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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 29, 2014 | KERA · After caring for Ebola patients for several months in West Africa, Dr. Kent Brantly noticed last week that he had symptoms. The 33-year-old immediately put himself into a Liberian isolation ward.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Virologist Thomas Geisbert has spent decades studying Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. He speaks to Audie Cornish about the current Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, and how it might be contained this time around.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · The Eid festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, serves as a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. But one family's holiday in Gaza traces the death and displacement wrought by the war between Hamas and Israel.
 

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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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Pope Benedict XVI

May 24, 2014 — Pope Francis becomes one of the few pontiffs who have visited the birthplace of Christianity when he makes a three-day journey to the Holy Land where he will reach out to other faiths as well.
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Feb 26, 2014 — It's been one year since Pope Benedict XVI stepped down. Now, he has publicly called speculation that he might not have resigned willingly "simply absurd."
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Feb 22, 2014 — The pontiff and his predecessor appeared at St. Peter's Basilica for a ceremony to anoint 19 new Roman Catholic cardinals.
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Jan 17, 2014 — The defrockings reportedly took place before the election of Pope Francis in March of 2013. The data was reportedly collected to help church officials testify before a U.N. panel.
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Oct 1, 2013 — As the pope begins a meeting with his Council of Cardinals, an Italian newspaper publishes a wide-ranging interview with him, in which the pontiff affirms separation of church and state and expounds on the nature of good and evil.
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Aug 21, 2013 — A Catholic publication reports the pope emeritus did not see an apparition. Instead, it was a mystical experience.
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Mar 15, 2013 — Many listeners complain that for the last month NPR has been "all Catholic radio, all the time." Our review finds that the story count has indeed been overwhelming. But in a comparison among religions and denominations, Catholicism is unique in size, institutional organization and global influence. Now that we have Pope Francis, however, a news break might be nice.
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Mar 15, 2013 — The new pope says Benedict's prayers fuel the church and calls on the prelates to find new ways to evangelize "to the ends of the Earth."
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Mar 13, 2013 — On the second day of their conclave, 115 Roman Catholic cardinals settled on their selection. Now, the new pontiff faces the challenge of leading a church that is confronting many challenges. His chosen name honors a saint known for works of mercy and a simple lifestyle.
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Mar 13, 2013 — Catholics around the world are watching the roof of the Vatican again to learn if their church has a new pope. If they see black smoke, that means the church's cardinals still haven't decided. White smoke and bells signal that a pope has been chosen.
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