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Officials: Two American Women Freed In Egypt

NBC News, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya are reporting that police in Egypt say two American women and an Egyptian tour guide have been released by gunmen who kidnapped them earlier today near the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET: NPR's Soroya Sarhaddi Nelson, in Cairo, tells our Newscast Desk that she also has been told that the women have been released.

Update at 11:08 a.m. ET: The BBC is also now reporting the women's release.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'The Wake' Is An Unlikely Hit In An Imaginary Language

Paul Kingsnorth self-published The Wake, his tale of the 11th-century Norman conquest of England, written in a pastiche of Old and modern English — and was startled when it became a smash hit.
NPR

Philly Preps Blessed Beer And Other Edible Swag To Greet Pope Francis

Enterprising businesses will mark the pope's visit to Philadelphia next month with irreverent tchotchkes — including beers brewed with holy water and toasters that etch the pontiff's face on bread.
NPR

North Dakota Legalizes Armed Police Drones

Law enforcement agencies in North Dakota are now allowed to operate drones armed with "less than lethal" weapons.
WAMU 88.5

UMUC To Eliminate Textbooks, With Goal Of Saving Students Some Money

The university, located in Prince George's County, says it's a front-runner in making a transition of this magnitude. Students will use online materials instead.

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