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The next Game of Thrones could be a sci-fi epic set in Africa.

On Monday, Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor posted an announcement on her Facebook page:

"I'm finally free to announce this: My World Fantasy Award winning novel WHO FEARS DEATH has been optioned by HBO and is now in early development as a TV series with George R. R. Martin as executive producer. Note: This did not happen overnight. It's been nearly 4 years coming."

News this summer of a flu vaccine patch sparked a lot of chatter. Could getting vaccinated be as easy as putting on a bandage? Could there be fewer, or at least smaller, needles in our future?

Some companies and academic labs are working to make those things happen.

They're refining technologies that involve tiny needles, less than a millimeter long, and needle-free injectors that can send a dose of vaccine through your skin in a fraction of a second.

Some of these technologies are already available on the market, while others are still being tested.

Former Child Bride Is Pedaling Her Way To A Brighter Future

Jul 22, 2017

At 14, Jenipher Sanni married a man who already had a wife and kids. He yelled at her a lot. She dropped out of school.

Now 20, she's left her husband and is a newly minted high school graduate. And she's helping girls in her community stay in school.

Governments have struggled to come up with effective ways to stop people from cutting down trees.

That's because unchecked deforestation can cause soil to erode, worsen flooding and destroy natural habitats for wildlife. It's become a serious problem throughout the globe. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of worldwide emissions from burning, and loss of trees reduces the amount of carbon being reabsorbed into the ground.

A 50-cent meningitis vaccine. Kid-friendly malaria drugs. A vaccine to prevent a deadly diarrheal disease.

These U.S.-funded global health innovations have saved millions of lives around the world. But they also come with an added bonus for Americans.

They talk about being weighed down by self-doubt, then laugh off the offensive term "feminazis."

Some idolize Priyanka Chopra, a Bollywood actress who "acts like a boss" chasing bad guys in ABC's thriller, Quantico.

And no one is afraid to "ooh and ah" when one girl says her sister won Miss Chinatown US, a beauty pageant for Chinese-Americans.

Why Zika Is Especially Hard On The Women Of Brazil

Jul 19, 2017

Did the Zika virus put a heavier burden on women than it did on men when the virus swept through Brazil?

In nursing homes and residential facilities around the world, health care workers are increasingly asking dementia patients questions: What are your interests? How do you want to address us? What should we do to celebrate the life of a friend who has passed away?

The questions are part of an approach to care aimed at giving people with memory loss and other cognitive problems a greater sense of control and independence. At its core is the idea that an individual with dementia should be treated as a whole person and not "just" a patient.

It's the famine that not enough people have heard about.

An estimated 20 million people in four countries — Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen — are at risk of famine and starvation. And the word isn't getting out, says Justin Forsyth, a deputy executive director of UNICEF.

Do-It-Yourself Farmer Grows Strawberries In The Air

Jul 18, 2017

Hezam Kittani didn't want U.S. handouts to help him grow strawberries.

He wanted to be a do-it-yourself berry farmer — and to teach others to follow in his footsteps.

Strawberries were barely grown in the West Bank, where Kittani lives, before 2009. Today they're a 250-ton yearly crop. And that's because of $705,358 in grants from USAID for farmers in this "lower middle income region" (as classified by the World Bank).

Benjamin Wolfe sticks his nose into a Ziploc bag and takes a whiff. "Ooh! That's actually kind of nice," he says. Inside the bag is a pungent, beige goop. It's a sourdough starter — a slurry of water, flour, yeasts and bacteria — from which loaves of delicious bread are born. And it's those microbes that have the attention of Wolfe, a microbiologist at Tufts University.

People like to make jokes about gonorrhea.

Maybe it's because this sexually transmitted disease is known as "the clap" (perhaps a reference to the French term "clapier," meaning brothel, or to an early treatment – clapping a heavy object on the man's sexual organ to get discharge to come out).

As the old (and not very funny) joke goes, "if you spread it around, is it called applause?"

PHOTOS: The Sidewalk Pill Peddlers Of Port-Au-Prince

Jul 15, 2017

There is no way to miss the medicine sellers on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. They carry spires of curved cardboard covered with multicolored pills — painkillers, antibiotics, Viagra knockoffs, abortion pills and cough syrups for children.

There's no question about it: Breast-feeding is hard. And we aren't born knowing to do it.

As we reported a few weeks ago, women all around the world have problems when they first start breast-feeding. From midtown Manhattan to northern Namibia, they need help to learn how to do it.

How did Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever come to strike in Spain? And how worried should we be?

That's the question a team of epidemiologists and microbiologists has been trying to answer for the past year.

The disease is a tick-borne, Ebola-like virus. Because it's a lesser-known illness, it is often misdiagnosed. So there aren't very good official statistics on the number of cases in many parts of the world.

Public discussion of periods is still a taboo in many parts of the world. But this week in India, everybody's talking about the topic.

The reason: an announcement by a Mumbai media firm called Culture Machine: The company has announced that its 75 women employees could take the first day of their period as a paid day off if they experience pain or discomfort. Some reactions have been supportive — and some not.

New legislation signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday makes female genital mutilation a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The laws apply both to doctors who conduct the procedure and parents who transport a child to undergo it.

At a press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 8, French President Emmanuel Macron answered a question from a Cote d'Ivoire journalist.

The reporter asked why there was no Marshall Plan for Africa.

In 2014, Boko Haram seized the town of Gwoza in northeast Nigeria, killing hundreds of people. The insurgents declared that Gwoza would be the seat of their self-proclaimed caliphate. It was a perfect place for them, protected by a mountainside, with caves and tunnels for hiding out.

Not that long ago, Maria Nalubega, 16, suspected she was pregnant.

The teen from Mbuya-Kinawataka, a slum in Uganda, had not been using contraception with her boyfriend of two years. She feared what her neighbors might think if they saw her buying condoms at the local shop. She was terrified to ask for advice from her single mother, who expected to her to abstain from sex until marriage.

And she simply thought she was too young to become pregnant.

If you happen to be a cancer patient needing radiation in Senegal, getting past the shock of the diagnosis and onto treatment is a major hardship at the moment.

The country's only radiotherapy machine — indeed for a long while the only one in French-speaking West Africa — is broken. That's the machine whose radiation is used to treat primarily breast, head and neck tumors and bone cancer.

Political tension between the United States and Mexico is making headlines with talk of disrupting longstanding trade deals and constructing a border wall.

And then there's the story of Antonio Garcia.

A mechanic from southern Sonora, he had been limping around on crutches for three years. His right leg was amputated below the knee after a motorcycle accident and buying a prosthetic leg was beyond his financial reach.

Six years ago Sunday, South Sudan's flag was hoisted in Juba.

Amid an atmosphere of optimism and hope, South Sudan became the world's newest country, breaking away from its longtime rival, Sudan.

The moment marked the end of decades of fighting between rebels in the predominantly Christian south of Sudan and their northern Arab rivals in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who was in Juba that day, reported that with the parades and children singing, there was a mood of excitement.

Last week, Beyonce broke a year-long hiatus from tweeting by announcing a new initiative, BeyGood4Burundi — a partnership between her charitable foundation and UNICEF.

"Mothers in Burundi want to provide clean, safe water for their children. Let's help them, together," she wrote on June 30.

Zachariah Ibrahim dreams of being a pilot. That's not so unusual for a 13-year-old kid. But not that long ago, Zachariah didn't have many dreams for the future.

Two young Nigerians helped give him hope again.

Shhh, we just can't talk about that.

Omigosh: We. Just. Don't. Do. That.

If you haven't guessed, we're talking about taboos.

Taboos are part of every culture, every family, every circle of friends.

We're planning to explore taboos in an upcoming series of stories. We'd like to hear from our audience about taboos they've encountered in the world of global health and development.

So tell us: What global taboos should we consider? Share your ideas in the tool below.

Tap into Snapchat's newest feature, Snap Map, and get a peek into people's lives around the world. You might see a woman playing with her puppies in Guatemala or a view from the car window on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.

They're called snaps — these ten-second video clips or photos that disappear after a day. To take a look, pinch two fingers on the app's main screen. A world map will open up with a heat map of snaps that submitted to a public stream in the last 24 hours. The biggest hot spots are in North America, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula.

They were teenage brothers. They had big dreams to be doctors. But there was no way it could happen. They were living in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war, studying in classrooms set up in tents.

"We thought we were forgotten," says Kamiar Alaei. But that was a long time ago. He's now 42 and an internationally recognized doctor.

Cholera is spreading rapidly across Yemen, where civil war has decimated the public health services needed to contain the outbreak.

Nearly 1,600 people have died from the disease in the last two months; an estimated 5,000 are infected every day.

Dr. Sherin Varkey of UNICEF speaks with NPR's Kelly McEvers about the humanitarian response to the crisis.


In the the 1960s, a Stanford psychologist ran an experiment to study children's self-control.

It's called the marshmallow test. And it's super simple.

Kids ages 3 to 5 choose a treat — an Oreo cookie, a pretzel stick or a marshmallow. Then researchers give the child brief instructions: You can eat the treat now, but if you can wait for me to return, you'll get two treats.

The researchers leave the room. And the child just has to sit there staring at a marshmallow — and deciding whether to exert self-control or to dig in.

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