World

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Why I Miss The Pools (And Pool Rules) Of America

May 29, 2016

Dear Americans,

I hear it's swimming pool season for you. Enjoy it while it lasts.

And as you complain about the crowds at the nearest pool and the annoying list of rules, think of me, envying you.

When I lived in Boston, I swam in a public pool. I loved the quiet, the order, the rope floats that demarcate lanes, the chalkboard with chlorine and pH levels, even the smell of chlorine.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

More than 40 people were injured from lightning strikes in two separate incidents in Europe on Saturday.

Lighting hit a children's birthday party in an upscale Paris park, injuring at least 11 people, AFP reports. Police say most of the victims were children and six of them were seriously injured, according to the news agency.

According to Paris city councilor Karen Taieb, the group at Parc Monceau had "taken shelter under a tree," AFP adds.

President Obama's decision to lift the arms embargo against Vietnam was about much more than selling weapons. It was about sending a message to China.

Not only may Vietnam begin buying American ships and surveillance equipment, it could also begin hosting regular visits by U.S. military units, including U.S. Navy warships at Cam Ranh Bay. Such trips would put American sailors square into waters that China is claiming it controls, making clear the U.S. rejects those claims and reassuring China's nervous neighbors in the region — or so Washington hopes.

The World Health Organization is trying to ease concerns about spreading Zika as a result of this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janiero.

"Based on current assessment, cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus," a statement released Saturday reads.

Shoulder patches are the subject of a diplomatic incident between the U.S. and Turkey. The flap highlights the complicated regional politics the U.S. is navigating in its offensive against Islamic State militants in Syria.

The central issue: the Kurdish YPG militia, which the U.S. views as a key ally against the Islamic State in Syria, has been branded a terrorist group by Turkey's government.

Editor's note: John Otis has reported from Latin America since the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989, and first covered Venezuela 19 years ago. He's returned many times since, and reflects here on how the country has changed since he first arrived.

During my first reporting trip to Caracas in 1997, I was nearly robbed leaving a subway station. While riding up the escalator, I was sandwiched by two rather inept thieves who pried my wallet out of my pocket, but then dropped it. I snatched the billfold and ran.

An Argentine court has sentenced Reynaldo Bignone, the country's last dictator, to 20 years in prison for his part in Operation Condor.

It's the "first time a court has ruled that Operation Condor was a criminal conspiracy to kidnap and forcibly disappear people across international borders," The Associated Press reports.

Obama Makes Historic Visit To Hiroshima

May 28, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

John Hersey went to Hiroshima in 1945 for the New Yorker magazine to talk to people who had lived through the world's first nuclear bomb. The magazine turned over its entire issue to his report in August of 1946; it's considered a classic.

John Hersey didn't try to second-guess the American decision to drop the atom bomb, a year after it ended the deadliest war in history. Simply and plainly, he described the stories of six people who survived in a city where so many thousands died:

For five days and five nights in February, NPR reporters Jason Beaubien and Kelly McEvers were "embedded" with Doctors Without Borders in the middle of nowhere. They were inside a massive United Nation's compound framed by earthen walls topped with razor wire. It's known as the POC — Protection of Civilians site. Heavily-armed U.N. peacekeepers patrol the perimeter of the compound; more than 120,000 civilians live there, seeking a safe haven in a war-torn country.

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