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Isha Devi hails from Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, built by a grieving king for a beloved queen. Isha now lives three hours and a world away from any such romantic ideals.

Renting a small dingy room, this mother of a 12- and 14-year-old has come to the outskirts of New Delhi to live close to her fertility clinic. Isha, 30, is six months pregnant with someone else's twins. Her room opens onto a noisy alleyway of families in similarly cramped quarters all sharing a single bathroom. Isha groans, shifts uncomfortably on her cot and rearranges her pink floral sari.

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To be blunt, I couldn't care less about most of the hotels I've stayed in over the years as a foreign correspondent. Many of them were just a place to take a shower, sleep and then forget about. But La Villa Creole in Haiti was different. I first stayed there in 2008 and quickly found it to be an oasis.

When I was planning a trip to Haiti last month I went on to La Villa Creole's website to look for their phone number and discovered they had closed down. My stomach dropped. It was like being told out of the blue that an old friend had passed away.

The U.S. has halted an attack in eastern Syria amid fears that the airstrike hit Syrian soldiers in the region on Saturday. The attack, which had been targeting Islamic State militants, hit Syrian soldiers instead, according to the Russian military.

"The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military," U.S. Central Command announced in a statement.

Russian officials are working to make sure that Sunday's parliamentary elections aren't a replay of the last such vote, in 2011.

That election triggered protests in which tens of thousands of Russians cried out against allegations of widespread vote-rigging and fraud. It was the biggest challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who has now been either president or prime minister for the past 17 years.

A Cairo criminal court has ruled today to freeze the assets of five prominent human rights defenders — another step in the ongoing crackdown against the government's critics.

The relationship between the U.S. and China these days is fraught with political tensions. But both countries are committed to sending more of their young people to study language and culture in each other's countries — and a component of that is sending more U.S. minority students to China.

That's both to provide more students of color with the opportunity to study overseas, and to create a student body abroad that is more representative of U.S. diversity.

According to China's education ministry, 21,975 American students studied in China in 2015.

William Patrick Kinsella, the Canadian author whose award-winning book Shoeless Joe was adapted into the beloved film Field of Dreams, had died at the age of 81.

His literary agent Carolyn Swayze issued a statement Friday confirming his death, calling him "a unique, creative and outrageously opinionated man."

And as NPR's Rose Friedman tells our Newscast unit, the most famous line he ever wrote was whispered – "If you build it, he will come," in 1982's Shoeless Joe.

On a bright spring afternoon this May, Tom Charles drove to Newark International Airport to pick up a family of Syrian refugees. Charles is an attorney and a bank consultant, devoted to data and details, but he had scant information on the family that would become part of his life for the next year.

He was also sure the Syrian family knew nothing about his team from Nassau Presbyterian Church, who would drive them from the airport to a donated house in Princeton, N.J.

Cuba Fights Off Zika

Sep 17, 2016
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In India, A Rich Food Culture Vanishes From The Train Tracks

Sep 17, 2016

Much like armies, train travelers in India march on their stomachs. And this was certainly true when I was a child, growing up in the 1980s, in the southern city of Chennai. My most vivid memories of summer vacations are of overnight train journeys to Hyderabad, to visit my maternal grandparents. The trips were defined by food.

The Pentagon says the militant known as "Dr. Wa'il", the Islamic State's minister of propaganda and one of its most senior leaders, was killed by a coalition airstrike near the group's de facto capital, Raqqah, Syria.

The news comes weeks after ISIS said its head of propaganda was killed in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Flash drive. Laptop. Phone.

If your home was under attack and you had to flee, what would you take with you?

Lilibeth Diego lives in Malate, in one of Manila's seemingly endless slums. People are packed so tightly here, they often wash and bathe outside. Diego is 53 and has been a meth fiend, she says, since high school.

"Every day since 1981," she says. And she's got the emaciated-looking face and lack of teeth to prove it. She swears she never dealt drugs. A few weeks ago, though, after recently elected President Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on drugs, she surrendered, along with her husband.

She says it was an easy choice.

"I'm scared to die," she says.

The arrest warrant issued six years ago for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been upheld once again. On Friday, a Swedish appeals court dismissed Assange's latest challenge to the detention order against him.

The arrest warrant is related to allegations of sexual assault from 2010.

Issues of digital privacy are rarely this amoosing.

In August 2015, Google Street View captured images along the banks of the River Cam, in Cambridge, England. As the cameras snapped their way through a meadow called Coe Fen, a cow crossed the road.

Google apparently decided it would behoove it to add an identity-protecting blur.

That is to say — the cow beside the Cam in Coe Fen was caught on camera, incognito.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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An admitted former assassin has accused Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte of personally ordering extrajudicial killings — and, in one case, pulling the trigger.

Government officials have forcefully rejected the allegations, with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre calling the man's testimony "lies, fabrications and a product of a fertile and a coached imagination," Reuters reports.

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