While North Korea has long struggled with dire food shortages, the United Nations now assesses its food situation as being the best in many years. But NPR has had unusual access to five North Koreans in China, who paint a dramatically different, and alarming, picture.
Even as North Korea mourned its leader Kim Jong Il last December, one surprising thing was on people's minds: fish. State-run television showed people lining up in shops; the dear leader's last wish, apparently, was to provide fish to his people.
And now, The Opinion Page. Many reporters and editors turn to the "AP Stylebook" to answer questions on grammar, punctuation and usage, so it's news when words are purged. Last month, The Associated Press announced the elimination of Islamophobia, homophobia and ethnic cleansing from next year's stylebook, a decision Chicago Tribune syndicated columnist Clarence Page calls a linguistic blow for blandness. Now, there are a few words so offensive that they're beyond the pale: the N word, the F word.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi authorized the military to secure the country ahead of a controversial referendum on a draft constitution — a move that some compared to martial law. The opposition is split over what to do — vote down the constitution or boycott the vote altogether.
Somali-born rapper and musician K'naan became a success based, at least in part, on gritty stories from his childhood in war-torn Mogadishu. But on his most recent album, Country, God, Or the Girl, the edginess of past songs has been replaced with a polished pop sound and lyrics directed to a young American audience.