Jordan's fastest-growing city lies in the middle of the desert, where the sand is so white that from a distance it looks like snow. There's little running water and not much electricity.
The name of this place? The Zaatari refugee camp, home to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees.
"This is a city — not one that anybody would want to create if they had a choice," says Caroline Gluck of Oxfam, one of the aid agencies working in the Zaatari camp. "It's certainly not urban planning at its best."
The government of Kazakhstan says it's cooperating with U.S. officials in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings, a day after two men from the Central Asian country were charged in connection with the blasts that killed three people and wounded more than 250.
A garment factory that manufactures products for international clothing companies collapsed outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, last month, killing more than 400 workers and injuring scores of others. It came on the heels of a fire at another factory in November 2012; that incident killed 112 workers.
Factories like these in Bangladesh pump out what author Elizabeth Cline calls "fast fashion," or clothes made on the cheap by big chains such as H&M, Zara, Esprit, Lee, Wrangler, Nike, J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart.
Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki, shown on a visit to Libya in 2010, has been widely criticized by human rights groups. Eritrean exiles have organized passive protests, calling on people to stay home Friday.
Credit Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP
Map of Eritrea
Credit CIA World Factbook
Eritrean farmers herd a team of donkeys into the capital Asmara for the main weekly Saturday market in 2007.
After years in the Middle East, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has started the next chapter of her reporting life in Brazil. From her base in Sao Paulo, she'll focus on the country's environmental wealth, efforts to curb crime and the preparation for the World Cup and Olympic Games.
Host Michel Martin talks to Loretta Tofani, who closed her furniture store after discovering poor working conditions at the Chinese factories that supplied her business. She talks about how she made her decision, and about the factory building collapse in Bangladesh.
You may not know much about the country of Cape Verde; it's a group of islands off the coast of West Africa. But you may be surprised that many Cape Verdeans have Jewish ancestry. Host Michel Martin speaks with Carol Castiel, founder of the Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project, about efforts to restore Jewish burial grounds in the country.
The recent appointment of Italy's first black Cabinet minister was greeted with racist comments from a handful of political leaders. That has raised questions about whether the nation has a broader problem with bias. Host Michel Martin gets the latest from NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell raised concerns about the lack of transparency in Kenneth Bae's trial and urged North Korea to him "amnesty and immediate release."
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Ventrell wouldn't say whether the U.S. was considering sending a high-level envoy to Pyongyang as it has done in the past to win the release of U.S. citizens in North Korea.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
The Guantanamo Bay detention center had more or less faded from the news until this week, when President Obama called it unsustainable. He and others are paying attention now because of an ongoing and growing hunger strike of at least - as of this morning - 100 prisoners. More than 20 are being force fed to keep them alive.
The young women training to be mechanics at Nigeria's Lady Mechanic Initiative wear navy overalls and work boots and their hair is tucked under customized red caps as they repair vehicles in a garage. Customers come and go, dropping off and collecting their cars. Trainee Enogie Osagie says she faced great resistance at home when she started.
Bolivian President Evo Morales sings his national anthem during the annual May Day march in La Paz on Wednesday. He announced during a speech that he was expelling the U.S. Agency for International Development from the country.
Workers manufacture clothing in a factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December. Labor activists and major clothing retailers met in Germany this week to try to hammer out a deal that would improve working conditions in Bangladeshi factories.
This week, major retailers including Wal-Mart, Gap and others met with labor activists in Germany, hoping to hammer out a deal to improve working conditions in Bangladesh.
The meeting came less than a week after a devastating building collapse in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killed more than 400 workers. At the meeting, activists pushed retailers who use factories in Bangladesh to start spending their own money to make those workplaces safer.
Today is International Workers' Day, May Day, and a holiday in many countries - that includes Russia. But it's not nearly the big deal there that it used to be. In the former Soviet Union, this was an occasion for giant parades in Red Square. NPR's Corey Flintoff has this postcard from Moscow.
A Customs and Border Protection officer explains to arriving international passengers at Los Angeles International Airport how to provide their fingerprints. While visitors are fingerprinted and photographed upon arrival in the U.S., they are currently not tracked upon departure.
Nearly half the people now in the U.S. illegally didn't climb walls, wade across the Rio Grande or trek through the desert to get here. They arrived legally, with tourist or student visas. And when those visas expired, they just never left.
Like the rest of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, they are part of the underground economy and the government doesn't know where they are. The Senate immigration bill now before Congress tries to address this problem — though not as richly as it does border security.
In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma sits with ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela on Monday. Mandela was hospitalized in late March with a lung infection, and in images from the visit, appeared largely unresponsive.
In South Africa, controversial images of a frail and ashen Nelson Mandela being visited by South Africa's current president aired on national television this week. Some people claimed it was a political publicity stunt.
The footage is fueling fresh debate about what is proper and what constitutes invasion of privacy regarding the ailing, 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid legend.
President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by two other top officials of the governing ANC party, visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home on Monday.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with the war in Syria and the possibility of U.S. involvement. Today, in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used the opportunity of May Day to make a rare public appearance. He visited a power plant and said, we hope that by this time next year, we will have overcome the crisis in our country.
President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons could change the U.S. response to the Syrian civil war. But why this focus on chemical weapons when conventional weapons have killed tens of thousands in Syria?
The answer can be traced back to the early uses of poison gas nearly a century ago.
In World War I, trench warfare led to stalemates — and to new weapons meant to break through the lines.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged a report this week that the CIA has regularly been sending him money. Afghans seem to have mixed feelings. The president is shown here speaking at an event in Kabul on March 10.
After a report inThe New York Times this week, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the CIA has been secretly delivering bags of money to his office since the beginning of the war more than a decade ago.
There is another story now that speaks to the way the world is interconnected in ways we sometimes don't think much about. We want to talk now about that horrific building collapse in Bangladesh that's resulted in the death of at least 400 people so far, and many more are still missing.
We'd like to end today with the occasional series we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests tell us about the songs they listen to for a little inspiration. Today we hear from Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. He recently received yet another honor, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award's Lifetime Achievement Prize. This unique prize is given to writers who broaden our vision of race and diversity. When we spoke to Wole Soyinka last year, he also shared his favorite music with us.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, you might be thinking about freshening up your spring wardrobe, and you might find yourself excited by the low prices being advertised at your favorite store at the mall. And then you hear that there were hundreds of deaths at a factory in Bangladesh. Our next guest is going to tell us what one might have to do with the other. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
A wild male tiger, which seems to be in search of some female companionship, has been lured into eastern India's Nandankanan Zoological Park after several frightening nights for those in nearby villages.
From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Kelly McEvers on the U.S. options regarding Syria
As the U.S. considers a "spectrum of military options" it could take to assist the groups battling against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Obama administration is leaning toward giving lethal arms to some of those rebels, a senior administration official has told NPR's Kelly McEvers.
Investigators work at the site of a bombing in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala, last year. The blasts near a police post killed at least 15 people. The southern Russian republic has seen persistent violence.
Credit AFP / Getty Images
This mosque in Makhachkala is known as a center for the most fundamentalist strain of Islam called Salafism. Reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev prayed there may have triggered Russia's request for the FBI to investigate him in Boston.