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Germany's Identity Cemented In The Euro

When the euro was rolled out nearly a decade ago, it was touted as a unifying force across European cultures. Uwe Boek, a 48-year-old Berliner, has seen and embraced these changes: "It's us being Europeans in the European Union. Because the euro is money but the European Union is about identity."
NPR

For Greeks, A Sad Shift In Self Image

There was a time when Greeks were proud of being Greek, of being a people known for dancing, being happy without material wealth, enjoying life. Now, Greeks are known for being deeply in debt, accused by some of living the high life on other people's money, of dragging Europe's economy to the brink of disaster.
NPR

Palestinian Unity Would Pose New Headaches

Rival Palestinian leaders met in Cairo this week to discuss prospects for a reconciled government. For more than four years, the Palestinian Authority has governed the West Bank, while the militant Islamist group, Hamas, has ruled the Gaza Strip. But any government that included Hamas would face serious obstacles.
NPR

Brace Yourself: The World Could End In 2012

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History dismisses claims that the apocalypse is coming. Some people predict catastrophe in 2012, based on Mayan forecasts. Anthropologists now say there are two, not just one, ancient references to December 2012. But they warn modern forecasters of doom have "twisted the Mayan cosmovision."
NPR

Afghan Reporters Maneuver Media Minefields

In Afghanistan, a media boom followed the ouster of the Taliban in 2001, but it hasn't been without problems. Watchdog groups report hundreds of cases of violence and intimidation against journalists, including murder. Afghan reporters have learned which topics are off limits, and they take great care to avoid offending the country's most powerful personalities.
NPR

Why Is China's Baby Care Industry Booming?

China's "one-child" policy has repressed and stabilized the number of births, but the market for baby products has exploded. The growth is driven by rising incomes and the intense focus on the single child with interesting twists. For instance, baby formula sales have gone way up because people are now spending more money on foreign formula products because they no longer trust Chinese companies after the melamine poisoning of several years ago.

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