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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Japan

Jul 19, 2014 — In a sport where the average combatant weighs more than 400 pounds, Czech sumo sensation Pavel Bojar stands out at a svelte 216 pounds.
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Jul 10, 2014 — Three pairs of jeans "distressed" by lions and tigers are up on the block at an online auction to benefit the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City.
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Jul 8, 2014 — When it arrives at the main island of Okinawa, Typhoon Neoguri could bring waves that are 45 feet tall and wind gusts of more than 100 mph.
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Jun 18, 2014 — The country's new law makes the possession of child porn punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of nearly $10,000. But it excludes manga, animation and computer graphics.
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Jun 9, 2014 — Despite a ruling in March by the International Court of Justice that the country's whaling is not scientific, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants to resume the Antarctic hunt.
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May 21, 2014 — Osaka's Kinki University is named for its home region in south-central Japan. But school officials say the name is distracting to foreigners.
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May 15, 2014 — The baumkuchen is an odd yet tasty layered German sponge cake baked on a spit. It arrived in Denver last year via a long, strange tour of Asia. Its history is as complex as its many layers.
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Apr 24, 2014 — A standoff over sovereignty of an island chain that Japan calls Senkaku and China calls Diaoyu has been a source of deep tension between the two countries in recent years.
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Apr 23, 2014 — On the first leg of his Asian tour, the president stopped by the iconic sushi restaurant. David Gelb, who directed a documentary about the restaurant, says eating there is amazing and nerve-wracking.
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Apr 23, 2014 — While visiting Tokyo, the pop star posed for photos in front of the highly controversial Yasukini Shrine, which honors Japanese war criminals.
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