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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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Italy

Jun 6, 2014 — Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins roams from Italy in the early 1960s to Hollywood and the present-day American heartland. It appears at No. 4.
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Jan 24, 2014 — Welcome to awards season. Between the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, and the upcoming Oscars, it's enough to make anyone question America's fixation on movies. But author Kevin Roose says that Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel with a funny take on the movie industry, shows that there's something important going on behind the glitz.
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Jan 24, 2014 — Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers tells the story of a young artist in love. It appears at No. 10.
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Jan 14, 2014 — In softcover nonfiction, Vali Nasr analyzes foreign policy, Kathryn Miles details the fate of a ship fleeing famine and Kurt Vonnegut's letters reveal a man both hilarious and haunted. In fiction, Rachel Kushner plunges into the world of Italian radicals, Jamie Quatro crafts surreal tales and Alejandro Zambra weaves a Chilean meta-narrative.
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Dec 15, 2013 — Each Lenten season, Christians travel to Rome to visit a different martyr's shrine each day. The pilgrim-worn path, which dates back to the dawn of Christianity, includes some of the city's most striking churches and historic art. Theologian George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage, says the journey grounded his faith in real places and people.
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Nov 20, 2013 — On Tuesday night, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night.
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Nov 1, 2013 — At No. 3, Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins follows a doomed affair between a starlet and an innkeeper.
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Aug 30, 2013 — Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel that roams from Italy to Hollywood, remains at No. 1.
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Jul 23, 2013 — The Borgias are more than just a TV show. Reviewer Lizzie Skurnick says Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant shows readers the authentic people behind the pomp and circumstance.
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Jul 19, 2013The Light In The Ruins, about a Florence family imprisoned in its own home, debuts at No. 14.
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