December 20, 2014 11:30 UTC


Obama Moves to Normalize Relations with Cuba

US Cuba

President Barack Obama announced a major change in United States’ policy toward Cuba this week. He said he wants Congress to ease more than 50 years of U.S. sanctions against the island nation. And he said the two nations should once again formally recognize one another. More

Audio India Joins Pakistan in Mourning Murdered Students

India and Pakistan have long disagreed about many issues. But on Wednesday, Indian lawmakers and students lowered their heads and observed two minutes of silence in memory of 132 Pakistani children. The children died on Tuesday in an attack on their school in the city of Peshawar.

Video Shinzo Abe's Victory Likely Raises Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in Parliament on Sunday. Mr. Abe’s win will permit him to continue economic reforms. At the same time, he can also pursue policies likely to increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.

Audio Taliban Kills at Least 130 People at Pakistani School

At least 130 people are confirmed dead in Pakistan after Taliban militants raided an army-operated school. Also, Australians mourn the victims of a hostage-taking, and Korean Air faces possible fines and flight suspensions because of the actions of a top airline official. | In the News

Audio Objections Grow to China’s South China Sea Claims

The Philippines has taken its territorial dispute with China to an international court. China says the court has no power in the case. Vietnam supports the Philippine case and rejects China’s claims in the South China Sea. The U.S. says the claim has no basis in international law.

Audio Myanmar Military Largely Untouched by Reforms

Many changes have taken place in Myanmar over the past few years. The government has eased restrictions on the media and released political prisoners. Foreign investment has risen in Myanmar, also known as Burma. But there have been few changes in the country’s armed forces.

Video Colombia, Uganda Find Alternative to Plastic Waste

People around the world use disposable plastic containers for water, food and other uses. But these plastics can pollute water systems and damage the environment. Plastic waste is a real problem in many poor countries. But two countries have found answers to the problem.

Audio To Survive, Herders Become Farmers in Northern Kenya

The northern part of the East African nation of Kenya is hot and gets little rain for several years. Many of the herders have no animals left, so they are forced to become farmers. In their culture, being a herder brings them power and respect. Farmers are not as respected as herders.

Audio US Allies Named in CIA 'Torture' Report

Security has been strengthened at United States embassies and offices after the release of a report on the Central Intelligence Agency. The report describes the CIA’s methods of questioning terror suspects after the September 11, 2001 attacks. | In The News

Audio Elephants, Hippos Attack Villages in Cameroon

Some of the world’s biggest animals are harming villagers in far north Cameroon. The people say hundreds of elephants and hippopotamuses have caused major damage to farms and destroyed their villages. They say all this took place during the past three months.

Video Internet Freedom Shrinks Worldwide

A new Freedom House report examines 65 governments on their policies toward online content. Thirty-six countries rated lower on measures of Internet freedom than in the year before. Only 12 nations saw their measures of freedom increase. Myanmar, Tunisia, Cuba, and India...

Audio Vietnam Detains Second Blogger in Two Weeks

Vietnam has arrested another well-known blogger as part of what critics see as a continued campaign against government opponents. Nguyen Quang Lap was detained on Monday. Vietnamese officials accused him of violating a controversial rule that makes “abusing democratic freedoms” illegal.

Audio Mobile Health Apps to Become First Line of Defense

The first line of defense against deadly diseases might just be your cell phone. A new software application combines health worker registries with information about patients and open messaging systems. The app, mHero, helps to make sure of a fast response to health care crises and natural disasters.

Audio A Love of Wine Grows in India

Indian tradition mostly disapproves of alcohol use but in the bigger cities it has become more acceptable. Now, wine is growing popular. Young professionals are the main supports of the growth in India’s wine market. It is expanding at about 13 percent a year.

Audio Making Cooking Stoves Safer Worldwide

Smokey cook fires are a leading cause of indoor air pollution - poor air quality inside buildings. Indoor air pollution kills more than four million people each year. The problem is bigger than malaria, tuberculosis or HIV, the virus that causes the disease AIDS. | As It Is

Audio Kenyan Women Attacked for Choice of Clothing

Recently, groups of men attacked Kenyan women for wearing clothing the men considered too sexy. Last month, police arrested arrested up to 90 men. They were accused of removing the clothing of a woman in public because of the way she was dressed. | As It Is

Video Tibetans Emphasize Cultural Identity Though 'Lhakar'

Tibetan communities worldwide are taking part in a protest movement called “Lhakar.” The Tibetan word means “White Wednesday.” Many Tibetans worldwide have accepted the tradition of dressing, eating or buying “Tibetan,” to be a silent defiance of Chinese policies that threaten their culture.

Audio Social Media Support for IS Higher in Europe, US

The further you are from violence in the Middle East, the more likely you are to have positive views about the Islamic State. Italian researchers examined more than two million social media posts in Arabic. In Syria, only 8 percent of social media posts were positive. In the US, it was 21.4 percent

Audio In Cameroon, New Tool for Pregnancy Planning

A program called Calculator 28 helps women from having unwanted pregnancies. The World Health Organization estimates that 222-million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing. But it says they are not using any birth control method.

Audio Observers Say Ukraine’s Problems Are Also Russia’s

One year has passed since the start of anti-government protests in Ukraine. The unrest led to the ouster of the country’s pro-Russia president. Many observers are worried the country will remain weak. Some say Russian actions in eastern Ukraine are a threat to both Russia and Ukraine.

Learn with The News

  • US Cuba

    Audio Obama Moves to Normalize Relations with Cuba

    President Barack Obama announced a major change in United States’ policy toward Cuba this week. He said he wants Congress to ease more than 50 years of U.S. sanctions against the island nation. And he said the two nations should once again formally recognize one another. More

  • Santa Claus waves at the crowd during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 27, 2014.

    Video A Los Angeles Christmas

    The end of December is a time when many Americans are thinking about snow and cold weather. Yet the city of Los Angeles, California is almost always warm and sunny, even during the winter holiday season. Many people like all the holiday decorations and lights seen in and around Los Angeles. More

  • FILE - A man casts a fishing net on the Mekong riverbank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    Audio Disagreement Over Mekong River Dam Project

    A two-day meeting in Laos has left government officials and environmental activists deeply divided. The meeting was called to examine plans for a 260 megawatt dam on the Lower Mekong River. The Lao government is prepared to start work on the project. More

  • Mideast Islamic State US

    Audio Top Islamic State Leaders Killed in Airstrikes

    Three top Islamic State leaders were killed in a series of targeted airstrikes in Iraq. U.S. not ruling out White House visit by Cuban President Raul Castro. Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap over 100 women, children. Putin says Russia’s economy will improve in two years. More

  • the interview

    Video Sony Criticized for Cancelling 'The Interview'

    The company acted after a group of computer hackers attacked the company and threatened to attack movie theaters that show the film. Most people have criticized Sony’s decision to cancel the release. The US says North Korea was behind the cyber attack. North Korea denies the accusation. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

    Attending a live musical performance, be it in a huge arena or a small cafe, is an exciting experience. But here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance is gaining popularity: house concerts. “There's just a totally unique experience as opposed to playing like a coffee shop or a bar." More

  • Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomatox

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered. More

  • Uganda Playground for Disabled Children

    Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

    You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic. More

  • A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

    Audio Tiny Needles Treat Eye Disease

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States, more than two million people suffer from the disease. Now, researchers are developing very small needles that may offer a more effective and painless treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases. More

  • The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in Las Vegas

    Audio Mob Museum Tells About the Mafia in America

    The U.S. government has long used public money to fight organized crime. Now, public money is also paying for a museum in Las Vegas to tell about "The Mob,” and not everyone is happy about that. But some say it helps the local economy by bringing people to a part of Las Vegas that few visit. More

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