North Korea's best-known exports tend to be conventional weapons and nuclear technology. But now, curious diners can add to noodles to that list, thanks to a chain of North Korean restaurants in China, Nepal, Thailand and Dubai.
Analysts say the restaurants are a prominent source of foreign exchange for Pyongyang, which struggles under economic sanctions for its nuclear program -- and for its sometimes belligerent behavior toward South Korea.
One of the world's most powerful media figures is launching a risky new project this week -- OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. When the basic cable channel debuts on Jan. 1, its success or failure may rely on the talk show host's core audience following her to cable.
Recent U.S. cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website show al-Qaida gaining a foothold in the Sahel, a lawless region in the Sahara desert, straddling the African nations of Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Algeria. How to counter and curb growing Islamist militancy and banditry in this vast, poorly policed zone is a priority for governments in West Africa, Washington and beyond.
One thing is certain about the state of classical music in America: Every year, observers argue over its future. Orchestras are struggling financially and audiences are aging. But in spite of gloomy forecasts, 2010 was a good year for a musical hybrid that might be called "indie classical."
Labels such as classical, post-rock, art rock, chamber music and jazz mean less and less these days, thanks in part to an assortment of young, smart musicians who feel equally at home playing in trendy nightclubs or swanky concert halls.