Inter-religious tensions have been in the headlines in parts of Africa lately. Christian-Muslim clashes have left many dead in places like Nigeria and Central African Republic. But there are also examples of peaceful inter-religious co-existence in Africa, such as Senegal.
As we approach the threshold of a new year, it's only human to wonder what's ahead. In Germany and a few nearby countries, the answer to this age-old existential question is found in molten lead.
When Gesine Krätzner had some scraps of lead left over from a roofing project last winter, she knew just what to do with them. Krätzner lives in Portland, Ore., but grew up in Germany. As a kid, she would melt bits of lead with her family for a New Year's Eve tradition called Bleigiessen.
Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 4:04 pm
About 1.3 million Americans lost their long-term unemployment benefits today. This means anyone who has been out of work and getting benefits for than six months will stop receiving their weekly check.
As The New York Times frames the story, beyond drastically curtailing a safety-net for jobless workers, allowing the benefits to expire sets up a "major political" fight for the coming new year. The paper adds:
The Marines kept flying over us all night long. Their hulking C-130 cargo planes rattled the tarp we'd jerry-rigged above our heads. NPR photographer David Gilkey and I were lying in sleeping bags next to the runway of the destroyed Tacloban airport. We'd arrived a few hours earlier in the back of one of those military aircraft. Now we were just waiting for daybreak.
South Sudanese seek refuge at the United Nations compound in the capital, Juba, on Sunday. Though Juba is mostly peaceful now, growing numbers are seeking shelter at the compound in fear the ethnic killings will resume.
Credit Tony Karumba / AFP/Getty Images
South Sudan soldiers ride on a truck in Bor, about 100 miles outside the capital, on Wednesday.
The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:19 pm
Connecticut State Police have released an exhaustive report on last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, offering some new details on the massacre that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.
Photographs taken by investigators of the home that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza shared with his mother show "numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it," The Associated Press writes.
It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.
The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.
Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 4:56 pm
Thailand's army chief on Friday called for calm amid unrest between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup to restore stability.
Asked whether the army would seize the government for the second time in less than a decade, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "That door is neither open nor closed ... it will be determined by the situation."