A famous documentary maker has inspired more than a hundred young people to take part in an oral history project to collect peasants' stories of the Great Famine in the late 1950s and early 1960s. An estimated 36 million people died during the famine, which the Chinese government blamed on natural disasters.
Syrian opposition figures are meeting in Qatar, trying to forge a more coherent coalition to counter President Bashar Assad. Their ranks include militant jihadists as well as peaceful protesters. Host Scott Simon talks to Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy about Syrian opposition and recent troubling reports that some rebels have committed war crimes.
Approximately three-quarters of the world's population now has access to a mobile phone, and the majority of those subscriptions are in developing countries. But those phones don't usually have data plans. Now, Google and Facebook are offering free apps on these devices to get users hooked on social media.
For 10 years, journalist Yang Jinsheng secretly collected official evidence about the terrible famine in China a half-century ago. In his chilling book Tombstone — which is banned in his homeland — Yang estimates that 36 million people died of starvation and other causes during the famine, even as grain exports continued.
The country is disputing a new report that names it as the world's leading jailer of journalists, with scores behind bars — ahead of Iran, China and other authoritarian states. Ongoing international attention to Turkey's treatment of the media has raised hope that reforms could be forthcoming.
The number of black beetle-like taxis is dwindling. The only company that makes them had to recall 400 of its newest vehicles because of a mechanical defect. Ahead of the holiday season, very few of its rentals are available. As the company files for bankruptcy protection, cabbies cross their fingers to keep the iconic vehicle alive.
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