Parsis brought their Zoroastrian faith, and unique funeral rituals, to India from Iran a thousand years ago. Parsis believe burying or cremating the dead pollutes nature and traditionally relied on birds of prey to devour corpses. That tradition is now under threat, due in part to a vulture shortage.
Next week's election in the Netherlands could seal the fate of Amsterdam coffee shops that also sell pot to foreign tourists. Some parties favor, and others oppose, a plan to restrict the shops' business. Cafe owners are struggling to get their customers to the polls.
Russia's population is smaller than it was back in 1991, when the Soviet Union broke up. Contracting populations are rare among countries that are not at war, and the Russian exodus includes many talented, educated people.
Africa is in the middle of what Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times calls an epic elephant slaughter. He says poachers are killing more elephants now than at any time in the last two decades. He talks to Steve Inskeep about what's behind the resurgence in poaching and where the ivory is going.
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