Politics & Policy : Parallels U.S. policy can change the course of another country and, increasingly, the reverse is true. From social issues to geopolitical strategy, we connect the dots — and seek out possible lessons for the future.

Parallels

Many Stories, One World

Politics & Policy

Outgoing Uruguay President Jose Mujica's face illustrates a T-shirt supporting his new law legalizing marijuana. Uruguay's citizens are voting for Mujica's replacement on Sunday, and the expected winner is a candidate from his party. Matilde Campodonico/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Matilde Campodonico/AP

Uruguay Tries To Tame A 'Monster' Called Cannabis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/367258919/367544527" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, shown in Tehran in March, supports the nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and other world powers. Iran is now receiving some $700 million a month in sanctions relief. Those watching the negotiations include former U.S. hostages in Iran, who have sought compensation for years. STR/AP hide caption

toggle caption
STR/AP

For Former U.S. Hostages, A Deal With Iran Also Remains Elusive

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/367200914/367362483" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Casa Dominique is an ecolodge on Lanzarote's northern coast. Julie Genicot, a French trekking guide, has lived in Lanzarote since her grandparents opened the Casa Dominique when she was a child. She worries that offshore oil drilling might ruin the natural environment she grew up in. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Lauren Frayer/NPR

Sun, Sand And Offshore Drilling In Spain's Famed Canary Islands

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/366366561/367047154" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (left) shake hands as Oman's Minister for Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi (second from right) and the former EU top diplomat Catherine Ashton watch in Muscat, Oman on Nov. 9. Iran is holding talks with six world powers in Vienna this weekend in advance Monday's deadline for a deal on Iran's nuclear program. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Pro-independence demonstrators gather to support the nonbinding informal independence poll in Pamplona, in northern Spain, on Sunday. Alvaro Barrientos/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Alvaro Barrientos/AP

Catalonia Votes For Independence; Spain Says It Won't Happen

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/362952892/362952893" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Cold War Broadcast That Gave East German Dissidents A Voice

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/361160675/362482367" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Visitors walk past a portrait of late communist leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Sept. 30, the eve of National Day. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Capitalism Is Making China Richer, But Not Democratic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/362284553/362351994" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Catalonia's President Artur Mas is presiding over the region's nonbinding independence vote on Sunday. Spain opposes the ballot and insists that the Catalonia will remain part of Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
David Ramos/Getty Images

Catalonia's President Makes His Case For Independence From Spain

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/362034832/362086833" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, 25 years ago this weekend. East Germans flooded into West Berlin after border guard Harald Jaeger ignored orders and opened the gate for the huge, unruly crowd. Alain Nogues/Sygma/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption
Alain Nogues/Sygma/Corbis

The Man Who Disobeyed His Boss And Opened The Berlin Wall

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/361785478/362086827" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Alicia Morant, 53, poses with her son Oriol Puig, 29, in their apartment near Barcelona's Sagrada Familia church. Both mother and son support Catalan independence from Spain, but they have different reasons for doing so. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Lauren Frayer/NPR

New Generation Of Catalonian Separatists Looks To Future, Not Past

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/358107234/361942921" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A statue of Jesus Christ called "Cristo Rey" is prominently located near the entrance of the Dimitrov neighborhood, which used to be so violent, people joked the Christ was being held up at gunpoint. Juan Carlos for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Juan Carlos for NPR

With A Soft Approach On Gangs, Nicaragua Eschews Violence

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359612148/359632773" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

French riot policemen force out migrants who were hidden in a truck that was making its way to the ferry terminal in Calais in western France on Wednesday. The cross-Channel port has become the last barrier for economic and political migrants trying to enter Britain illegally. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption
Pascal Rossignol/Reuters/Landov

Stranded In France, Migrants Believe Britain Is The Answer

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/358118327/359065399" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon delivers a statement at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Jerusalem in June. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Israel's Defense Minister: Mideast Borders 'Absolutely' Will Change

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/358115298/358238917" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript