First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Parallels

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

China is rolling out an ambitious soccer program. President Xi Jinping is reported to be a big fan who wants China to win a World Cup. Critics say there's too much emphasis on quick results.

Alan Doan likes the fact that Missouri Star Quilt Co. is following in the footsteps of fellow Hamilton native J.C. Penney, but Doan's never been into an actual J.C. Penney store. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Morris/KCUR

Around the Nation

One Family Revitalizes A Small Town With, Yes, Quilts

After launching a quilt company as a desperation move, Jenny Doan and her two savvy kids have shaken up an ancient industry in downtown Hamilton, Mo., thanks in part to popular folksy video tutorials.

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958. AP hide caption

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Parallels

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

Blockbusters like Ben-Hur were filmed at Cinecittà, a 100-acre movie metropolis, during its heyday. After decades of hard times, a tax credit has sparked a revival of "Hollywood on the Tiber."

Science Will Save Us Exxasens 0:09

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Her Comforting Touch Dorena 2:00

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Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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19 Lights At Sea 2:01

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First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR
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An ancient stone tool unearthed at the excavation site near Kenya's Lake Turkana. It's not just the shape and sharp edges that suggest it was deliberately crafted, the researchers say, but also the dozens of stone flakes next to it that were part of the same kit. MPK-WTAP hide caption

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Alan Doan likes the fact that Missouri Star Quilt Co. is following in the footsteps of fellow Hamilton native J.C. Penney, but Doan's never been into an actual J.C. Penney store. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

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