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Erika Beras

In the last few years, thousands of Cubans have left the island for South American countries. From there, they make their way north, trekking thousands of miles, hoping to get to the United States.

Last year, 29,000 Cubans crossed the border from Mexico into Texas — quadrupling the total from a decade ago. Now the numbers are even higher.

Heidy Vera, a young Cuban woman, made that journey in 2015. She then headed to Miami, where Cubans have settled for generations.

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

A US congressional vote to allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government over alleged connections to the attacks could "open the floodgates" to retaliatory cases against the US, according one legal expert.

The law, called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which grants foreign states immunity from suits in US courts, except when it comes to commercial activity. JASTA makes terrorism on US soil another exemption.

On Wednesday evening, the city of Reykjavik, Iceland, turned off street lights and encouraged people to darken their homes so that everyone could watch the northern lights.

The city council released a statement saying street lights would be turned off in multiple sections of the city between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time and warning people to drive carefully.

Take a step back from Zanzibar’s white sand beaches and big hotels and you’re in a very different world. One where the island’s dusty, inland villages largely go dark once the sun sets. This is when the differences between people who have electricity and those who don’t are most pronounced.

Sam Eaton

For two villages in southern Malawi, climate change and contraception have become intertwined. So much so, that long-held cultural assumptions are starting to change.

Sheikh Mosa is chief of one of the villages, Mposa. He says there’s been a massive shift in mindset toward family planning as people in the villages begin to feel the effects of population growth and climate change first-hand.

It had all the trappings of a typical beauty contest: Contestants in evening gowns strutting before the judges, a talent portion, and of course, a sparkly tiara for the winning lady.

On Sunday, Colombians will vote on whether to ratify the peace agreement negotiated between the government and the FARC guerrillas to end 50 years of war. At the annual Bogota Music Market festival, also known as BOmm, many young musicians talked about the prospects for peace in Colombia.

The annual gathering was held during an emotional period for Colombia. The peace agreement and the vote were on everyone's mind.

Winter clothes, blankets, food and medical supplies. In an act of humanity, a U.N. aid convoy was carrying these precious necessities to a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, cut off by war. The convoy never made it.

Turkey's national security council is recommending a three-month extension of the state of emergency imposed following a failed coup attempt in July.

The council is chaired by the Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has presided over tens of thousands of dismissals and arrests of opposition leaders, journalists and others since the initial state of emergency went into effect on July 20, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

The Ryder Cup tees off this weekend, and I'm going (yay!)

Sep 29, 2016
Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

I'm not a big fan of golf, but I couldn't be more excited to go to the Ryder Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with my dad this weekend.

Golf played a big part of my childhood. On Sundays, we'd often go over to my grandparents' house for dinner. After our meal was done, I'd lay on the floor while my dad and my grandpa watched golf on TV. All kinds of golf. Hours of golf.

On Friday, the Rosetta spacecraft will smack into the icy surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and go silent. Scientists with the historic mission are wondering how they'll feel as the orbiter makes its death-dive toward the comet that has been its traveling companion for more than two years.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.