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Afghan Public Protection Force Replaces Contractors

Nearly two years ago, President Hamid Karzai called for armed private security contractors in his country to be replaced by a state-run force. The Afghan Public Protection Force took over last month, and its off to a rocky start.
NPR

Iran In Tough Spot As Sanctions Take Economic Toll

The United States has stopped buying Iranian oil, and the European Union is set to do so at the end of next month. There are sanctions on Iran's central bank and punishments for companies that help Iran ship its oil. Experts says Iran's oil exports are now in serious jeopardy.
NPR

Mongolians Scramble For A Share Of Mining Wealth

A massive mine in the middle of the Gobi is providing opportunities to thousands of young Mongolians, drawing talent from other fields such as tourism. But some complain that foreigners earn more than locals, and those who can't find mining work are striking out on their own as illegal prospectors.
NPR

Egyptians Prepare For Historic Presidential Vote

More than a year after its revolution, Egypt votes for a new president on Wednesday and Thursday. The race is wide open and none of the 12 candidates is expected to get an outright majority. If those forecasts prove true, a runoff will take place next month between the two top vote-getters.
NPR

Spain's Borrowing Costs Continue To Rise

For months, Spain's borrowing costs have been hovering near levels that sent Greece, Ireland and Portugal into bailouts. Spain will have to cough up nearly $40 billion to pay interest on its debts this year alone. That's many times what's been cut from things like health and education, which has Spaniards so upset. But the only alternative to raising money on markets is simply to stop spending it. Last week, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy signaled he may simply give up, and try to rely on tax revenue alone.

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