NPR News

The provincial town of Mage seems a world away from the violence and drug dealing that plague Brazil's larger cities. On a recent afternoon, the central square is a picture of calm. Children play around a fountain; older people sit on the many park benches dotting the area, under the shade of trees.

Mage, about 35 miles northwest of Rio, is close enough that people can commute to the city, which many of them do. Yet it's far enough away that nothing much really happened here in the past. But residents say that is changing.

In 1993, a freighter ran aground off Queens, N.Y. The Golden Venture had nearly 300 people on it who were being smuggled into the U.S. from China.

Passengers cited China's forced-sterilization program and governmental persecution from political expression as reasons to climb aboard the Golden Venture. Some paid the smugglers $30,000 to board the ship. An organized crime syndicate would front the money, and the passengers would have to work off the debt, often in restaurants like indentured servants.

Thousands of anti-government protesters have assembled in Istanbul's Taksim Square ahead of the return of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from a four-day trip to Tunisia.

But thousands more Erdogan supporters were gathered at the airport to greet him.

The BBC says Erdogan is expected to give a speech when he arrives in the early morning hours on Friday.

A Latina Teen "Comes Out" As Black

Jun 6, 2013

A lot of teens ask themselves, "What am I?" For multiracial teens, the answer gets especially complicated.

It's an overstatement to say that it's beginning to look like President George W. Bush's fourth term.

Still, that characterization by former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer carried the ring of truth Thursday with the report that a National Security Agency telecommunications program that Americans first became aware of under Bush has continued under Obama.

Has the economic boom in China been good for the Chinese people? When it comes to health, the answer, on average, is yes.

China isn't just jockeying with the U.S. for superpower status. Chinese are also starting to have the same health problems as Americans, says a study published Thursday in The Lancet.

China has managed to beat back the plagues of poverty, such as diarrhea, pneumonia, measles and malaria, which kill millions of kids each year in low-income countries.

Tropical Storm Andrea has made landfall on Florida's Big Bend area, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reports. As of 5:45 p.m. ET, the center's tracking system placed the storm on the state's Gulf coast, level with Gainesville. Andrea is expected to spread rain and strong winds along the Southeastern coast tonight and Friday.

Singer Justin Bieber is the latest celebrity to score a booking on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, destined for its first suborbital test flight sometime this year.

The Bieb and manager Scooter Braun join the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie on the elite passenger list of those willing and able to pay $250,000 for a seat on Richard Branson's commercial space-flight venture.

Sir Richard tweeted the news Thursday:

Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama described the work being done by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to unravel the plot as "hard stuff."

American sprinter Justin Gatlin has beaten Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt in the 100 meters, edging Bolt by one hundredth of a second at a meet in Rome. It's Gatlin's first win over Bolt in the four times the two have raced each other.

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