Hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, have been killed in those nations in recent days in clashes between groups. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is in the Central African Republic to try to convince the sides to put down their guns.
Before becoming the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power was a journalist who wrote about stopping genocide. Now she's visiting a country where there's fear of one. Fighting between Muslims and Christians has killed nearly 1,000 people.
The conflict in Syria presents many staggering figures. But the number of kids estimated dead, 11,420, seems to encapsulate the tragedy like no other. Most were killed by explosive weapons or Syrian army assaults. But a disturbing number were targeted or tortured.
Members of the punk band Pussy Riot and a crew of Greenpeace environmentalists could walk free soonl. The amnesty is being granted to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia's constitution, but it also seems to be an effort to buff up the country's human-rights image before the Winter Olympics in February.
It's a cross between Secret Santa and Make-a-Wish. For more than 20 years, ordinary Brazilians have read letters addressed to Santa that end up at their local post office and helped fulfill those wishes. The Father Christmas Project helps about half a million kids, some of whom ask for basic things like food and beds.
Upwardly mobile consumers in China and Korea also are buying lots of fur, and "not necessarily your grandmother's old mink coat," says an observer. U.S. and Canadian trappers are flush; animal welfare advocates are concerned.
President Obama is staying home from next year's Winter Games, sending openly gay athletes instead to scold Russia for its anti-gay policies. This isn't the first time politics has intruded on the Olympics. Although the games are intended to be an apolitical athletic gathering, they have frequently provided a platform for protest.
When a Kenyan woman was diagnosed with HIV, she thought it meant the end of her marriage and her hopes to have children. But with the help of HIV therapy, Benta Odeny not only protects her husband from the virus, but she also has a healthy, HIV-negative daughter.
LGBT activists are hailing the Obama administration's choice of a delegation to attend the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It doesn't include the President or Vice President or their wives or even cabinet secretaries. Instead the delegation includes prominent gay athletes. This is seen as a rebuke of Russia's new anti-propaganda law that targets those who are LGBT.
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