ParallelsParallels

Many Stories, One World

Kiss Me, Kate is the latest in a series of American musicals to be performed at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. "It is such a glorious theater to perform in," says director Lee Blakeley. Vincent Pontent/Courtesy of Théâtre du Châtelet hide caption

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Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem poses in front of "Generation Kill," a piece made with rubber stamps, digital print and paint, at the opening night of his exhibition titled Al Sahwa (The Awakening) at Ayyam gallery in Dubai in 2014. Aya Batrawy/AP hide caption

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (center) and Maria Alyokhina (left) leave a police station near Sochi on Feb. 18, 2014. They'd been arrested earlier in the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics and walked free after being questioned about an alleged theft from a hotel. AFP/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Football has practically no history in China. Some of China's most popular sports are individual ones that don't involve physical contact, like pingpong and badminton. Chinese players say football provides an opportunity to release their aggression. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

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Paul Tang, owner of the People's Bookstore in Hong Kong, is still selling works that are critical of the Chinese leadership and are banned on the mainland. Five people in the Hong Kong book industry disappeared recently. Some have turned up in police custody on the mainland. But Tang says he isn't particularly worried about his safety. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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Egypt's justice ministry says it will begin strictly enforcing a law requiring foreign men to pay to marry a woman 25 years younger or more. Human rights groups say the law only bolsters a business that preys on the poor and the vulnerable. George Peters/Getty Images hide caption

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Han Seohee (right) and fellow North Korean defectors Lee Gwang-sung (left) and Hwang Soyeon (center) are regulars on Moranbong Club, a South Korean talk show featuring North Korean defectors. "There's a lot of prejudice toward North Korean defectors in South Korea," Han says. "So I wanted to show South Koreans that we're living here and trying the best we can." Haeryun Kang/for NPR hide caption

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Religious leaders from more than 100 predominantly Muslim countries attended a summit in Marrakech to counter the extremist ideology that fuels groups like ISIS. Martijn Booister/Flickr hide caption

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Supporters of same-sex civil union gathered last Saturday in central Rome. Italy is the only major Western European country that has not legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions. The Senate plans to take up the question of civil unions on Thursday. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Qiao Guohua patrols a 5-mile stretch of the Great Wall of China. Roughly a third of the wall's 12,000 miles have crumbled to dust, and saving what's left may be the world's greatest challenge in cultural preservation. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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Performing in his play Djihad, writer/director and lead actor Ismaël Saïdi plays a character lamenting his life in prison upon returning from fighting in Syria. Courtesy of @djihadcompany hide caption

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A boy fishes in polluted Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro in August 2015. The bay will be the sailing venue for the Olympic Games this summer. Brazil is facing concerns over polluted water, mass transportation and budget issues as it prepares for the games. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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French soldiers guard access to a Jewish school in Marseille a day after a teenager wielding a butcher knife wounded a teacher. Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The new "critical edition" of Mein Kampf, shown here in a Munich bookstore on Friday, is the first version of Adolf Hitler's notorious manifesto to be published in Germany since the end of World War II. Matthias Schrader/AP hide caption

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plays with children as he inspects a day care center in Yokohama in 2013. More than 20,000 Japanese children are on wait lists for day care. Kyodo/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Russians flocked to Egypt's Red Sea resorts, like the one shown here in Sharm el-Sheikh on Nov. 7. But after a Russian plane was blown up, Russians have been barred from going. Russian tourists have also stopped going to Turkey, which recently shot down a Russian military plane. Ahmed Abd El-Latif/AP hide caption

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A veiled woman and a man embrace in this work by Mohammed Labban at the recent art exhibition "LoudArt," an annual event in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The exhibit, curated by a woman, often challenges conservative traditions in the kingdom. Deborah Amos / NPR hide caption

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A couple watches fireworks exploding over Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 1. Some 2 million people visit the beach on New Year's Eve. Lifeguards say they usually perform more rescues than any other time of the year. Felipe Dana/AP hide caption

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Jamil Mohamad Amin, 16, (left), Zara Hussein, 16, (center) and Vice Principal Silke Donath at Johanna-Eck School in Berlin. The school has students from many backgrounds. Both students are Syrian Kurds who migrated to Germany. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR hide caption

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The Rev. Vsevolod Chaplin, shown here in 2012, was dismissed with little explanation. The high-ranking religious conservative was known for making controversial statements about politics and public morals. Ivan Sekretarev/AP hide caption

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