NPR Topics: World Story of the Day Podcast: Episodes

For decades the Soviet Union recruited African students to study at its universities. But there are very few blacks in Russia today, and racism is prevalent. Jean Gregoire Sagbo, the country's first black elected official, says his responsibility is not to fail: "I want them to see that it doesn't matter ...
The U.S. surge strategy in Afghanistan is under new scrutiny as 2010 recently became the deadliest year for U.S. and coalition troops there. Intended as a bold new push, Obama's plan has faced major setbacks, fueling debate over whether the effort is worth it.
A quiet and reclusive elderly lady died in the British coastal town of Torquay the other day. She had no known relatives and no friends, so local authorities entered her home. They found papers and medals that revealed that she was far from the typical pensioner. Eileen Nearne -- aka Agent Rose, one ...
One Palestinian entrepreneur has traded throwing stones for building schools. Politics have no place in the classrooms at the experimental kindergarten for Palestinian children founded by Mahmoud Jamal, who spent two years in jail during the first Palestinian uprising against Israel.
After much toil and hardship, 19th century explorers solved the mystery of where the Nile begins. But who has rights to the water remains a hot debate among countries in the mighty river's basin.
This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of little-known World War II milestone. In September 1940, almost nobody knew about the horrors happening inside Auschwitz. A Polish army captain named Witold Pilecki got inside the camp and told the world. His reward? Anonymity and eventual execution.
Pope Benedict XVI gives the keynote address of his state visit to Britain on Friday, after meeting the head of the world's Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in London. Relations between their two churches are said to have been strained ever since the Vatican unveiled plans to make it easier ...
Pope Benedict's visit to the United Kingdom comes in the middle of one of the most serious crises in the Vatican's history. It is dealing with a sex abuse scandal.
Facebook and Twitter link young Syrians to the wider world. Even the autocratic regime has been forced to accommodate the aspirations of younger generations. People are better informed, but not empowered.
In Iraq, the Sunni Awakening, a group of former insurgents who switched sides to fight with the U.S. and against al-Qaida, were crucial to U.S. success. But the formula might not be holding: U.S. troops are leaving Iraq, and the Awakening movement is in trouble.
Drug violence is spiraling in Mexico, which is celebrating its bicentennial this week. A group of business leaders and media companies has launched a new program to try to lift the nation’s spirits and highlight Mexicans who are doing good works.
For the past week, the world has been waiting for news about who will be North Korea's next leader. But in a time when nearly everyone learns everything at the same moment, North Korea has somehow managed to keep its secrets from thousands of prying eyes.
Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal was one of Mexico's most wanted men until his recent arrest. The U.S. citizen is one of the highest-ranking drug cartel suspects captured alive in Mexico's increasingly violent drug war -- and so far, he has been a fountain of information.
For more than month, the West Bank city of Hebron has been running dry -- roughly 70 percent of its residents have received no water for five weeks. Some say it is because Israel controls the water resources, but others blame it on unscrupulous Palestinian businessmen.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Stephanie Rose was among the first women to fly the Apache attack helicopter. She is currently serving her third combat tour, this one in northern Afghanistan. She loves her job but has overcome professional and personal challenges along the way.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's visit to Italy last week has stirred controversy. His remarks on Islam angered church officials, while Italian politicians worry about Libya's growing clout in the Italian economy, as well as its human-rights violations.
Pakistan is considering a one-time tax to cope with the crisis caused by its ruinous floods. Relief, meanwhile, has poured into far flung areas that are slowly regaining access after being cut off for weeks. U.S. Marines are delivering emergency aid in inaccessible areas of Pakistan's Swat Valley.
For the fourth time in less than four weeks, Israeli forces demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of Kafr al Arakib this week. A mix of international and Israeli volunteers return each week to help rebuild, even though Israel insists that the village was built illegally and therefore must be razed.
A $62-billion water diversion project 60 years in the making will channel water from the south of the country to the drought-prone North. The project will dislocate 330,000 people, who must leave their homes forever.
Barges plying the Congo River carry the lion's share of goods to the giant county's remote interior. Life aboard is a colorful, cacophonous menagerie of humans and animals. Some of the monkeys and goats are pets; some are dinner.
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