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Afghanistan's Forests A Casualty Of Timber Smuggling

A few decades ago, trees covered an estimated 50 percent of Afghanistan. Now, an official says that figure is just 2 percent. The main reason is the illegal harvesting and trade of timber. A visit to Kunar province, near the Pakistan border, reveals that many people, from top officials down, are involved.

Cyprus President Tries To Calm Public After Anger Over Bailout Deal

President Nicos Anastassiades went on television to say he was working to amend parts of the bailout deal struck with negotiators from eurozone countries and the IMF. The deal would levy taxes on all bank deposits, the first time the eurozone has dipped into people's savings to pay for a bailout.

Maslenitsa Celebration Helps Russians Thaw From Winter

Sunday is the final day of a week-long Russian festival that celebrates folk traditions, heroic eating and the distant promise of spring. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on Maslenitsa, or "pancake week," the last culinary blow-out before the austerity of Lent.

Reframing The Argument: Brokering Middle East Peace

Scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a new book, Brokers of Deceit, he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Host Rachel Martin talks with Khalidi about prospects for successful mediation.

Fear And Daily Struggles: Reporter Reflects On Iraq War

As the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq nears, host Rachel Martin talks with former NPR correspondent Anne Garrels, who reported from Baghdad for much of the war.

Low Bar Set For Obama's Mideast Trip

Tuesday, President Obama leaves on a mission to the Middle East. It will be the first time he's visited Israel as president. NPR's Scott Horsley tells host Rachel Martin that the president will also meet with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and pay a visit to Jordan.

The War Creeps Closer To Damascus

Residents of the Syrian capital have largely been able to carry on with their normal routines. But two years after an uprising began, it is encroaching more and more on Damascus.

The Iraq War: 10 Years Later, Where Do We Stand?

The war has cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, and there are many who will live with its legacy forever. Now, as it tries to stabilize without U.S. combat troops, the conflict in neighboring Syria could threaten its security.