The painful disease has been around for centuries but began a dramatic upswing in the 1980s. In the Americas alone, the annual number of cases has boomed from 520,000 in 2003 to 2.3 million in 2013. With the World Cup coming up in mid-June, host country Brazil is frantically battling the mosquitoes that carry dengue (pronounced DENG-gey).
Europe's far-right parties did well, really well in last week's elections to the European Parliament. But their embrace of Russia and its annexation of Crimea is not exactly what the far-right counterparts in Ukraine were expecting. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on a rare right-wing party that favors EU integration and joining NATO.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. We are reminded this morning of how difficult the transitions have been in the countries of the Arab Spring. Egypt has had a coup. Serious bloody civil war carries on. And in Libya, two men now claim to be the rightful prime minister. One is a businessman elected by parliament earlier this month with the backing of Islamists.
In May of 1964, a Marxist militant group called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, began its fight to overthrow the Columbian government. Fifty years later, despite ongoing peace talks that fight continues, making FARC the worlds oldest guerilla army. John Otis reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Spanish spoken).
JOHN OTIS, BYLINE: Here in the southern Colombia town of Uribe, army troops salute their officers. This region is a long-time rebel stronghold, so everyone is on high alert.
Shakespeare calls Richard III "rudely stamp'd," with the king's "hunchbacked" form revealing the twisted soul within. Actors have reveled in playing the monarch as a limping, deformed creature with a withered arm.
But when the bones of the 15th century king were unearthed from beneath a British parking lot in 2012, the skeleton showed no evidence of a hunch. Instead, the vertebrae lay in a curve suggesting that Richard might have had scoliosis.
A man whose pregnant wife was stoned to death by angry relatives in Pakistan earlier this week has admitted that he killed his first wife so he could remarry.
It's a disturbing twist to the already disturbing story that we reported on Tuesday of 25-year-old Farzana Parveen, who was bludgeoned to death with bricks by her family after she eloped with Mohammad Iqbal instead of marrying a cousin as her family demanded.
In Sao Paulo's poor north zone, in the neighborhood of Tucuruvi, teams of city workers knock on doors, warning people to take pets and small children out of the area.
Quickly after, men in hazmat suits with metal cylinders strapped to their backs start spraying the street, and some of the interiors of the homes, with powerful pesticides. This is the front line of the war on dengue fever in Brazil's largest city.
Pakistan is reeling from the latest so-called "honor killing." A pregnant woman was stoned to death just feet from a courthouse for marrying a man against her family's wishes. Police stood by as family members, including a woman, took part in the killing.
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Wildlife biologists have discovered the longest known terrestrial migration in Africa: some 350 miles across southern Africa by huge herds of zebras. Large mammal migration in Africa has generally been hindered by the subdivision and fencing of land. However, this one remains possible because it takes place in a unique, multi-country wildlife corridor.
In Afghanistan, campaigning is underway for that country's presidential runoff election. Two candidates are competing to succeed President Hamid Karzai. And the vote is set for June 14. The first round was largely considered a success - with less violence and fraud than expected. And voter turnout exceeded expectations. But as NPR's Sean Carberry reports, there are growing concerns that the second round could be a far messier affair.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The battle for control of eastern Ukraine heated up again today. Pro-Russian insurgents shot down a military helicopter - killing at least a dozen soldiers, including an Army general. The deaths came days after the Ukrainian military inflicted heavy losses on rebels, who had seized the Donetsk airport.
MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Germany's economy is having a pretty good year so far. Manufacturing is high, unemployment is low. The economy is expanding, and yet the strangest report has recently come out of Europe. It says all of that success is actually a problem for the rest of the Eurozone. Zoe Chase of our Planet Money team wondered why Germany's success isn't considered a good thing.
ZOE CHASE, BYLINE: Germany's got a thing about making stuff the world wants.
Pope Francis is hoping to demonstrate the power of prayer next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas join the pontiff at the Vatican for an exercise in peace building.
Reuters describes his invitation to the two leaders to join him at the Vatican for a joint prayer meeting as one of the "boldest political gestures" for Francis since he became pope in March 2013.
It was never in doubt, but now it's official. Ex-military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be Egypt's president after nearly a year of being the nation's de facto leader.
He won by a landslide with more than 93 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary results. His victory was so sweeping that his lone opponent, Hamdeen Sabbahy, came in third with just 3 percent of the vote. People who voided their ballots in protest outnumbered those who voted for Sabbahy.
Prisoner 1741 spent more than seven months inside a jail in southern China, assembling Christmas lights for export to America. Work days stretched up to 10 hours and conditions were tough, he says. One boss used strands of Christmas lights to whip workers and drive production.
Stories about forced labor have trickled out of China over the years, but what makes Prisoner 1741's so remarkable is that he isn't Chinese. He's American. In fact, he's a middle-aged, American sociology professor from South Carolina.
The underwater search for black boxes from a missing Malaysian Airlines jet has ended, as the robotic sub that searched nearly 330 square miles of the ocean hasn't found anything to back the idea that "pings" detected in that area came from emergency equipment.
Search and salvage teams will now assess where they should look next for the jet's remains, after Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said that "no signs of aircraft debris have been found" by the American Bluefin-21 robotic sub.
Let's turn to Syria now. Despite the chaos in that country's civil war, international weapons inspectors are still on the ground investigating reports of chemical weapons used by the government. A team of those inspectors was briefly kidnapped earlier this week.
One question is whether the Syrian government used chlorine in several recent attacks. The advocacy group, Human Rights Watch, has been interviewing physicians who treated some of the victims. We spoke to the group's deputy director for the Middle East, Nadim Houry.
President Obama gave the graduation speech Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, using the occasion to describe "the next phase" of the U.S. war against terrorism and his ideas about national defense and foreign policy in general. Here are a few general impressions.
U.S. officials are investigating claims circulated on social media sites that an American fighting with Syria's rebels helped carry out a suicide truck bombing in the war-torn country over the weekend.
American leadership in the 21st century will be defined in part by the nation's military strength, "but only in part," President Obama said in a wide-ranging interview with NPR about his foreign policy priorities.
Echoing themes he expressed during a speech Wednesday to West Point graduates, Obama emphasized the importance of international norms and alliances in addressing challenges such as Russia, China and Syria.
There's new evidence that an oral cholera vaccine might help stop an epidemic in its tracks.
That's the encouraging message from a study that tested a two-dose vaccine during a 2012 outbreak in Guinea. The virus was 86 percent effective in preventing immediate infection of a scourge that afflicts up to five million people a year and kills around 120,000.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon are casting their votes ahead of Syria's presidential election next week. The election is seen as Bashar Assad's rigged bid for legitimacy — but many refugees believe that if they don't vote, they'll never be allowed back home.
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In a mass trial before thousands of onlookers at a sports stadium, authorities in China's northwestern Xinjiang province convicted and sentenced 55 people on charges of terrorism, separatism and murder, state media report.
The scene, reminiscent of the communist Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s, took place before a crowd of 7,000 spectators. All of the defendants appeared to be from the region's Muslim Uighur community, the BBC says.