The port city of Mbandaka on the Congo River is a major commercial and transportation hub 500 miles from the capital city of Kinshasa. Shoppers and merchants trade in the city's outdoor markets. Jonathan Blakley/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jonathan Blakley/NPR

A fisherman prepares to cast a net into the rapids at Stanley Falls near Kisangani on the Congo River. Emery Makumeno for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emery Makumeno for NPR

A screenshot of Egyptian riot police, taken from a video about protests on the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights' YouTube channel. EIPR/YouTube hide caption

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Moses (right), a gay Ugandan man seeking asylum in the United States, hides his face with a makeshift hood as he attends a press conference in Washington, D.C., in February. The press conference was organized to announce the formation of an event to "affirm inclusive values and call on all nations, including Uganda, to decriminalize the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people." Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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More than half of the world's Muslims live along the 10th Parallel; so do most of the world's Christians. It's a place where ideological -- and geographic -- conflicts often arise. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

A farmer waits for food distribution near Dakoro, in northern Niger, in May. U.N. agencies sounded alarms back in November about a growing food crisis in the West African nation, one of the world's poorest. Now more than 8 million people in Niger are in desperate need of aid. Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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South African soldiers check the documents of residents of the Diepsloot township north of Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 9. Police and army had deployed due to growing rumors of attacks on foreigners. Jerome Delay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jerome Delay/AP