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Joan Of Arc's Star Power In Demand In France

In these uncertain economic times, French politicians are desperate for a dash of patriotism, heroism and glory. All are embodied in Joan of Arc, who was born 600 years ago this year. Long a symbol of the far right, President Nicolas Sarkozy muscled in on the birthday commemorations, hoping a bit of Joan's star power will rub off on him.
NPR

After Hiatus, U.S. Launches Drone Attack In Pakistan

Reports out of Pakistan say the U.S. has launched a deadly drone strike on militants. The attack would be the first drone strike since the November incident that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers. After that, relations with Pakistan soured even more so than they were before.
NPR

Russia, A Nation Shaped By Tragedy And Hardship

Epic, colorful and fascinating, the nearly 6,000-mile Trans-Siberian railroad can also be a bit of an ordeal — as can much of life in Russia. It's a long-suffering place where national pride often grows from the most difficult times.
NPR

China Targets Entertainment TV In Cultural Purge

Popular dating shows, imperial court dramas, ghost stories and spy shows have largely disappeared from prime-time TV in China. The clampdown on entertainment is part of a wider ideological campaign by Beijing. But the move risks alienating China's largely nonpolitical youth.
NPR

South Korea Takes A Political Turn To The Left

When the current president of South Korea Lee Myung-bak took office four years ago, he turned a cold shoulder to engagement with North Korea. The conservative wing in South Korea opposed improving relations with Pyongyang. But that has proven to be an unpopular policy, and now Lee finds himself in the difficult position of appealing for closer ties in this unpredictable transition period in North Korea. Lee goes to Beijing Monday to seek Chinese backing for this policy shift.
NPR

Assad Blames Protests On Foreign Involvement

A defiant Bashar Assad addressed the nation for the first time in seven months Tuesday, making clear he has no intention of halting the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters and renegade soldiers. Assad lashed out at the Arab League, which has deployed monitors in Syria to oversee implementation of a peace plan. Two of those monitors were reported lightly wounded Tuesday in an attack near a northwestern city.

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