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Tensions Rise As U.S., South Korea Conduct Military Drills

North Korea has cut off a hotline with South Korea, as its southern neighbor begins a large annual military exercise with the U.S. North Korea also announced that the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War is no longer valid, though South Korean officials have cast doubt on this. This comes after a week of inflamed North Korean rhetoric, including threats to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the U.S.
NPR

Militants In Nigeria Kill Seven Hostages, Including Westerners

The seven — four Lebanese, one British, one Greek and one Italian citizen – who worked for a construction company were kidnapped Feb 16. A militant Islamist group claimed responsibility.
NPR

Afghan President Karzai Claims Taliban, U.S. Colluding

The allegations come as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel continues his first visit to the nation as Pentagon Chief – and after a deadly explosion in Kabul on Saturday that the Taliban called a message to the new defense secretary.
NPR

The Queen Takes A Stand For Women, And Maybe Gay Rights, Too

By signing a new charter for the Commonwealth states, Her Majesty is royally endorsing equal rights. One possible outcome of her support: If Prince William and Kate have a girl, she may well be queen someday.
NPR

At The Vatican, A Social Media Blackout Keeps Cardinals Pure

Preparations at the site of Tuesday's papal conclave include a high-tech scrubbing of the chapel for bugs and electronic monitoring equipment. Wi-Fi will be blocked throughout Vatican City, and cardinals with Twitter and Facebook accounts have been warned.
NPR

News From North Korea Careens From Terrifying To Ridiculous

There have been a host of developments in North Korea in recent days. From an unlikely diplomatic emissary in the form of former NBA star Dennis Rodman, to Pyongyang's aggressive response to new U.N. Sanctions. Host Rachel Martin talks with Victor Cha, a professor at Georgetown University and senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International studies.

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