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NPR Topics: World Story of the Day Podcast: Episodes

In northwest Pakistan's war-torn Swat Valley, a member of the former royal family is creating jobs and dignity for widows on both sides of the conflict. A princess has founded a vocational center to teach women how to make traditional textiles -- and earn a living.
Go to France, Britain, Ireland or Portugal -- you'll find the same sentiment on the streets of all these debt-ridden European nations: Europe's financial crisis was caused by rich and greedy bankers and politicians, yet it's the poor who're picking up the tab -- people like Mariana Silva. Silva is paid ...
U.S. deaths in Afghanistan topped 500 this year, with thousands more wounded. Many of the injured pass through the hospital at Bagram Air Field. Treating so many war wounds brings its own grim benefits: New data are helping save lives in ways that were impossible only a few years ago.
Mexico's war with drug cartels has killed more than 30,000 people in the past four years. Many were gang members or somehow tied to the cartels; others were random bystanders. They include two teenagers who lived on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in very different worlds.
How many U.S. troops leave Afghanistan in 2011 will depend on what progress is made in the next six months. If it's underwhelming, there may be calls to change the current strategy. Alternatives that focus on counterterrorism rather than counterinsurgency are already in the making.
Jeanne Baret didn't set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe when she stepped aboard the Etoile in 1766. Disguised as a man, the French botanist was looking for plants.
At Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, the Aeromedical Evacuation Team rushes to retrofit a massive cargo plane into a flying hospital to transport wounded soldiers to an American hospital in Europe, then on to the States in time for Christmas.
There is a small part of the city called Murad Khane, where centuries-old homes and courtyards were buried under trash. One foundation is working to conserve the historical richness. NPR's Jim Wildman and photographer David Gilkey visited the site.
Iraq's political battles have subsided with the formation of a new government. But the country's culture war continues unabated as the Islamist political parties fight secular Iraqis, long part of the country's social fabric. It is a struggle to define the country's identity.
Diplomats and celebrities are highlighting the risk of mass violence in Sudan in advance of next month's independence vote in Southern Sudan. After the failures in Rwanda and Bosnia, this is a new strategy for dealing with the problem of persistent genocide. But is attention enough to prevent violence?
Fed up with shockingly low pay and long hours, doctors in the Czech Republic are threatening to leave the country en masse. It's made no difference yet to the cash-starved government, which is moving ahead with cost-cutting plans.
Belarus always seems to be Europe's fault line. In 1941, Nazis charged eastward, but a small battalion of Soviet soldiers in Belarus famously held strong, slowing Hitler's charge for weeks. Today, Belarus is holding firm again, refusing to succumb to democratic will -- despite the presidential election ...
Last week, the U.S. abandoned efforts to revive direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said American envoys will again shuttle between the two sides to keep the process alive. NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro takes us on a journey through Israel and the ...
Tens of thousands of people are streaming back into Southern Sudan, anticipating that the region will choose independence in a referendum next month. But the south is desperately poor and undeveloped. Some observers wonder whether the would-be nation can handle many more returnees.
The death sentence last month of a Christian wife and mother charged with blasphemy has provoked a sharp debate in Muslim Pakistan over strict laws that protect Islam. Fundamentalists have called for Asia Bibi to be hanged, while international groups have condemned the case against her.
Before the 2003 U.S. invasion, Iraq had nearly 1 million Christians. Now, there are about half that number. A recent string of attacks against a Christian church and homes in Baghdad has prompted families to seek refuge in northern Iraq and try to emigrate.
A referendum next month in Sudan will decide whether the country will be divided between the Arab, mostly Muslim north and the ethnic African south. Whether things turn bloody may hinge on what happens in Abyei, a disputed region along the border of north and south.
The president's review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan is due in the coming days. Even as the administration looks for a path out of the country, observers are casting doubt on progress so far -- and Afghans say the war in the country is a long struggle that has just begun.
Israel is allowing more exports to leave the Gaza Strip and plans to ease to trade restrictions further. But the U.N. says it's running out of money to provide Gazans' essential goods and services, and critics say Israel's moves aren't enough.
Haitian officials announced preliminary election results from last month's presidential vote, and the tally has only stirred more anger, violence and protests. Officials announced that government protege Jude Celestin and former first lady Mirlande Manigat would advance to a runoff in presidential elections, ...
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