There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.
Holley Mangold successfully completes the 145 kilogram "clean and jerk" lift at the trials for the U.S. Olympic women's weightlifting team in March. Mangold came to weightlifting after trying her hand at several other sports.
Credit Jamie Sabau / Getty Images
Holley Mangold played football for 12 years in her hometown of Kettering, Ohio — including with her high school varsity team.
Near the back of the North YMCA in Columbus, Ohio, several men and women line up on a row of beat-up platforms. They take turns practicing the two lifts that make up Olympic weightlifting; the "Snatch," and the "Clean and Jerk."
The goal? To hoist large amounts of weight from the floor into an overhead position.
Among the lifters here is 5-foot-8 inch, 350-pound Holley Mangold. She is the epitome of power, in appearance, attitude and athletic ability.
The African nation of Kenya is attempting to get more than 1 million men between the ages of 15 and 49 circumcised by the end of 2013. If successful, this could be a groundbreaking effort in the fight to curb the spread of HIV.
Around the time I turned 12, I figured out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: an alcoholic.
I didn't actually know what it meant to be an alcoholic, but I knew that one day, I would drink copious amounts and dash around the streets of Paris, preferably in the company of bullfighters, bankrupts, impotent newspaper correspondents, and morbidly depressed, exotically beautiful divorcees.
In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.
Of the more than 1 million people in the U.S. infected with HIV, nearly half are black men, women and children — even though blacks make up about 13 percent of the population. AIDS is the primary killer of African-Americans ages 19 to 44, and the mortality rate is 10 times higher for black Americans than for whites.
Feng Jianmei and her husband could not pay $6,000 in fines for violating China's one-child policy. In June, when she was seven months pregnant, local officials abducted her and forced her to have an abortion, her family says. The case has provoked widespread outrage.
Credit Quirky China News / Rex Features
People wait to have their blood pressure checked in Shanghai in April. China's one-child policy is more than just a human rights issue; demographers warn that the low birth rate will result in a shortage of workers to drive the economy.
Credit Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images
A mother and child walk in Shanghai. China's one-child policy has been in place since 1979. There's now a debate about whether the policy should be eased or dropped.
Credit Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images
Young and old exercise at the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing in October. Experts say China's health care costs will be difficult to fund due to the population imbalance.
Credit Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images
Zhang Yanyun paints buildings in east China's Jiangsu province. He has three kids, but wishes he only had one because raising a child in China has become so expensive.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
A mother feeds her child in Beijing, Oct. 24, 2011. Experts say many Chinese do not want to have additional children, regardless of official policy.
Deng Jiyuan and Feng Jianmei, a couple from northwest China's Shaanxi province, have a 6-year-old daughter. Under China's complicated birth calculus, they were barred from having another child. But they tried anyway.
"We planned this pregnancy because our parents are old, they want us to have another child," Deng, 30, explained by cellphone last month from his home in Shaanxi.
That decision led to a sequence of events that has ignited a firestorm and renewed debate over the country's one-child policy.