Tue November 4, 2014

The App That Helps The Chinese Masses Mobilize Online

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 4:32 pm

China's WeChat messaging app has a huge audience that allows Chinese to organize online.
Petar Kujundzic Reuters/Landov

The mobile messaging app WeChat has taken China by storm in the past couple years, swiftly becoming the largest standalone-messaging app, with more than 300 million active monthly users.

It has an ever-growing array of functions, from text and voice messaging to photo sharing. Perhaps most importantly, WeChat users also have the ability to form groups of up to 500 people.

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Tue November 4, 2014

400 Years After Death, El Greco Receives Celebration He Sought

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:44 pm

Tourists take photos and listen to an audio tour in front of El Greco's 'The Disrobing of Christ' inside Toledo's cathedral.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

At a small exhibit at the Historical Museum of Crete, a visiting artist gazes at an early religious painting by El Greco.

"The Baptism of Christ" is a vividly colored, two-dimensional, egg tempera-on-panel work from the second half of the 16th century. But it already showed hints of the style that would later make him one of the Western world's most famous painters.

Sophia Vorontzova, a Russian artist now living in Germany, calls it his "signature in art."

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Tue November 4, 2014

Wounded In Combat, U.S. Troops Go Back For A 'Proper Exit'

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 10:35 am

Four Americans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan visit Kabul as part of Operation Proper Exit, a program designed for wounded warriors. From left, they are Staff Sgt. Ben Dellinger, Capt. Casey Wolfe, Capt. John Urquhart (who is hidden) and Sgt. James "Eddie" Wright.
Sean Carberry NPR

Hundreds of service members and civilians from various nations lined the road to the landing zone at NATO headquarters in Kabul. They had gathered to salute the two U.S. Marines and two U.S. Army soldiers participating in Operation Proper Exit.

Moments later, two Blackhawk helicopters swooped in, kicking up dust and debris. The four service members disembarked and walk past the cheering audience. One soldier walks with a subtle limp. One Marine has a prosthetic right arm, and the left is missing below the elbow.

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Mon November 3, 2014

In A Remote Corner Of Sudan, An American Takes His Stand

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 7:55 am

American Ryan Boyette, left, works with Yassin Hassen, right, in an interview with a rebel in Sudan's Nuba Mountains. Boyette started the Nuba Reports website in 2011 and recruited Hassen to join as a citizen journalist.
Alan Boswell MCT via Getty Images

American Ryan Boyette knows there are many crises that compete for world's attention, but he's determined not to let a conflict in his adopted home of Sudan go unnoticed.

The young Florida man moved to the Nuba Mountains, a remote part of Sudan, in 2003, to join the Evangelical Christian aid group, Samaritan's Purse.

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Sun November 2, 2014
Middle East

After Acid Attacks And Execution, Iran Defends Human Rights Record

Originally published on Sun November 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Iranians protest in Isfahan, Iran, last month in solidarity with women injured in a series of acid attacks. Several women have been attacked by assailants on motorcycles who threw acid on their faces, purportedly because they were "badly veiled."
Arya Jafari AFP/Getty Images

Iranian officials attacked the latest United Nations report on its human rights record Friday, blasting what they called efforts to impose a Western lifestyle on the Islamic republic.

But for Iranians and others who hoped President Hassan Rouhani would begin to turn around his county's human rights record, the U.N. report provided a depressing but not surprising answer. It said executions in Rouhani's first year in office had increased to what U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed called "alarming" levels.

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