World News

The Scrabble career of Nigel Richards went from great to astounding this week, after he won the French-language Scrabble World Championships. A New Zealand native, Richards has won several English-language titles; his new victory follows weeks of studying a French dictionary.

Dorothée Goffin's lab in Belgium is outfitted with 3-D printers and digital milling machines. It's also a kitchen. And, one day a week, the doors open to anyone who feels like walking in to mess around with the equipment. These days, the tech geeks, chefs and curious folk that inhabit the lab are focused on 3-D printing. Instead of spouting plastic doodads, the printers exude chocolate.

An electro-dance festival in Romania "vants to suck your blood."

Concert-goers will get free or discounted tickets for donating blood for transfusions.

Organizers aim to raise awareness about donating in a country where less than 2 percent of people give blood.

The Festival is being held in Transylvania, home of Dracula. Let's hope the Count doesn't make an appearance looking for music from the children of the night.

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In the many months that Iran, the U.S., and five other world powers met to negotiate a nuclear deal, ministers and diplomats were filmed and photographed at the negotiating table, sightseeing, waving from hotel balconies.

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What would make you move to Gaza?

The small strip of land along the Mediterranean coast is run by Hamas, the Islamist group Israel and the U.S. consider a terrorist organization. Earlier this year the World Bank said Gaza probably had the highest rate of unemployment in the world. It can be difficult to get into Gaza, and, if you are Palestinian, very difficult to get the necessary Israeli or Egyptian permission to leave.

Three wars between Israel and Hamas since 2008 killed more than 3,000 Gazans, the majority civilians.

At the State Department in Washington on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Bruno Rodriguez, the foreign minister of Cuba. Later in the day, Kerry sat down with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to discuss the U.S.-Cuba relationship, and the pact that recently was negotiated with Iran regarding that nation's nuclear program.

Just after hosting Cuba's foreign minister at the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to discuss the restoration of diplomatic relations with that country, as well as the status of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Kerry defended the Obama administration's stance on both countries, and said if diplomatic relations with Cuba or a nuclear deal with Iran were scuttled — either by a future president or Congress — it would hurt the U.S.

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At the State Department in Washington today, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Bruno Rodriguez, the foreign minister of Cuba.

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The U.N. Security Council endorsed a historic nuclear deal with Iran on Monday, and it immediately drew complaints from hard-liners in Tehran as well as from lawmakers — particularly Republicans — in the U.S.

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"You shouldn't be out there filling potholes at your age." That's what Venkateswari Katnam tells her 67-year-old husband, Gandgadhara.

He doesn't listen.

One of the main points of contention for critics of the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran is how to reimpose economic sanctions if Iran is seen to be violating the terms.

President Obama and other proponents of the deal vow that international economic sanctions will "snap back" into place as punishment for any Iranian transgressions.

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Brazil hosted the World Cup last year. Next year, it will host the Summer Olympics. On Sunday, though, the country played host to another international gathering of talented competitors: the Rubik's Cube World Championship.

This past weekend, hundreds of "speedcubers," as they're known, descended on Sao Paulo from over 40 countries, to take part in three days of intensive competition.

A Near Miss For A Surfer In South Africa

Jul 20, 2015

Mick Fanning had no idea he'd be going head-to-head with a shark Sunday in a South African surfing contest.

Video shows Fanning paddling out when a fin surfaces behind him.

There's a tug, and he falls into the swirling water scrambling for his board.

Luckily, the shark only bit off the board's leash, which was tied to Fanning's ankle.

Fanning told reporters: "I just saw fins. I was waiting for teeth, and I punched the shark in the back."

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I'm Arun Rath.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Moscow is go for docking. Houston is go for docking. It's up to you guys. Have fun.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

Japan's Mitsubishi corporation is making a big apology. It's not for any recall or defect in its products, which include automobiles, but for its use of American prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II.

James Murphy, 94, traveled from his home in Santa Maria, Calif., to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, where a ceremony was held and Hikaru Kimura, a senior Mitsubishi executive, made the apology in person.

South Africa's coast is well known as the haunt of sharks, particularly the fearsome great white.

Even so, an encounter today between a large shark and Australian surfer Mick Fanning, who was competing in the Jeffreys Bay World Surf League competition (the J-Bay Open), broadcast live on television, has caused a few hearts to skip a beat.

The Turkish television industry is booming.

During Ramadan, which ended this week, many Muslims — around the world — tuned in to watch Turkish TV in massive numbers.

But Turkey isn't just presenting religious programming. The country is second only to the U.S. in producing and exporting secular TV dramas — and they're becoming global hits

A 'Captive Audience' During Ramadan

Many families watch as they gather as they wait to break their Ramadan fast after sundown, says Pinar Tremblay, a columnist for the online newspaper Al-Monitor.com.

Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, identified as the gunman who killed five service members at Chattanooga military facilities last week, was suffering from depression, his family says in a statement expressing their "shock, horror, and grief" at the shooting rampage that killed five servicemen.

The statement comes as investigators are reportedly stepping up their investigation into what motivated Abdulazeez, a graduate in engineering from the University of Tennessee, to open fire Thursday on a recruiting center and the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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