In a year that brought North and South Korea closer, British politics to the brink and criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record to the fore, NPR’s international and national security correspondents stayed plenty busy helping make sense of these and other events around the globe. Meanwhile, plenty else was going on — and those events did not escape their journalistic attention. As this list of some of our most popular international stories shows, some of the pieces you liked best were about endangered wildlife, angry Canadians, Mexico’s response to migrants and a show-stealing eye roll during a Chinese parliament session.
Of the hundreds of global stories by NPR’s international and national security correspondents that we published in 2018, here are the top 10, ranked by pageviews.
At China’s parliament session in March, the Chinese leader was given permission to rule indefinitely. A journalist rolled her eyes at another reporter’s softball question, looked the questioner up and down in disbelief and then finally turned away. Her expression was caught on camera and went viral.
Sudan lived most of his life in a zoo in the Czech Republic but was brought to a conservancy in Kenya in 2009 as part of a last-ditch effort to save his species. He died at the conservancy in March, at age 45.
In the recording, Sara Netanyahu was furious over a newspaper item about her appearance at a charity event, apparently because the column did not mention she is a professional psychologist who serves the public. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the secret recording was part of a “wild and violent witch hunt” against his family.
The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review mentions a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6” — a massive, nuclear-armed torpedo capable of incinerating cities. But is it real?
Fewer than 1 million people live in Amsterdam, but almost 20 million visit each year. A “night mayor” and initiatives to address “overtourism” encourage revelers to treat the city with respect.
“The brutality of American politics right now is something that is profoundly shocking to Canadians,” said a former adviser to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I think many people feel they do not recognize the U.S. anymore.”
While some residents of the northern Mexican city have said “all migrants are welcome,” a group of protesters demanded they be kicked out.
Richard Grenell said his tweet instructing German companies to “wind down operations immediately” in Iran was just following “White House talking points.”
Under U.S. pressure, Mexico continues to crack down on migration on its own southern border, even surpassing America’s deportation numbers in recent years.
As avocado production grew in the town of Tancitaro, drug cartels moved in, realizing they could make good money extorting growers and packers. But Tancitaro’s residents took up arms, forming self-defense groups to drive the gangs out.