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'Accessible To All': Spain Puts Hope In Holiday Lottery

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in Spain without El Gordo, but "The Fat One" isn't Santa Claus. It's the state lottery, the biggest of the year. Tickets sell for nearly $300, yet more than 95 percent of Spaniards buy them — or at least a share in one.
NPR

The IED: The $30-Bombs That Cost The U.S. Billions

Homemade bombs became the weapon of choice for the insurgency in Iraq. The U.S. has officially declared the end of the war, but one lasting legacy will be how the improvised explosive device, or IED, changed the way the military thinks about warfare.
NPR

Huge Embassy Keeps U.S. Presence In Iraq

The American military contingent in Iraq is being replaced by a huge diplomatic contingent. All together, some 16,000 diplomats and private contractors will be working at the embassy in Baghdad and at consulates in Iraq, making it the largest such operation in any country.
NPR

The Arab Spring: A Year Of Revolution

A year ago, a Tunisian fruit-seller set himself on fire after being humiliated by a police officer. The event set off uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East known as the Arab Spring. Looking back at the year of mass protests, demonstrations and oustings of heads of state, the question remains: Is life better in the Arab world?
NPR

How To Withdraw From A Country

In the run-up to the U.S. military's withdrawal from Iraq over the last few weeks, up to 60 convoys have been roaring across the country at any given time, hauling supplies south to Kuwait. But that's just the equipment the military is taking. Major General Thomas Richardson, the Army's chief logistician in Iraq, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that sometimes it's cheaper to leave it there.
NPR

U.S. Somalis Lose Only Means Of Sending Cash Home

Somalis in the U.S. have long supported their families in East Africa, many of whom were driven from their homes by war or famine. Now the last American bank to work with Somali money-wiring companies is eliminating that service, and some worry that the cutoff could lead to a humanitarian crisis.
NPR

Paroled U.S. Activist Says Peru Won't Let Her Leave

Paroled U.S. activist Lori Berenson said Saturday that she and her toddler son were not permitted to leave Peru despite being granted permission in court to spend the holidays in New York with her family.
NPR

Five Big Moments In The Iraq War

With the Iraq war officially over and the pullout of U.S. forces nearly complete, host Scott Simon talks with Tom Ricks, author of The Best Defense blog, and Jon Lee Anderson from The New Yorker about the most influential turning points of the war.

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