Decades of socialism and military rule kept Myanmar — or Burma, as it was known — poor and isolated.
There was one upside, though. The economy was so lousy, there was no drive to demolish the big British colonial buildings in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, and replace them with the glass and steel towers that now define much of the skylines in East Asia.
Just when it seemed like the outrage on the political right over Benghazi had subsided to the point where only the announcement of House hearings put it back in the headlines, the exchange of captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban fighters at Guantanamo Bay came along.
Now President Obama finds himself amid another foreign policy and national security controversy with fresh legs that even features Susan Rice — the White House official who played a prominent early role in the Benghazi controversy — making an encore.
If you follow the news on nasty, contagious norovirus, you might assume that the place you're most likely to get it is on a cruise ship. For one, there was that outbreak earlier this year when a group of passengers got sick with severe vomiting and diarrhea on a Royal Caribbean boat.
Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED, has just come out with a new book about words — words like "dilapidated," "balding" and "lunch." Shea says those words were once frowned upon, as were more than 200 other words he has compiled.
A San Francisco man described as a social media expert and political consultant appeared in federal court on Tuesday charged with one count of possession of an illegal destructive device after an FBI search of his apartment reportedly turned up bomb-making components.
Ryan Kelly Chamberlain, 42, was arrested Monday after a three-day manhunt.
Veterans across the country are still waiting too long for medical care, a situation that drove the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week.
Now Republicans and Democrats in Congress are competing to pass laws they think will fix the problem of medical wait times and other problems at the VA. The discussion over how to reform veterans' health care is starting to sound familiar.
In a recent Nippon Professional Baseball game in Japan, Kazuhito Tadano threw a slow, arcing pitch that caught the batter by surprise. Video of the play quickly went viral on the Internet, but the pitch has a history — and a name: the eephus pitch. Paul Dickson, author of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, offers more details.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. Just nine days to go before the World Cup soccer tournament begins in Brazil. And a poll released today by the Pew Research Center shows that the mood among Brazilians is grim. NPR's Lordes Garcia-Navarro reports a country that seemed to be taking off just a few years ago feels like it's crashing, instead.
Russia holds the presidency at the United Nations Security Council at the moment. That role rotates monthly. And this is shaping up to be a month of high diplomatic drama. Russia's ambassador is trying to keep the council focused on Ukraine. He's calling for humanitarian corridors to provide aid the east of the country. The U.S. and other council members accused Russia of hypocrisy. And they plan to focus on other humanitarian concerns like Syria. Here is NPR's Michele Kelemen.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama is asking Congress for an extra billion dollars. It's for defense, to reassure nervous allies and let Eastern Europe that United States is committed to their security. The president spoke to an audience in Poland today. He said the U.S. commitment is especially important in the face of Russia's actions in neighboring Ukraine.
Syria's highly questionable, and carefully choreographed, election leaves many people concerned about how it may embolden President Bashar al-Assad. NPR's Alice Fordham has been talking with people inside Syria and in neighboring Beirut.
ALICE FORDHAM, BYLINE: At the end of the day, Assad will be able to show that there were many Syrians who vote for him because they want to or because he made them. It's a demonstration of power, either way.