acne cream. He gives her a blank stare, so she tries explaining in German how the medicated lotion works.

He looks perplexed, says "hold on" in German, then turns to a friend and speaks Arabic.

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There was a moment of drama in global sports on Friday, when the International Olympic Committee chose Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Games.

The loser was Almaty, Kazakhstan, a major city in an oil-rich central Asian nation that's trying to raise its profile on the international scene.

It's an open secret among journalists: When reporting a major news story in an unfamiliar country, it's great to have a "fixer."

That's the catch-all term we use for our local guides to language and logistics — the people who can translate documents, interpret during interviews and generally help you figure out the most efficient and the safest way to get from one location to the next.

In a setback for the Obama administration, talks aimed at setting up a major free-trade zone among 12 Pacific Rim countries — the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership — have ended without success.

Although U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said "significant progress" had been made at this week's talks in Maui, Hawaii, and officials promised to reconvene at some future date, big differences remain among the participating countries.

A new skydiving record was set Friday in Ottawa, Ill., at speeds up to 240 mph.

Doctors Without Borders is calling it a "champagne moment." The World Health Organization says it's a "game changer."

In a small trial, an experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of participants who were at high risk for the virus. Although the results are preliminary, they offer new hope of finally stamping out the virus in West Africa — and preventing the next epidemic.

Zimbabwe is seeking the extradition of Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed a famous lion named Cecil, which was being tracked in a university study.

At the stroke of midnight, tens of thousands of Indians and Bangladeshis living near the border between the two countries got their own country for the first time in 70 years.

As part of an agreement between the two nations, the fate of just under 15,000 people living in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves inside India and more than 37,000 in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh has finally been determined. Most will stay where they are, but change their nationality. Some are moving, and some of them are leaving behind family members.

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China's capital, Beijing, became the first city in the world to be chosen to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games. It beat out a bid from Kazakhstan. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has the reaction from Beijing.

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was originally granted only a 20-day visa to visit Britain, will now receive the six-month visa he applied for. A spokesperson for the U.K. Home Office explains that the head of the department, Theresa May, was not consulted over the staff's decision to allow only a shorter stay.

"She has reviewed the case and has now instructed Home Office officials to issue a full six-month visa," the spokesperson says. "We have written to Mr. Ai apologizing for the inconvenience caused."

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Eighteen years and nearly $400 billion since engineers begin outlining the initial concept, a small squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs has finally been declared ready to fight.

To Haben Girma's grandmother, back in East Africa, it "seemed like magic." Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

Nisha Saini has been practicing an Indian traditional health form called Ayurveda for more than 16 years. She runs a small alternative health center in Manhattan called New York Ayurveda, where customers can get massages and dietary advice. Over the counter, Saini sells an extensive array of traditional remedies concocted from herbs and spices. But there's one kind of Ayurvedic medicine she doesn't sell.

An arson attack in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old boy was being condemned widely on Friday, but the Palestinian Liberation Organization is putting the blame on the Israeli government.

The attack happened in the early morning hours of Friday when perpetrators firebombed a house in the village of Duma. According to the BBC, the perpetrators left behind some graffiti in Hebrew. On one wall, the Star of David was drawn right next to the word "revenge."

The killing of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, by a dentist from Minnesota has turned an international spotlight on big game hunting. It's a thriving industry, with more than 1,000 organizations worldwide.

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