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Why A 'War On Children' Could Get Worse

2 hours ago

Two weeks ago, 10-year-old Sara was sitting up in her bed at a hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen.

Some of the other children in the ward had their moms or other family members by their side.

But Sara was all alone.

She was recovering from a rare bacterial infection, called diphtheria, which had paralyzed part of her body. A small hole sliced into her throat was helping her breathe.

China has done a ton of building in the developing world.

Over the past two decades, it has financed and built bridges, hospitals, roads, railways, airports and seaports — many billions of dollars' worth and counting. "China has recently become a major financier of economic infrastructure," according to a new report from AidData, a development finance research lab based at the College of William & Mary.

That sounds like a good thing. But there are skeptics.

Around the world, one in three women experiences domestic violence. How can it be reduced? New research is bringing unexpected insights into this problem — and its potential solutions.

A study accepted for publication this month by the Review of Economics and Statistics found that, in Bangladesh, improving the economic status of women can decrease domestic violence if the women also took part in an educational program that helped elevate their social standing in the community.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in October 2017 and has been republished with updated data on gun violence rates.

Every fall the University of Washington produces a report comparing the past year's rate of gun violence in the United States to the rates in other countries.

It's not every day that one of the world's richest men walks on stage carrying a jar of human feces, but that's precisely what Bill Gates did in Beijing on Tuesday.

The Microsoft founder was in China to talk toilets at the Reinvented Toilet Expo, an event showcasing the latest in high-tech sanitation to entrepreneurs, development banks and government agencies.

Improving the technology behind toilets is one of Gates' self-confessed obsessions. "It's been done this way for centuries. What's been the latest advance in toilets, double-ply toilet paper?" he joked onstage.

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

On Fox News and other media outlets, guests have said the migrant caravan walking to the United States could bring dangerous diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis and smallpox.

Health authorities in Mexico City, where thousands of migrants are now camped, have found no evidence of leprosy or TB. And smallpox was globally eradicated in 1980. But there are health issues, to be sure.

Baltimore's Stoop Stories is a 12-year-old live show and podcast wherein people from all walks of life tell their tales. The premise is simple: Everyone has a story.

Barcelona's boardwalk is lined with migrants selling knock-off purses, off-brand tennis shoes and soccer jerseys on blankets. Most are sub-Saharan African men, yet there are a few groups of women selling jewelry or offering to braid people's hair. They huddle together, away from the men, and don't interact much with the tourists walking past.

Several years ago, British entomologist Steve Lindsay landed at an American airport and was immediately struck by all the furry creatures walking around the baggage claim area.

"I was astounded to see sniffer dogs, looking for fruits and vegetables," says Lindsay, who studies malaria at Durham University in the U.K.

Yemen is finally making headlines. The U.S. has called for a cease-fire in hostilities.

The pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. is ending a long-term agreement to supply a lifesaving vaccine for children in West Africa.

At the same time, the company has started sending the vaccine to China, where it will likely be sold for a much higher price.

The vaccine is for a deadly form of diarrhea, called rotavirus, which kills about 200,000 young children and babies each year.

Some people say New Orleans is haunted because of witches. Others say it's haunted by vampires, or ghosts, or all those swamps. But if you were around between 1817 and 1905, you might say the city was haunted by death. And that death, in large part, was caused by yellow fever.

Last month Virgil Attia found himself surrounded by an angry crowd.

"Some of them had picked up rocks," he recalls, speaking in French. "Some had empty bottles."

Attia is an official with the International Federation of the Red Cross. He's originally from Benin but based in a city in Democratic Republic of the Congo that is the current epicenter of an Ebola outbreak that has been raging there since August.

Dr. Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, who is from Somalia, trained as a dentist in Pakistan. When he returned to Mogadishu, in 2006 to begin practicing, he was distressed by what he saw: People getting hurt or killed near his office in Bakara Market, the result of a long-running civil war in his country.

"The people were using wheelbarrows for taking victims to the hospital. Even pregnant [women] were taken in wheelbarrows to the hospital," he says."I asked myself, 'What can I do?' I decided to start my own ambulance, a free ambulance," he says.

Editor's note: This quiz was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.

Costumes have been inspired by infectious diseases for hundreds of years, way before trick-or-treating became an American Halloween tradition in the 1920s.

Take this quiz to see how much you know about global disease costumes of the past and present:

For my grandpa's 90th birthday, our family threw him a barrio fiesta-themed bash.

We decorated the backyard with colorful bunting so it would look like the neighborhood parties that Tatay grew up with in his home country of the Philippines. We ordered a big lechon, a roasted pig. And the guests were asked to wear filipiniana, traditional Filipino costume.

Even after winning the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and being named a MacArthur Fellow, photojournalist Lynsey Addario still gets nervous when she takes on a new assignment.

"Every story I do, I panic before I go. I wonder if I will be able to make strong pictures, if I will be able to capture the story, if I will be able to make the shot that will, at least, compel people to continue looking," Addario told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly in an interview for All Things Considered.

The sharp rise in opioid abuse and fatal overdoses has overshadowed another mounting drug problem: Methamphetamine use is rising across the United States.

"Usage of methamphetamine nationally is at an all-time high," says Erik Smith, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Kansas City office.

"It is back with a vengeance." he says. "And the reasons for that are twofold." The drug's now stronger, and cheaper, than it used to be.

What Happens When A Country Bans Spanking?

Oct 25, 2018

In 1979, Sweden became the first country to ban the corporal punishment of children. Earlier this year, Nepal became the 54th country to do so.

Don't see the graphic above? Click here.

In the U.S., girls and boys are both big smartphone users.

That's not necessarily the case in the developing world, says a new report released this month by the nonprofit organization Girl Effect.

The "Real Girls, Real Lives, Connected" report surveyed more than 3,000 teenage girls and boys in 25 countries, with a focus on developing nations, including Nigeria, Bangladesh, India and Rwanda, through online questionnaires and in-person interviews.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that Hauwa Mohammed Liman, 24, a midwife working for the organization in Nigeria, has been killed.

Liman was kidnapped in March by the Islamic State West African Province group (ISWAP) along with another midwife, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa. Khorsa, age 25, was killed in September. The ICRC confirmed Liman's death on October 16.

The deaths are a reminder of the dangers facing health-care workers in conflict zones.

A new study of women with ovarian cancer shows that ignorance about the condition is common among patients in all 44 countries surveyed. And that ignorance has a cost.

Conquistadors and missionaries didn't just bring colonialism and Western religion to other parts of the world. They likely brought tuberculosis, too.

That's a key finding of an international study published this week in Science Advances, which looks at how the most common strain of TB developed — and how resistance to antibiotics, a serious issue in fighting tuberculosis, has spread as well.

On Monday, Farhad Javid will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his wife, Rula Ghani, to ask whether the president will order the release of some 190 women and girls who are currently in jail for failing a virginity test.

They Call Her 'Queen Of Dung' — And She Doesn't Mind

Oct 18, 2018

Early one morning in the spring of 2017, Claire McCarthy started her day as many don't: rolling dried rhinoceros dung into cigarettes and packing them into a machine that smoked them.

Although it might seem bizarre, McCarthy's purpose was serious: She wanted to know what happens when people breathe in dung smoke.

Dung smoke is no joke. Animal dung is used by millions globally for heating and cooking.

South Sudanese surgeon Dr. Evan Atar Adaha, 52, recalls that when he announced his decision to embark on humanitarian aid work in 1997 amid the civil war in Sudan, his friends told him, "You will die if you go there. It is too dangerous."

He went anyway — and is still there.

Last month, Atar received the U.N. Refugee Agency's Nansen Refugee Award, in recognition of his more than 20 years of providing medical care for displaced people and refugees amid the ongoing conflict in Sudan and South Sudan.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

It's a major milestone in the fight to recognize mental health and mental illness as global issues: a comprehensive report from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health, three years in the making, released this past week at a London summit with royals Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in attendance to show their support for the cause.

But it was not a celebratory event. Threaded throughout the 45-page report is a lament that the world is ignoring millions of suffering people.

It was 4 p.m., and Sakshi Satpathy, the 16-year-old high school senior who had arrived in New York on a red-eye flight from San Francisco at 6 a.m., was finally eating lunch: a take-out chicken and arugula salad from Panera Bread.

Nonetheless poised and smiling in a bright yellow blouse, she responded to a reporter's question that her name, Sakshi, in Hindi means "witness."

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