Marc Silver

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Goats and Soda
3:26 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

The U.S. Now Has A 'Girls Count' Law. But Don't Boys Count, Too?

Children in Bangladesh display their birth registration cards.
Jannatul Mawa UNICEF

The world needs to count its girls!

That's the message that President Obama sent earlier this month when he signed the Girls Count Act into law. Congress had previously approved the act by unanimous vote.

There are 220 million children around the world who are uncounted. They were not registered at birth, and they don't have birth certificates.

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sat June 27, 2015

A Boy Won't Let A Lion Get His Goat

A little boy and his goat have an encounter with a painted lion in West Bengal, India.
Courtesy of Partha Kar

A boy, a goat and a lion.

Those are the stars of an award-winning photo called Friendship.

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Goats and Soda
6:20 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Guess Which Country Has The Biggest Increase In Soda Drinking

Vietnam is seeing an increase in soda drinking.
STEPHEN SHAVER BLOOMBERG NEWS

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 1:22 am

Soda is at the crossroads.

The U.S. is still a world leader in taking the pause that refreshes (and causes weight gain).

But soda drinking is flat or declining in the West. The reasons are many: Health consciousness. Bottled water. Energy drinks.

So the Big Soda companies are spending money to develop new markets in low- and middle-income countries. In some of these places, people are earning a bit more than a few years before, so they have more money for soda.

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Goats and Soda
3:55 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

What We Can Learn From A Herd Of Hungry Goats

via Youtube

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 9:05 am

Now that's a gaggle of goats!

There are about 700 of them in the video. They belong to the California business Goats R Us, which keeps 8,000 goats on hand, renting them out to graze on brush, thistles and other undesired plants.

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Goats and Soda
7:16 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

It's Time To Pay Attention To 'Below-The-Belt' Cancers

Kenyan women visit an outreach team from Marie Stopes, a reproductive health organization that can screen for and treat cervical cancer.
Jonathan Torgovnik Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 9:29 am

When an email arrived the other day promoting an "Interfaith Service Focused on Below the Belt Cancers," I was intrigued.

It turns out Thursday, June 18, is the start of the third "Globe-athon to End Women's Cancers." To kickoff this continuing campaign, there will be two days of events in New York City dedicated to making people more aware of the cancers that strike more than 1 million women a year and figuring out the best strategies for diagnosis and treatment.

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Goats and Soda
3:37 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Sexual Violence Against Children Is A Global Problem But Few Get Help

Aly Hurt/NPR

A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that sexual violence against children is a global problem.

Seven countries were surveyed from 2007 to 2013. The first was Swaziland, which wanted to assess and address the problem. The rate of sexual violence against girls was 36.7 percent. Additional countries asked to be surveyed as well. Young people from the age of 13 to 24 were interviewed, with a range of 1,000 to 2,000 for each gender.

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Goats and Soda
10:09 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Your Moment Of Baby Goat Bliss

Screengrab from Sunflower Farm Creamery video.
Sunflower Farm Creamery/Youtube

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 11:25 am

It seems the bad news just won't stop coming.

That boat accident in China.

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Goats and Soda
10:23 am
Wed June 3, 2015

A New U.N. Health Goal Targets Folks 69 And Under. Ageism Or Realism?

The U.N. wants better health for older folks, like nomadic herder Mijiddorj Ayur of South Gobi, Mongolia.
John W. Poole NPR

In September, the U.N. will vote to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals (aka SDGs). They cover issues like poverty, health and climate change. The idea is to encourage the 192 U.N. member states to establish policies that will make the world a better place over the next 15 years.

At least one SDG is turning out to be a bit controversial.

This particular goal calls for a reduction in "premature mortality" from non-communicable diseases like cancer, stroke and dementia by half in people younger than 50 and by a third among people from 50 to 69.

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Goats and Soda
1:10 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

It's A 'Year Of Fear' For Kids, U.N. Says. Can We Make Things Better?

Afghan children look on at a refugee camp in Jalalabad on May 3, 2015. Like thousands of Afghan returnees, Neik Mohammad became unwanted in Pakistan after a Taliban massacre at a Peshawar school, forcing him to return home to a life of misery and fear in a squalid refugee settlement.
SHAH MARAI AFP/Getty Images

It's a "year of fear" for children.

That's how Gordon Brown put it in a speech this month. He's the former British Prime Minister who is now the U.N. special envoy for global education. And he's worried about kids.

"This is not the year of the child but the year of fear," he said, "with 2015 already the worst year since 1945 for children being displaced, the worst year for children becoming refugees, the worst year for children seeing their schools attacked."

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Goats and Soda
3:16 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

I'd Like To Buy The Emerging World A Coke

A woman walks past an ad for Coca-Cola in Bamako, the capital of the Republic of Mali.
New York Daily News Archive NY Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 4:13 pm

So who does drink the most soda in the world, anyway?

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Goats and Soda
4:53 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

A 10-Year-Old Makes A Video So We 'Don't Forget Nepal'

Lucas met this woman who lost her home and all her children except for one daughter.
Donatella Lorch for NPR

Like mother, like son.

Lucas Zutt is the 10-year-old son of journalist Donatella Lorch, who frequently contributes to Goats and Soda. They've lived in Kathmandu since June 2013.

Lucas shared his impressions of the earthquake with NPR after it struck. And now he's made a video.

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Goats and Soda
12:04 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Are You Smarter Than A 15-Year-Old?

TRAVEL TIME
OECD

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 5:23 pm

"How well do today's schools prepare for tomorrow's world?"

That's the question in a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This group administers the Program for International Student Assessment to 15-year-olds in 75 countries. The goal is to find out whether they can use their math and science knowledge to answer a series of questions that measure skills needed for young people to make a contribution to the economy.

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Goats and Soda
12:44 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

On Saturday, The Ebola Outbreak In Liberia Should Officially Be Over

Lucy Barh, head of the Liberian Midwives Association, says of the impending end of the Ebola outbreak: "It is a joy, it is a joy. And I am so grateful to God. The Lord almighty has love for this nation. That is why we have come to this point."
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 3:31 pm

In just two days, Liberia will celebrate what seemed an impossible dream last summer: the end of its Ebola outbreak.

Saturday, May 9 will mark the 42nd day of no new Ebola cases in the country. A person with Ebola typically shows symptoms within 21 days of exposure. But the World Health Organization adds an extra 21 days for extra caution before declaring that an outbreak has ended. So on Saturday, WHO officials and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will announce that Liberia is Ebola-free.

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Goats and Soda
3:12 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Irene, A Ugandan Prostitute, Explains How To Use A Condom

Irene lives in a fishing village in Uganda where the rate of HIV infection is 43 percent.
Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 8:03 am

The interviewer asks the fresh-faced young woman named Irene: "What do you do here in this village?"

"I am a prostitute," she says.

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Goats and Soda
2:16 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

She Got 80,000 Girls To Attend School And Won A $1.25 Million Prize

Safeena Husain says: "I educate girls." Her efforts have brought 80,000 Indian girls into school; last week she received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (above).
Courtesy of Skoll Foundation/Gabriel Diamond

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:07 am

Have you ever had an "aha" moment? Suddenly, it becomes clear you have to make a change in your life, and you actually go ahead and do it.

Safeena Husain, 43, has had three "aha" moments. She ran away from home in India to an ashram. She let her fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages to plot a new career in the U.S. And she found her true calling after a soul-shaking encounter in a Himalayan village.

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Goats and Soda
10:39 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Feeling Blue? Share A Laugh With Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho bust some moves at the 2015 Skoll World Forum.
Courtesy of Skoll Foundation

The term "living legend" is tossed around so much that it really doesn't have much sway.

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The Salt
1:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Sprouting broccoli will serve up florets in about 50 days. Not bad for this member of the brassica family.
Laura Whitehead Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:00 pm

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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Goats and Soda
1:28 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Mr. Toilet And Mr. Condom Think Jokes Will Save The World

They don't call him Mr. Toilet for nothing! On a cold and windy November day, Jack Sim visited NPR and gladly struck a pose on his favorite appliance. Note: This toilet was not hooked up.
Ryan Kellman and John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 8:47 pm

A funny thing happened at the 12th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship last week in Oxford, England.

At this global gathering of activists and change-makers, where conversation often centered on poverty, disease and disaster, there was a session called What's So Funny? The Role of Comedy in Social Change.

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Goats and Soda
1:46 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Yes, You Can Help The World And Make Money At The Same Time

A woman cultivates seaweed off the coast of Madagascar to counter overfishing. She's working with Blue Ventures, a business that supports its conservation projects by giving ecotours.
Courtesy of Skoll Foundation

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:05 pm

What do you call someone who runs a successful business that aims to make the world a better place? A CEO with a conscience? A do-good bottom-liner?

At the Skoll World Forum this week in Oxford, England, the preferred term is social entrepreneur. In fact, the conference is completely devoted to the idea — and promoting its rising stars.

Young entrepreneurs are invited to join veterans for workshops, talks and confabs. Awards are given for "social entrepreneurship."

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Goats and Soda
3:09 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Dear World, Your Grade For Educating Your Children Is ...

India is definitely making progress in getting more kids into school. This facility is in Bhubaneswar.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 5:19 pm

It seems like a simple goal: All kids should go to primary school.

People began talking about it in the 1960s. And they kept talking about it. "Everyone thought it was pretty doable; it wasn't too big of a deal," recalls Aaron Benavot, director of UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

But for lots of reasons — cutbacks on government spending, no schoolhouse within an easy commute — it just wasn't happening. So in 2000, 164 nations got together and pledged "Education For All" by 2015.

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