Joanna Kakissis

Spring is usually the busiest time of year at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, the world's blossom trade capital.

There are chrysanthemums for Easter. Roses for Mother's Day. Tulips in full bloom for everyone.

Now most of these flowers are being composted. The coronavirus has grounded deliveries and shipments. And now the Dutch government has banned public gatherings of any size until June. People are hardly buying flowers right now.

The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians around the world has ordered churches to halt services and rites until the end of March. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I asked parishioners to stay home for their own safety and the safety of others.

"This trial, too, shall pass," the patriarch said in a televised statement. "The clouds will clear, and the Sun of Righteousness will eliminate the deadly effect of the virus. But our lives will have changed forever."

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Ten-year-old Nurzat climbs out of his bunk bed, tiptoes across the room that he shares with three other boys and opens his locker.

It holds his most prized possession: a framed photograph of his father.

His dad has a thick mustache and wears a gray polo shirt and thick glasses. Nurzat, a wispy boy with huge brown eyes and a hushed voice, says he can almost hear him laughing.

"I miss you so much," he tells the photo. "When are you coming?"

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to Turkey and a boarding school near Istanbul, which is a home to children caught in a geopolitical struggle. They're ethnic Uighurs who have escaped repression in China - their parents weren't so fortunate. They've been swept up in China's mass arrests back home. Joanna Kakissis went to meet the children as part of her series looking at Uighurs in Turkey.

JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: Is this your room?

NURZAT: Mmm hmm.

Abdurehim Imin Parach often looks over his shoulder when he walks around Istanbul. He worries that he is being followed, just as he was last year when two Turkish plainclothes policemen escorted him out of a restaurant in the city and told him he was under arrest.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Thousands of migrants are lining Turkey's border with Greece, egged on by the Turkish government, which declared last Friday that the path to Europe is open.

But as migrants have arrived, they have found the door to the European Union firmly blocked by barbed wire, a rapidly flowing river and riot police armed with tear gas.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

Thelma Okocha had never thought about going to Northern Ireland. Yet here she was, standing on a rocky strap of mossy shore, in the rain. For her, this is hallowed ground.

"Euron Greyjoy almost killed Jaime Lannister here," says Okocha, a 29-year-old business intelligence developer who works in New York. Then she motions to a nearby cave where her tour group is huddled. "And that's where Melisandre gave birth to that demon shadow that killed Renly Baratheon," she says, "I can't believe I'm here."

Katerina Hasapopoulos is not your typical rule-breaker. She's 41, the daughter of immigrants and once a power-lunching marketing director.

Now, she says, "I'm a rebel. I'm a tree sister. I am an Earth protector."

Having children, three little girls, she says, helped her think more seriously about the world they would grow up in. Though Brexit dominates most headlines in the United Kingdom, Hasapopoulos devours stories about how humans are causing climate change.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Austria's youngest-ever chancellor, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is poised to reclaim his job after his party received its biggest victory in years, according to partial results of parliamentary elections.

His conservative Austrian People's Party received more than 37% of the vote, 5 percentage points higher than its showing in 2017, when it teamed up with the far-right Freedom Party to form a government.

Emine Dirican, a beautician from Istanbul, tried to be a good wife. But her husband hated that she worked, that she socialized, even that she wanted to leave the house sometimes without him.

She tried to reason with him. He lashed out.

"One time, he tied me — my hands, my legs from the back, like you do to animals," recalls Dirican, shuddering. "He beat me with a belt and said, 'You're going to listen to me, you're going to obey whatever I say to you.' "

When Protestant loyalists waving British flags march in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry, Donna McCluskey and other community workers stage what she calls a "diversionary festival."

"In the past, young people used to riot," she says, standing in Free Derry Corner, where the buildings are covered in murals lionizing Irish nationalists. But this year, there wasn't as much trouble. "Maybe they were all watching reruns of Derry Girls," she jokes. "At our house I think we watched every episode three times."

Deep in Northern Ireland's County Armagh, on a farm tucked into the impossibly green hills and orchards, Philip Toner is feeding his cows.

"This is my life," he says, walking into the main cow shed, greeted by moos. "I've been working this dairy farm for 28 years. My children grew up on it, and now we run it together. My family has actually farmed this land since back in the mid-1800s."

Toner is 50, lanky and welcoming, with reading glasses perpetually propped on his silver hair. He points to the original 19th-century farmhouse, where his oldest son now lives.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DERRY GIRLS")

SAOIRSE-MONICA JACKSON: (As Erin) It's about The Troubles in a political sense but also about my own troubles in a personal sense.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The United Kingdom has a new prime minister. The ruling Conservative Party made the announcement in London this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Updated at 3:20 a.m. Monday

The United Kingdom is trying to defuse an escalating standoff with Iran just days before Britain's ruling Conservative Party announces the successor to Theresa May, who is resigning.

Some 160,000 members of the Tory Party have until today to return their ballots selecting a new leader. The winner, to be announced on Tuesday, is expected to be Boris Johnson.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Greeks elected a conservative party led by the scion of a powerful political dynasty in national elections on Sunday, a rejection of the country's left-wing government seen as being too slow in improving the economy after a long financial crisis.

Five years ago this month, Danisch Farooqi dropped off his daughter, Aaliya, at her mother's house in the German port city of Hamburg.

He remembers walking the girl, then almost 4, to his ex-wife's front door and hugging her.

"And I said, 'I'll see you next week,' " he recalls.

A few days later, he received a call from an unknown number in Turkey. It was his ex-wife's new husband. He told Farooqi he was in Turkey, recovering from injuries sustained while fighting in Syria. He'd brought the whole family to Turkey, including Aaliya.

In Germany, the European Union's biggest cheerleader, the upcoming elections for the European Parliament are supposed to inspire unity.

Instead, nationalism is unraveling European unity. Populist parties that rail against immigration, globalist elites and the EU itself are expected to gain seats in the elections. The United Kingdom already voted on Thursday; Germany and most other EU states will vote on Sunday.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Pages