Parallels Many Stories, One World

Five industrial wind turbines form part of the Gorona del Viento power plant on the island of El Hierro. By the end of this year, the power plant is set to generate 100 percent of the energy El Hierro needs, making it the world's first energy-independent island powered only by renewables. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Frayer for NPR

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

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts. Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Support NPR

Support NPR

NPR Shop

Support The Programs You Love

Smoke rises from the Beiji oil refinery during clashes between the Islamic State and Iraqi government forces in Beiji, northern Iraq, on July 30. The militants tried to take the refinery this summer, but government forces have held on. STR/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption STR/EPA/Landov

Jack Ma speaks in Hangzhou, China, on May 10, 2013. Ma shot to fame as the founder of Alibaba, the pioneering Chinese e-commerce site that's poised to be one of the biggest tech IPOs ever when it goes public in New York. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad. Jim Hollander/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Hollander/EPA/Landov

"People call Irn Bru Scotland's other national drink, after whisky," says Sara Grady, who works for a market research firm. Courtesy of Irn Bru hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Irn Bru

A woman in Buenos Aires walks with her dog past a mural that reads "Vultures" in Spanish. The mural is a reference to the dispute between the Argentine government and U.S. hedge funds. Victor R. Caivano/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Victor R. Caivano/AP

An Israeli Merkava tank drives past a field of sunflowers along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as it moves out of the Gaza Strip on Aug. 3. Gil Cohen Magen /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Gil Cohen Magen /AFP/Getty Images

People holding Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar flags demonstrate in front of the French-built Vladivostok warship in St. Nazaire, western France, on June 1. The protesters are opposed to the sale of the Vladivostok and Sevastopol warships to Russia. Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images

Taxi drivers protest against Uber, an on-demand car service app, during a 24-hour strike July 1 in Barcelona, Spain. They say it undercuts their business and are calling for the government to ban it. David Ramos/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Ramos/Getty Images

Malaysia Airlines had been struggling even before two of its flights were lost this year. Analysts say the national carrier faces either bankruptcy or privatization. Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraq's Kurdish region anchors near Ashkelon, Israel. It's believed the oil has been off-loaded into Israel. The U.S. and Baghdad oppose the Kurdish export of oil from the autonomous northern region. David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images

Barcelona football star Lionel Messi (right) leaves a courthouse in Gava, Spain, in September 2013, after a hearing on tax evasion charges. Messi and his father paid $6.5 million to try to settle the case, but his father may still go on trial. Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Egyptians gather at a petrol station in Cairo as the government drastically raised fuel prices to tackle a bloated subsidy system on July 5. Mahmoud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mahmoud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images

Scotland's offshore oil platforms in the North Sea generate significant wealth for the nation — especially for the Shetland Islands, where oil tanker traffic boosts the local economy. Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

A fisherman walks the streets of Mariel, on Cuba's northwest coast. In the distance, construction is underway on the Port of Mariel, where the government is creating a special free-trade zone. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Cuban entrepreneur Barbara Fernandez Franco oversees two employees in the small living room of her home in Havana, the Cuban capital. Her boyfriend, Michel Perez Casanova (right), works in the tourism industry but also helps with her business. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Two customers sit having a drink in the Diani Sea resort in Diani, Kenya, outside Mombasa, on May 16. Travel advisories issued by Western countries are hitting Mombasa hard, forcing hotel closures and thousands of workers to lose their jobs. Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images

Men work on the Panama Canal locks near Panama City, on Feb. 21. An acrimonious financial dispute has slowed work on an expansion of the 100-year-old canal that will accommodate larger ships. The work is now expected to be completed next year. Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images