National & World News

Coverage of national and world news from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

"My hometown, where I once lived, is a mountain village with blossoming flowers."

The lyrics to this folk song, which is sung in both Koreas, evoke nostalgia for a time and a place to which one can never return.

On a recent day, it is playing at a makeshift shrine in downtown Seoul. There's an altar with flowers, alongside photos of 42-year-old North Korean defector Han Seong-ok and her 6-year-old son, Kim Dong-jin.

Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News, has died. She was 75.

Roberts died Tuesday due to complications from breast cancer, according to a family statement.

For Carlos Marroquín, the chickens are all that's left.

For the last several years, Marroquín has struggled to feed his wife and five children with the proceeds from their ten-acre corn farm. They live in a mud-brick house with a sloped terra-cotta roof, nestled among pines, acacias and prickly pear cactus in Guatemala's mountainous northern Quiché region, part of the country's Dry Corridor that has been gripped by a multiyear drought.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

An explosion at a campaign rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani killed at least 26 people and wounded more than 30 others on Tuesday. Ghani reportedly was not harmed in the bombing, for which the Taliban later claimed responsibility.

The Taliban also said it was behind a second attack in which a suicide bomber detonated a device in Kabul, in an area near the U.S. Embassy and other official buildings. At least 22 people died and dozens were injured in the blast around 1 p.m. local time, the Afghan Interior Ministry says.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party are facing voters for the second time in just five months in an unprecedented contest that has the potential to end Netanyahu's decade-long grip on power.

Months of political limbo followed the previous election in April that saw Likud and the centrist Blue and White party each win 35 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel's parliament.

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