Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:40 pm
On a hillside on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, about 50 red-haired refugees are learning how to be orangutans once again. The country's booming palm oil industry has encroached on their habitats, leaving many of them homeless and orphaned.
Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:44 am
I first encountered cumin in suburban New Jersey around 1988. Indian food was just starting to penetrate the suburbs, and a trip to the new Indian restaurant in the next town had, literally, the whiff of adventure about it.
As I took in the many new tastes and aromas from curries and kormas, one stood out: what I deemed the "the sweaty shirt spice," or cumin.
Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:07 pm
Iraqi troops and militia fighters are reportedly inside the city of Tikrit, the city that has been held by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, since last June. Officials and witnesses say the Iraqis now control part of northern Tikrit.
Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:48 pm
French police say two armored trucks carrying jewels and other items worth some $9.5 million were seized by more than a dozen armed attackers Wednesday, in a midnight heist that took place on the A6 highway that runs between Paris and Lyon.
Authorities were hunting for the thieves Wednesday, focusing on an area around the crime that took place about 140 miles southeast of Paris.
The heist was timed to coincide with the trucks' stop at a toll booth, where gunmen overcame the shipment's drivers, who were reportedly unarmed. The drivers were left uninjured.
Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:06 pm
No matter how much you've read about the struggle for land in the Middle East, it deepens your understanding to visit an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
The Israeli settlements, founded in areas that Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, raise some of the more contentious issues in the conflict.
Israel is under pressure to stop building them, and eventually to surrender many of them to make way for a future Palestinian state. The United Nations long ago said they are not legal, and critics of Israel cite them as a reason to boycott or divest from the Jewish state.
Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:44 am
Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.
In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.
The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:53 pm
When the famed Italian architect Renzo Piano was named honorary Senator-For-Life in 2013, he handed over his spacious new office and hefty salary of some $15,000 a month to a team of young architects. They were given the task of helping salvage depressed outskirts of Italian cities. One project was inspired by New York City's High Line — the beloved public park built on a derelict rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:07 pm
In the U.K., national elections are less than two months away. In the U.S., the presidential election is more than a year away. But you could be forgiven for thinking it's the other way around.
America experiences a long, drawn-out election fever, while the U.K. hardly shows any symptoms at all. That is to say, almost none of the events most strongly associated with an American presidential campaign are part of a typical British national election.
Take political rallies, where the bleachers fill with thousands of flag-waving, screaming supporters.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:34 pm
There's a problem with the mummies at the University of Tarapacá's archaeological museum in northern Chile.
They're turning into a black oozy substance.
Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences says scientists have found that Chile's famous 7,000-year-old Chinchorro mummies are being eaten by bacteria — and that climate change could be the culprit.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 1:04 pm
The story of how Istanbul residents learned sign language to create a special day for a neighbor has turned a Samsung ad into an international viral hit. The ad was filmed by hidden cameras on the route traveled by Muharrem Yazgan, who is hearing-impaired, and his sister, Özlem, who was in on the project.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 12:38 pm
Republican senators' letter to Iran about ongoing nuclear talks has prompted a lengthy response from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who delivered an overview of international law as he critiqued the letter.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:48 am
Five days after his face and arm were slashed in an attack in Seoul, U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert has been released from the hospital. Doctors say the stitches from the cut to Lippert's face have been removed, but he has a deep cut on a finger that will still require attention.
From Seoul, NPR's Elise Hu reports:
"In a press conference before leaving the hospital, Lippert said that while there's more rehab left for his arm, he's eager to return to work.
Two helicopters collided during the filming of a French reality TV show Monday, killing 10 people, including two Olympic medalists and an accomplished sailor. News of the crash in Argentina has left France in mourning, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says.
In addition to the athletes and five other French citizens, two Argentine pilots died in the accident.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:53 am
Feven Tashome is a study in blue. The 21-year-old's toenails are painted a rich cobalt, her scarf is baby blue and her leather handbag is ultramarine. To ordinary passersby in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, it's a fashion statement; to members of Ethiopia's beleaguered political opposition, it's a secret handshake.