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Hunt Is On For At Least One 'Black Widow' In Sochi

Russian security forces are reportedly searching for at least one young woman who may be intending to set off a suicide bomb. She's said to be the widow of an Islamic insurgent. Meanwhile, the U.S. will have warships in the Black Sea in case evacuations are necessary during the Winter Olympics.
NPR

Egyptian Military Clamps Down On Freedom Of Speech

Mohamed Fahmy is a producer with Al Jazeera English and his job has landed him in jail. His crime: speaking to Muslim Brotherhood members. Since the ouster of President Morsi, opposition channels have been shuttered, and according to the committee to protect journalists, security forces have been given free rein to target anyone viewed as sympathetic to the Brotherhood.
NPR

Palestinian Herders Pick Up The Pieces After Homes Destroyed

Up a barren, narrow valley in the West Bank hills, a small community of herders raises sheep and goats. But it is also an Israeli military zone. NPR's Emily Harris visited the community one day, and returned the next to find their flimsy homes bulldozed by Israeli court order.
NPR

Framework Of Syria Peace Talks Divides Interested Parties

A long delayed Syrian peace conference is to begin in Switzerland on Wednesday. In 2012, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart issued a joint call for talks between the Syrian government and the opposition to reach agreement on a transitional government with "full executive authority." For the U.S., that means Syria's president would be out of power. But the Russians don't see it that way, arguing only the Syrian people can decide on their leader.
NPR

Cost Overruns Threaten Widening Of Panama Canal

Despite threats to stop construction in a dispute over payments, the Spanish company leading the project to widen the Panama Canal says the work will go ahead. The expansion will double shipping capacity.
NPR

Violence In Iraq Goes From Bad To Worse

There have been a wave of deadly attacks across Iraq over the last several days. For more on this surge of violence, Steve Inskeep talks to Prashant Rao, Iraq bureau chief for the French news agency AFP.
NPR

New Force Emerges In Indian Politics: Common Man Party

As India prepares for elections this spring, there are signs the electorate is agitated and ready to throw out the ruling Congress Party. The main opposition BJP looks poised to benefit most. But a new political kid is harnessing public anger about corruption and it could be a game changer.
NPR

Soba: More Than Just Noodles, It's A Cultural Heritage ... And An Art Form

The United Nations has named traditional Japanese cuisine — known as washoku — an intangible cultural heritage. One of the oldest foods of washoku is the soba noodle. But what most Americans call soba is a pale comparison to the actual cuisine. One woman in Southern California is trying to keep the true traditional noodle alive in America.
NPR

Norwegian Festival Shows Off The Musicality Of Ice

At the annual festival in the village of Geilo, the musical instruments are made of ice — along with other natural materials like birch wood or slate.
NPR

Nuclear Inspectors Enter Iran, With Eyes Peeled For Cheating

This week in Iran, international inspectors are stepping up surveillance of the country's nuclear program. The inspections are at the heart of a landmark deal that freezes Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from sanctions, but they are just a first step.

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