WCBE

Amy Walters

"The common conception is that suicide is a problem for high-income countries," says Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization.

But WHO's first ever report on suicide prevention offers a startlingly different perspective: three-fourths of the world's 800,000 yearly suicide deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. We spoke with Saxena about the findings.

When you sign up for a reporting fellowship to learn about the health of newborns in Ethiopia, you expect things to be a little different from what you're used to in the U.S. To be perfectly honest, a little worse. But Ethiopia actually surprised me, even before I took off.

I did my research, and it turns out that Ethiopia's health care system is getting better — significantly better. It's meeting international goals, winning awards from the United States and, more important, babies are living longer and fewer mothers are dying in childbirth.

In the world of fast fashion, two U.S.-based companies loom large: Forever 21 and American Apparel. Both are based in Los Angeles, but the two could not be more different.

American Apparel proudly boasts that the clothes it sells are "made in the USA." In contrast, Forever 21 subcontracts with factories all over the world.

Dov Charney, American Apparel's Canadian-American founder and CEO, has a reputation. "I knew from a very early age — in elementary school — that I was going to rub some people the wrong way," he says.

What is Nordic cool?

Right now, it's a massive festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with artists and designers displaying art and culture from their very top sliver of the globe.

The festival arrives at what seems like just the right moment for Americans.

From the Danish modern furniture of the 1950s to the omnipresence of Ikea, Americans have long been attracted to the austere design of Nordic countries.

Lots of companies make products that don't have much in common, but AeroVironment specializes in two products that are very different — electric vehicle chargers, which keep cars like the Nissan Leaf on the road, and military drones. The Los Angeles-area firm is a leading manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft.

Summertime is beach time in Southern California, even at night. Locals gather around bonfires, roast marshmallows and enjoy each other's company. On some very special nights, there's even sex — at least for the fish.

The grunion run happens only in the spring and summer months. Late at night, under the full and new moons, thousands of tiny, silvery fish swim to shore for a very peculiar mating ritual.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Oh, the famed Sturgis motorcycle rally is wrapping up its 72nd year in South Dakota this weekend. And as the rally ages, so do many of the riders. NPR's Amy Walters was there with some rally old-timers - rally old-timers - checking out what's new on three wheels.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOTORCYCLE ENGINE)

The massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close in California on Sunday after two weekends worth of sold-out shows by over 150 artists.

One of those acts was the Austin, Texas, band Explosions in the Sky, which first played Coachella back in 2007 and has seen its profile grow since then.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

For all the difficult relations the U.S. has with Iran, the two countries share many ties, including millions of Iranian-Americans. Ryan Seacrest and Bravo make them the focus of a new reality show, called the "Shahs of Sunset." It examines the lavish lifestyles of some in Southern California's Iranian-American community. NPR's Amy Walters reports.