Marc Silver

You sure don't want to get tuberculosis. You'll cough a lot, maybe cough up blood, have fever, chills and chest pain. But most cases of the bacterial disease are curable after taking the two first-line drugs for four to six months.

Newspapers around the world have reported that elephant was to be served at a $1 million birthday party for Robert Mugabe, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, held on Saturday.

Joe Biden and John Travolta don't seem to know when they're getting too close for comfort.

Last week, the vice president went up to Stephanie Carter, the wife of the newly named secretary of defense, and put his hands on her shoulders and whispered in her ear. She did not look at all amused.

President Obama gave a shoutout to the beauty of the "backwaters of Kerala" when he visited India last month.

In Berlin, David Hermlin is a 14-year-old who wants to be a star — and is well on his way. He plays drums and guitar, dances and sings. He performs with his father's jazz orchestra. He even writes songs.

But Hermlin has another life as well — as a global activist.

Here at Goats and Soda, we can't resist a good story about goats. (See our story about how you know if your goat is happy.) The same goes for soda.

It's a scary time to be an altruistic American abroad. The death of Kayla Mueller of Prescott, Ariz., is a sobering reminder of just how dangerous the world can be for aid workers.

Mueller had a big place in her heart for displaced Syrians. She'd worked with the Danish Refugee Council and other nonprofits.

On Jan. 15, 15-year-olds around the world took a stand. Their goal was to make the world a better place 15 years from now by getting rid of poverty and disease. They shared their worries and their dreams with leaders around the world as part of the newly launched "action/2015" effort, supported by the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit group that the rock star Bono founded.

If you want to be a pessimist about the shape the world's in, just turn on the news. It seems as if we're living in an age of terrorism, war, refugees, hostages and natural disasters.

The Google doodle for Kenya today shows a white-haired man at a table in a primary school, earnestly writing a classroom exercise. The kids behind him grin as if to say, "He is kind of old to be a first-grader."

Well, yes, he is! In 2004, Kimani Maruge went to school for the first time at age 84. Monday marks the 11th anniversary of his first day at school. The Guinness Book of Records says he's the oldest person to enroll in primary school. And who am I to argue?

Our blog was born in 2014, and I'll let you in on a little secret: We had a really hard time coming up with our name. (See: "Why Goats? Why Soda?")

But that naming struggle was nothing compared with figuring out what to call the parts of the world we cover. Third World? Developing world? Global south? Low- and middle-income countries?

If a guy wearing pajama pants and a necktie and sunglasses rang your doorbell and asked to make a video of your home, you'd probably slam the door so fast you'd shatter his lenses.

That's not what happened when Wilbur Sargunaraj went calling on various homeowners in his father's home village in the Tirunelveli district in southern India.

So perhaps you noticed a post I wrote last weekend about how you know if your goat is happy. Yes, scientists do study that.

The story had a cute picture of a goat at the top, taken by a photographer in Dakar, Senegal. The farmer told the photographer that the animal was his "goatie." And to our untutored eyes, it looked like a goat.

We're living longer.

And cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases aren't taking quite as much of a toll as they did a couple of decades ago.

But that doesn't mean we're immortal.

Road accidents, suicide, chronic kidney disease, alcohol-related diseases ... these are a few of the topics to discuss after looking at a new country-by-country analysis of causes of death by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Goats are having a moment, and we're not just saying that because our blog is called Goats and Soda.

There are nearly 900 million goats in the world today, up from 600 million in 1990. The reason for this goat spurt is the growing popularity of goat cheese, goat milk and goat meat.

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