U.S. Troop Issue Complicates Diplomacy With Afghanistan

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President Obama is considering pulling all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next year, but the White House says no decision is imminent. Administration officials say the U.S. and Afghanistan are still talking about whether the U.S. will keep some residual force in Afghanistan after 2014.

An Exuberantly Dark First Novel Explores The Chaos Of Central Africa

Fiston Mwanza Mujila's novel, Tram 83, is a freewheeling tale about life in an imaginary place inspired by the author's home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Critic John Powers has a review.

Berkeley's Sugary Drinks Are Getting Pricier, Thanks To New Tax

Berkeley, Calif., passed a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages in 2014. Researchers say soda prices went up three months after it was implemented — a first step toward reducing consumption.

Best Twitter Reactions To McCarthy Withdrawing From Speaker Race

The political world was shocked when the GOP House leader took himself out of consideration for speaker. Rep. Charlie Rangel tweeted that unlike his smoothie, things weren't "smooth" for McCarthy.

How Skyscraper Construction Ties Into Tech Bubbles

There's a lot of talk in Silicon Valley about a tech bubble.Our Planet Money podcast team examines one possible indicator of a bubble: architecture. Very, very tall architecture.

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