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Let's start on the front line of every faltering economy: the grocery store. In a Baghdad shop lined with baskets of spices and rose petal tea, owner Osama al-Hassani is measuring out roasted, salted beans.

"Is that enough?" he says to a customer.

It's not very much. The customer says he'll actually take a bit less. And the shopkeeper complains that this is the situation now. He says he used to have 30 workers in his store and now he has only two. Business has been down for months. His customers are squeezed and worried

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In front of one of the colleges at Oxford University, a statue of Cecil Rhodes stands overlooking the campus. Rhodes, a South African businessman, started the De Beers diamond company and went on to become the namesake of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

He was also a colonialist who believed in the superiority of Anglo-Saxons, and he enforced a policy of racial segregation in South Africa.

Now, because of that history, a growing number of students at Oxford say it's time to take down the statue of Rhodes.

Editor's note: The original version of this post contained a map illustration intended to represent the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which poll respondents identified as the region presenting the greatest risk to travelers and expatriates in 2016. The map had a number of errors. The countries of Cyprus, Israel and Turkey were either not shown or not labeled; the label for "Palestine" should have read "Palestinian territories"; and Afghanistan and Pakistan were mistakenly included. NPR apologizes for these errors.

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A 13-year-old Palestinian girl was shot and killed by a security guard at a West Bank settlement after she attempted to stab him, according to Israeli police.

The police said the girl had fought with her family before leaving home with a knife, according to both AP and Reuters.

The girl's mother tells Reuters there hadn't been any trouble before the girl left the family's tent.

January is supposed to be a slow month for sea crossings. With rough waters whipped up by high winds, rubber rafts capsize, wooden boats sink — and it's cold. You could freeze in the water.

But on Wednesday morning last week, Vassilis Hantzopoulos has already seen 15 boats filled with asylum seekers on a tiny strip of sea separating Turkey from Greece and the rest of the European Union.

Hantzopoulos, a gravelly-voiced volunteer first-responder with the underfunded Hellenic Red Cross, stands on a cliff and scans the sea with binoculars.

Monkeys are clever and cute — or so the conventional wisdom in China has it. And therefore people see the Year of the Monkey, which begins on Feb. 8, as an auspicious time for making babies.

The Year of the Goat, however, which is now coming to an end, has the opposite reputation. "Nine out of 10 babies born in the Year of the Goat are unlucky," goes an old Chinese saying. (While some translations have it as "goat," others render it as "sheep" or "ram.")

Something new — and quite frightening — appears to be happening with the Zika virus.

For decades Zika was a virus that turned up in monkeys and occasionally in humans in Africa and Southeast Asia. Its symptoms were mild and the number of confirmed human cases was low.

The first big outbreak was on the island of Yap in Micronesia. Three quarters of the island's population were infected — about 5,000 people. But few of them reported any symptoms.

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We've all seen a police car chase that ends with a fiery crash, but what about one that ends with a flock of sheep?

In Queenstown, New Zealand, police got some unexpected help as they chased a car full of purported thieves. Flashing lights and road spikes failed to stop the suspects, who were on the lam for 90 minutes; then the sheep stepped up. In the right place at the right time, more than 150 sheep and their shepherd walked onto the road and blocked the fugitives' escape path.

On the surface, Flint, Mich., and Kabwe, Zambia, don't seem to have a lot in common.

They're half a world away from each other. One is a city of 99,000 in one of the richest countries in the world. The other is a city of 203,000 in a lower-middle-income country.

More than 16 years after Roger Federer played in his first Grand Slam event, he's won his 300th match, becoming the first man to reach that mark. He now trails only Martina Navratilova, who won 306 matches at the highest level of tennis. Federer, 34, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.

It's a cold day in Copenhagen, and the brightly colored snowsuits worn by Danish children make it easy to pick them out of a crowd here at the Odense Zoo, on the Danish island of Fyn. There are dozens of kids — all ages — many of them standing as close as possible to the euthanized lion laid out on a table.

"We're here to see the lion cut open," says 6-year-old Liv.

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Last September, Miguel Ángel Galán was busy in his office south of Madrid when he happened to glance up at a TV on in the background.

Maybe El Niño isn't as bad as its reputation.

El Niño is an ocean-warming phenomenon in the Pacific that crops up every few years and alters world weather patterns. And the world is in the middle of a big El Niño that roughly began in May 2015 and will continue for at least several more months this year.

This El Niño has already been linked to a series of weather-related disasters: Massive flooding in Paraguay. Drought in Ethiopia. Another looming food crisis in Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

UPDATE January 26, 11:52 a.m.: This live Q&A has ended. Watch a recorded version in the player above.

Britain says the circumstantial evidence points to Russian President Vladimir Putin's involvement in the poisoning death of an ex-Russian security agent who died after drinking polonium-laced tea at a London hotel.

So what's Britain going to do about it?

Not very much. And that's largely in keeping with the West's response to Putin's many controversial actions throughout his 16 years in power.

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Well, now for Russian reaction to the report. We turn to NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow. And Corey, how has this been covered by Russian news media?

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