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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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Rural conditions

Jul 16, 2013 — It's a tragedy, perhaps, but books do go out of print. Reviewer and editor Parul Sehgal recommends five that have come back to life.
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Aug 17, 2012 — The author worked in a paper mill and meatpacking plant for 32 years before becoming a writer. His second book The Devil All the Time, set in his hometown of Knockemstiff, Ohio, is now out in paperback.
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Jul 10, 2012 — Novelist Colson Whitehead envisions zombies in Manhattan, while Donald Ray Pollock returns to gritty southern Ohio. In nonfiction, Ben Mezrich recounts the heist of moon rocks from NASA, and Mark Hertsgaard looks ahead to the next 50 years of climate change.
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Apr 22, 2012 — When Akash Kapur returned to India after more than a decade of living in the United States, he returned to a place he hardly recognized. He chronicles some of those changes in his book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India.
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Oct 19, 2011 — Why do gruesome stories draw us in? What is it about tales that chill us that we can't stay away from? Author Bruce Machart doesn't have the answers, but he does have three recommendations of books that explore the depths of human depravity.
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Jul 26, 2011 — Donald Ray Pollock worked in a paper mill and meatpacking plant for 32 years before becoming a writer. His second book The Devil All the Time is set in his hometown of Knockemstiff, Ohio, where he says "nearly everyone was connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another."
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Mar 4, 2010 — The Los Angeles Gang Tours put a spotlight on poverty tourism, but the phenomenon isn't new. Authors writing about class have been giving views of the other side for years. Writer Leslie Jamison shares three memoirs whose accounts define the line between rubbernecking and true works of art.
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Dec 5, 2009 — A few years before her death, Barack Obama's mother completed her doctoral dissertation. Nearly two decades later, S. Ann Dunham's fieldwork has been published — a fulfillment of her dream, courtesy of her daughter.
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Dec 31, 2005 — As we reach the end of the year, U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser joins host Melissa Block to read a reflection — in prose — on welcoming in a new year, from his book Local Wonders.
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Dec 12, 2005 — Time to read during the holidays, away from school and work, is a gift you give yourself, author and book critic Alan Cheuse says. His suggested list of 2005 holiday gifts includes tales of space, dinosaurs, music and a mystical poet.
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