World

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Teju-Cole/Martin-Lengemann

Teju Cole admits he doesn't feel at home anywhere. 

As a citizen of Nigeria and the US, he thinks about art, literature and politics from a point of view he calls "placelessness." 

That's one of the themes in his new essay collection, Known and Strange Things. The volume covers the globe, but it's rooted in the dynamism and energy of Lagos, a place the author misses so much he finds himself toggling over to Google Maps to establish a sort of contact. 

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East.

Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book called The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.

A series of medical images published Tuesday offer the most complete picture, so far, of how the Zika virus can damage the brain of a fetus.

"The images show the worst brain infections that doctors will ever see," says Dr. Deborah Levine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who contributed to the study. "Zika is such a severe infection [in fetuses]. Most doctors will have never seen brains like this before."

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Promethean Power Systems

Sorin Grama had a great idea. Like, a really terrific idea. It was so good, MIT awarded him one of its most prestigious entrepreneurship prizes: second place in the university’s annual 100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

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

It started with a report and erupted into a controversy involving a mufti, a Russian Orthodox priest and a rabbi.

The subject: female genital mutilation.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The Washington Post reports that access to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have been influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state.

The Post's Rosalind Helderman got ahold of the emails after a lawsuit made them public. An excerpt from Helderman's story:

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Rolf Schoellkopf

When we think of Syria, we usually think of war, misery and desperate refugees. Classically trained bassist Raed Jazbeh is trying to change that image.

Jazbeh fled Syria three years ago for Europe and was granted asylum in Germany. His fellow musicians were also scattered all over Europe by their country’s civil war. This is the story of his effort to find his former colleagues and preserve a piece of Syria’s musical culture.

Raed Jazbeh is a hard guy to reach.

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Djordje Kojadinovic

More than 1,500 years ago, during the Roman Empire, a young woman died and was buried in the city of Viminacium, in modern-day Serbia. Someone close to her thought she might need some help in the next life.

A particular kind of help. Help from a demon.

Ilija Dankovic from the Archaeological Institute in Belgrade is one of the archaeologists excavating the remains of Viminacium, including the grave of the unnamed woman. Alongside her remains, his team discovered a selection of spells inscribed on tiny gold and silver pages locked in a lead amulet.

It was a tragic turning point.

On July 11, South Sudanese soldiers invaded a hotel in the capital city of Juba and gang-raped foreign aid workers.

"The soldiers just came to the bathroom where all the girls were hiding and they just picked us out of the bathroom one by one," says one of the women who was in the hotel. She asked that her name not be used.

Despite calls for help to the U.N. compound a mile down the road, no one came.

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

Paleontologists at the University of New South Wales in Australia say they have identified a tiny new species of marsupial lion that lived around 18 million years ago.

The extinct, squirrel-size animal weighed about 1.3 pounds, very likely lived in trees and had teeth that suggest it was capable of ripping apart other small creatures with its molars.

The researchers named it Microleo attenboroughi in honor of Sir David Attenborough, the famed British naturalist who has hosted numerous documentaries on wildlife.

Mt. Meru Coffee Project

How far would you go to get a good cup of coffee? Would you drive down the street? Would you go across town? How about jetting off to Tanzania?

The organizers of the Mt. Meru Coffee Project believe it's worth the trip. Of course, they're not buying their coffee one cup at a time. They're working with farmers in the country to ensure they receive a fair price for their labor. And they think the results are as refreshing as the drink that ends up in their customers' mugs.

Early mornings are routine for 69-year-old Hiroyuko Yamamoto. He's typically at a busy intersection in the city of Matsudo, near Tokyo, where he volunteers as a school crossing guard. But one rainy morning a little over a year ago, an old woman caught his attention.

She was pushing a bicycle. She was kind of disheveled. Despite the rain, she didn't have an umbrella. When Yamamoto spoke to the woman, she said she was trying to get to the city of Kamisuwa. That's about four hours away by train.

A U.S. service member was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's restive Helmand province Tuesday — the second U.S. combat death in Afghanistan since January.

The service member was conducting "train, advise, assist activities" with Afghan forces when the explosive device went off, according to the U.S. Defense Department. Another American service member and six Afghan soldiers were wounded in the attack near the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

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