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Don't Pass The Dutchie: Amsterdam Bans Pot From Schools, Playgrounds

Technically, smoking marijuana was never allowed in or around schools, but there was no official way to fully implement the policy – until now. Starting Jan. 1, schools and playgrounds will be deemed "no toking zones" and those who disobey the new ruling face being fined by the police.
NPR

'Complex And Difficult Days' Without Chavez, Venezuelan Vice President Warns

The Venezuelan president is recovering in Cuba after an operation on Tuesday targeted an aggressive cancer. It was his fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba, and comes after he won re-election last month.
NPR

South Koreans Wary After Rocket Launch From North

North Korea's launch of a three-stage missile and its success in placing a satellite into space is a propaganda coup for the country's new leader, Kim Jong Un. But the launch is also significant because of its impact on relations between the North and South Korea, which holds a general election next week. Robert Siegel talks to Anthony Kuhn.
NPR

British Army Aided In Killing During 'Troubles' Period

A review of one of the most notorious killings during Northern Ireland's Troubles, has confirmed that — in the words of Prime Minister David Cameron — there was a "shocking" level of collusion by agents of the state. Cameron made an extended statement in Parliament on Wednesday. Belfast Lawyer Pat Finucane was shot dead by Protestant loyalists in front of his family in 1989. Sir Desmond de Silva's report confirms what's been open knowledge in Northern Ireland for years — that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland's British-backed police force, were involved in the killing and then obstructed the murder investigation. It was also revealed, for the first time, that Britain's MI-5 had spread disinformation about Finucane before the killing.
NPR

North Korean Rocket Launch Adds To Nuclear Fears

The U.N. Security Council has condemned Tuesday's missile launch by North Korea. The North Koreans say their rocket put a satellite into space — but the move violated U.N. resolutions aimed at curbing North Korea's attempts to develop ballistic missile technology.
NPR

Syrian Government Fires Scud Missiles At Rebels

Robert Siegel talks to Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma, about the recognition by the Friends of Syria of the Syrian opposition. He says it's an important step, but the longer the group of exiles go before naming officers in the transitional government, the harder it will be to exert any authority over the small local governments and militias that have sprung up all over rebel controlled Syria.

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