World

In an interview with The Associated Press, Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed the U.S. for the collapse of a fragile cease-fire earlier this week and denied carrying out well-documented human rights abuses, such as besieging civilians or using chemical weapons against them.

If there were a hall of fame for criminals, it would have to include notorious Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

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Reuters/U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago/Handout 

The completion of a US weapons deal with Israel worth $38 billion clears the way for two of Israel's Arab neighbors to buy US fighter jets.

Qatar wants to buy 36 Boeing F-15 fighter jets. Kuwait has been waiting to buy 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. “Those have been on hold for years now,” says journalist Dan De Luce, who follows defense matters for Foreign Policy.

Less than a year after China suspended its one-child policy, officials in the central Chinese city of Yichang are asking public servants to have two children.

The request came in a public memo from municipal officials posted to the city government website. After more than 35 years, China relaxed one-child restrictions in January, allowing couples nationwide to have a second child if they want to.

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Historical. A possible turning point.

These are the words health researchers are using to describe a declaration passed Wednesday by the U.N. General Assembly aiming to slow down the spread of superbugs — bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.

"I think the declaration will have very strong implications," says the World Health Organization's Dr. Keiji Fukuda. "What it will convey is that there's recognition that we have a big problem and there's a commitment to do something about it."

The U.S. Treasury Department has granted permission to Boeing and Airbus to export commercial planes to Iran, a Treasury spokesperson told NPR. The government has approved a deal — not yet finalized — for Boeing to sell IranAir 80 commercial passenger aircraft.

On Monday afternoon, a security engineer named Matt Bryant stumbled upon a part of the Internet that is usually hidden from most of the world: a list of websites available to people with Internet access in North Korea.

The total number of sites was just 28.

Bryant's list includes every site ending in .kp, which is the country code associated with North Korea.

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BBC/Wietske Burema

The BBC’s Lyse Doucet has covered the war in Syria since it began five long years ago. So when happenstance found Doucet in her native Canada, she heard about a picnic being held for re-settled refugees from that savage conflict.

The picnic, on Sunday, was in a park in the Leslieville neighborhood of Toronto. Doucet went along with her team, and was doing interviews when a child ran up and asked her name. As soon as she did, a group of children started calling out to her.

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

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

China's first-ever space lab will be returning to Earth in late 2017, and "most parts" of the spacecraft will burn up on re-entry, the country's space program announced last week.

The news came after months of speculation that China had lost control of the Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace-1," the space lab that was launched in 2011 with great fanfare.

Aminu Gamawa wants to change the way Islamic scholars think about health care.

He's a Harvard-trained lawyer who lives in Nigeria, where maternal and child health are major concerns. According to UNICEF, 1 in 13 Nigerian women die while pregnant or while giving birth. In addition, 2,300 children under age five die each day. Many of those deaths, says UNICEF, could be prevented with appropriate medical care.

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