Earlier efforts to use gene therapy to treat a rare immune disorder in young children failed when some of the children got leukemia. Scientists say they think they may have figured it out, with eight children now living normal toddler lives.
It was the spring of 1999 in Moscow, and two of the 20th century's great revolutionary leaders, South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Russia's Boris Yeltsin, were having their first face-to-face talks as presidents of their nations. Yeltsin was struggling, but with a few simple gestures, Mandela changed the narrative.
In many parts of India, women are prevented from inheriting property, a practice which makes it harder to get bank loans. Host Scott Simon talks to Kalpana Sharma, a columnist for The Hindu newspaper, about the first women-only, government-run bank in India, opened to give women a financial boost.
Crowds have gathered outside two of Nelson Mandela's former homes in Johannesburg, including one in the black township of Soweto. Although the official funeral is next week, NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Scott Simon that South Africans are paying informal tribute this weekend.
The South African leader, a former boxer, knew hosting the Rugby World Cup in 1995 would be an opportunity to bring the country together. Host Scott Simon speaks with journalist John Carlin, author of the book that later became the movie Invictus, about Nelson Mandela's shrewd use of sports.
Venezuelans go to the polls on Sunday in local elections. A strong opposition showing could force the increasingly authoritarian presidency of Nicolas Maduro to change course. Among the candidates: a former Major League Baseball player-turned rapper.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have been at odds over a security agreement that allows U.S. troops to remain in the country past 2014. Hagel also met with leaders of Gulf nations to assure them the U.S. is not abandoning those ties in favor of a nuclear deal with Iran.
By the time he died, Nelson Mandela was considered one of the few giants on the world stage. As NPR's Scott Simon remembers, he was not alone in offering his life for freedom, so the acclaim justly heaped upon Mandela is also a credit to those who worked, served and led with him.
Many Syrians fled their country and took refuge just across the border, planning to wait out the war. But now, a growing number are working with smugglers to get to northern Europe. The Syrians say they see no end in sight to the civil war and want to start a new life.
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