Over the past year and a half, the world has seen crisis after crisis. Today, NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke to António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, mostly about the crisis in Sudan.
But at one point during their talk, Guterres rattled off the crises they've dealt with since the beginning of 2011: The Ivory Coast, Libya, Syria, Yemen, both a famine and conflict in the Horn of Africa, Mali and now Syria is flaring up again.
The U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Syria keeps unraveling. Syrian government troops were supposed to pull their tanks and soldiers out of cities and towns, while rebels were supposed to lay down their arms.
Yet hundreds of people have died in recent days, according to activists. And in some areas, visits by U.N. observers have been followed by intense violence.
The Himalayas are sometimes called the world's "third pole" because they are covered with thousands of glaciers. Water from those glaciers helps feed some of the world's most important rivers, including the Ganges and the Indus. And as those glaciers melt, they will contribute to rising sea levels.
So a lot is at stake in understanding these glaciers and how they will respond in a warming world. Researchers writing in the latest issue of Science magazine make it clear they are still struggling at that task.
Earlier this week, two women took a new approach to raising awareness about Syria's crackdown. The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nations appealed directly to Syria's first lady with a video on YouTube. The narrator calls on Asma Assad to "stop being a bystander" — and to stop her husband and his supporters from continuing the conflict.