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Costa Rica is best known for its vacation beaches and lush rain forests. But recently it has become a thoroughfare for tens of thousands of migrants from South America and elsewhere who are hoping to reach the U.S.

Many are from the Caribbean, but a significant number trekking through the country are Africans and Southeast Asians, and collectively, they are straining Costa Rica's welcoming reputation.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In the capital of Gabon, Libreville, hundreds of people have been arrested and at least three people have died amid protests after the sitting president was declared the winner of last weekend's disputed election.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba received 49.8 percent of the vote, compared with 48.2 percent for his rival, Jean Ping, who is the former chairman of the African Union.

They call it "The Taking of Caracas."

A flood of Venezuelans — supporters of the opposition, unhappy with President Nicolas Maduro — marched in the country's capital on Thursday, demanding a recall election.

Venezuela's economy is in freefall. Food shortages have left grocery stores bare, while medicine shortages have frustrated doctors who say they have a fraction of the supplies that they need.

A Paralympian Cyclist Gears Up For Rio

Sep 1, 2016

On a muggy afternoon in Atlanta, Jennifer Schuble, 40, hops on her bicycle and clips into the pedals. She zooms around the steep banks of a velodrome. She drafts behind her coach, who's on a motorcycle, holding the pace steady at 30 miles per hour.

The Olympics are over in Rio de Janeiro, which means it's now time for the 2016 Paralympic Games, which begin Wednesday in the Brazilian city. There have been issues in the run-up to the Paralympics, with organizers announcing some cutbacks due to funding shortages. But thousands of athletes will be there as planned.

Just over a month ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague issued two important rulings. One soundly rejected Beijing's extensive claim of sovereignty in the South China Sea. The other focused on whether China had caused environmental damage as it constructed artificial islands in the region to help prop up its claim.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A $7 million, comprehensive census of African elephants has found that the population decreased by nearly a third between 2007 and 2014.

The Great Elephant Census was conducted over three years, and set out to effectively count every savanna elephant in 18 countries in Africa, accounting for 93 percent of the savanna elephants in those countries. The conclusion — that the population declined by 144,000 animals in just seven years — is sobering.

Editor's note: Reporter John Otis first covered Venezuela 19 years ago and has returned many times since. On Wednesday, the day before a planned opposition demonstration, he and other foreign journalists were barred from entering the country. He filed this report while awaiting a flight out.

Proposed trade deals with Asia and Europe have suffered setbacks recently. But Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says he isn't ready to write off the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

In an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel before Lew departs for a Group of 20 meeting in China, Lew acknowledged the anxiety among workers who have felt the impacts of the globalized economy but said the benefits of the trade deals need to be made "more clear."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Daddy would not have liked Colin Kaepernick. Had the San Francisco quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem in my father's presence, Daddy would have fixed him in a stare that could freeze the blood in your veins. Then, to no one in particular — but to everyone within earshot — he'd give the young man a two-sentence lesson in patriotic etiquette.

"You stand during the national anthem," he'd say, punctuating his words with fire. "People died for that flag."

The twin babies were just 5 days old, a month premature and ill-equipped for a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. But their mother, 26-year-old Tesfamamrim Merhawit, decided the sea ahead was safer than the land they left behind. Traveling alone with her infants, she told The Associated Press she boarded a boat in Libya, bound for Europe.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met with President Enrique Peña Nieto at the president's official resident in Mexico City.

It was a hastily arranged visit by a presidential candidate who has spent much of his campaign insulting Mexico and its people.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hundreds of Catholics have been declared saints in recent decades, but few with the acclaim accorded Mother Teresa, set to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday, largely in recognition of her service to the poor in India.

"When I was coming of age, she was the living saint," says the Most Rev. Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. "If you were saying, 'Who is someone today that would really embody the Christian life?' you would turn to Mother Teresa of Calcutta."

We are running out of ways to treat gonorrhea, the World Health Organization announced today.

The U.N. health agency released new guidelines warning doctors that it no longer recommends an entire class of antibiotics, quinolones, because quinolone-resistant strains of the disease have emerged all over the world.

Instead, the health agency recommends using cephalosporins, another class of antibiotic. The new protocol replaces guidelines that had not been changed since 2003.

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