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Maggy Donaldson

After a 50-year civil war, Colombia is close to signing a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the main rebel group in the country. That treaty could radically change Colombia’s prospects.

But for millions of indigenous, Afro-Colombian and peasant women, it’ll be hard to recover. The war has displaced them from rural areas to cities, where they’re basically stuck — as maids.

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Left: Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters; right: Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Cuba was the setting for what could be a reconciliation nearly a millennium in the making: Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church met in Havana's Jose Martí Airport Friday morning.

It's the first time leaders from both Christian sects met since the Great Schism of 1054.

Emtithal Mahmoud and the poetry of resilience

Feb 12, 2016

Emtithal Mahmoud is having quite the senior year at Yale.

In October, she won the International World Poetry Slam Championship in Washington, DC.  In November she was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2015. Last week she met with President Barack Obama on his visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced late Thursday that they had agreed to push for a "nationwide cessation of hostilities" in Syria within one week.

The communiqué backed by major world powers also vowed to work toward getting humanitarian aid into hard-to-reach areas such as the city of Aleppo.

For Brazil's Carnival, which officially ended Wednesday, the recording for one of this year's most popular marches begins with the sound of knocks on a door, which creaks open.

“Oh my God, it's going downhill,” the lyrics begin. “The Japanese man from the Federal Police knocked on my door!”

The US policy in Syria is facing heavy criticism from some old allies as Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Munich for an international conference about conflict in the warring country.

It has long been President Barack Obama’s plan to gradually push Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad out of power through UN-led talks. However, this plan is now in jeopardy after heavy bombing in Aleppo this past week by Syria's own government, aided by Russia, which stands to give Assad more power in the city.

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

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

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

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There have been so few moments of optimism during the brutal civil war in Syria, and it is hard to know the true impact of this morning's news.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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