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And people around the world are voting for the next U.S. president thanks to one German news site. Jochen Wegner is the editor-in-chief of Zeit Online.

Voice recognition surrounds tech-loving Americans, from Siri to Google Assistant to Amazon Echo. Its omnipresence can make it easy to forget that making this technology has been really, really hard.

Understanding human speech is one of the most difficult frontiers in machine learning, and the biggest names in technology have devoted much time and money to conquering it. But their products still work for only a handful of languages.

Less prominent languages are still indecipherable to computers — even for text translations, let alone voice recognition.

In Florence, Italy, Tom Hanks has partial amnesia, but that doesn't stop him from battling extremists and a virus they created to end earth's population surge by wiping out half of humanity.

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The hate-speech trial of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders opened Monday, with Wilders notably absent from the proceedings.

The Freedom Party leader known for his remarks against Islam said he's boycotting the trial for alleged racial discrimination and inciting hatred — accusations tied to comments he made about Moroccans at a 2014 rally.

Turkey has arrested senior staff members from the country's foremost opposition newspaper. It's the latest move in a sweeping government crackdown that began following a failed coup attempt in July.

Pope Francis arrived in Sweden on Monday for services marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that split Lutherans and Catholics.

Some 300 million children around the world are breathing highly toxic air, according to a new report from UNICEF.

On Sunday, India celebrated Diwali with lamps, candles, feasting and fireworks. Now, a day after fireworks for the festival of lights, New Delhi is choked with a thick, dark smog.

The celebrations sharply exacerbated the city's perpetual pollution problems — the BBC reports that in the wake of the fireworks, levels of extremely small particulate matter more than doubled over the course of a few hours.

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In Nepal, Post-Quake Reconstruction Is Slow

Oct 31, 2016
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Foreign journalists' access to Syria is severely restricted, but this week, the regime of Bashar Assad extended an unusual invitation to a group of Western reporters to visit Damascus, the capital. NPR's Peter Kenyon and Alison Meuse are among the foreign journalists who've been granted visas to Damascus this week. For Kenyon, it's the first time back since 2008, before the 2011 uprising that led to Syria's war. He spoke with Morning Edition host Renee Montagne about the visit.

The U.S. and Russia are the world's two mightiest nuclear powers, and yet over the years, they've made deals to reduce their respective arsenals.

Just like a marriage gone bad, though, things have soured between Washington and Moscow. Bickering over nuclear issues has increased markedly in recent months, with each side accusing the other of cheating.

And that war of words is being matched by actions:

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Three space travelers landed safely back on Earth late Saturday night.

The journey began in the evening, 5:12 p.m., ET to be exact, when the hatch to the International Space Station closed, and Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi climbed into the cramped Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft that would bring them home.

If they were a political party, women would need only two more seats to form a majority government in Iceland, after winning a record 30 seats in this weekend's national elections. Voter turnout was just under 80 percent — local media say that's a record low for Iceland.

With female candidates winning nearly half (48 percent) of the 63 seats, Iceland now has the "most equal Parliament in the world" without a quota system, according to the country's Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

A strong earthquake in Italy's Umbria region destroyed a centuries-old basilica that was built at the birthplace of Saint Benedict and his twin sister Saint Scholastica early Sunday. No deaths were reported from the quake, which followed a series of smaller temblors.

Images from the scene show firefighters coming to the aid of nuns as they fled one of the buildings in Norcia, which is also commonly called Nursia. One reason for the lack of casualties: many buildings had been declared unsafe after a large quake in August.

Fadi al-Asmi has learned to adjust his Syrian pastries to American tastes at the City Steam Brewery café in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. "America, chocolate!" he says, as he adjusts his baseball cap and serves his latest chocolate-encrusted confection.

It's not the only thing he's learned since he and his family were catapulted into a new life after arriving as refugees in May.

Iran Hardliners Target Dual Nationals

Oct 29, 2016
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Tens of thousands demonstrated in cities across South Korea on Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye step down from office. Her approval rating has hit an unprecedented low of 14 percent and Park's ordered all 10 of her senior aides to resign, following revelations an unelected, unappointed confidant was receiving advance copies and altering dozens of confidential policy speeches. They have led to charges that the friend is a secret "puppet master" and the real power behind "the throne."

Two explosions killed at least nine people in northeastern Nigeria on Saturday. The bombs were detonated by suspected suicide bombers linked to extremist group Boko Haram.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton told our Newscast desk that "the two blasts came 30 minutes and about a mile apart in the Maiduguri area." She said:

Shocked by someone wearing a costume inspired by the Zika virus? Don't be. People have been dressing up as infectious diseases for hundreds of years, way before trick-or-treating became an American Halloween tradition in the 1920s.

Take this quiz to see how much you know about global disease costumes of the past and present:

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who once called President Obama a "son of a whore," said Friday that God threatened to crash his plane if he did not stop swearing.

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