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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.
NPR

The Optimists' Turn: EU's Crisis May Not Be So Bad

Some analysts say the U.S. economy has been "decoupling" from Europe for some time, and won't be significantly harmed by the recession now starting in many European countries. And some say the U.S. may not only escape Europe's troubles, but actually could be helped by the turmoil there.
NPR

In India, The Pressure Cooker Of College Admissions

Getting into Delhi University, the most prestigious school in India, can be even tougher than getting into an Ivy League school in the U.S. The university's College of Commerce takes less than 2 percent of applicants.
NPR

One Year Later, Arab Spring Still Reverberating

The demonstrations that spread across the Middle East in 2011 unseated leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Yemen's president has agreed to step down and violence continues in Syria. NPR foreign correspondents discuss developments since the Arab Spring and what they mean for the region and the U.S.
NPR

Syria's Assad Defies Pressure To Step Down

Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed to stay in power during a speech Tuesday, defying international pressure for him to step aside. He vowed to respond to threats against him with an "iron hand."
NPR

Israel Cracks Down on Radical 'Hilltop Youth'

The Hilltop Youth have been establishing unauthorized outposts in the West Bank for years. The Israeli government rarely took action until a group damaged an Israeli military base last month.
NPR

American Sentenced To Death In Iran

The U.S. reacts to the conviction and death sentence in Tehran for an Iranian American accused of spying for the CIA. The move is likely to further escalate tensions between Iran and the U.S., largely over Tehran's suspect nuclear program.
NPR

Iran Cultivates Friends In Washington's Backyard

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, is turning to allies in Latin America for diplomatic support, as Iran grows increasingly isolated over its nuclear program. He is visiting Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador — all left-leaning nations that are sharply critical of U.S. foreign policy.

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