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President Obama wants to quadruple U.S. military spending in Europe next year. He's budgeting $3.4 billion for more armored vehicles and other heavy weapons meant to counter Russia's aggression in the region.

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Ebrahim Pourfaraj wants to build the biggest hotel in all of Iran.

He's already started his project in the far north Tehran, a wealthy zone where the city climbs up the slopes of the snow-capped Alborz Mountains.

You get out of the car, carefully stepping over the little mountain stream that flows in a channel beside the curb. After stepping through a construction trailer, you emerge on a steel-mesh platform looking over the edge of an enormous hole.

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On Thursday, Shell released its full year report that showed an 80 percent drop in earnings from 2014 to 2015. The company's earnings fell steeply from $19 billion in 2014 to $3.84 billion in 2015.

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On the fifth floor of South Korea's sprawling National Library is a place far more fascinating than its name suggests: The North Korea Information Center.

Here you can read every edition of North Korea's national newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, dating to its first publication in the 1970s. Or peruse a collection of 100,000 North Korean books and videos — fiction, nonfiction and the complete teachings of the autocratic dynasty that runs the country.

Morocco has officially turned on a massive solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, kicking off the first phase of a planned project to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans.

The Noor I power plant is located near the town of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara. It's capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of power and covers thousands of acres of desert, making the first stage alone one of the world's biggest solar thermal power plants.

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At a one-day donor meeting in London, leaders and diplomats from 20 countries around the world have gathered to pledge funds to help victims of the ongoing crisis in Syria.

They hoped to raise $9 billion; they pledged a total of nearly $11 billion.

You can see some of the pledges, and hear about the conference from NPR's Greg Myre, over at Here & Now.

Among the noteworthy pledges: The U.S. has committed about $900 million, and Britain has offered $1.75 billion between now and 2020.

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It won't be easy for a nuclear agreement to open up Iran, even though supporters in both Iran and the U.S. are hoping to ease the Islamic Republic's decades-long isolation. The deal ended many economic sanctions a few weeks ago.

Smokers In Italy Face Steep New Fines

Feb 4, 2016
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There's a moment in the new documentary about journalist James Foley that breaks your heart. It's a scene with Foley talking about the first time he was kidnapped in the Middle East chasing a story.

A historic trial is taking place in Guatemala.

For the first time, according to rights activists, the country is prosecuting military officials for sexual violence committed during the Central American country's three-decade long civil war, which ended in the 1990s.

In the trial going on this week, 15 women have come forward to accuse two former military officials of systematic sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron promised back in 2010 to bring net migration down to 100,000 people a year. Six years later, it's more than three times that number.

That's one reason the government's Home Office decided that non-Europeans on skilled worker visas — known as Tier 2 visas — are not welcome to stay unless they are making at least 35,000 British pounds (about $50,000 a year).

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"If you are a woman who is pregnant living in the U.S., there's one really important thing you need to know: You shouldn't go to a place that has Zika spreading."

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The government of Luxembourg announced Wednesday that the country will be investing in the as-yet-unrealized industry of asteroid mining.

The Russian punk band Pussy Riot has just released a new music video lampooning the country's prosecutor-general, Yuri Chaika.

The prosecutor-general, who is supposed to be one of Russia's top crime fighters, has been accused of massive corruption. The song revels in it.

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Famous for its high peaks and wind-whipped prayer flags, Hindu-majority Nepal used to be a nation unreached by Christianity.

Now the country has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world, according to the World Christian Database, which tracks global trends in Christianity.

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It's halftime and the Warriors are leading the Nighthawks by a touchdown in the championship football game. Inside the locker room, wide receiver Chris Gardner from Minnesota urges everyone to stay cool.

"Do not sink to their level," Gardner says of the Warriors' crosstown rival. "They are losing. They are angry."

"They've got more injured players," says Owen Yan, the Warriors' 6-foot-3 defensive end. "They are more nervous than we are. Don't let them provoke you."

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Our fellow host, Steve Inskeep, is reporting from Iran this week, a place where tradition has been known to get in the way of transition. It's an experience like few others that, as he found, starts before the plane even lands.

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