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Alan Gross, U.S. Contractor Freed By Cuba, Says 'It's Good To Be Home'

Havana freed Gross, who spent five years in a Cuban prison, as a humanitarian gesture. The former USAID contractor said he hoped the U.S. and Cuba move past their "mutually belligerent" policies.
NPR

The U.S. And Cuba: A Brief History Of A Complicated Relationship

The stalemate has outlasted 10 U.S. presidents, a failed invasion, a nuclear crisis and countless boatloads of Cuban asylum seekers. All that changed on Wednesday.
NPR

Prisoner Exchange With Cuba Led To Freedom For Top U.S. Intelligence Agent

President Obama called the unnamed man "one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba." The agent spent nearly two decades in a Cuban prison.
NPR

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

Some Christians in Israel and the West Bank celebrate Eid el-Burbara on Dec. 17. The feast honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.
NPR

Risks Have Never Been Greater For Medical Workers In Conflict Zones

They've always been caught in the crossfire. But now they're being directly targeted. And no place is more dangerous than Syria.
NPR

A Tweet On Women's Veils, Followed By Raging Debate In Saudi Arabia

A prominent ultra-conservative figure says face veils for women are not mandatory. Now everyone is weighing in on the hottest topic in the kingdom.
NPR

Cuba, U.S. Agree To Prisoner Release Including American Alan Gross

Signaling what could be a major shift in U.S. relations with Cuba, Gross, who has been jailed in Cuba for five years, will be released, while the U.S. will release three Cubans.
NPR

Obama Unveils 'New Approach' On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course

The U.S. and Cuba will start talks on normalizing relations and discuss opening a U.S. Embassy in Havana. Also today, Cuba freed USAID contractor Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds.
NPR

AP Photographer Snaps Engagement Photo

Jon McAchran proposed to his girlfriend Ashley while skating on an ice rink beneath the Eiffel Tower. An AP photographer was taking pictures of tourists and captured Jon giving her the ring.
NPR

Obama Expected To Impose New Sanctions On Russia

Aides say Obama will sign a bill authorizing new economic sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its ongoing interference in Ukraine. Russia's economy is reeling from earlier western sanctions.

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