World News

The United Nations has announced a new honorary ambassador for women and girls, and she's not a human woman or girl.

She's a comic-book superheroine.

According to a U.N. statement, Wonder Woman will be officially appointed Oct. 21, which is the 75th anniversary of the character's debut.

Here's one image of Thailand: A magnet for Western tourists. One of Asia's more dynamic economies. The land of smiles. And until Thursday, home of a beloved monarch who united Thais throughout his 70-year reign.

And here's another view: A coup-plagued nation where the military ousted an elected government two years ago and suppresses dissent. A country accused of human rights abuses. A land with an authoritarian undercurrent where anyone can be jailed for a negative comment about the royal family.

So which one is the real Thailand?

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says 21 of the schoolgirls abducted by the militant group Boko Haram more than two years ago have been released after "successful negotiations."

More than 270 girls were taken from their boarding school in the town of Chibok in April 2014. Their kidnapping spurred an international outcry and prompted the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

The International Committee for the Red Cross says it acted as a neutral intermediary and handed the 21 girls to Nigerian government authorities.

Updated 11:30 a.m. ET

People in Bermuda were bracing themselves as Hurricane Nicole, a Category 3 storm, hit the island Thursday. The eye passed over the island nation around 11 a.m. local time.

The National Hurricane Center called the storm "extremely dangerous," with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and a wide path that whips everything within 65 miles of its center with hurricane force winds.

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Palestinians Wonder: Who Will Be Our Next Leader?

Oct 13, 2016

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was rushed to a hospital last week, underwent urgent cardiac testing and walked out of the hospital hours later – smiling to TV cameras.

"I feel fine," Abbas, 81, said as he left the hospital with an entourage of officials.

But not everyone was at ease.

Abbas has a history of health problems. He's a heavy smoker. Palestinians realize his days in office may be numbered.

U.S. Carries Out Strikes Against Rebels In Yemen

Oct 13, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Samsung Electronics profits estimate took a hit, on news it was discontinuing its flagship phone. The company says it is adjusting its earning and cutting its operating profit by $2.3 billion. That's after Samsung ended production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. A number of the phones overheated causing fires just months after it was launched.

TripAdvisor, a leading travel website, says it will no longer sell tickets to attractions where tourists come into contact with wild animals or endangered species. The policy change includes, but is not limited to, elephant rides, "swim with" activities involving the touching or riding of dolphins, and the petting of captured wild animals such as tigers.

The company also announces that is developing an educational portal, with the aid of several wildlife protection groups, to inform tourists about animal welfare practices.

Updated 11:15 p.m. ET with official reporting hits on radar sites

A U.S. official says the Navy has destroyed three radar locations in Yemen after missiles were fired at a U.S. destroyer off the Yemeni coast.

The official says:

"Earlier this evening (9 p.m. EDT / 4 a.m. local time in Yemen), the destroyer USS Nitze launched Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting three coastal radar sites in in Yemen along the Red Sea coast, north of the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. Initial assessments indicate that all three targets were destroyed.

German officials say a Syrian man arrested on Monday for allegedly planning a bomb attack has killed himself.

Jaber al-Bakr was being held in a detention center in Leipzig, Germany, reports the Associated Press. The wire service quotes German news outlet Spiegel Online as reporting that al-Bakr had been under constant surveillance at the center because he was at risk for suicide.

I was born to a white American mother and a Syrian-Armenian father. His family is Armenian, but lived in Kessab, Syria, before immigrating to Massachusetts. But growing up, I had little contact with his family and culture, including its rich Syrian and Armenian food traditions. His own presence in my life is limited and distorted by his history of violence towards my mother.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Coffee lovers, alert! A new report says that the world's coffee supply may be in danger due to climate change. In the world's biggest coffee-producing nation, Brazil, the effects of warming temperatures are already being felt in some communities.

Here at Goats and Soda, we're trying something new: We want to know what you want us to investigate.

The first topic we'd like to hear about is girls in developing countries. Post your question to us here:

Like girls in all countries, they may face discrimination and harassment. But in low- and middle-income countries, they also may not be able to stay in school or get the health care they need.

The military is famous for working long hours, not only on overseas deployments to hot spots like Iraq or Afghanistan but back home, too. It's almost a badge of honor.

So balancing work and family life can be especially difficult for those in uniform. Take Air Force Maj. Johanna Ream.

She's working a high-powered, top-secret job. Her husband's an Air Force cargo plane pilot who flies all over the world. And they were the parents of an infant named Jack when this happened:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Cyril Almeida has a reputation for being one of Pakistan's most astute political observers. His columns for the venerable English-language Dawn newspaper are widely read by South Asia-watchers. More than 100,000 people follow his tweets.

So it was inevitable that the decision by the Pakistani government to ban him from leaving the country would be met with widespread indignation.

After a month of student-led democracy protests in central Hong Kong in 2014, there was a moment when the students and Hong Kong's government seemed to be on the verge of actually agreeing on something.

"At one important juncture, the student leaders asked me to talk to senior [Hong Kong] government officials to explore the possibilities of conducting a debate," says Hong Kong University Political Science professor Joseph Chan.

With Chan's coaxing, the Hong Kong government, which was pro-China, agreed.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia illegally detained international chess star and opposition leader Garry Kasparov in 2007.

In May of that year, Kasparov was trying to fly from Moscow to Samara, in western Russia, to attend a march against the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, planned to coincide with a summit between Russia and the European Union. At 8:30 a.m. at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, authorities confiscated his ticket and passport, and then held him for five hours.

He missed the flight, and the protest march.

On Friday, writer Kelly Oxford shared the story of the first time she was sexually assaulted. She was 12, she said, when a man on a city bus grabbed her genitals and smiled.

She used the same word that Republican candidate Donald Trump used in a recording where he talked about doing things to women.

"Women: tweet me your first assaults," Oxford said: "they aren't just stats."