Yesterday, seven people were killed and 24 wounded in bomb attacks in Iraq as a surge of violence there continues, 2,000 dead since April; numbers that haven't been seen since the worst days of 2006 and 2007. Then as now, the fighting is largely between Sunnis and Shiites, but this time, inflamed by the civil war raging next door in Syria.
Face mask-clad Singaporeans enduring record-breaking smog got some more bad news from their government on Thursday: The pollution may last awhile.
The choking smog that blanketed the city-state earlier this week, generated by burning clear-cutting fires in Indonesia, has gone well beyond the "hazardous" level on the Pollutant Standards Index, hitting 371 on Wednesday before coming back down to about 250. The previous record was 226, reached in 1997.
When the State Department released its annual report on human trafficking Wednesday, we got a chilling reminder that even in 2013, slave labor is still embedded in the global food system.
As many as 27 million men, women and children are estimated to be trafficking victims at any given time, according to the report. And some of those victims, the State Department says, are later forced to work in agriculture and food processing (though no one has a good idea how many).
Music has influenced - and been influenced by - many social movements. As protesters flood the streets in Brazil, NPR's Alt Latino co-host Jasmine Garsd discusses popular Brazilian protest songs with guest host Celeste Headlee.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, music may often get Brazil into the move for a carnival, but it's also inspiring and being inspired by protests going on in that country. We'll hear some of it in just a few minutes.
Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News, has dedicated his life to investigating government corruption, murders and ruthless drug cartels in his native Mexico.
He received death threats multiple times, and doesn't feel safe, but he says he has "learned to embrace the fear." Corchado, an American citizen, has written a memoir about the complicated relationship he has with the country of his birth, entitled, Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness.
Aracelis Upia Montero works at the Alta Gracia garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She says she was desperately poor before she began working at the factory, which pays much higher than usual wages. "I'm now eligible for loans and credits from the bank because I earn a good salary," she says.
Credit Jackie Northam / NPR
Workers at Alta Gracia garment factory make around $500 a month, far above the industry average, though the company has yet to break even since it opened three years ago. Its apparel is sold at hundreds of college bookstores in the U.S.
Credit Jackie Northam / NPR
Maritza Vargas heads the factory's union. "There is a quote that reads, 'From nice dreams, you wake early,' " she says. "But we don't think like that at Alta Gracia."
Aracelis Upia Montero bounds through the front door of her wood and cinderblock house, calling out for her children. The bubbly 41-year-old Montero — whom everyone calls Kuki — proudly shows guests around her cramped single-story home in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic.
Montero points out her new living room furniture. In the past couple years, she has added two bedrooms and now has indoor plumbing. She has also built a little apartment at the end of her dirt driveway that she rents out.
The world's wealthiest nations are promising to fight what they call the scourge of tax evasion. This week's meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries concluded with a pledge to end the use of tax shelters by multinational corporations.
But there are still big questions about how they will make a dent in the problem.
In the aftermath of the global recession, countries all over the world have struggled with budget shortfalls. More and more of them have come to blame part of their revenue problems on one culprit — tax avoidance.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Russia, China and Uzbekistan are among the countries that the U.S. says are not doing enough to combat modern-day slavery. That was one of the many findings in the State Department's annual human trafficking report released this afternoon.
NPR's Michele Kelemen tells us more.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Luis CdeBaca runs the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. In front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate today, President Obama stood, as he said, along the fault line where a city was divided. In a speech on the former path of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Obama said that while the barbed wire and checkpoints are gone from the city, the struggle for freedom and prosperity continues in many other parts of the world.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
In Egypt, tourism is a vital source of foreign currency. And Luxor, home to the Valley of the Kings, is vital to attracting tourists. Well, now, Egypt's minister of tourism has resigned, protesting President Mohammed Morsi's appointee to the post of provincial governor of Luxor. The new governor's party is allied to the Gamaa al-Islamiya, an extreme Islamist group that used to engage in armed insurgency and that is synonymous with the 1997 massacre of tourists in Luxor.
And not far from Luxor, on the coast of the Red Sea, is another place with great potential to attract tourists. It's called Marsa Alam. It has miles and miles of beautiful coastline, barrier coral reefs and diving spots. The town started to boom after its airport opened in 2001, but now it's an array of half-finished buildings and unfulfilled promises.
As we hear from NPR's Leila Fadel, Marsa Alam is a microcosm of the neglect that has occurred across much of Egypt since the uprising more than two years ago.
Anna Rodriguez tends the grave of her son, Nick. She learned shortly after Nick's death that, because his death was a suicide, his name would not be included on a local memorial to fallen soldiers. She has since found a memorial garden in York, Pa., that will add Nick's name to its memorial wall this summer.
Credit Courtesy of Anna Rodriguez
Lance Cpl. Nicholas Rodriguez joined the Marines at the age of 21. He "wanted to go and help the world in some way," says his stepfather, Michael Geiger.
Last year, more U.S. service members took their own lives than died in combat. And despite the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, the pullout in Iraq, and hundreds of new programs designed to help troubled servicemen and women, the number of suicides continues to rise.
The National Hurricane Center has issued coastal warnings in the Gulf of Mexico regarding Tropical Storm Barry. The second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, Barry is currently in the southwest corner of the gulf; it is expected to make landfall in Mexico Thursday morning.
The center says an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft determined Wednesday that the storm, formerly called Tropical Depression Two, had strengthened. Barry is currently about 75 miles east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.
The White House says the United States will arm Syrian rebels, but a new poll shows most Americans don't like the idea. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Shadi Hamid of The Brookings Institution, about America's current and future involvement in Syria.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Canadian man was a bit wilder than his country's reputation. Police say he was driving 112 miles per hour on a highway south of Black Diamond, Alberta. When they got a look at the man, they found he was 67 - possibly old enough to know better. But by the time the suspect got to court, he had his story straight.
President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday before giving a speech at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate. Fifty years ago next week, President Kennedy declared his support for the citizens of West Germany in his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.
When Barack Obama became president and offered his hand to Iran, that country's elites reacted skeptically. Many said he was a new face, but still represented Iran's great enemy. Now, Iran will have a new face, winner of last week's presidential election, Hassan Rohani. He says he wants better relations with the outside world, so it's America's turn to wonder just how much Rohani could really change in Iran's confrontation with the U.S. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on the evidence so far.
Monsignor Daniel Gallagher, a Latin expert at the Vatican, says people from all walks of life are following the pope's Twitter feed in Latin.
Credit Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters /Landov
The papal Twitter account in Latin has attracted more than 100,000 followers in six months, far exceeding expectations. It was launched under the previous pope, Benedict XVI, and continues under the current pontiff, Francis (above).
Against all Vatican expectations, the pope's Twitter account in Latin has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.
Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.
Faced with the threat of mutiny for what seems like the umpteenth time during his speakership, John Boehner moved to mollify fellow Republicans on Tuesday, saying immigration legislation would need the support of a majority of the House GOP before it could be brought to a floor vote.
After emerging from a meeting with House Republicans, following days of warnings by conservatives that the Ohio Republican had better not try to pass an immigration bill with mostly Democratic votes, Boehner sought to calm the roiling Republican waters.
You have to wonder if President Obama ever thought, when he first ran for the White House, that he would need to defend himself from accusations his presidency would be a mere extension of his Republican predecessor.
But there he was with journalist Charlie Rose having to explain why his approach to national security wasn't really like that of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
In the past decade, Mexico's tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth has been fueled by demand from the United States. But as Mexico's startups strive to make it in foreign markets, they say they need more engineers and ways to finance their growth.
The G-8 leaders speaking at this news conference in Northern Ireland all lost their ties, but British Prime Minister David Cameron (right) went a step further by ditching his jacket and rolling up his sleeves.
Credit Vincent Yu / AP
... and none of the flair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. President George W. Bush and Chinese President Jiang Zemin appeared together in traditional-style silk jackets at the APEC meeting in Shanghai, in 2001.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
In 2009, Obama stands with Sarkozy (from left), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi at the G-8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy. Earlier summits had a more formal sartorial tone ...
Credit Domenico Stinellis / AP
The spouses of the G-8 didn't need style tips for the summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009.
Credit Wu Wei/Pool / AP
It wasn't always so informal. In 2011, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan walk together, in suits and ties, no less, after a meeting at the G-8 summit in Deauville, France.
Credit Matt Dunham / AP
World leaders take an opportunity to show, in the words of the BBC, "that they are getting down to business and doing so in a matey-like manner."
Credit Andrew Winning/WPA Pool / Getty Images
The G-8 leaders speaking at this news conference in Northern Ireland all lost their ties, but British Prime Minister David Cameron went a step further by ditching his jacket and rolling up his sleeves.