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NPR

Strict Schedules Dictate Westerners' Trips To North Korea

Audie Cornish talks with Political Tours director Nicholas Wood about the little-known tourism industry for those who want to visit North Korea.
NPR

Far Before Pope Francis, Jesuits Were Repressed By Some Roman Catholic Leaders

Pope Francis' status as the first Jesuit marks a momentous milestone in history. Relations between Jesuits and the Vatican have seen deep crises in the 479 years since the order was founded as humble missionaries. Their growing power and monopoly over education generated suspicion and hostility around Europe. In the 18th century, Jesuits were repressed by some of Europe's Catholic super-powers — Portugal, Spain, France. Emaciated, ragged Jesuit priests began roaming Europe, looking for refuge. Pressured by temporal powers, Pope Clement 14th jailed the Jesuits' leader, banned the order, closed their premises, and shared out their wine collection among his cardinals. There were further tensions in the 20th century in Latin America, between the Polish anti-Soviet Pope John II and Jesuits in Latin America, who were seen as too doctrinally close to Marxists opposing military dictatorships there.
NPR

Iran's Political Infighting Continues, Despite Calls To Maintain Calm

Iran's raucous political infighting shows no sign of calming down, despite the best efforts of the political leadership. With presidential elections slated for June, new competitors are applying to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while the president continues to lash out at the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps and, indirectly, at supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Meanwhile, a riot among farmers in Isfahan recently suggests that public unhappiness with the economy will be an important issue in the campaign.
NPR

From Police Chief To Political Office, Jobs Are For Sale In China

China's new president has vowed to crack down on corruption. One widespread practice involves paying bribes to get high-level positions in politics or the bureaucracy.

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