J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy Lord of the Rings is filled with fantastical stories of elves, hobbits and wizards. But the ring at the center of his tale may have been inspired by a real ring. Owners of The Vyne, an English estate, say they possess the ring that inspired Tolkien's "ring of power."
The tropical disease dengue is far more widespread than previously thought, according to an article in the journal Nature. The study estimates there are three to four times more dengue infections each year than the number currently tallied by the World Health Organization.
Egypt suffered the worst religious violence over the weekend that it has seen since President Morsi came to power last year. Egyptians are already struggling with an economic crisis and political instability. Now, religious tensions appear to be boiling over.
The international community is bracing for further provocative actions in North Korea's campaign of bluster and escalation. But visitors to the reclusive country say the capital Pyongyang does not appear to be on war footing.
In Afghanistan this weekend, a suicide bomber took the lives of several Americans on a mission to deliver books to an Afghan school. Among the dead was 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff. Coworkers say she was committed to improving the lives of Afghan women and children.
After a 15-month hiatus, the world's newest nation is pumping oil again. It's a key step toward mending relations with Sudan, its former civil war foe. And it's a crucial step if South Sudan is to avoid economic collapse.
Former al-Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was captured by U.S. officials in February. His arrest is significant, analysts say, because the Obama administration has decided to try him in a federal court instead of using a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The war became much more personal for the U.S. embassy and most of the journalists in Afghanistan when word came out that one of the five Americans killed by a suicide bomber in Zabul Province on Saturday was 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff. NPR's Sean Carberry says her death reminds the American community in Afghanistan of their bonds with one another.
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