Parallels Many Stories, One World

Visitors walk past a portrait of late communist leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Sept. 30, the eve of National Day. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Catalonia's President Artur Mas is presiding over the region's nonbinding independence vote on Sunday. Spain opposes the ballot and insists that the Catalonia will remain part of Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images hide caption

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The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, 25 years ago this weekend. East Germans flooded into West Berlin after border guard Harald Jaeger ignored orders and opened the gate for the huge, unruly crowd. Alain Nogues/Sygma/Corbis hide caption

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Alicia Morant, 53, poses with her son Oriol Puig, 29, in their apartment near Barcelona's Sagrada Familia church. Both mother and son support Catalan independence from Spain, but they have different reasons for doing so. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption

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A statue of Jesus Christ called "Cristo Rey" is prominently located near the entrance of the Dimitrov neighborhood, which used to be so violent, people joked the Christ was being held up at gunpoint. Juan Carlos for NPR hide caption

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French riot policemen force out migrants who were hidden in a truck that was making its way to the ferry terminal in Calais in western France on Wednesday. The cross-Channel port has become the last barrier for economic and political migrants trying to enter Britain illegally. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon delivers a statement at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Jerusalem in June. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Two schoolgirls walk past a barricade on a street outside Hong Kong's government complex on Tuesday. Many protesters have returned to work and to school. Student leaders and government officials agreed Tuesday to hold talks on ending the protests. Chris McGrath/Getty Images hide caption

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A woman walks past umbrellas with pro-democracy slogans written on them at a protest site near Hong Kong government headquarters on Saturday. Wong Maye-E/AP hide caption

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Challenger Marina Silva (left) and incumbent Dilma Rousseff face off during a presidential debate in Aparecida, Brazil, in September. Sebastiao Moreira/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Antonio Cavalcante had a candidate for governor successfully barred after proving he had embezzled millions of dollars while he was a state legislator. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR hide caption

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Anti-abortion demonstrators from the group Derecho a Vivir (Right to Life) take part in a protest in Madrid on Sept. 21. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had pledged to enact a strict anti-abortion law, but has now dropped the plan. Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Nicaragua's Contra rebels in 1990. The U.S. backed the Contras in the 1980s, which led to the ouster of the leftist Sandinista leadership. But the U.S. aid violated American law and contributed to the biggest scandal of President Reagan's administration. Michael Stravato/AP hide caption

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Marina Silva, shown here in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, is tied in polls with incumbent President Dilma Rousseff. Silva, the candidate for Brazil's Socialist Party, says if elected next month, she would be "the first social environmentalist president." Silvia Izquierdo/AP hide caption

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Scotland lowered the voting age to 16 for Thursday's referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or opt for independence. It was widely assumed the teenagers would overwhelmingly vote for independence, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Scott Heppell/AP hide caption

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Migrants at a shelter in southern Mexico say that Mexico's interior checkpoints are making it harder to travel north. Some have given up on reaching the U.S. and are trying to stay in Mexico. Carrie Kahn/NPR hide caption

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