This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. What makes some nations succeed while others fail? In his Pulitzer Prize-winner, "Guns, Germs and Steel," Jared Diamond looked back over thousands of years of human history and concluded that geography allowed Eurasia to get a big head start and develop agriculture, writing, bureaucracy and the military technologies that led to dominance over much of the globe.
New York Police have reported a possible break in the case of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished 33 years ago on his way to school. No one was ever charged in his case, and the episode was a deep personal tragedy for the Patz family.
"I just don't like seeing those signs and I kind of wanted to put a stop to that."
That's 9-year-old Josef Miles' simple explanation for why he held up a notepad that said "GOD HATES NO ONE" as supporters of the tiny Westboro Baptist Church staged another small demonstration featuring their signs that say God hates homosexuals.
In the city of Bekasi, Indonesia, outside Jakarta, a handful of Christians head to Sunday worship. But before they can reach their destination, they are stopped and surrounded by a large crowd of local Muslims who jeer at them and demand that they leave.
This is the Filadelfia congregation, a Lutheran group. They are ethnic Bataks from the neighboring island of Sumatra who have migrated to Bekasi, and they have been blocked from holding services on several occasions. Recently, a journalist who demonstrated in support of the congregation was beaten by an angry mob.
Protests in Montreal and Quebec resulted in the arrest of almost 700 people overnight.
The Toronto Star reports that the demonstrators protested tuition fee increases and they've been ongoing for about three months. But, yesterday, police rounded up hundreds of protesters — 518 in Montreal alone.
The drive to wipe polio from the face of the earth is in jeopardy.
Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan are the only three countries left where poliovirus remains endemic. But work to put the paralyzing virus on the ropes there is in danger of failing. Cases in all three countries jumped last year.
Weak public health systems, armed conflicts and corruption have hurt vaccination efforts. Now leading public health officials have proposed an emergency plan of action to get things back on track..