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Five years ago, Peru plunked down $200 million on more than 800,000 low-cost laptops to distribute to schoolchildren. The purchase was part of the global One Laptop Per Child initiative that aimed to end poverty with computers.

But now there are a lot of questions about how successful Peru's effort has been, especially in rural areas like the village of Lacachi.

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have become major players in the global telecommunications market. This week the House Intelligence Committee issued a report that could interrupt that growth. The committee warned American companies not to do business with two of China's main telecom manufacturers, saying they posed a security threat.

Huawei Technologies is the miracle story of the Chinese high-tech industry, says telecommunications consultant Roger Entner.

One day after Congressman Paul Ryan debated Vice President Joe Biden, Mitt Romney took to the campaign trail in Virginia and Ohio.

American Documented Syria's War From Inside

Oct 12, 2012

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Obaida Hitto is 25 years old. He's from Murphy, Texas, although he was born in Indianapolis. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, Dallas. In May, Hitto put thoughts of attending law school on hold and he went to the country where his father was born, Syria. He went to the city of Deir al-Zour in the east of the country and he took up with a brigade of the Free Syrian Army, the rebel force opposing the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. He carried a camera, not a gun.

European Union's Nobel Win Raises Eyebrows

Oct 12, 2012

Robert Siegel talks to Michael Leigh, senior adviser to German Marshall Fund in Brussels. They discuss how the European Union was formed to prevent another war in Europe. The Nobel committee in Oslo named the EU the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

Audie Cornish talks with David S. Cohen, Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, for more about the gang MS-13's new designation as a transnational criminal organization.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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And I'm Audie Cornish. In a cemetery in Beirut, Lebanon, new graves are appearing more frequently than usual. This isn't just any cemetery. It's where the martyrs of Hezbollah are buried. The Shiite militant group is backed by the governments of Iran and Syria. While it's not clear where these latest martyrs were killed, members of Syria's opposition accuse the group of sending fighters into their country to help its embattled government.

When the Soviet Union splintered two decades ago, one of the biggest U.S. worries was how to ensure that the vast Soviet arsenal of nuclear weapons was kept secure.

The American response was the Cooperative Threat Reduction program of 1992. The U.S. provided money and expertise to lock down and track weapons of mass destruction and make sure they stayed out of the hands of rogue regimes or terrorists.

The program has been hailed as a great success, with thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons dismantled over the years.

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This morning, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize and they chose the European Union.

THORBJORN JAGLAND: The European Union is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and (unintelligible) social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result, the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.

Nerds, rejoice! It's Nobel season — the Oscars for lab rats, peacemakers and cognoscenti alike. Every fall, big thinkers around the world wait for a middle-of-the-night phone call from Sweden, dreaming of what they might do with the $1.2 million prize.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Like other hunter-gatherers of Central Africa who've been cast out of their jungle homes, when the Batwa forest people of southwest Uganda lost their forest, they lost their identity.

The Batwa were evicted from their rain forest kingdom in 1991, when two neighboring national parks, Mgahinga and Bwindi, were created to protect shrinking habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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There's a new guerilla art form in London. As Vicki Barker reports, it is intended to bring some levity to the Underground.

(SOUNDBITE OF LONDON UNDERGROUND TRAIN ANNOUNCEMENT)

A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.

Concerns Build Over Violence In Syria

Oct 11, 2012

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This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Columbus, Ohio, today. over the past week, the crisis in Syria deepened as the conflict spilled across the border with Turkey. While stray rounds from the civil war landed on Turkish soil from time to time, Ankara chose to look the other way until a mortar bomb struck a house last Friday and killed five civilians, including women and children.

A few hundred scientists gathered in the small French city of Nancy recently to present scientific papers related to a chemical reaction. Now that may seem a bit humdrum and hardly worth mentioning in The Salt, but in this case, it isn't.

The spread of neo-Nazi influence in Germany came to light fully last year with the shocking discovery of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell responsible for the worst right-wing violence since World War II.

At least nine people of migrant origin were murdered, and there were bomb attacks and bank robberies.

In response, Germany last month established the first centralized neo-Nazi database, similar to those that existed for decades for Islamic and leftist extremists.

Exile Defends Unity Of Syrian Opposition

Oct 11, 2012

Tensions are heating up between Syria and Turkey, as rebels and regime troops continue to battle it out. Host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict can spill over with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International and Radwan Ziadeh of the Syrian National Council, a coalition of exiles opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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And this morning brings news of a literary prize. The Nobel for Literature goes to Chinese writer Mo Yan. Making the announcement, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, Peter Englund:

When you hear the term "film premiere," you are likely to think of Hollywood or New York — not Kabul. But just last week, an award-winning short film was screened in the Afghan capital, and for a good reason: The movie was shot entirely in Kabul and tells the story of two Afghan boys dreaming about their future.

At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.

Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.

As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.

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Now to Ireland where the government is likely to pass a new law called the Personal Insolvency Bill. The legislation is meant to help people who are struggling to pay their mortgages by, in part, forgiving some of the debt that they owe to banks. It could prevent tens of thousands of foreclosures across the country, and here to tell us more about it is Charlie Weston, personal finance editor of The Irish Independent who joins us from Dublin. Welcome to the program.

CHARLIE WESTON: Thank you.

A small number of American troops are on the ground in Jordan, next door to Syria. The troops could be called on to perform critical missions in response to the fighting inside Syria. Possible missions include providing humanitarian relief and helping to secure Syria's chemical weapons.

A terrorism trial unfolding in a federal court in Minneapolis is providing a rare look inside a jihadi pipeline that funneled some two dozen young Somali-Americans to Somalia to join a terrorist group there.

The testimony from three young men who joined a group affiliated with al-Qaida and subsequently returned to the U.S. has shown just how easy it is for young men to leave the U.S. and join a terrorist organization.

Two very different views from two different witnesses today as the House House Oversight and Government Reform Committee opened its probe into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Doctors use liquid nitrogen — a substance registering a wickedly cold 321 degrees below zero Fahrenheit — to freeze warts so they dry up and fall off. Yes, folks, this stuff kills tissue. So imagine what it might do to your stomach if you drink some.

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