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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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Russia (Federation)

Jan 13, 2014 — Organizers of the Winter Games are preparing to serve up quite a bit of the hearty, deep-red Russian soup. Which is kind of ironic, says Russian food writer Anya von Bremzen, since borscht carries with it complicated political implications. And not all borschts are created equal, she warns.
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Sep 19, 2013 — Anya von Bremzen's new memoir is a delicious narrative of memory and cuisine in 20th century Soviet Union. She writes about her family's own history and contemplates the nation's "complicated, even tortured, relationship with food."
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Sep 17, 2013 — Author Anya Von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering The Art of Soviet Cooking, is a tragic-comic history of a family and a nation as seen through the kitchen window. Everything we ate in the Soviet Union was grown ... by the party state," she says. "So, with the food, inevitably, you ingested the ideology."
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Aug 23, 2012 — In fiction, Robert Harris explores a financial crash and Jennifer DuBois recounts a fateful meeting. In nonfiction, Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze how the U.S. lags, Tony Horwitz looks at abolitionist John Brown and Adam Gopnik considers the meaning of food.
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May 21, 2012 — For Nancy Pearl, beach reading doesn't mean light reading. NPR's go-to librarian has dug up a diverse mix of titles old and new — a selection of mystery, memoir and more.
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Apr 24, 2012 — Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov writes short, surrealistic stories full of dark comedic surprises. His latest is The Case of the General's Thumb, but critic John Powers suggests starting with his 1996 novel, Death and the Penguin. It's a fast-paced, witty read and what Powers calls "an almost perfect novel."
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Mar 7, 2012 — Daily Beast and Newsweek editor Tina Brown highlights a book and an article on two titanic individuals at the center of political change: Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar.
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Mar 1, 2012 — Media suppression, corruption and murder have marked the regime of Vladimir Putin, who is running for his third term as president in Russia's election next week. His rise to power is spelled out in journalist Masha Gessen's new book, The Man Without a Face.
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Oct 19, 2011In England, where sniping at Booker Prize finalists is a national sport, this year's bickering was especially fierce. But last night's award of the prize to Julian Barnes' absorbing, elegant The Sense of an Ending provided ... just that.
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Sep 29, 2011 — Jonathan Franzen's much-discussed Freedom arrives in paperback, along with selected stories from William Trevor and a new Rick Bass novel set in 1950s Nashville. In nonfiction, Nelson Mandela opens the archives to his past, and Ian Frazier explores Siberia.
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