On today's episode of Latin Roots, the multitalented Rachel Faro helps us celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fania Records. More than a record label, the imprint synonymous with salsa music was also a cross between a family and a way of life.
Fania's ascendance in the '60s was the product of immigration and a vibrant community of talented Puerto Rican players finding a new home in New York. And the closing of Havana to the outside world helped make New York even more of a Latin music center.
Shortly before the Israel-Hamas fighting began in Gaza earlier this month, two separate killings ratcheted up tensions.
First, three Israeli teenagers were killed, allegedly by Hamas in the West Bank. Israel has arrested many Palestinians, but says it is still searching for the main suspects in the deaths of Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.
Saidu Kanneh was given a hero's welcome last week when he walked into a community meeting about Ebola in a tiny village of mud huts in the Kissi Kama region of Sierra Leone. Kanneh was diagnosed with Ebola early in July, was treated for 12 days in a Doctors Without Borders hospital and overcame the disease.
As the Israeli military offensive grew unbearable in her Gaza City neighborhood, Um Rajab Helles fled to the city's main hospital Sunday with her husband and their 12 children even though no one was hurt.
"We didn't sleep all Saturday night," she said. "The kids were screaming and we were screaming. They kept running to the front door trying to leave, and we pulled them back. Around dawn a relative called and said what are you still doing there? We left at 6 a.m."
In the western Mexican state of Michoacan, civilian militias have challenged a powerful drug cartel known as the Knights Templar. The vigilante uprising, which spurred the Mexican government to send soldiers and police to help counter the cartel, was fueled by migrants who returned to Mexico after years living north of the border.
Reny Pineda, who was raised in Los Angeles, is one of those migrants. When he returned to his homeland in Mexico, he found a new life fighting drug lords.
The crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine holds many important clues about what happened to the plane. But that site is under the control of pro-Russian separatists who are suspected of involvement in shooting the plane down.
The rebel fighters say they are giving access to investigators, including those from the Ukrainian government, though one Ukrainian official who visited the scene Friday said he was not given full access.
Here are some of the key questions on the investigation into Flight MH17:
Editor's Note: As an Israeli man was buried near Tel Aviv and four Palestinian boys were laid to rest in the Gaza Strip, NPR correspondents attended the funerals on opposite sides of the war to see how people are coping with the conflict. Ari Shapiro reports first from Israel, followed by Emily Harris in Gaza City.
The Yehud Cemetery is so close to the Tel Aviv airport, you practically have to duck when an airplane passes overhead.
When Syria's rebels were on the offensive in 2012, they captured the eastern half of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. But now President Bashar Assad's troops are poised to retake all of the city that is the largest in Syria and served as the prewar financial capital.
A new military campaign is heating up as Assad, who assumed power when his father, Hafez Assad, died in 2000, was sworn in Wednesday for his third term as president. A rebel defeat could be a crushing blow to what is left of the country's three-year rebellion against the Syrian regime.
Cloaked in black from head to toe, Iman el-Kaas cries in her mother's home in the Gaza Strip. Iman is in mourning.
Her husband, Anas el-Kaas, was killed by an Israeli attack that hit their apartment in Gaza early Friday morning. He was 33 years old, a pharmacist with two young children. They had just moved in a few months ago.
"I thought that apartment was gift, but it was the place he would be killed," Iman says. "Why? Why did they kill him?"