A fire breaks out in a gold mining village in the Bocaranga region of the Central African Republic in January. The possibility of a lucky strike has many farmers abandoning their fields for the mine, but aid workers express concern over poor conditions.
Credit Alan Chin for NPR
Approximately 100 thatched-grass homes and market kiosks were destroyed in the mining village's fourth fire in two months.
In the middle of Africa lies a little-known country, landlocked and sparsely populated, that could well be one of the world's leading exporters of gold in the near future: the Central African Republic.
International mining companies hope to establish operations there soon. But until then, with gold prices soaring, the hunt for gold is led by former farmers. In one mining village, thousands of people are gambling on a lucky strike.
After spending years at the center of heated national debate over capital punishment, Illinois' death row officially died Friday when a state law abolishing the death penalty quietly took effect.
The state garnered international attention when then-Republican Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium in 2000 after several inmates' death sentences were overturned and he cleared death row three years later. One man who came within 48 hours of being executed was among those later declared innocent.
Rafael Nadal will get to play one more match as the top-ranked man in the tennis world, and it will be in the Wimbledon final against the man who is going to replace him.
The defending champion reached his fifth final at the All England Club on Friday, beating Andy Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. But the win wasn't enough to hold onto his No. 1 ranking, which instead will go to Novak Djokovic for the first time on Monday.