This week TheGuardian newspaper shared with its readers a document that few people ever get to see — an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court telling Verizon to share countless phone records with the National Security Agency. The White House would not confirm the existence of this surveillance effort, but it insisted Congress is fully briefed about such activities. Members of Congress confirmed that they knew.
For years, there were only three countries in the world that didn't officially sell Coca-Cola: Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
Now, after 60 years, Coke is back in Myanmar. Sanctions were lifted last year on the country. Just this week, Coca-Cola opened its new bottling plant outside of Yangon. Now all the company has to do is figure out a way to sell all that Coke to people who may not remember what it tastes like.
The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things — including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits aren't any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values on the population
The U.S. Supreme Court, on the brink of issuing two same-sex-marriage decisions, is facing a question that Margaret Marshall had to resolve for her state a decade ago, as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Her decision became the first to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.
Shengqiao Chen spent two and a half years at York County prison while his asylum case was pending. He has been living in the United States for longer than he lived in China, and has no immediate family left in his native Fujian Province. Few people call him by his Chinese given name any longer — his wife and children know him only as Sean.
Credit Diptych by Katja Heinemann for NPR
Shengqiao Chen, left, met Zehao Zhou while in prison waiting for asylum. Zhou was his translator. Here, Zhou shares memorabilia with Chen — 20 years after the Golden Venture arrived in the U.S.
In 1993, a freighter ran aground off Queens, N.Y. The Golden Venture had nearly 300 people on it who were being smuggled into the U.S. from China.
Passengers cited China's forced-sterilization program and governmental persecution from political expression as reasons to climb aboard the Golden Venture. Some paid the smugglers $30,000 to board the ship. An organized crime syndicate would front the money, and the passengers would have to work off the debt, often in restaurants like indentured servants.