World

What I learned from my grandmother’s hands

Sep 14, 2016
4
Katherine Du

It is hard for me to feel connected to my heritage in everyday life. My eyes see a different landscape, my tongue is used to a different language and my hands are familiar with a different kind of work.

My parents are from Huai’an, a city of 5 million in Jiangsu province, eastern-central China. China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with thousands of years of history, culture, art and great empires.

A cessation of hostilities in Syria that took effect Monday appears to be largely holding, though the U.N. says further assurances are required before humanitarian vehicles can deliver aid to those in need.

Five people. Ten bears. One desperate call for help.

On a remote Arctic island, five researchers at a weather station found themselves "besieged" by polar bears over the weekend, Russia's TASS news agency reports.

Vadim Plotnikov, the head of the weather station on Troynoy Island, told the news agency on Monday that the staff there had seen 10 adult bears around the station, as well as several cubs.

Two weeks ago, a polar bear ate one of the weather station's two dogs — and hadn't left the station since.

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Nigeria has to get rid of polio — again.

Last year, the World Health Organization declared the country to be "polio-free." That milestone meant the disease was gone from the entire continent of Africa, a major triumph in the multibillion-dollar global effort to eradicate the disease.

But that declaration of "polio-free" turned out to be premature.

Four days after Secretary of State John Kerry announced — with many notes of caution — a new U.S.-Russia deal on a cease-fire in Syria, he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that it is the best option, and one to which the U.S. remains committed.

"What's the alternative?" he asks. Without the deal, he suggests, there would be even more deaths in a conflict that already has killed nearly 500,000 people.

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

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

In the world of literary prizes Britain's Man Booker stands out as one of the most prestigious and lucrative. So every year writers and their publishers and agents are eager to learn who made the final cut. Today the six writers who made it to the short list were revealed. Two Americans, two Brits and two Canadians are now competing for the award which is given each year for a novel written in English which has been published in the U.K.

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Robert Pratta/Reuters

It's hardly unusual in France for a politician to fail to reveal an illness or medical condition to voters.

President Francois Mitterrand served with prostate cancer for more than a decade before the French electorate found out. 

He failed to disclose his condition during his 1988 re-election campaign. 

"It was only about 12 years after his diagnosis that this came out in public, shortly before he retired," says TIME magazine's Vivienne Walt. 

Mitterrand was president from 1981 to 1995. He died of prostate cancer a year after stepping down. 

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

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

Former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who turned 93 last month, suffered a stroke and was rushed to a hospital in Tel Aviv, according to representatives from his office.

They issued this brief statement Tuesday:

"The office of the 9th president wishes to update that the 9th president Shimon Peres has been hospitalized in the Tel Hashomer hospital after suffering a stroke. His condition is stable and he is fully conscious. He is receiving appropriate medical treatment."

Vampire bats are thirsty creatures. And they drink only one beverage: mammalian blood.

Each night, they hop on the ground, crawl up to an unsuspecting victim and latch onto its ankle.

Then the little critters use razor-sharp incisors to slice a deep, tiny wound into a victim's skin. As blood flows out of the wound, the bat laps it up — about a tablespoon per bite.

Most of the time, these bites are harmless – if not a bit uncomfortable. But if the bat carries rabies, a quick nip can be deadly.

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