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The sun is beating down on the rocky shore of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, and architect Mona Hallak is taking her son and his friends to see their heritage.

"Who knows how to swim?" asks Hallak, an advocate for public beaches in Lebanon.

The kids say they can, but they learned in private beach clubs. Hallak tells them of the past, when Beirutis learned to swim in the sea because the shore was all public. She shows them a nearby area that was open and has been fenced off. She fears it, too, will be built on as many other places have been.

In the hot sun of a Jerusalem afternoon, kids wait for a fountain to turn on.

When water spouts into the air, 9-year-old Tzipora Baranas jumps right in. She's wearing black tights, a black, below-the-knee skirt and a long-sleeved black shirt.

"It's fun when the water spritzes up in my face," she says.

She is Orthodox Jewish and her outfit is in deference to religious modesty. She says she's not hot at all, despite the temperature hitting the 90s and the dark clothes covering all but her face and hands.

Of course, she is dripping wet at the moment.

Rising two stories and capped by three domes, the Jaffna Public Library looks a bit like a stately wedding cake. Gleaming white under the Sri Lanka sun, the building's classical lines and beautiful proportions make it one of the architectural standouts of the South Asia region.

That it survived at all is a testament to resilience. The fact that it was restored to such pristine condition, including its lush gardens, and modernized (it now offers Wi-Fi) makes it all the more remarkable.

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A man in his early 40s with a kind, weathered face is talking to a room full of children.

"In some ways, all of us are basically abandoned or not really a wanted person," he says. "Everybody kind of give up the hope on us. But in this place, you are welcome and you have opportunity to change, and we will be with you, no matter what. This is a community of love and compassion."

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Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Before the end of the second World War, Emperor Hirohito was considered by the Japanese to be a living God. And the first time most of his people heard him speak, it was to surrender.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Paris turns a bank of the River Seine into an urban beach every August, providing a respite for Parisians who can't get away for a summer vacation.

This year the Israeli seaside city of Tel Aviv was the theme for what was supposed to be a day of music and food trucks set amid sand, umbrellas and palm trees. But the faux seashore turned into a Middle East political battleground on Thursday.

"Israel murderers, Paris accomplices!" the pro-Palestinian protesters shouted next to a children's playground by the river.

Donald Trump never met Dalton Javier Ramirez. But the 69-year-old real estate mogul would have a grudging respect for the ambitious 28-year-old piñata entrepreneur.

Editor's Note: NPR's Melissa Block was on a reporting trip to southwest China in May 2008 when a massive earthquake hit, leaving some 90,000 dead or missing. Now, as she wraps up her time hosting All Things Considered, she reconnected with a girl, now a young woman, who has overcome great obstacles since that traumatic event.

You can also see this story in Chinese.

While the dub album has long been en vogue in Jamaican reggae — and in the disco — it's seemingly disappeared from the modern music industry model. Not so in the mid-Nineties and the early Aughts, when a string of genre-unbound outliers — full-lengths such as Mad Professor v. Massive Attack's No Protection, Godflesh's Love and Hate In Dub, Easy Star All-Stars' Dub Side of the Moon, and Spacemonkeyz vs. Gorillaz's Laika Come Home, to name a few — featured studio sessions that paired mixing-board maestros with great song-cycles.

If you want to get a sense of how complex racial identity is in Brazil, you should meet sisters Francine and Fernanda Gravina. Both have the same mother and father. Francine, 28, is blond with green eyes and white skin. She wouldn't look out of place in Iceland. But Fernanda, 23, has milk chocolate skin with coffee colored eyes and hair. Francine describes herself as white, whereas Fernanda says she's morena, or brown-skinned.

For nearly 40 years, Jaime Botín, a member of the wealthy family that runs Spain's Santander Bank, has owned Pablo Picasso's Head of a Young Woman. Botín kept the painting on his private yacht docked on Spain's Mediterranean Coast.

The 1906 work is not one of the Spanish master's most famous paintings, but it is from an important year in Picasso's life, and it has been valued at up to $28 million.

Migrants are arriving in record numbers in Greece, and two boatloads of men, women and children landed Monday on the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea.

All Things Considered host Melissa Block has relatives in her extended family on the island. Her husband's cousins have been assisting the migrants, who are arriving via Turkey from Afghanistan and Syria, as they reach the rocky shores.

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