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Syrian Civil War Rooted In Drought Years Before Fighting Began

Robert Siegel talks to William R. Polk about how a drought in Syria several years ago forced farmers and families into the cities and contributed to the tensions that led to a government crackdown that led to the uprising. He's the author of Violent Politics: Insurgency and Terrorism, Understanding Iraq and Understanding Iran and has written a piece on Syria.
NPR

Disagreement On Syria Adds To Chill In U.S.-Saudi Relationship

Saudi Arabia, a long time U.S. ally, has been openly critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East and has sent unmistakable signals of its displeasure. The rift appears to be specifically over Syria, but the tensions have been building since the Arab Spring began.
NPR

The Billionaire Who Personified Brazil's Boom Goes Bust

Once among the richest men on the planet, Eike Batista's wealth has evaporated. From a net worth of $34.5 billion last year, the Brazilian businessman is now worth less than 1 percent of that. Many observers see Batista's fall as a parable for the nation's economic woes.
NPR

Thinking Of Working Abroad? Read This

HSBC's survey of preferred destinations for expats finds China at the top of the list for those working abroad. Asian countries did very well overall on the survey.
NPR

Hitler's Gestapo Chief Lies In Jewish Cemetery, Scholar Says

The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. A historian says he's traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.
NPR

As Iraq's Leader Meets Obama, Here's Why The Stakes Are High

Violence is rising again in Iraq, with at least 5,000 people killed this year. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants U.S. military hardware to fight back. He's also seen as a key figure when it comes to developments in Iran and Syria.
NPR

In Uganda, "Cancer Is Death"

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S. is a fanfare of pink paraphernalia. But in developing nations like Uganda, cancer is stigmatized to the point that families often lie about their loved one's cause of death. Host Michel Martin speaks with journalist Joanne Silberner about her award-winning reporting on cancer around the world.
NPR

The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples

A Halloween apple was once a powerful symbol of fertility and immortality. In Europe and the early years of America, girls used apples and apple peels to divine their romantic destiny.
NPR

India's Low-Cost Mission To Mars

India plans to launch a satellite to Mars in November. The mission is budgeted at less than $80 million — a real bargain when it comes to space exploration. The mission fills many Indians with pride, but there's still a debate on whether this is a good investment for a poor country.
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Friday News Roundup - International

International inspectors meet their deadline for ridding Syria of chemical weapons. The U.S. and European Union trade accusations on spying. And there are new concerns that Iraq could be sliding toward civil war. A panel of journalists joins Diane for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

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