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American Held In North Korea Asks U.S. To Secure His Release

The 45-year-old missionary who was convicted and sentenced on charges of subversion, appeared before a select group of journalists from Western agencies to make his plea.
NPR

Low Hopes, High Stakes For Syria Peace Conference In Geneva

The conference, set for Wednesday, will bring together a delegation representing President Bashar Assad and the Western-backed, exiled political opposition. A lot of diplomatic capital has been spent to make this happen, but it's unclear whether there will be a meaningful outcome.
NPR

Examining Vicious Cycle Of Ethnic Violence In South Sudan

In South Sudan, the fighting that began in December continues between groups loyal to two powerful rivals: President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, his former vice president. Renee Montagne talks to Tufts University professor and South Sudan expert, Alex de Waal, about the roots of the conflict.
NPR

Attack On Kabul Restaurant Prompts Security Review

Non-governmental organizations and restaurants are raising security protocols in the Afghan capital Kabul after last week's attack on a popular Lebanese restaurant. Twenty-one people, mostly foreigners, were killed. Some members of the international community say they anticipate more violence as elections draw closer.
NPR

As Iranian Nuclear Deal Starts, Second Round Of Talks Loom Large

Monday marks the first day of Iran's nuclear agreement with six world powers. Tehran will eliminate its most highly enriched uranium stockpile and generally halt much of its nuclear activity, but soon negotiators must begin to fashion a comprehensive nuclear accord in the face of widespread skepticism.
NPR

Food Artist Does Wedding Portraits In Pizza

Food artist Nathan Wyburn creates pizza masterpieces using the dough as his canvas, and tomato sauce, cheese and toppings as his paints. Over the weekend, British newlyweds had their faces made out of pizza.
NPR

Iran's Invitation To Syria Peace Talks Causes Diplomatic Stir

Syrian opposition groups threatened to skip the talks on ending Syria's civil war after the United Nations invited Iran to attend. The U.S. is also trying to figure out if Iran would agree to terms calling for an end to the Assad regime. Renee Montagne talks to Rami Khouri, director of the Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut.
NPR

Flying Doctors Nigeria Began As Female Pilot's Dream

Dr. Ola Orekunrin's dream of creating an air ambulance service in Nigeria was dismissed by many experts as impossible. But the young doctor and helicopter pilot refused to give up. Dr. Orekunrin tells host Michel Martin what it took to set up Flying Doctors Nigeria. This segment originally aired Dec. 5, 2013 on Tell Me More.
NPR

Fairness In Covering Israel And The Palestinians: The End Of An Accounting

Over 11 years, John Felton has reviewed more than 4,000 NPR stories related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in quarterly reports that form an extraordinary study of American journalism. This is his last one. His summation: some flaws, but that the critics who charge bias really want bias for their side.
NPR

Profiting From Rhinos, Far From Their Habitat

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Rhinoceros horns now sell for more on the black market than cocaine or heroin. Demand from Southeast Asian consumers is primarily to blame. In order to cash in, thieves have begun targeting a different kind of rhino habitat: museums. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with journalist Adam Higginbotham about the so-called "Rathkeale Rovers," a gang suspected of several thefts.

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