Last updated 5:02PM ET
December 18, 2014
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PRI's The World: 12/17/2014 The White House announced talks will begin soon to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States. Meanwhile, USAID contractor Alan Gross has been released from a Cuban prison in a swap with three Cuban prisoners in the US. And, we head back to Pakistan a day after a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar left scores of people dead, many of them children. Pakistan-based writer author Bina Shah talks to us about the politics of the attack. Plus, meet a Latvian filmmaker who is simultaneously obsessed with sex and depression.
PRI's The World: 12/16/2014 A military school in Pakistan came under attack from Taliban forces, leaving more than 120 dead, many of them students. We hear from a resident of the city where today's attack occurred. Plus, the violence comes on a day when human rights groups launched a new project called Safe Schools. We'll speak with Human Rights Watch about the effort to get nations around the world to agree that schools should be off limits when it comes to war and political violence. And, the Russian ruble is tanking, interest rates are through the roof, and Russians are left to deal with it all through dark humor.
PRI's The World: 12/15/2014 Police storm the chocolate shop where an Iranian-born gunman held dozens of people hostage in Sydney, Australia. We'll have the latest from Sydney and we'll also tell you about a Twitter hashtag that sprang up as the hostage situation unfolded: #illridewithyou. Australians were using the hashtag as a way to reassure Muslims that they wouldn't be harassed on the streets as retaliation for the hostage-taker's actions. Plus, solving the scientific riddle about melting polar ice... And, we end today with a comic-book detective who solves crimes in 1950s America. Blacksad was written by a Spaniard who's never visited the United States and the detective is actually a giant black cat.
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World Headlines
Sony hack is 'US security issue' The cyber attack on Sony that forced a major film release to be pulled is being viewed as a national security matter, the White House says.
IS leaders 'killed by US strikes' US air strikes have killed several high-ranking military leaders of Islamic State in Iraq, the Pentagon's top uniformed officer says.
US Congress threat to Cuba thaw Opponents of President Barack Obama's new Cuba policy threaten to block his efforts to restore diplomatic relations after 50 years of hostility.
Quiz: The art of the academic turnaround
Low-performing schools weigh in on how they try to improve.
PODCAST: The Sony cancellation
Vagueness from the Fed, the Sony cancellation, and farmworkers use tech for better wages.
Leading indicators released for the month
Unlike lagging indicators, these give us a snapshot of the economy as it stands.
NPR Nation/World News