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U.N.'s Palestine Vote: Symbolic Or Game-Changer?

Palestinians are reveling Friday, following the U.N. General Assembly's elevation of their status from nonmember "entity" to nonmember "state." But what that change means depends on whom you ask.
NPR

High Expectations As Mexico's Pena Nieto Takes Helm

Enrique Pena Nieto takes over as Mexico's president on Saturday, marking a return to power of the PRI, which dominated politics in Mexico for much of the 20th century. His inauguration follows his visit this week to Washington and talks with President Obama. Washington is keen to know more about what Pena Nieto plans in Mexico's war on narco-traffickers.
NPR

Damascus Remains Cut Off By Fighting

For a second day, the Syrian capital, Damascus is cut off from the outside world, with the international airport shut, the Internet down and mobile phone lines working sporadically. There are reports of fierce clashes around the capital and heavy airstrikes in the capital's suburbs and in the northern city of Aleppo.
NPR

Widespread Internet Outages Reported In Syria

Early Thursday morning, the Internet in Syria went dark. Technology analysts suspect the Syrian government was behind the action, perhaps as part of an effort to blunt advances by rebel forces. Governments in recent years have become more mindful of the potentially subversive power of the Internet and also more knowledgeable about how to shut it down. The outage in Syria underscores the importance of current disputes over who should control the global Internet. That issue is the focus of a major international conference next week in Dubai.
NPR

Egypt Rushes To Pass Draft Constitution Amid Protest

A new draft constitution will be unveiled in Cairo on Thursday, but it is far from clear whether the move will help resolve or deepen the crisis between President Mohamed Morsi and Egypt's judges. Robert Siegel talks with Leila Fadel, who is in Cairo.
NPR

U.K. Judge: British Press Needs Powerful Watchdog

An eight month investigation into phone hacking and other abuses by British newspapers has concluded that the industry needs a powerful new watchdog with some legal powers to wield carrots and sticks. Judge Brian Leveson, who led the inquiry, says the watchdog would be independent and insists that it "cannot reasonably or fairly be be characterized as statutory regulation of the press." But Prime Minister David Cameron, who commissioned the investigation, voiced doubts about that, saying "I think it would be a dereliction of our duty in this House of Commons that has stood up for freedom and for free press year after year, century after century, to cross a Rubicon of legislating about the press without thinking about it very carefully, first." Cameron's stance angered victims of tabloid hacking. Said one "I think he's gone back on his word and I feel betrayed."
NPR

Palestinians See U.N. Status Vote As A Game Changer

The U.N. General Assembly approved a request from the Palestinians to upgrade their status to non-member state in the world body. Israel and the U.S. were firmly against the move.

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