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Golf has played an outsize role in the relationship between the U.S. and Japan lately, as diplomacy between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe often includes playing 18 holes together. But in Japan, where you can find half of all the golf courses in Asia, the industry is flagging.

America still has the largest golf industry in the world, by a long shot. But in Japan's economic heyday in the 1980s, it built up thousands of courses and the game became baked into its business culture.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post ran a big, feature about a seemingly scary disease, called monkeypox.

"It kills up to 1 in 10 of its victims, similar to pneumonic plague, and is particularly dangerous in children," the story observes at the beginning.

Plus, the virus appears to be on rise.

By nearly every measure offered by the United Nations, the scale of the tragedy unfolding in Yemen is staggering: More than 20 million people need urgent humanitarian aid. At least 14 million lack basic health care or access to clean water. And more than 900,000 suffer from suspected cases of cholera, a disease that — under almost all circumstances — should be preventable and treatable.

How Do You Help Refugees Who Are Too Traumatized To Talk?

Nov 16, 2017

If you walked into Cynthia Scott's waiting room at a clinic in the Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh, you would be surrounded by people lying on benches looking pained and malnourished.

They're part of the flood of 600,000 Rohingya refugees who've fled violence in Myanmar and sought refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. The U.N. has called the exodus "the world's fastest growing refugee crisis."

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence elections, a new report says.

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House released its annual Freedom on the Net report this week, which found that online "manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role" in elections in 18 countries, including the U.S.

Passengers on a morning train on the Tokyo region's Tsukuba Express line might not have noticed anything was amiss Tuesday. But when their train left Minami-Nagareyama station, it did so 20 seconds ahead of schedule — and when the company noticed, it issued an apology to customers.

The train was traveling northbound on the line that connects Tokyo's Akihabara station with Tsukuba to the northeast — a trip that takes less than an hour. After passengers had boarded, the crew didn't check the time, resulting in the slightly early departure "around" 9:44 a.m., the company said.

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It is hard to overstate Robert Mugabe's hold on Zimbabwe.

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Thirty-seven years ago - 37 years - the schoolteacher turned revolutionary took over a newly independent state.

In the east-Bohemian city of Havlíčkův Brod, two hours by train from Prague, the Potato Research Institute is caught in the crosshairs of time.

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Tucked into a small side street in the Changping District just north of Beijing, a school stands out in bright, childlike colors — orange and green. Cheerful music plays between classes as students stream into the courtyard to play.

Three UCLA freshmen have been suspended indefinitely from the basketball team, one day after returning home from China, where they were detained and accused of shoplifting, announced head coach Steve Alford at a news conference at the university on Wednesday.

Historical footage shows a jubilant crowd watching the Union Jack being lowered and the red, black, green and yellow flag of the newly independent nation of Zimbabwe being hoisted.

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On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with senior government officials in Myanmar about the violent and ongoing persecution of the country's Rohingya minority, which has fueled a massive refugee exodus in recent months. NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Maung Zarni, fellow with the Cambodian Documentation Center, specializing in genocide in Buddhist countries, about how the Burmese justify their actions and what it would take to broker a resolution to the current crisis.

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The gap between rich and poor is one of the great concerns of modern times. It's even driving archaeologists to look more closely at wealth disparities in ancient societies.

"That's what's so fun about it," says Timothy Kohler, at Washington State University. "It widens our perspective, and allows us to see that the way things are organized now is not the only way for things to be organized."

An enigma that has beguiled art enthusiasts for more than eight decades has finally been solved, after Belgian researchers announced they had found the fourth and final missing piece of René Magritte's The Enchanted Pose.

Using X-ray imaging, researchers with the University of Liège and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium spotted the upper right corner of the work underneath Magritte's 1935 to 1936 painting God is not a Saint last month. The surrealist had simply painted over it.

A Trip To Norway For The Oslo World Music Festival

Nov 15, 2017

Norway is known for its natural beauty of glacial fjords and Northern Lights, but NPR world music contributor Betto Arcos visited Norway for the music.

Arcos traveled to the Oslo World Music Festival, where he has seen talented musicians from all over the world. Here are some of the musicians featured at the festival.

Interview Highlights

On Norwegian indigenous music

Editor's Note: This is an updated version of a story that was originally published on July 28, 2013.

When South Africa's Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at age 95, the international community celebrated him as an iconic figure, a symbol of hope and statesmanship, the man who guided a troubled country from apartheid to democracy.

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Covering Russia could get tougher for foreign reporters there. Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, passed legislation today requiring international media to declare themselves as foreign agents. And as NPR's Lucian Kim reports, this is payback.

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Ever since Zimbabwe became an independent country, it has had one national leader. President Robert Mugabe has resisted all efforts to dislodge him.

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Updated at 6:05 a.m. ET Wednesday

Zimbabwe's army said Wednesday that it has seized control in what is being described as "a bloodless transition" that has apparently pushed aside President Robert Mugabe. The military said he and his family are "safe and sound."

Armored vehicles and soldiers patrolled streets in the capital, Harare, amid loud explosions overnight. Soldiers reportedly took control of the headquarters of the national broadcaster, ZBC, and an army spokesman said on air: "This is not a military takeover."

Volunteers Save Beached Whales On Indonesian Shore

Nov 14, 2017

Ten sperm whales that had beached themselves in the Aceh Province of Indonesia were spotted early Monday. Professional rescue teams and local volunteers worked into the night and were able to release six of them. The remaining four died.

Officials still don't know what caused the whales to strand themselves.

Conservation groups sent a team of at least 50 into the water to try and save the whales with the help of people nearby who were willing to lend a hand.

He has won the Scrabble national championship in the United Kingdom. Self-described as "the world's only scrabble consultant," he has penned or co-written a number of books on the game, including several authoritative reference works. And despite decades of high-level play, he showed few signs of slowing — maintaining a No.

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