Marc Silver

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Goats and Soda
1:26 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

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 3:09 pm

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
5:03 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
4:20 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 Fri June 19, 2015 11:22 pm

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
1:55 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

What We Can Learn From A Herd Of Hungry Goats

via Youtube

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 7:05 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
4:54 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 7:29 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
1:37 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
8:23 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 9:25 am

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

That boat accident in China.

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Goats and Soda
8:23 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
11:10 am
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
1:16 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 2:13 pm

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

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Goats and Soda
2:53 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
10:04 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Are You Smarter Than A 15-Year-Old?

TRAVEL TIME
OECD

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 3:23 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
10:44 am
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 1:31 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
1:12 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 6:03 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
12:16 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 9:07 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
8:39 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
11:31 am
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 4:00 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
11:28 am
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 6:47 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
11:46 am
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 5:05 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
1:09 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 3:19 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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Goats and Soda
12:06 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Dreams Of Hope And Happiness In Turbulent Yemen

These kids are Yemenis without a home. Fighting between government and rebel forces caused their families to flee to a refugee camp in Aden, where the youngsters find time for fun.
Stephanie Sinclair/VII

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 4:00 pm

It's hard to think about Yemen in a hopeful way. In fact, the country seems like the very definition of hopelessness.

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Goats and Soda
2:08 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Go Ahead, Little Goat, Eat Some Poison Ivy. It Won't Hurt A Bit

OK, so technically this goat is eating just plain ivy. But poison ivy is definitely on the menu.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 12:56 pm

Oh, those goats? I got them from Amazon!

The online giant is testing out a "Home Services" line. You can get a TV mounted on your wall. You can find a plumber. And you can rent a herd of goats to chomp on unwanted vegetation in your yard.

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The Salt
12:30 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

You'll Get No Alcoholic Kick From Champagne-Flavored Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly has developed a champagne-flavored bean, but don't expect an alcoholic kick from this candy.
Jelly Belly

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 1:42 pm

This Easter, you can toast the Bunny with the newest jelly bean flavor from industry giant Jelly Belly: champagne. (Don't get your hopes up — the champagne bean is alcohol-free.)

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Goats and Soda
9:28 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Bill Gates Tells The World: Get Ready For The Next Epidemic

Health workers suit up for Ebola duty in Monrovia, Liberia.
John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:29 pm

"An epidemic is one of the few catastrophes that could set the world back drastically in the next few decades," Bill Gates warns in an essay he wrote for the March 18 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

In the article, titled "The Next Epidemic — Lessons From Ebola," he says the Ebola epidemic is a "wake-up call."

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Goats and Soda
8:41 am
Tue March 24, 2015

TB Patients That The World Writes Off Are Getting Cured In Peru

Maria Carmen Castro, 46, of Lima, Peru, is a survivor of MDR-TB — multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Partners In Health treated her and loaned her money to open a small store. "Because of my TB and thanks to God and Partners In Health, now I have my own business," she says.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 7:23 am

You sure don't want to get tuberculosis. You'll cough a lot, maybe cough up blood, have fever, chills and chest pain. But most cases of the bacterial disease are curable after taking the two first-line drugs for four to six months.

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Goats and Soda
12:45 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Elephant On The Menu? It's Not Just A Birthday Dish For Robert Mugabe

An African elephant in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park is a draw for tourists.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 12:00 pm

Newspapers around the world have reported that elephant was to be served at a $1 million birthday party for Robert Mugabe, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, held on Saturday.

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Goats and Soda
3:38 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Global Rules Of Greeting Vary, But Biden And Travolta Get No Support

Vice President Joe Biden was criticized for coming up from behind and getting too close to Stephanie Carter at her husband's swearing-in ceremony as secretary of defense.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 9:25 am

Joe Biden and John Travolta don't seem to know when they're getting too close for comfort.

Last week, the vice president went up to Stephanie Carter, the wife of the newly named secretary of defense, and put his hands on her shoulders and whispered in her ear. She did not look at all amused.

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Goats and Soda
7:40 am
Thu February 19, 2015

India's Kerala Has It All: Beauty, Bananas, Long Life, Girl Power

Wilbur Sargunaraj tours the backwaters of Kerala, India.
Wilbur Sargunaraj

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 10:24 am

President Obama gave a shoutout to the beauty of the "backwaters of Kerala" when he visited India last month.

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Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sun February 15, 2015

He's Half-Kenyan And Half-German. And He Believes 'We're All The Same'

David Hermlin is a singer, dancer, musician and songwriter — oh, and a global activist, too. Sample lyric: "I will fight for my dream, and I will never give up."
Courtesy of David Hermlin

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 10:57 am

In Berlin, David Hermlin is a 14-year-old who wants to be a star — and is well on his way. He plays drums and guitar, dances and sings. He performs with his father's jazz orchestra. He even writes songs.

But Hermlin has another life as well — as a global activist.

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Goats and Soda
9:50 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Your Brain May Want That Bottle Of Soda Because It's Easy To Pick Up

You want that soda bottle. But it may not be because you crave soda. It might just be that you love the idea of wrapping your fingers around its enticing shape.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 10:41 am

Here at Goats and Soda, we can't resist a good story about goats. (See our story about how you know if your goat is happy.) The same goes for soda.

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