World

2:20pm

Fri September 5, 2014
Parallels

As The Gaza Strip Calms Down, The West Bank Heats Up

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 6:39 pm

Ali Faroun, a local Palestinian activist, has fought land appropriations in Israeli courts. He has a collection of maps and deeds that documents Palestinian land rights in the West Bank.
Emily Harris NPR

From the hilly Israeli settlement of Gva'ot, on a peak in the occupied West Bank, you can see nearby hills that are part of a 1,000-acre parcel of land that Israel this week claimed as state land, an announcement that in the wake of the Gaza cease-fire is reigniting political sparks.

Palestinians say the land should be part of their future state. Israel plans to use it to build more settlements in the West Bank, where there are now more than 350,000 settlers.

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3:06am

Wed September 3, 2014
Parallels

Amid Warnings Of Ethnic Cleansing, A Yazidi Man's Suicide Resonates

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:48 am

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle under a bridge in central Dahuk, Aug. 14. Human rights activists say evidence of the Islamic State's violence against the Yazidis points to war crimes, and amounts to ethnic cleansing.
Khalid Mohammed AP

With so many members of Iraq's Yazidi religious minority killed, abducted or left homeless in recent weeks, one more death — due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound — might almost pass unnoticed. But friends and family of 33-year-old Naif Khalif Omar say his suicide is resonating in a community that sees only a bleak future ahead.

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12:35pm

Tue September 2, 2014
Parallels

A Photographic Tour Of A Country That Doesn't Like Cameras

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 7:41 am

The Arirang mass festival re-enacts the history of North Korea. The flag depicted in the background was created by audience members holding up cards.
Julia Leeb teNeues

German photojournalist Julia Leeb made two trips inside North Korea in 2012 and 2013, and she took photos that offer a glimpse into perhaps the most isolated and mysterious country in the world.

She's collected some of what she saw in a new book of photographs called North Korea: Anonymous Country. She hoped to capture life as best she could, given the restrictions on her travel.

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9:56am

Tue September 2, 2014
Europe

Despite Shelling, Ukrainian Workers Keep On Watering The Flowers

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 12:55 pm

A man walks past burnt vehicles near a railway station after recent shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 29.
Maxim Shemetov Reuters/Landov

Shelling has gone on almost nonstop for months in and around Donetsk, which is the largest city in eastern Ukraine. A third of the 1 million residents have fled this regional capital.

Yet other than emptier than usual streets, life appears oddly normal here. Municipal workers who have remained are ensuring electric power and running water reach as many homes and businesses as possible. Public buses are running. Trash is picked up, and bushes in the many parks and boulevards are manicured. The flowers get watered.

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3:07am

Tue September 2, 2014
Parallels

As The U.S. Draws Down, Afghan Fighting Is Heating Up

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 8:16 am

An Afghan policeman searches a man at a checkpoint where a NATO soldier was stabbed to death in Kabul on Aug. 20. As U.S. and NATO troops are drawing down in Afghanistan, the Taliban have been stepping up attacks this summer.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As U.S. and NATO troops draw down in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters are growing bolder. They have been massing in larger and larger numbers and taking on Afghan forces across the country.

NPR producer Sultan Faizy and I spent a recent day making calls to ordinary Afghan citizens in some of the country's hot spots.

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