Joanna Kakissis

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Today, British Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK. This is in response to the poisoning of a Russian double agent and his daughter in western England.


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Rasha al-Ahmed imagined Europe would be a clean, generous place — not a makeshift tent in an olive grove where the mud is mixed with human waste and rotting food.

"A safe life with a house and enough food," she said, shuddering as she wiped fetid mud from her 1-year-old daughter's cheeks. "That's what I hoped for when I crossed the sea from Turkey to Greece."

Hysni Rexha, a cheerful 51-year-old farmer in western Kosovo, loves the United States unconditionally.

"Because of America, my country exists," he declares, walking through what he calls his "wildlife garden" of caged peacocks, doves, exotic chickens and a sad hawk.

"So when Donald Trump was elected America's president, I named my favorite wolf after him."

The wolf is one of four Rexha says he found as puppies and domesticated.

To an outsider, this most Balkan of conflicts looks absurd: two countries fighting over a name and a historical icon who lived 25 centuries ago.

But the 26-year-old dispute between two southeastern European neighbors — Greece and Macedonia, over who owns the name "Macedonia" — is seen by both sides as existential and essential to national identity.

Greece, which prizes its ancient history above everything else, is especially sensitive.