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Kerry Lands In Baghdad With Syria In Mind

Secretary of State John Kerry touched down in Baghdad Sunday on an unannounced trip 10 years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein. On his agenda is urging Iraqi leaders to stop overflights of arms and supplies from Iran to Syria. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with Kerry.
NPR

Musharraf Returns To Pakistan Amid Threats

After four years of self-imposed exile, Pervez Musharraf, the former military ruler of Pakistan has returned to the country. Even before he arrived, the Taliban threatened to assassinate him. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Julie McCarthy about his return.
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Nigeria Mourns The Loss Of Chinua Achebe

Award-winning author Chinua Achebe, sometimes described as the grandfather of modern African literature, died this week at age 82. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton in Lagos, Nigeria.
NPR

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

President Obama heads home from the Middle East Saturday, after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Obama spent much of that time in Israel, trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with the Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap from Amman, Jordan.
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In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

When demonstrators began rising up against Arab governments in 2011, Saudi authorities responded with large spending projects and with tough actions against protesters. However, the Shiite minority in eastern Saudi Arabia persists with regular demonstrations.
NPR

Obama Leaves Mideast With Better Relationship With Netanyahu

President Obama's Mideast trip brought him to Israel, and may mark the beginning of a thaw in tense relations between the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. What might that mean to prospects for peace in the region? Robert Siegel speaks with longtime Mideast diplomat Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.
NPR

U.S. Pledges $200 Million To Jordan To Aid With Syrian Refugees

President Obama pledged $200 million in additional U.S. aid for Jordan on Friday to help in caring for a flood of refugees from the civil war in neighboring Syria. The pledge came as Obama met with Jordan's King Abdullah II on the next-to-last day of the president's Middle East tour.
NPR

U.S. Stands Firm On Decision Not To Arm Syrian Rebels

A decade ago, as the U.S. led an intervention to Iraq, France stood on the sidelines and members of Congress were so furious that they renamed French fries in the cafeteria as freedom fries. Ten years later, some lawmakers are urging the U.S. to follow the French lead in Syria. France, along with Britain, says it's time to arm the Syrian rebels and tip the military balance to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. France has also taken a leading role in recent years in Libya, Mali and even on Iran.

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