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10 Global Stories You Loved In 2018

In a year that brought North and South Korea closer, British politics to the brink and criticism of Saudi Arabia's human rights record to the fore, NPR's international and national security correspondents stayed plenty busy helping make sense of these and other events around the globe. Meanwhile, plenty else was going on — and those events did not escape their journalistic attention. As this list of some of our most popular international stories shows, some of the pieces you liked best were about endangered wildlife, angry Canadians, Mexico's response to migrants and a show-stealing eye roll during a Chinese parliament session.

Of the hundreds of global stories by NPR's international and national security correspondents that we published in 2018, here are the top 10, ranked by pageviews.

The Eye Roll That Upstaged Xi Jinping

A screenshot of Liang Xiangyi, a financial news reporter, who was so disgusted by a fellow reporter's softball question to a government official at the National People's Congress that she was caught on live television rolling her eyes. The moment went viral.
CCTV / Screenshot by NPR
A screenshot of Liang Xiangyi, a financial news reporter, who was so disgusted by a fellow reporter's softball question to a government official at the National People's Congress that she was caught on live television rolling her eyes. The moment went viral.

At China's parliament session in March, the Chinese leader was given permission to rule indefinitely. A journalist rolled her eyes at another reporter's softball question, looked the questioner up and down in disbelief and then finally turned away. Her expression was caught on camera and went viral.

Sudan, World's Last Male Northern White Rhino, Dies

Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhino, grazes at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in May 2017. The 45-year-old rhino's health started deteriorating in late February.
STR / AP
Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhino, grazes at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in May 2017. The 45-year-old rhino's health started deteriorating in late February.

Sudan lived most of his life in a zoo in the Czech Republic but was brought to a conservancy in Kenya in 2009 as part of a last-ditch effort to save his species. He died at the conservancy in March, at age 45.

Audio Of Israeli Prime Minister's Wife Screaming Over Gossip Column Emerges Online

In January, the Israeli site Walla! News posted a recording it said featured Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli leader, losing her temper in a 2009 telephone call with an unnamed senior aide who had placed a news item about her in a newspaper gossip column.
/ Getty Images
In January, the Israeli site Walla! News posted a recording it said featured Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli leader, losing her temper in a 2009 telephone call with an unnamed senior aide who had placed a news item about her in a newspaper gossip column.

In the recording, Sara Netanyahu was furious over a newspaper item about her appearance at a charity event, apparently because the column did not mention she is a professional psychologist who serves the public. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the secret recording was part of a "wild and violent witch hunt" against his family.

Buried In Trump's Nuclear Report: A Russian Doomsday Weapon

On March 1, 1954, the U.S. conducted its largest nuclear test with a yield of 15 megatons. The new Russian weapon would be up to 100 megatons, according to reports.
/ USAF Lookout Moutain Laboratory
On March 1, 1954, the U.S. conducted its largest nuclear test with a yield of 15 megatons. The new Russian weapon would be up to 100 megatons, according to reports.

The administration's Nuclear Posture Review mentions a mysterious Russian weapon called "Status-6" — a massive, nuclear-armed torpedo capable of incinerating cities. But is it real?

In Amsterdam, Even The Tourists Say There Are Too Many Tourists

Fewer than 1 million people live in Amsterdam, but almost 20 million visit each year. A "night mayor" and initiatives to address "overtourism" encourage revelers to treat the city with respect.

'Canadians Are Livid' About Trump And Are Hitting Back By Boycotting U.S. Goods

President Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Group of Seven summit in Charlevoix, Canada, in June.
Evan Vucci / AP
President Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Group of Seven summit in Charlevoix, Canada, in June.

"The brutality of American politics right now is something that is profoundly shocking to Canadians," said a former adviser to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "I think many people feel they do not recognize the U.S. anymore."

Shouting 'Mexico First,' Hundreds In Tijuana March Against Migrant Caravan

A few hundred people gathered in Tijuana's high-end Rio area in October to protest against groups migrating from Central American countries.
/ James Fredrick for NPR
A few hundred people gathered in Tijuana's high-end Rio area in October to protest against groups migrating from Central American countries.

While some residents of the northern Mexican city have said "all migrants are welcome," a group of protesters demanded they be kicked out.

New U.S. Ambassador To Germany Grenell Irks His Hosts The Day He Arrives

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell (left) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier greet the media during Grenell's accreditation process at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin in May.
Michael Sohn / AP
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell (left) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier greet the media during Grenell's accreditation process at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin in May.

Richard Grenell said his tweet instructing German companies to "wind down operations immediately" in Iran was just following "White House talking points."

Mexico Deploys A Formidable Deportation Force Near Its Own Southern Border

An immigration official checks a bus for Central American migrants at a roadblock north of Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico. In recent years the country has apprehended and deported more Central American migrants than the U.S. has.
Rebecca Blackwell / AP
An immigration official checks a bus for Central American migrants at a roadblock north of Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico. In recent years the country has apprehended and deported more Central American migrants than the U.S. has.

Under U.S. pressure, Mexico continues to crack down on migration on its own southern border, even surpassing America's deportation numbers in recent years.

Blood Avocados No More: Mexican Farm Town Says It's Kicked Out Cartels

Mexican avocados roll down a production line at Frutas Finas packing plant in Tancitaro, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán.
Carrie Kahn / NPR
Mexican avocados roll down a production line at Frutas Finas packing plant in Tancitaro, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán.

As avocado production grew in the town of Tancitaro, drug cartels moved in, realizing they could make good money extorting growers and packers. But Tancitaro's residents took up arms, forming self-defense groups to drive the gangs out.

For more original international reporting, you can browse the NPR World section of the NPR website and follow us on Twitter @NPRWorld . Or you can search by reporter here .

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.