In 2011, thousands of Tunisians called for an end to dictatorship. Now the country will hold its first democratic presidential election. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to journalist Naveena Kottoor.
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The deal that lifted some economic sanctions in return for inspections of Iran’s nuclear program expires Monday. Intense negotiations are underway this weekend to reach a more permanent agreement.
Vice President Biden wraps up his trip to Turkey, where he held talks on strengthening the fight against ISIS. The U.S. and Turkey disagree on how to deal with the threat of the so-called Islamic State.
Sarah Obama, left, and her translator, Mama Sarah Obama Foundation Executive Director Debra Akello, spoke at the United Nations on Wednesday.
The United States has seen many fundraisers headlined by an Obama in recent years, but this week it won’t be the president or the first lady — it will be his step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, who is raising funds to build a school and hospital in her hometown, Kogelo, Kenya.
Obama, who runs the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation and was honored with an Education Pioneer award at the United Nations on Wednesday as part of its Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, has spent much of her life helping young people — and particularly young women — in her region get an education.
President Obama’s last surviving grandparent, whom he referred to as Granny in his memoir Dreams of My Father, never went to school herself, she tells NPR’s Scott Simon through an interpreter.
“It was very hard for women to get an education,” when she was growing up, the 94-year-old Obama says. “Only young boys or men were allowed to go to school.”
But things are different in Kenya now, she says. United Nations data actually shows a higher percentage of Kenyan girls going to school than Kenyan boys.
“I encourage them — even the ones who have had families at a young age — I encourage them to go to school so that the cycle of poverty can end,” Obama says. She sometimes uses her grandson as an example of the doors an education can open.
Often, Obama says, she and her foundation provide much more than encouragement.
“I help the orphans and widows, especially the young girls who have been orphaned by their parents dying of HIV,” she says. “I am their sole parent right now, so I help them pay school fees and also get them the things that they need, like sanitary towels, books, necessities like a pencil, school uniforms. That’s what I do.”
It’s an investment that Sarah Obama says she gets an unbeatable return on.
“There’s so many kids that I’ve helped educate, some of them at Nairobi University, Moi University and also Bondo University,” she says. “These are orphans who I’ve helped pay for their school fares, and now it’s my joy to see them in the universities about to graduate. There’s a lot of success stories, and it just makes me happy and it keeps me going.”
NPR’s Scott Simon explains the controversy London Mayor Boris Johnson waded into recently. He’s a U.S. citizen, and the Internal Revenue Service says he owes them taxes.
The country of Oman once ran a vast maritime trading network. Today, a group there devotes itself to preserving that legacy by recreating the traditional boats that sailed the seas back then.
In Liberia, Ebola runs rampant in rural areas. In response, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying Rapid Response Teams which “flood the zone” and isolate cases.
Marchers took to Mexico City’ streets to protest the government’s handling of the disappearance and presumed murder of 43 students. Mexico’s president has been criticized for his handling of the case.
The temporary agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program expires on Monday and negotiators are working down to the wire for a new deal. Secretary of State John Kerry has joined the talks.
The ultimate aim of Japan’s effort to revive the economy is to give consumers the confidence to start buying again. Weak consumer confidence has hit big-ticket purchases hardest.