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One Moore Bookstore, a small shopfront on a busy street in downtown Monrovia, represents many firsts. It's the only bookstore in Liberia, its owners publish some of the only books aimed at Liberian children and it's a rare place where kids might hear a story read to them just for fun.

In this poor West African nation wracked by war, poverty and most recently Ebola, reading is not something people generally do for pleasure. Kids read when required in school, but Liberia still has one of the world's highest rates of illiteracy.

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Jim Young/Reuters

Donald Trump didn’t attend Thursday night's Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa, which meant he wasn’t around to advocate a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants.

Ben Carson seemed happy to take his place, however. “If you’ve got 10 people coming to your house, and you know one of them is a terrorist, you’re probably going to keep them all out,” he said, referring to the alleged security threat posed by Syrian refugees.

That was how Carson answered a question about the economy from a Latina entrepreneur — a question that had nothing to do with Muslims or terrorism.

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Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Fears are rising of a new and even more massive refugee crisis in Europe, come the spring. This is mainly because there is no end in sight to the civil war in Syria, which is getting ever more violent.

UN officials tried to convene peace talks in Geneva on Friday, to try to find an end to the Syrian civil war. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad was represented. But the UN struggled to get the main rebel opposition coalition to even sit down for "proximity talks."

DJ and record producer Michael Brun is based in Miami now, but he's originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  

Back in June 2015, he made a special trip to Haiti. He wanted to record a song at the Audio Insititute. It's a school with a special mission. Brun says the school "allows anyone who's talented, usually from poorer families, to have the opportunity to get a great education in the arts and to eventually have a career as well." 

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REUTERS/Henry Romero 

Mexico City is one of the world’s thirstiest places, with billions of liters consumed by the capital’s growing population of about 9 million, and a metropolitan area that tops 21 million. And this week, millions of the city’s residents got news that they should prepare for water cuts that will leave them without any water for days.

There is a metaphor so embedded in the discussion of refugees and migrants that everyone from Donald Trump to Barack Obama uses it. The New York Times has put it in headlines, and Rush Limbaugh has wielded it like a hammer in his full-throated style.

Are these animals spies? This one was behind bars.

Jan 28, 2016
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State media

A strange bit of news made its way out of the Middle East this week. Lebanon had detained a griffon vulture on suspicion of espionage. The bird was tagged for tracking by Tel Aviv University, but the GPS transmitter apparently raised suspicion this Mossad agent bird was up to no good. 

Strange as it might seem, this is hardly the first time an animal has been accused of spying, let alone an Israeli animal. 

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Adeline Sire

When you cross the boulevard in the residential neighborhood of Basroch in Grande-Synthe, you enter a different world. The migrants’ camp of Grande-Synthe is spread out on a swampy field surrounded by woods. You can spot small blue and green tents along the sides of the road.

Once you pass through a gate guarded by police, the sight of the camp is gut-wrenching. Lines of tents planted in the mud. They’re crammed together between trees and piles of trash. Some are made of sticks and tarps, held down with anything from sacks of flour to rocks, cans, broken strollers or bicycles.

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Jeb Sharp

I went to see the Stipanovics right after Christmas. It's a big holiday for them. They have a feast with other Croatian friends, roasting a whole pig on a spit in someone's backyard.

"People think that's weird," says Anto Stipanovic, who's a senior in high school. "[At the supermarket], they're all like 'Oh, you're weird, you're taking a whole pig. But we see that as normal. It's a tradition. We spin it like on the fire for a couple of hours."

"You talk, you tell stories," says his older brother Marko, a student at Boston University. "You make fun of each other."

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Tim Padgett/WLRN

Ana Marrero pulls back her shirt sleeve and holds out her left arm.

“In Cuban prisons, I tried on various occasions to kill myself with knives,” she says. 

Eight times.

“Uno, dos, tres, quarto, cinco, seis, siete, ocho,” she counts in Spanish. She counts the healed scars on her forearm. They look like horizontal tally marks.

These days, it’s a lot easier to travel between the US and Cuba, but some Cubans have no interest in going back to their homeland.

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