10 international stories you loved in 2017

Protesters hold signs near the White House during a protest about President Trump's immigration policies. A proposed presidential action would freeze immigration from mostly Muslim countries.
(Alex Brandon/AP)

Protesters hold signs near the White House during a protest about President Trump's immigration policies. A proposed presidential action would freeze immigration from mostly Muslim countries. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Even with unprecedented national developments crowding our news feeds all year, the NPR Parallels blog readers have kept a keen eye on dramatic events unfolding worldwide — and the U.S. role in the world. North Korea’s nukes, the aftermath of President Trump’s first military strike in Yemen, Russia’s kompromat tactics and South Korea’s ongoing efforts to seek justice for comfort women were some of the stories you were most interested in.

Of the more than 500 stories on international affairs and national security that we posted on Parallels in 2017, here are the top 10, ranked by pageviews.

1. Trump’s Immigration Freeze Omits Those Linked To Deadly Attacks In U.S.

The White House plan in January named seven mostly Muslim countries, yet no extremist from any of those places had carried out a fatal attack in the U.S. in more than two decades.

2. Deported With A Valid U.S. Visa, Jordanian Says Message Is ‘You’re Not Welcome’

Yahya Abu Romman stands outside his family’s home in downtown Amman. The 22-year-old was deported from the U.S. after landing in Chicago at the end of January with a valid visa. He says border officers questioned why he holds a Jordanian passport when he was born in Syria. (Jane Arraf/NPR)

Yahya Abu Romman landed in Chicago for a graduation celebration trip after President Trump’s travel ban took effect on citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. He was held overnight in a cell and then sent back to Jordan.

3. For Some Chinese Uighurs, Modeling Is A Path To Success

Parwena Dulkun is a Uighur model who divides her time between Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, and Beijing. Uighurs share traits from both Asian and European ancestors, a look that is in demand among modeling agencies throughout China. (Photo courtesy of Parwena Dulkun)

China’s Muslim-minority Uighurs often face persecution and suspicion. But their popularity has grown in recent years as models. “Not to brag, but we are very good-looking,” says one Uighur model.

4. Yemen Aftermath: Trump’s First Military Raid Continues To Raise Questions

Navy SEALs participate in special operations urban combat training in 2012. The training exercise familiarizes special operators with urban environments and tactical maneuvering during night and day operations. (Mass Communication Spc. 2nd Class Meranda Keller/U.S. Navy)

Witnesses told NPR about the Jan. 29 raid, the military’s first under President Trump. It resulted in deaths of a Navy SEAL and Yemeni civilians. “I walked out of my house when it was over and began burying the dead,” a tribal sheikh told NPR. “By noon, we were done.”

5. A Russian Word Americans Need To Know: ‘Kompromat’

Russian President Vladimir Putin during the recording of his 2017 New Year’s message. Putin’s spokesman said the Russian government does not gather compromising material, or kompromat, on political rivals, despite a well-documented history of such behavior. (Mikhail Klimentyev/AP)

The Kremlin denied that it collects political dirt, known as kompromat. But disinformation, fake photos and leaked sex tapes have long been features of Russian politics.

6. ‘Comfort Woman’ Memorial Statues, A Thorn In Japan’s Side, Now Sit On Korean Buses

A “comfort woman” statue is placed on a bus seat to mark the 5th International Memorial Day for Comfort Women in Seoul in August. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

Statues symbolizing the World War II sex slaves abused by Japanese soldiers have appeared this year on Korean city buses — including on a bus line whose doors open right in front of Japan’s embassy.

7. The ‘Tillerson Is Tired’ Meme And Things That Happen In A News Vacuum

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, upon arriving at the Osan Air Base in South Korea last week. (NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The secretary of state didn’t cut short his South Korea stay during his inaugural East Asia trip in March — but an information vacuum meant a lot of people thought he did.

8. Britain’s Theresa May Had To Give A Major Speech. It Didn’t Go Well

Comedian Simon Brodkin, also known as Lee Nelson, hands Prime Minister Theresa May a P45 form — the equivalent of a pink slip — during her speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

In October, one of the prime minister’s most important speeches could not have gone much worse: She had coughing fits, a prankster handed her a pink slip and a party slogan behind her fell apart.

9. Greek Orthodox Church Sells Land In Israel, Worrying Both Israelis And Palestinians

Dmitri Diliani, a Palestinian member of the Greek Orthodox church, stands on the roof of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem overlooking the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which houses the traditional tomb of Jesus. (Daniel Estrin/NPR)

Greek Orthodox Church leaders have quietly sold off several properties and leases to Israeli, Jewish and anonymous investors fronted by companies registered in far-flung tax havens.

10. How North Korea’s Nuclear Tests Could Get Even More Terrifying

In May 1962, the U.S. conducted its first and only test of a nuclear-tipped missile. Some worry North Korea could try something similar. (United States Navy /Science Faction/Getty Images)

North Korea has so far tested its missiles and its nukes separately. But some experts worry Pyongyang may decide to put the two together into a single test.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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