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Around the Nation
2:35 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Maryland Bill May Require Holocaust Reparations From Rail Company

Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz's Change.org petition has more than 107,000 signatures.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 8:29 am

Lawmakers in Maryland are considering a bill that would block one of the firms seeking to bid on a multibillion-dollar light rail project from winning its bid unless its majority stockholder agrees to pay reparations to Holocaust victims.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Maryland Delegate Kirill Reznik, would block a consortium including Paris-based rail company Keolis from winning a public-private partnership for the state's Purple Line project, a 35-year contract worth more than $6 billion.

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Parallels
11:03 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

The World According To Vladimir Putin

Putin greets his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, in Moscow on Dec. 19, 2006. Russia has remained a steadfast ally of Assad despite three years of civil war and Western calls for Assad's ouster.
Mikhail Klimentyev AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 11:29 am

The worldview of Russian President Vladimir Putin could be summed up along these lines:

Moscow's precipitous decline in global influence since the Soviet breakup must be reversed. Russia must be respected as the dominant power in former Soviet republics like Ukraine. Russia is entitled to a strong voice in the Middle East based on longstanding ties to Syria and other Arab states. In the rest of the world, Russia will be a counterweight to the U.S. and the West, which meddles in far too many places.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Men Who Vandalized Egyptian Pyramid To Prove Theory Face Charges

Domique Goerlitz shown in one of the pyramid's chambers in this screen grab from their video, which has apparently been removed.
YouTube

Two self-styled amateur archeologists from Germany, who filmed themselves scraping off pieces of Egypt's Great Pyramid in hopes of proving that the ancient wonder was built by people from the legendary city of Atlantis, are now facing possible criminal charges in their home country.

During a trip to Egypt in April 2013, Dominque Goerlitz and Stephan Erdmann, along with a German filmmaker, were granted access to parts of the Great Pyramid at Giza that are normally off-limits to the public. They smuggled their samples back to Germany with plans to produce a documentary.

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Science
3:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Scientists Fear Ecological Disaster In Nicaragua's Planned Canal

A channel big enough to handle global shipping would require deep dredging throughout Lake Nicaragua, the largest source of fresh water in Central America.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Scientists are raising the alarm about the possible environmental consequences of a huge shipping canal that could cut across Nicaragua, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

The government of this Central American nation has signed a deal with a Chinese company that is planning to build a maritime shortcut that would compete with the Panama Canal. Construction could begin next year — yet there's no official route for the canal and no assessment of its potential impacts on the environment.

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Middle East
3:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

With Egyptian Press On Trial, Space For Dissent Is In Question

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 4:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to Cairo where the spotlight is on an important case in the government's crackdown on press freedoms. Three jailed journalists for the al-Jazeera English channel were taken to their first court hearing today. Their arrest nearly two months ago has been denounced by rights groups. As NPR's Leila Fadel reports, they were denied bail today in a short but dramatic appearance.

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Middle East
3:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

In Syria, Neighboring Militant Group Shifts Weight To Step In

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. We begin this hour with Syria. Peace talks have stalled and with no clear path forward, all sides are, once again, digging in. A look at Lebanon's Hezbollah reveals how the region is primed for war. Its fighters are giving pivotal help to the Syrian regime. NPR's Alice Fordham is in Lebanon and reports on why a group founded on resisting Israeli occupation has embraced the war next door.

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSION)

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Europe
3:21 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Kiev Protester Talks Aims And Issues Of Ukrainian Opposition

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Earlier today, we spoke with another protester at Independence Square, known locally as Maidan Square. Viktor Andrusiv has been part of the protest movement from the day it started last November. We reached Andrusiv just hours after he says one of his friends was killed by police. I asked him what happened.

VIKTOR ANDRUSIV: Actually, we still are trying to find out. But he was attacking the police and he has a lot of wounds from a gun.

SIEGEL: A lot of bullet wounds?

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Europe
3:21 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

At Least 70 Killed In Kiev, With Casualties Still Mounting

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In Ukraine, protesters and police clash today in the worst violence yet during the three-month old uprising against President Viktor Yanukovych. A flurry of diplomatic visits to Kiev and the EU's threat of sanctions have failed to slow the carnage. At least 100 people are reported dead after two days of fighting. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Kiev covering the crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Kiev Protesters Find Backup In Philly

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Russia's president is also being criticized by Ukrainian-Americans watching the violent confrontations going on in their home country. Ukrainians in the U.S. tend to side with those protesting in Kiev's independent square. They're angry that President Viktor Yanukovych chose a closer relationship with Russia over a deal with the EU.

The Philadelphia area is home to more than 55,000 people of Ukrainian ancestry. NPR's Jeff Brady reports the community is holding rallies and lobbying their members of Congress.

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Europe
3:21 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

The Portrait Of A People In Putin's Russia

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Winter Games in Sochi have focused world attention on Russia in the age of Putin: huge state expenditures, contracts that benefit the president's cronies, complaints about shoddy workmanship, controversy over Russia's treatment of gays and lesbians.

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