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Should The U.S. Arms Rebels In Syria?

Steve Inskeep speaks with James Dobbins, a former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, about U.S. military assistance to opposition movements in other countries. So far, the Obama administration is only providing Syrian rebels with medical and food supplies. Dobbins is the director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center.
NPR

Mexican President Shifts Focus From Drugs To Progress

Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been in office for three months, and despite his claims that he's fighting drug violence with a new strategy, there are no signs the situation is any better. The president prefers to focus on Mexico's economic potential and has been touring the country, giving pep talks wherever he goes.
NPR

In Upcoming Venezuelan Vote, Hugo Chavez Looms Large

With Chavez gone, his handpicked successor is in the spotlight. Nicolas Maduro has adopted Chavez's style and anti-imperialist rhetoric. That should help boost his appeal as he faces opposition leader Henrique Capriles in a special election April 14.
NPR

North Korea Severs 'Hotline' Communication With The South After Sanctions

North Korean authorities cut off their "hotline" communication with South Korea on Monday as part of their announced withdrawal from the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953. The move came amid a flurry of bellicose North Korean threats, coinciding with the beginning today of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises. The White House also vowed anew to protect U.S. forces and South Korean allies against any threats from the North. Analysts say it is among the most dangerous moments on the Korean peninsula in several years.
NPR

No Clear Frontrunner For Next Pope On The Eve Of Cardinals' Conclave

There's a growing sense excitement and trepidation among visitors to St. Peter's Square on the eve of the conclave to elect a new pope. The 115 Catholic cardinals who will cast ballots break down into two groups: the so-called Roman party, members of the Vatican administration known as the curia, and the so-called reformers, cardinals from outside Rome. The cardinals have said there is no strong consensus around any one candidate so there will probably be several rounds of voting over several days. A cardinal must receive two-thirds of the vote to become pope.

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