Parallels Many Stories, One World

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe, shown here in a 2013 photo, recently received a doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe — though it appears she was in the program no more than a few months. Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

An Afghan firefighter emerges from the smoke from a fire in a Kabul clothing market in 2012. The fire department is remarkably professional in a city where few institutions function. Mohammad Ismail/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mohammad Ismail/Reuters /Landov

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Peat the kitten kept Scotland's Glenturret Distillery free of mice that are attracted to the grain used in production. The 6-month-old kitten was also an ambassador who was featured in public relations photos. But Peat died Monday, apparently after being hit by a car. Fraser Band/Volpa hide caption

itoggle caption Fraser Band/Volpa

A man looks out towards the US from the Mexican side of the border fence that divides the two countries in San Diego. The U.S. Border Patrol says it has seen about a 60 percent drop in the number of Central Americans apprehended at the border. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Hadrian's Wall marks the Roman Empire's northernmost boundary, and at one point is less than a mile from today's border between England and Scotland. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

In Peru's annual Blood Festival, a condor is tied to the back of a bull and tries to gouge its eyes, while the bull attempts to shake off the giant bird. The event is popular in many parts of the country, but conservationists say this threatens a bird already at risk. Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato for NPR

A statue of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin outside an apartment complex in Schwerin, Germany. Erected in 1985, four years before communism collapsed in East Germany, it's believed to be the last Lenin statue in Germany and the town is divided over whether it should stay. The inscription reads, "Decree on land," referring to a Lenin manifesto that said workers were the real owners of the land. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR

Nearly everyone fishes for a living on Laos' Don Sadam Island, near the site of the controversial Don Sahang dam. Locals and environmentalists alike are worried about the dam's effects on fish migration. Michael Sullivan/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Sullivan/NPR

Dr. James Logan, an entomologist, studies mosquitoes from around the world in an effort to make them less dangerous. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine keeps them in a cavern beneath the streets of London. The bowls contain mosquito larvae in water, while the boxes are where the adults live. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Joe Cicippio was held in chains at 20 different locations in Lebanon. Some hostages have had trouble readjusting following their release. He says he focused on the good things in his life, including music, to get him through his captivity. Greg Myre/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Greg Myre/NPR

A Pakistani man reads a newspaper at a closed market in Karachi on Wednesday following the arrest of Altaf Hussain. For more than two decades, Hussain has wielded control over his party — and, by extension, parts of the city — from half a world away in London. Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images

Panama has seen dramatic growth since taking over the Panama Canal in 2000 from the U.S. That prosperity can be seen in Panama City's rapidly developing skyline. However, many have not yet seen the benefits, and the country still suffers from widespread poverty. Arnulfo Franco/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Arnulfo Franco/AP

Chinese mourners placed flowers and lit candles at the scene of an attack last week that killed 39 people in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi. When people used social media to call for a protest, authorities tried to break up the gathering. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

The Beirut Holiday Inn rises behind the man who built it, Abdal Mohsin Kattan, in 1975. The Holiday Inn was one of the leading hotels in Beirut at a time when it was the most glamorous city in the Middle East. But when the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975, the hotel was fiercely contested by rival militias. Lebanese are still debating what to do with the building. Thomas J. Abercrombie/National Geographic/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Thomas J. Abercrombie/National Geographic/Getty Images

The Rock of Gibraltar, as seen from the Spanish town of La Linea de la Concepcion, at Spain's southern tip. Gibraltar has been British territory for 301 years, but many Spaniards want it back. Fresh squabbles over fishing rights cropped up recently. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Frayer/NPR

Louise Hastie, the shelter manager of Nowzad Dogs in Kabul, holds a stray puppy named Aki. Afghanistan has a large population of street cats and dogs. While there are no government programs to control the animals, foreigners have taken in some. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary. Lucy Craft for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lucy Craft for NPR