The World

"I think in a past life I was a fish," said Wang Xiao Xue, a mermaid-in-training. Mermaid diving is a fast-growing trend in China, with 60 mermaid diving training centers — more than in any other country. 

The World's Latest Edition podcast

Wildfires in Siberia are burning intensely and carbon emissions are near an all-time high from Russian fires. We look at what's causing the blazes and how they compare to fires raging across North America. Also, a Myanmar swimmer has surrendered his Olympic dreams and a shot at his nation's first Olympic medal, all to protest the country's military. And, Cubans and Haitians have emigrated to the US on a large scale for decades. With recent unrest in those two nations, we take a look at immigration policies toward them.

2020 Toyko Olympics

It's somewhat rare for the US and Iran — nations that haven't had diplomatic relations for more than four decades — to get together in anything, from sporting events to nuclear talks. It happened Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics as the US and Iranian basketball teams squared off on the court.

Securing a spot at the Olympics isn’t a lifelong promise. The International Olympic Committee has cut sports like plunge-for-distance, tug of war and rope climbing out of the Games, but competitions have continued outside the Olympic ring.

Sacred Nation

For decades under the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s school curriculum was infused with Islamic ideology. As the new government set out to change that, an intense debate has grown over the future of Sudan's school curriculum.

The Nuba rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) are negotiating with the transitional government, and reviving an age-old issue in Sudan: secularism, or the separation between religion and the state.

Photography

With spectators banned from venues of the 2020 Olympics, for many of the visitors to Tokyo, the only way to get a glimpse of this unique capital city hosting the games is from a vehicle, whisking the sporting guests from athlete village or hotel to venue.

The 11-day war between Israel and Hamas featured the same waves of predawn Israeli airstrikes, the same continuous rocket fire out of the impoverished Gaza Strip, and the same lopsided casualty toll, with Palestinians making up the vast majority of the more than 250 killed. And like past wars between Israel and Hamas, it took a heavy toll on children.

Environment
Immigration

Greek officials made assurances early on that the more than 35,000 people who live in refugee camps on the Greek islands and the mainland would be accommodated by the country’s vaccine rollout plan. But more than four months into the inoculation drive, a plan for asylum-seekers has not been finalized.

Conflict & Justice