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NPR

Balloonists Crossing Pacific Set Distance Record

American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev, flying east over the Pacific Ocean, surpassed the previous record of just over 5,200 miles set in 1981 for gas-filled balloons.
NPR

Jailed Saudi Blogger Granted Another Reprieve From Flogging; Reason Unclear

Raif Badawi is being punished for insulting Islam. He was flogged Jan. 9, part of a sentence of 50 lashes a week for 20 weeks, along with a decade in prison. Two previous rounds were also canceled.
NPR

China Cracks Down On University Textbooks Promoting 'Western Values'

Education Minister Yuan Guiren says the country's institutions of higher learning should stop using textbooks that criticize China's leaders and political system.
NPR

Russia's Economic State Is A Reversal Of Fortune For Putin

Renee Montagne discusses the state of Russia's economy with Sergei Guriev, a former economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Guriev is now living in exile in Paris.
NPR

Civilians In Debaltsevo Flee Russian-Backed Separatists

The Ukrainian army reinforced its positions and evacuated civilians on Thursday from an enclave north-east of Donetsk that has Russian-backed separatists attacking on three sides.
NPR

Turkish Officials Seem To Ignore Threats Of Extremist Violence

Alert levels were raised in Europe after the Paris terrorist attacks. Experts say Turkey should be concerned, pointing out that "being a Muslim country won't exempt Turkey from violence."
NPR

Russian Economic Woes Hit France's Ski Slopes

For the past decade, wealthy Russians have flocked to the fabled slopes in the French Alps. But the drop in the ruble is now keeping them away, and the region's economy is starting to feel the effect.
NPR

Ebola Cases Plummet In West Africa, As Endgame Begins

Only 99 Ebola cases were reported worldwide last week. That's the lowest weekly count since June. But getting down to zero cases is still a long way off.
NPR

Prosecutor's Murky Death Could Impact Argentina's Elections

Argentina is focused on the funeral of a prosecutor who died mysteriously. And the nation's politics — with elections this fall — reverberate over the 20-year-old bombing he was investigating.
NPR

Senators Work To Open Up Travel For Americans To Cuba

Several members of Congress — recently back from Cuba — are taking steps to further ease a decades old embargo on the communist island. But even as they announced new legislation to open up travel for Americans, Cuba's president is talking tough about what it will take to ultimately normalize ties.

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