Parallels Many Stories, One World

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

itoggle caption Sebastiao Moreira/EPA/Landov

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

itoggle caption Michael Stravato/AP

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

itoggle caption Silvia Izquierdo/AP

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

itoggle caption Scott Heppell/AP

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

itoggle caption Carrie Kahn/NPR

Kenyan police confront university students protesting higher fees on May 20. The police have a reputation for corruption and violence and are not well-liked. But when a popular officer was arrested and charged with a vigilante-style killing, residents took to the streets to support him. Tom Maruko/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Maruko/Barcroft Media/Landov

President Obama has been wary of open-ended military commitments in the Middle East. But the president, shown speaking in Estonia on Sept. 3, now appears likely to expand the current bombing campaign against the Islamic State. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is shown here in a still image posted online in 2011. In a video released this week, he announced that al-Qaida was establishing a faction in the Asian subcontinent with a focus on India. AP hide caption

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Pro-Russian rebels prepare their weapons in the eastern city of Donetsk on Aug. 31. Russia's role in Ukraine has raised tensions between Russia and NATO to their highest level since the Soviet breakup more than two decades ago. Mstislav Chernov/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mstislav Chernov/AP

The RSS, the ideological source of Hindu nationalism, practices dawn drills in a suburban Delhi park. Volunteers rehearse calisthenics, sing patriotic songs and salute their saffron flag as part of their pledge to protect India against potential dangers. Julie McCarthy/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Julie McCarthy/NPR

China's President Xi Jinping has launched a number of crackdowns since coming to power, like suppressing Internet speech. But his anti-corruption drive has made him widely popular among ordinary Chinese. Jorge Silva/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jorge Silva/Reuters/Landov

A Trident submarine makes its way out from Faslane naval base in 2009. Scotland votes on whether it wants independence next month, raising questions about the future of Britain's naval base, including its nuclear subs. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on July 23. While the two countries are close allies, they have exchanged criticism during the recent Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza. Pool/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A mother and child pass through Batey Bembe in the sugar-producing region near the town of Conseulo. Bateys are small, isolated communities made up of sugar cane workers and their families, often consisting of three or four generations. Sarah Tilotta for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sarah Tilotta for NPR

Members of the Pakistani navy march at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, to celebrate Independence Day in Karachi. Security was heavy in the capital Islamabad as the government braced for protests in addition to the ceremonies and celebrations. Fareed Khan/AP hide caption

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