A one-year old Syrian refugee in his bed and play pen in Tripoli, Lebanon. His family fled Syria just after he was born. He spends most of his time in this box which is his bed, play pen, refuge. This crate resides on the grounds of an active slaughter house where his family now lives. (Elena Dorfman)
A hand-made shelter for a Syrian refugee family in Ketermaya. The family was invited by the owner to live on Lebanese farmland. (Elena Dorfman)
Dva’a, 17, lives with her brother in northern Lebanon. The rest of her family stayed behind in Syria. Although they once planned on all living together, they are now too scared to leave Syria. Dva’a says that this war has torn her life to pieces and has had a huge impact on her psychologically. She lives in fear, is listless, and has doubts about her future. She says that she can still hear the bombs and shelling over her head, although she is now safe in Lebanon. She said that at 17 she’s just beginning to be the person she will become, although her life is in limbo and she has no idea what her future holds. (Elena Dorfman)
Farman, 20, came to the Domiz refugee camp in Kurdistan with his cousin. In the early days of the revolution he became somewhat of an activist, taking and posting pictures of the demonstrations in his area. When his friends were arrested for the same activities he became scared and left the country for northern Iraq. He worries about his parents who were left behind. Most days he sits with his friends in a small room that four of them share, unable to find work and unsure where to go next. (Elena Dorfman)
Hamada, 21, narrowly missed being forced into the army when a guard who had caught him at a checkpoint turned away to tend to something else. At that same moment, rebel fighters shot and killed the guard and Hamada was able to run away. Like his friend Tamer, he lives in a dark, tiny room on the outskirts of Beirut with four other refugees. His parents urged him to leave Syria because they were afraid he would be conscripted. He left the country using the identity of his youngest brother who wasn’t of army age. He’s been in Lebanon for six months and says that he is emotionally destroyed, depressed, scared and worried about how to pay the rent, how to eat, how to get by. (Elena Dorfman)
Hani, 19, is originally from Homs, Syria, but now lives in a dusty tented settlement in Madjel Anjar, Lebanon. Although most of the people in the cluster of tents by the side of the road have been there for nearly a year, toilets were installed only one month ago. Hani brought books with him when he and his family fled, a reminder of his old life in school. He says, “In Syria, my country, I miss everything. I miss my friends so much. I miss the streets, my teachers, my future university. I miss drinking my coffee with the birds. I miss Fayruz songs. I miss my brothers’ smiles in the morning”. He says that he is proud of himself because he still has his mind, his heart. He lost his country but he did not lose his personality or his spirit. (Elena Dorfman)
Iman, 19, from Homs, is married but her husband stayed in Syria. She last saw him four months ago. He can’t leave the country because he is of army age and, if caught crossing a checkpoint, will be sent to fight for the regime. She misses him by her side and dreams of living a normal life back in Syria, in their own home. She said that she cleans the room she shares in a collective shelter obsessively, because it is the only thing she can do, the only control she has. (Elena Dorfman)
I’tmad, 17, has been wearing the same clothes since she escaped Homs, Syria four months ago. Before reaching Lebanon, she and her family moved from apartment to apartment for many months, trying to avoid shelling. She now lives on the top floor of a collective shelter where, she said, she never leaves the apartment. She knows only her family and the one room where they live. She tells me that she misses her classmates, her home, and the taste of Syrian falafel and humus. She was once an Arabic language student with many awards but brought no books with her when she fled, and has no idea if or when she’ll ever be able to return to her studies. (Elena Dorfman)
In Akbiya, Lebanon, these dark, underground streets -- former storage units -- are home to more than 200 Syrian refugees. Children play in the dirty water and in the darkness. (Elena Dorfman)
An informal tented settlement for Syrian refugees in Anjar, Lebanon. (Elena Dorfman)
A dreamscape on the outside of living quarters in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. (Elena Dorfman)
While conceding that "more problems may pop up as they always do when you're launching something new," President Obama on Tuesday said the troubled HealthCare.gov website "is working well for the vast majority of users" and his Affordable Care Act "is working and will work into the future."
"We may never satisfy the law's opponents," Obama added during an afternoon event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. But, he said, "we know the demand [for health insurance] is there and we know the product on these marketplaces is good."
The Associated Press reports that a shark bit the dangling foot of Patrick Briney, 57, of Stevenson, Wash., as he fished from a kayak between Maui and Molokini, a small island that is a popular diving and snorkeling spot.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood run from tear gas during clashes with riot police near Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya square on Nov. 22.
Credit Twitter via Al Arabiya News
Egypt's Mohamed Yousef won a gold medal at the kung fu championships in Russia in October. He then put on a yellow T-shirt with a four-finger salute to express solidarity with protesters opposing Egypt's military-backed government. Egyptian sports officials have suspended him and barred him from tournaments for a year.
Mohamed Yousef is a tall, handsome practitioner of kung fu. In fact, he's an Egyptian champion who recently won an international competition.
But a month ago, when he collected his gold medal at the championship in Russia, he posed for a picture after putting on a yellow T-shirt with a hand holding up four fingers.
That's the symbol of Rabaa al-Adawiya, the Cairo square where Egyptian security forces opened fire in August on supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Hundreds were killed, including seven of Yousef's friends.
A young Afghan balloon seller runs toward a customer in Kabul on April 2. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are the most-corrupt countries, according to the annual Corruption Perception Index released Tuesday.
Dead mice laced with acetaminophen have for the fourth time been dropped from helicopters into trees on Guam in an experiment aimed at killing snakes that have devastated the island's bird population and caused other damage.
No, we haven't been duped by something written by The Onion.
There are great ballplayers, and then there's Ted Williams. In a 22-year career, Williams accomplished things that give him a legitimate claim to being the greatest hitter who ever lived; but he was also a tormented soul who hurt a lot of people, including himself.
Gold is assumed to have eternal, inherent value, but what makes it valuable? And what determines its value now that it's no longer the basis of our currency? In the book Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal, journalist Matthew Hart examines the new gold rush driven by investors. He travels to gold mines — including the Mponeng mine in South Africa, where he descended into the deepest man-made hole on Earth — and investigates why gold and crime sometimes go hand in hand.
Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro committed suicide by hanging himself, two independent corrections consultants said in a report released on Tuesday.
Before this report was released, a review by a state prisons agency had suggested that Castro died in September while performing autoerotic asphyxiation. That is likely not the case, Lindsay M. Hayes and Fred Cohen, who were hired by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, found.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:11 pm
Imagine how Robbie Travis felt. He waits tables at Libertine, a high-end restaurant just outside St. Louis, and his ex insisted on coming in just a few days after they'd broken up.
Like everyone else, waiters and waitresses have to show up for work on days they'd rather be anywhere else. But it's especially tough to shrug off a bad mood in a job where people expect you to greet them gladly.
"You have to fake it a little bit," Travis says. "That's what pays the bills."
Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:55 am
The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history took a major step forward Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that the city of Detroit is eligible for protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 12:03 pm
Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old American war veteran and tourist who was arrested in North Korea in October, once supervised a guerrilla group of "perhaps the most hated and feared fighters" of the Korean War, some of his former comrades say. That's according to The Associated Press, which offers details about Newman's service as a possible explanation for his detention.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:09 am
Ian Volpi, 25, is from Atlanta, Ga. He teaches English at the English Life school in Denizli, Turkey.
Produced by Art Silverman
What does your life sound like? Or your job? Or the place where you live? Please send a recording of four sounds that tell the story of your life or job or town — at this moment in time — to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, age and where you live. You may be contacted for a follow-up interview.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:12 am
Anti-government protesters in Thailand are claiming a symbolic victory Tuesday after police allowed them to swarm into the prime minister's compound and shout slogans.
The protests began Nov. 24 but turned violent two days ago when police clashed with demonstrators opposed to the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Four people were killed and more than 250 others wounded in the past three days, according to The Associated Press.
Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:30 am
Overweight or obese people are indeed more likely to die prematurely than people of normal weight, say researchers who've analyzed the data. Their conclusion throws cold water on recent studies that have found some excess weight isn't so bad.
Earlier this year, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that overweight people actually live a bit longer than their skinnier peers.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:20 am
Is a chimp, living as a pet in the home of Patrick and Diane Lavery in Gloversville, N.Y., really enslaved and entitled to his freedom? Does the 26-year-old Tommy, who scientists argue is cognitively similar to humans, deserve some of the same rights as Homo sapiens?
Those questions are at the center of a lawsuit (pdf) filed in the State of New York Supreme Court in Fulton County, N.Y., on Monday.
Pavel Dmitrichenko, a former leading dancer in Russia's Bolshoi ballet, stands inside the defendant's cage in a Moscow court Tuesday. He was sentenced to six years in prison for ordering an acid attack on the Bolshoi's artistic director, Sergei Filin.
A graphic released with the 2012 PISA results shows the annualized change in performance in average math scores between 2003 and 2012. The chart includes only nations that have comparable data from both 2003 and 2012.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:13 am
American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results in a test that measures students' proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide, failing to crack the global top 20.
The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, collects test results from 65 countries for its rankings, which come out every three years. The latest results, from 2012, show that U.S. students ranked below average in math among the world's most-developed countries. They were close to average in science and reading.
Yesterday, millions of Americans logged on to snag some Cyber Monday savings. But a number of independent bookstores decided to play on that name with a new tradition: Cider Monday. They invited customers to step away from the computers and stop by for a free cup of apple cider. The celebration was first proposed by The Toadstool Bookshops in New Hampshire. They promised their servers would not be overloaded and would, in fact, give you a smile.
Close to added close to two million jobs to the workforce this year. Not all of fit the nine to five mold. Much of the newly hired are working fragmented, unpredictable hours. From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz has this report.
OK. So federal judges, in secret, have blasted the National Security Agency for years, for violating rules governing U.S. surveillance programs. Then the judges have gone ahead and approved those programs anyway. We know this because of leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and from documents released by the government. They have revealed new information about how the secret court works. NPR's Carrie Johnson has this report on whether it is possible for the court to control the NSA.
The boats of For Those in Peril on the Sea, by artist Hew Locke, hang in the entrance hall of the Perez Art Museum Miami, which opens this week.
Credit World Red Eye / Perez Art Museum Miami
The distinctive museum building, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, has already been hailed as a success for the city.
Credit Cathy Carver / Perez Art Museum Miami
A retrospective exhibit featuring the work of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is first up at the PAMM, including his installation According to What? shown at the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., in 2012.
Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.