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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 | 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.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · China has begun investigations into one of the country's senior politicians. Zhou Yongkang was a former domestic security chief, and he's suspected of "serious disciplinary violations."
 

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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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Optimism

Jul 17, 2011 — NPR coverage of X Out Of Wonderland: A Saga by David Allan Cates. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
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Jun 7, 2011 — From religion to pornography and die-hard optimists to remorseless sociopaths, reading about neuroscience can be a lot more fun than dodging volleyballs on a beach. Here are five brainy picks that are sure to make for some sizzling summer reads.
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Oct 13, 2009 — When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was bombarded with wildly optimistic, inspirational phrases. But a cheerful outlook, she argues, does not cure cancer. In her new book, Bright-Sided, Ehrenreich explores the negative effects of positive thinking.
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Jan 22, 2006 — A satirical look at globalization in the fashion of Voltaire's Candide, the novel X Out of Wonderland by David Cates is based in part on the author's own travels. In addition to writing, Cates directs Missoula Medical Aid, a health-clinic supply program in Honduras.
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