Residents check an earthquake-damaged house in Sukagawa city on March 11, in the Fukushima prefecture in Japan. A researcher says that after large-scale natural disasters, it's frequently friends and neighbors who are key to survival.
Credit Hector Mata / AFP/Getty Images
Residents of the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans printed T-shirts during a community meeting on Sept. 9, 2005. The neighborhood organized a cleanup effort even as mandatory evacuation of the city was under way. Refusing to obey the order to evacuate, many residents remained in their houses.
When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, one victim was political scientist Daniel Aldrich. He had just moved to New Orleans. Late one August night, there was a knock on the door.
"It was a neighbor who knew that we had no idea of the realities of the Gulf Coast life," said Aldrich, who is now a political scientist at Purdue University in Indiana. He "knocked on our door very late at night, around midnight on Saturday night, and said, 'Look, you've got small kids — you should really leave.' "
Just when Venezuelans were talking about President Hugo Chavez's future and thinking about what lies ahead if he doesn't run for reelection, Chavez returned to Caracas after cancer surgery in Cuba. Michele Norris talks with NPR's Juan Forero.
In Libya, many supporters of Moammar Gadhafi say the leader has used the country's oil money to provide real benefits to the people, including subsidized housing, free health care and education. Critics say those benefits were unequally distributed, with favored groups around Tripoli and the western part of the country getting the lion's share — and those in the east, around Benghazi, getting the least. They say the country's political divide mirrors an economic one.