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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).

"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.

In Hong Kong's densely packed Causeway Bay district, a red sign with a portrait of Chairman Mao looms over the bustling storefronts and shoppers. The sign indicates that there is coffee, books and Internet on offer inside.

Customers go past a window where travelers can exchange foreign currencies, up a narrow staircase and into a room stacked high with books. The walls are painted red and decked out with 1960s Cultural Revolution propaganda posters and other Mao-era memorabilia. The aroma of coffee and the sound of jazz waft over the book-browsing customers.

Last month's dramatic arrest of El Chapo, the world's most powerful drug trafficker, brought to mind one of the most gruesome stories in the history of smuggling — one that involved not cocaine, but a substance equally light and easy to transport: tea.

Emad, a Damascus native, says he is starting to feel at home in the northwestern Dutch city of Haarlem. The 25-year-old comes on foot to meet me at the city's train station, where I traveled from Paris to meet him in November.

"It's fascinating, it reminds me a lot of Damascus," he says. "Because it has the old city, then it goes modern and it goes to old buildings [again]. So it gives me a warm feeling to be here."

A landmark deal 10 years in the making will protect 9.1 millions acres of Canadian rain forest on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia.

The protected area in the Great Bear Rainforest is about half the size of Ireland.

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BP Earnings Plunge 91 Percent In 4th Quarter

Feb 2, 2016

Global oil and gas price drops have shattered BP's profits.

The British energy giant said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter "underlying replacement cost profits" (or net income) dropped 91 percent. Profits fell to $196 million, compared with $2.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.

The full-year figures were somewhat less dramatic: 2015 profits amounted to $5.9 billion, down from $12.1 billion the previous year. That's a 51 percent drop.

The current Zika outbreak got its start in Brazil, and that country is still the epicenter of the outbreak. But could the situation in neighboring Venezuela be nearly as bad?

That's the charge being made by some doctors' groups, who claim the Venezuelan government is vastly underestimating the number of cases. The government estimates that around 3,700 people have likely been infected with Zika since the outbreak began last year.

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Every time we turn around, there's a new technology that seems to make everything faster, cheaper and easier. Yet consumers seem to be increasingly interested in some very slow and old technologies — like woodcarving, weaving and other handmade items.

Ironically, it's a modern technology — the Internet — that's making it easy for lovers of artisan goods to find goods and craftsmakers.

The World Health Organization announced Monday a public health emergency. The cause for alarm is the cluster of birth defects among babies born to mothers infected with the Zika virus, which has spread rapidly through Brazil and much of Latin America since 2015.

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