World

Secretary Of State John Kerry made a stop in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa over the weekend. Kerry was in Africa several weeks ahead of a trip to the region by President Obama.

Every Memorial Day weekend, a ceremony takes place just outside Paris to honor a group of Americans who fought in France. They're not D-Day veterans, but a little known group of pilots who fought for France in World War I, before the U.S. entered the war.

This year's ceremony in the tiny town of Marnes-la-Coquette began with a flyover by two French air force Mirage fighter jets from the Escadrille Lafayette, or Lafayette Squadron, paying tribute to the men who founded the group nearly 100 years ago.

Latest News From Syria

May 27, 2013

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene. Steve Inskeep is on assignment in Syria.

Sweden Tries To Get A Handle On Riot

May 27, 2013

Violence has erupted over the past week in and around the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Tensions have emerged over joblessness, a growing gap between wealthy and poor and influxes of immigrants. David Greene talks to Alistair Scrutton, Stockholm bureau chief for the Reuters News Agency, for the latest on the chaos.

It was 5 p.m. on an ordinary Tuesday, and Li Ping was finishing up the company accounts before going to have a facial. She was working for her brother, Li Qiang, who owned one of the biggest private transport companies in Chongqing, a major city in southwestern China.

Suddenly, five plainclothes policemen barged into the room. They asked her name, then put a black hood over her head and drove her to a secret interrogation site. Her ordeal had begun.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

May 25, 2013

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry met with political leaders in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank this week in his effort to try to restart direct peace talks between the two parties. NPR's Emily Harris is in Jerusalem. Emily, thanks for being with us.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: So if not a concrete plan, is somebody pouring the concrete?

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Lance Cpl. Travis Williams, 29, is an Iraq War veteran — and the only post-9/11 Marine to lose every other member of his 12-man squad. It happened in August 2005, when Williams and his teammates were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq.

"That morning, we loaded into the vehicle," Williams recalls. "And I get tapped on the shoulder, and I got told that I need to bounce up to the next vehicle. I said, 'Catch you guys on the flipside.' And that was the last thing I ever said to them."

In India, some of the most entertaining reading on a Sunday afternoon is found in the classified ads. Page after page, the matrimonial section trumpets the finer qualities of India's sons and daughters.

Parents looking to marry off their children often place ads such as this one: "Wanted: Well-settled, educated groom for fair, beautiful Bengali girl, 22, 5'3"."

The matrimonial ads are a hallowed tradition in the quest to find a life partner — part of the institution of matchmaking that is as old as the country itself.

Will teaching in English at France's universities undermine the French language? That's up for debate in the country now, and the argument is heated.

The lower house of parliament approved a measure Thursday that would allow courses to be taught in English, something that is currently against the law.

Those in favor of the proposal say it will attract more international students and improve English language skills of French students. But opponents say the move will only impoverish and marginalize the country's tongue.

Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he doesn't smoke crack cocaine and isn't an addict, in response to a video that surfaced recently purporting to show him using the illegal drug.

Last week Ford called the cellphone video obtained by The Toronto Star "ridiculous" and blamed the newspaper for "going after me."

Friday's comments from Ford were more emphatic.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This remarkable statement today from the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford.

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MAYOR ROB FORD: I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Print media are struggling in the U.S. and Europe, but in many Asian countries, including China and India, newspapers are thriving. Another example is Myanmar, also known as Burma. There, only 1 percent of people have access to the Internet and private daily newspapers are rushing into print after decades of being banned. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on how Burmese journalists are exercising newfound freedoms.

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