Drug cartel violence, riots and fires have killed more than 400 inmates in Mexican and Central American prisons recently. The deaths underscore the problems of corruption, overcrowding, prison gangs and crumbling infrastructure that prisons face throughout the region.
The U.S. and Iran sparred over oil shipments in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s, a confrontation known as the tanker war. The current tensions have some parallels, but there are concerns any hostilities could quickly escalate.
International leaders met last week to address the piracy, famine and terrorism in Somalia. Many previous attempts by the international community to intervene have failed. Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa Bureau Chief for The New York Times, discusses the world's options.
Journalist Craig Timberg, the former Johannesburg bureau chief for The Washington Post, says international AIDS organizations working in Africa went off in the wrong direction in fighting the spread of HIV across the continent.
Violent protests marked the run-up to Sunday's first round of presidential elections in Senegal. Unofficial vote counts indicate a possible run-off between incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade and a former prime minister. Critics say Wade's third term bid is unconstitutional, and they are concerned about corruption and the high cost of living. Host Michel Martin checks in with NPR's West Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.
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