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Ready. Set. Memorize!

There's no place for chronic misplacers of keys at the 21st World Memory Championships under way in London. About 75 competitors from some two dozen countries are vying to see who can memorize the most numbers, faces, playing cards or random words in a set amount of time in this "mnemonic Olympiad."

Protests Continue In Egypt Over Draft Constitution

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi says he's determined to hold a referendum on the draft constitution on Dec. 15. But it's an election fraught with problems for him and his opponents. It's unlikely to be a free and fair vote, with most judges who would be the ones to serve as independent monitors being on strike, leaving its legitimacy in doubt. His opponents, meanwhile, are in trouble if they decide to boycott the vote or not. Not voting gives Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood a guaranteed victory. But if opponents do vote and lose, then their efforts to quash the draft document and Morsi's power grab would lose legitimacy.

Syria May Have Prepared To Use Chemical Weapons

Robert Siegel talks to Tom Bowman about Syria's chemical weapons.
WAMU 88.5

Unrest In Mali

Mali, a west African nation the size of Texas, was held up by many as a pillar of democracy in the region until a military coup last spring. We explore the continuing changes in the country and their international implications.


Nationalist Rhetoric High As Japanese Head To Polls

Sunday's parliamentary election is taking place against a backdrop of increasing nationalist feeling in Japan. Right-wing sentiment has been growing in the face of an ongoing conflict with China over a group of disputed islands and continued economic and political instability inside Japan.

U.S. Officials: Syria Has Prepared Several Dozen Chemical Bombs

American officials tell NPR that Syria's preparations are more extensive than previously reported. The U.S. and NATO are preparing for ways to address the chemical weapons threat.

Amid Food Shortages, Syrian Opposition Now Runs Many Towns

The Syrian opposition is running many local councils, particularly in the north of the country. They face urgent challenges, such as providing food, and are counting on increased international assistance to help them function.