So many nations are breaking up. Ukraine is in pieces. Moldova is teetering. Libya has no government to speak of. Sudan broke in two last year; now both sides are fighting. Yugoslavia is seven countries. Nigeria has a Christian/Muslim split. Syria has split so many ways it's barely there. Even Scotland is thinking of ditching Great Britain. With every break, we get new lines, new fences, new borders — further evidence of our failure to amalgamate, to get along.

The more borders we have, the more quarrels, the more wars. That's one way to think about borders — they're trouble.

Sometimes nature comes up with elegant solutions to difficult problems, like how to gain weight and not get diabetes.

Take, for instance, the grizzly bear. How does this 750-pound mammal survive long, lean winters? Well, it just gets really fat beforehand and then sleeps the hungry season away.

Grizzly bears can easily double their body fat in the months leading up to hibernation. For us humans, this kind of weight gain could result in some pretty serious health consequences — one of the most common being Type 2 diabetes.

Back in 2008, doctors in Cambodia made a worrisome discovery. They were having a hard time curing some people of malaria.

Tim West's grandfather invented Doritos chips and was an executive at the global snack food giant Frito-Lay.

The younger West ate plenty of junk food growing up. But lately, he's been much more interested in kale, quinoa and tree-ripened fruit.

And the 30-year-old Bay Area food entrepreneur now wants to completely reinvent what we eat and how it's produced.

We usually don't post videos driven by politics. But there is one video making the rounds today that shows a tense conversation between two undocumented young people and Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Iowa.

If you show up at a hospital emergency department with a high fever and you just happen to have been traveling in Africa, don't be surprised if you get a lot of attention.

Hospitals are on the lookout for people with symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea who had been traveling in parts of West Africa affected by Ebola, following instructions from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, New York's Mount Sinai Hospital announced that it was evaluating a patient who had recently been in West Africa.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

When Nimco Ali was 7, she thought her family was going on vacation. They flew from their hometown in Manchester, England, to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Ali doesn't remember the exact location. But she clearly remembers what happened there.

The young girl found herself in a dingy room, with a woman dressed in all black, standing over her. She didn't know what was going on at the time. But she fell asleep. And when Ali woke up, she was confused.

The woman had mutilated her genitals.

Think of it as a state dinner for an entire continent. Tuesday night, after the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit sessions wrap up, the president and the first lady will host 50 heads of state and the chairman of the African Union for dinner. The 400 guests will be treated to a traditional American meal with an African twist in a gigantic tent on the South Lawn and enjoy a performance by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.

This post was last updated at 7 p.m. ET.

An attacker wearing an Afghan military uniform opened fire at service members of the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing a U.S. major general.

The officer's family has been notified of his death; his name is Harold Greene.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno issued a note of condolence, saying of Greene and others caught by the attack, "These soldiers were professionals, committed to the mission. It is their service and sacrifice that define us as an Army."

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News and Features from APM and PRI

How food banks are reaching high-risk seniors

3 hours ago

The AARP estimates more than 10 million people 50 and older are at risk of going hungry every day in the United States. In Florida, where many baby boomers retire, this food insecurity is compounded by a lack of public transportation. Some food banks are holding food drops to bring food and other health-related events to the neighborhoods where they live in an attempt to reach more high-risk seniors.

This story was produced by the Marketplace hub at WMFE in Orlando.

Questlove on "chasing ghosts"

7 hours ago

If you watch late night TV — "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," in particular — you probably know the show’s house band, The Roots. And perhaps you'd recognize its drummer and frontman, Questlove, aka Ahmir Khalib Thompson.

Thompson is also a DJ, a producer, an author, a foodie, and a podcaster on Pandora with "Questlove Supreme." He came into the studio Thursday to talk with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Why do gas prices end in 9/10 of a cent?

7 hours ago

This series originally ran during February 2014. We're republishing it today in light of our Make Me Smart podcast's new Explainathon episode, which included the first question here. The rest are good too, and the original article appears below.

For those of you who have stockpiles of Forever Stamps, some good news: the post office is planning to hike their prices.

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed increasing the price of its first-class mail Forever Stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents, which would take effect on Jan. 27 of next year. (However, the price for any additional ounces will drop from 21 cents to 15 cents.) Like the name suggests, this piece of postage doesn't expire.

If you’re among those who feel press coverage of Russia has an unhealthy fascination with all things Vladimir Putin, then enter artist Victoria Lomasko’s “Other Russias” to the rescue. 

That plural is no accident. Lomasko is out to capture Russian stories that most in the West never see.

“It was important to me over the last years to make a portrait of the unofficial face of the country,” Lomasko tells The World. “That part that we almost never hear from in the media.”  

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