World

5:24am

Fri May 2, 2014
World

Afghan Female Cyclists: Breaking Away, And Breaking Taboos

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:38 am

The women of the Afghan National Cycling Federation team train outside Kabul, the capital. They face poor road conditions, terrible traffic, lots of gawking and even threats of violence in pursuit of their sport.
Peter Breslow NPR

On a recent day, just west of Kabul — where the city's sooty sky gives way to fresher air — Abdul Sadiq coaches four young members of the Afghan National Cycling Federation. They're working on their riding technique while dodging the free-form traffic.

"The road is very narrow. Make sure you don't get into an accident, as you can see the cars are coming," the former competitive cyclist tells them, amid zooming vehicles and honking horns.

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5:31am

Tue April 29, 2014
World

With Dogs And Batons, Bulgaria Tells Syrian Refugees To Turn Back

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:05 am

At Harmanli Camp in Bulgaria, hundred of asylum seekers — mostly from Syria and Afghanistan — live in reconfigured shipping containers and decommissioned military schools. The poor country is ill-equipped to deal with the influx of refugees from Syria.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Some countries in Syria's neighborhood are feeling inundated with refugees, and countries like Greece are making it harder for them to enter the country. Now Bulgaria has followed suit, with growing reports of Syrian refugees facing violent beatings, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.

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2:14pm

Wed April 23, 2014
The Salt

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Vincent Mourou, co-founder of Vietnam's first artisan chocolate maker Marou, inspects cacao beans at a farmer's garden in Go Cong Tay district.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

When you think about Vietnamese food, you might think of savory beef noodle soup, or endless fields of rice paddies. But chocolate?

As the world's demand for chocolate grows, Vietnam is making a bid to become one of the world's newest high quality suppliers.

Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou are two players in the country's small but growing cocoa industry. They founded Marou, an artisan chocolate company, three years ago in Ho Chi Minh City.

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6:02am

Wed April 23, 2014
Europe

Putin's Chess Moves In Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics, But Bad Strategy?

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:06 am

Protesters play chess in Independence Square in Kiev last winter. Some would say that Russian President Putin is playing geopolitical chess when it comes to Ukraine.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

The game of chess is a national pastime in Russia. And you might say that Vladimir Putin is playing a high-stakes game of geopolitical chess when it comes to Ukraine.

Western leaders are plotting how to counter Putin's latest moves with economic sanctions. So to get some insight into what might come next, we talked to an economist who knows Russia — who is also extremely good at chess.

Putin Playing From A Weak Position

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6:03am

Tue April 22, 2014
World

British Marine's New Mission: Save All Of Kabul's Street Animals

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:53 pm

Louise Hastie, the shelter manager of Nowzad Dogs in Kabul, holds a stray puppy named Aki. Afghanistan has a large population of street cats and dogs. While there are no government programs to control the animals, foreigners have taken in some.
David Gilkey NPR

Joey's silky gold hair gleams in the afternoon sun. The big bundle of energy loves to cuddle. He also looks like he could lose a few pounds.

This herding dog is one of the many survival stories here at the Kabul shelter and clinic called Nowzad Dogs. The facility has rescued and treated hundreds of street animals in Afghanistan and has helped reunite hundreds of soldiers and contractors with animals they informally adopted while deployed in the country.

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