These pastel boxes originally owned by Mary Cassatt have recently been acquired by the National Gallery of Art. Click here for a closer look. National Gallery of Art hide caption

itoggle caption National Gallery of Art

Fine Art

Now That's An Artifact: See Mary Cassatt's Pastels At The National Gallery

Cassatt gave the three well-loved, wooden boxes of pastels to a friend's 10-year-old granddaughter, who later recalled: "I wasted lots of them on playing and swapping them with my friends."

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters take up positions around the town of Gwer in northern Iraq on Sept. 18. The Kurdish militia is aligned with the U.S. in the battle against the Islamic State. Mohamed Messara/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mohamed Messara/EPA/Landov

Parallels - World News

Why Does The U.S. Like Iraq's Kurds But Not Syria's?

The U.S. urgently needs allies on the ground in Syria. Yet it has given no sign that it's willing to work with Kurdish militias who are already fighting the Islamic State group in Syria.

Germany is the world's third-largest exporter of arms, like this bazooka destined for northern Iraq, being packed up at a German military base on Thursday. The country's economy minister has held up hundreds of weapons exports since he took office in December, angering many in the defense industry. Carsten Koall/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Parallels - World News

Germany's New Economy Minister Takes Aim At Arms Exports

The nation is the world's third-largest arms exporter, and many weapons go to countries with questionable human rights records. Sigmar Gabriel wants to change that — but not all Germans are on board.

India's Deep Space antenna in Bangalore. Twelve hours a day it retrieves even the weakest signal from the Mars Orbiter millions of miles away. The other 12 hours, NASA's global network of satellite dishes helps India track the spacecraft scheduled to arrive in the Martian orbit on Wednesday. Julie McCarthy for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Julie McCarthy for NPR

Parallels - World News

India's Orbiter To Join NASA's Maven Around Mars — On A Shoestring

India's Mars Orbiter Mission is set to reach Mars on Wednesday, just days after a U.S. NASA probe began its orbit around the Red Planet. The difference? India did it on a much tighter budget.

Low water levels, like at this reservoir near Gustine, Calif., bring birds and mosquitoes together and help transmit West Nile virus to humans. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Shots - Health News

In California, Less Water Means More West Nile Virus KQED

You'd think that mosquitoes wouldn't like drought, but that's not what's happening in California, where stagnant water has spawned more mosquitoes. Cases of West Nile virus have doubled since last year.

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