China's rapid expansion has been fueled in part by massive construction projects, like this one in Beijing, shown last year. But many economists say the Chinese economic model is unlikely to produce the same explosive growth in the coming years and needs to be revamped.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
China faces overcapacity in various industries, including steel. This steel mill in the northern city of Tangshan went bankrupt in August after it expanded too quickly and the boss ending up owing banks more than $120 million. Authorities sealed the front gate with bricks.
Credit Frank Langfitt/NPR
China's government has poured a fortune into infrastructure in part to boost GDP. Not all the money is well-spent. This pedestrian bridge in the Southern boomtown of Shenzhen cost more than $8 million. Less than two years old, it already requires repairs.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Eight bridges have collapsed around China since 2011. Here, government investigators examine a recently built entrance ramp that collapsed this summer in the northeastern city of Harbin, killing three people. Local residents believe government corruption and substandard materials are to blame.
If you followed American media in recent years, you might have thought China was taking over the planet. Recent titles at the book store have included Becoming China's Bitch and When China Rules the World.
"They are the world's superpower or soon will be," Glenn Beck used to intone on Fox News. "They always thought America was just a blip."
And when the city of Philadelphia postponed an Eagles football game a couple of years ago because of a blizzard forecast, then-Gov. Ed Rendell said America — unlike China — was becoming a nation of "wussies."
Superstorm Sandy pounded Haiti for four straight days, dumping record amounts of rain and killing at least 50 people. More than 370,000 Haitians have been living in temporary camps, since the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Host Michel Martin discusses Sandy's effects on Haiti with Miami Herald Caribbean Correspondent Jacqueline Charles.
A recent Associated Press poll suggests that racial prejudice against African-Americans and Hispanics has increased since 2008. Host Michel Martin and NPR Science Correspondent Shankar Vedantam take a closer look at the numbers and what's behind them.
Michelle Joni Lapidos never knew that she would fall in love with a big, black afro wig. And she certainly never knew it would change her life. But after she wore it to a dress-up party, that's exactly what happened. Now the white, Jewish "afro-girl" has been thrown in the middle of a racial firestorm.
It sounds like an experiment from a college sociology class, but Lapidos tells NPR's Michel Martin that she began wearing the wig with good, fun intentions. She was quickly called a racist by people who took offense to it.