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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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Freedom

Sep 30, 2011 — Jonathan Franzen's novel Freedom was called "a masterpiece" by Time Magazine and received rave reviews from critics. Franzen talks about the runaway success of his previous novel The Corrections, and the strong reaction elicited by Freedom.
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Sep 30, 2011 — Why all the adulatory attention, critics ask, for Jonathan Franzen's latest domestic drama about marriage and family? Even though Franzen gets more praise for doing what many fine female writers do "backwards and in heels," critic Maureen Corrigan says Freedom has earned its accolades.
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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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Dec 9, 2010Fresh Air's resident book critic selects her favorite reads from the year, including Patti Smith's moving memoir, a feminist slant on election season and a new history of labor unions.
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Nov 23, 2010 — Some books aren't just great reads — they're great discussions, too. Critic Heller McAlpin picks the best literary conversation starters of 2010 — guaranteed to give you something to talk about.
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Sep 9, 2010 — Why all the adulatory attention, critics ask, for Jonathan Franzen's latest domestic drama about marriage and family? Even though Franzen gets more praise for doing what many fine female writers do "backwards and in heels," critic Maureen Corrigan says Freedom has earned its high praise.
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Sep 9, 2010 — Jonathan Franzen's new novel Freedom has been called "a masterpiece" by Time Magazine and has received rave reviews from critics. Franzen talks about the runaway success of his previous novel The Corrections, and the strong reaction elicited by Freedom.
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Aug 30, 2010 — Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom, doesn't come out until Tuesday but The New York Times has already declared it a "masterpiece" and Time magazine has dubbed Franzen a "Great American Novelist." The book has gotten so much attention in the media that it's led to accusations of both gender and genre bias among the literary elite.
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Aug 24, 2010 — There's been plenty of buzz about Jonathan Franzen's much-anticipated fourth novel ever since President Obama accepted an advance readers copy for his vacation in Martha's Vineyard. Critic Heller McAlpin says inflated expectations aside, she found Freedom to be a surprisingly moving and hopeful epic.
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