Elissa Schappell is the author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls.
I was never more confident in my knowledge of the world of men and women than the summer I was 13. I'd become an expert, certainly not through any hands-on experience with boys, but by reading the trashy romance novels my best friend, Michele, had pinched from her mother.
That summer I read books whose covers featured beautiful wild-haired maidens, heaving bosoms barely contained in torn blouses, on stallions, heads thrown back, submitting to or resisting the advances of some rogue.
The city of Nuevo Laredo, which hugs the border of south Texas, is the latest hotspot in Mexico's violent drug war. Over the past two weeks, over 70 people have been killed there in drug-related violence. Monica Ortiz Uribe from member station KJZZ visited the city and she found a community terrified and afraid to even speak.
Violent protests in eastern Libya have set in motion a movement to take back the nation from dozens of militias born from the revolt against strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Since the dictator's demise, Libya has been beholden to men with guns.
The transitional state is weak, and it depends on the militias to help secure the streets. The state has now promised to integrate the militias into the security forces.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. A riot involving at least 2,000 workers broke out late last night at a Foxconn facility in northern China, where employees make iPhones. Foxconn says about 40 people went to the hospital with injuries. Now, in recent years Foxconn has come under intense scrutiny for the working conditions in its factories. Now we have this episode, so we're bringing in NPR's Frank Langfitt, who's following the story from Shanghai.
An unusual parliamentary meeting is due to open Tuesday in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, amid speculation of sweeping changes ahead. In the first such confirmation from within the country, farmers told The Associated Press they would be given more control over their crops under new agricultural rules. Long seen as an economic basket case, North Korea now could be on the cusp of economic change.