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As a celebrated portrait photographer, Platon Antoniou (who goes professionally by his first name) is well-known for his close-up depictions of the powerful. He has aimed his camera at the faces of celebrities and world leaders ranging from Vladimir Putin and Moammar Gadhafi to Willie Nelson and Woody Allen.

"Sometimes," he says, "you look in their eyes and you see angels. And sometimes you see demons."

Confused about the word Eskimo?

For hundreds of years, Timbuktu has had a place in the world's imagination. Located on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, the city flourished as a center of Islamic culture and scholarship in the 13th through 16th centuries. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, recognized for the University of Sankore, which had as many as 25,000 students who studied the Quran, as well as the historic Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia mosques.

In this year's election cycle, international trade has emerged as a top campaign issue.

So journalists with NPR and several public-radio member stations set out this week to examine trade matters as part of our special election-year series: A Nation Engaged.

A university professor has been hacked to death in northwestern Bangladesh, and police said it resembled other recent militant attacks in the country.

Deputy police Commissioner Nahidul Islam said Rezaul Karim Siddique "was attacked on his way to the state-run university in the city of Rajshahi, where he taught English," according to The Associated Press. He added that "the attackers used sharp weapons and fled the scene immediately."

Scientists say they have discovered a massive reef stretching for more than 600 miles at the mouth of the Amazon River in South America.

In total, the reef covers some 3,600 square miles — or, as Smithsonian notes, an area larger than the state of Delaware.

When it comes to Shakespeare's legacy, it seems safe to conclude that "what's past is prologue."

Today marks 400 years since the day Shakespeare died, and people are celebrating his life and work around the world.

April 23 is also believed to be the Bard's birthday. As you might expect, the biggest events honoring Shakespeare are taking place in the U.K.

Shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, a bomb went off on a bus in Jerusalem, triggering bad memories for many Israelis. This type of attack had not happened in recent years.

Blocks away from the explosion, people paced the sidewalks, talking on cellphones or watching the small screens for flashes of information about what happened. They saw black smoke twist into the sky and heard ongoing sirens as medics, police and soldiers raced to the scene.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

A cooking show has reportedly dominated the recent television ratings in North Korea.

Of course there's just one broadcaster. And it's the government.

Wearing a black coat and holding a cane in his right hand, Movses Haneshyan stands in front of a life-size canvas. He stares at a winding road, a fir tree, distant mountains and a deep blue sky. He approaches the image slowly, and begins to cry, "My home. My Armenia."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Following a national nomination process, the Bank of England has announced the new face of the £20 bill: famed painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), known for his landscapes, seascapes and innovative depiction of light.

Turner will replace economist Adam Smith, the influential advocate of free market policies who came up with the notion of the "invisible hand."

During a news conference in London Friday, President Obama criticized the North Carolina law that requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond to their gender designation at birth.

Obama said he thinks the North Carolina law and similar measures in other states, including Mississippi, "are wrong and should be overturned."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In a colorful, 16-panel cartoon called "Dangerous Love," China is warning female government workers that romancing handsome foreigner strangers can lead to heartbreak — and espionage.

"Junk food? Not at McDonald's!"

At least, that's what the fast-food chain hopes to convince Israel's health minster.

The gutsy slogan appeared at the top of full-page advertisements in Israeli newspapers last weekend after health minister Yakov Litzman called for a boycott of McDonald's in Israel – part of a new push to combat ballooning obesity and unhealthy eating habits in the country.

Why is this Passover different from any other? Because the story that the Jewish holiday commemorates — the exodus of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt to freedom — resonates more strongly than ever in a world embroiled in a refugee crisis that encompasses approximately 60 million people, the highest number ever recorded, according to United Nations statistics.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

How do you help someone who is at risk of suicide?

That's a question that haunts the people of Greenland, the country with the highest known rate of suicide in the world and the subject of a special NPR report this week. The rate is about 80 per 100,000, and the group at highest risk is young Inuit men.

But it's a question that anyone, anywhere, might ask. Every year, about 1 million people kill themselves worldwide; preventing suicides is an issue every culture deals with.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the accreditation of the National Anti-Doping Laboratory in Beijing for up to four months.

The suspension, which is effective immediately, means the lab can't perform any "WADA-related anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples," the agency said in a statement, specifying that athletes' samples would have to be tested at other accredited labs.

Earlier this year, in response to a story about Greenland, an astute reader of this blog commented:

Charles Tudora month ago

Editor's note: This week, to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, we will be running a series of stories examining the links between food and the Bard.

"Life ... consists of eating and drinking," quips Twelfth Night's over-indulging Sir Andrew Aguecheek. It seems that Shakespeare's audiences felt the same.

Between 1988 and 1990, when archaeologists excavated The Rose and The Globe theaters (where Shakespeare's plays were performed), they were able to learn as much about the audiences as the playhouses themselves.

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