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Many Stories, One World

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

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

itoggle caption AP

Dr. Nadim Uddin Siddiqui hosts a weekly call-in show about sexual issues on a Pakistani cable television channel. The program, Clinic Online, is a rarity for a conservative Muslim nation, but has proved popular, particularly among women. Abdul Sattar /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Abdul Sattar /NPR

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A campaign poster in Dublin encourages voters to say no to same-sex marriage ahead of a referendum in Dublin on Friday. Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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NPR Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley with her husband, Ulysse Gosset, and son, Maxime, on a ski vacation in the Alps in February. When she first moved to France, Beardsley enjoyed the frequent holidays. But combined with many school breaks, she and other working parents often find it becomes a burden. Courtesy of Eleanor Beardsley hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Eleanor Beardsley

An ancient city at the mouth of the Mediterranean, Ceuta marks its 600th anniversary this year as a European territory. But changing demographics have some people wondering whether the Spanish territory in North Africa should return to local African rule. Here, rooftops in a poor Muslim neighborhood in the city. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Frayer for NPR

The twisting Shanghai Tower (right) is the world's second-tallest building and opens soon. Shen Zhonghai/Gensler hide caption

itoggle caption Shen Zhonghai/Gensler

Yae and Ren were married during Tokyo's Rainbow Pride Weekend in April. One Tokyo ward, or neighborhood, has recognized same-sex marriages, becoming the first place in Japan — or anywhere in East Asia — to do so. Elise Hu/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elise Hu/NPR

On Sunday, about 70 marchers gathered at Seoul's City Hall Square to raise attention for South Korea's single moms. The annual event is in its fifth year. Elise Hu/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elise Hu/NPR

Not exactly what that's for: Two tourists climb on a statue in Huayin, China, near Huashan, or Mount Hua, a famed tourist destination, in May 2013. ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Daniel Gomez (from left), Lister Sena and Ricardo Alvarez were laid off after working for years with Philip Morris in Uruguay. They are now inspectors enforcing the country's tough anti-smoking laws. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR

Haqqathon-ers from the winning team, which developed the social media site Champions of Islam, at the event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Courtesy of Rim-Sarah Alouane hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Rim-Sarah Alouane

Venezuelan comedian Laureano Marquez performs a stand-up routine at a theater in Caracas last year. Marquez says the government is now cracking down on comedians who make jokes about the government and the country's economic problems. Christian Veron/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Christian Veron/Reuters/Landov

The Marquis de Lafayette sailed across the Atlantic to America aboard the original Hermione in 1780 and joined the American rebels in their struggle for independence from Great Britain. This replica will retrace his voyage; it's scheduled to arrive in Yorktown, Va., on June 5. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

Joel Xu, 25, drives in Shanghai for People's Uber, a ride-sharing service. He makes about $4,000 a month – a good wage in Shanghai – and loves meeting new people he'd otherwise never encounter. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

Armenian Christian women pray at St. Giragos Church in southeastern Turkey. The restored church, reopened in 2011, is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East. Sertac Kayar/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Sertac Kayar/Reuters/Landov

During her lifetime, singer and dancer Carmen Miranda (shown here in a dressing room at the London Palladium in 1948) was a huge success in the United States, but rejected at home in Brazil as a sellout. George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images

The website bestenglishname.com uses the answers to questions about subjects such as music, sports and personal style to generate suitable English names. Via bestenglishname.com hide caption

itoggle caption Via bestenglishname.com

Students take the annual College Scholastic Ability Test, or college entrance exam, at a high school in Seoul last November. Students face enormous pressure to do well on the test and get into a top university. Airplanes are grounded on the day of the test so they won't disturb the students. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Best-selling author Liu Cixin's science fiction books are breaking new ground in China's literary world. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

The Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica is in Rome's EUR district. The area has seen a rise in prostitution, and authorities have approved plans for a red light zone where prostitution will be officially tolerated in certain areas. While much of the community appears to support the move, Catholic groups are among those opposed, saying it legitimizes the exploitation of women. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images