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'Time Is Ripe' For U.S. To Support Syrian Opposition

As John Kerry undertakes his first foreign trip as Secretary of State, the challenges before him are great — especially the war in Syria. He holds a town hall meeting Tuesday in Berlin, which will give us a look at his style and public-diplomacy skills — areas where his predecessor Hillary Clinton excelled.
NPR

Sex Scandals Threaten To Mar Selection Of Next Pope

Pope Benedict XVI announced a change to Vatican law Monday to allow his successor to be chosen sooner than expected. His resignation takes effect Thursday. But the papal succession may be overshadowed by sex scandals. Linda Wertheimer talks to Father Thomas Reese of Georgetown University about recent developments.
NPR

E.U. Agriculture Ministers Address Horse Meat Scandal

Horse meat has turned up — unlabeled — in food in 14 E.U. nations. Linda Wertheimer talks to Joshua Chaffin, of the Financial Times, about the ongoing horse meat scandal in Europe. Agriculture ministers have authorized more testing of meat.
NPR

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI leaves office this week, the second pope to resign voluntarily. The first was Celestine V, a hermit who quit in 1294, after a brief and disastrous stint. Some scholars say Dante damned Celestine as a coward in his Inferno. Yet his example, legally and spiritually, played a major role in Benedict's departure.
NPR

Underwater Hunger Artist: Giant Isopod Fasts For 4 Years

From Japan comes news of a giant isopod that knows all there is to know about the hunger game. How else to explain the fasting behavior of the animal that, his minders say, hasn't eaten in more than 1,500 days? The male giant isopod, known simply as No. 1, last ate on Jan. 2, 2009 — or, to put it in perspective, 18 days before President Obama began his first term.
NPR

Italian Elections Produce Murky Result, Financial Jitters

The center-left was favored, but there was no clear winner as the ballots were counted. Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition was not expected to do well, but was leading in the upper house of Parliament.
NPR

Afghan Government Bans Some American Forces For Links To Killings And Torture

Afghanistan's government is demanding that American special forces units leave a key province near the capital. Afghan officials have said Afghan troops working with the Americans may be be connected to kidnappings and torture of civilians. U.S. officials are still trying to get more information about the allegations. Audie Cornish talks with Tom Bowman.

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