Last updated 8:05AM 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
Putin seeks to ease economic fears President Vladimir Putin seeks to ease fears over Russia's economy, insisting that the dramatic fall in the rouble will stabilise.
'100 villagers' kidnapped in Nigeria Militants storm a remote village in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 33 people and kidnapping at least 100, a survivor tells the BBC.
Dismay at Sony film cancellation Hollywood stars say Sony's cancellation of The Interview, a comedy film about a plot to kill North Korea's leader, is a "victory" for hackers who threatened cinemas.
Sony cancels 'The Interview'
After a crippling hack and terroristic threats, Sony has scrapped the comedy.
Russian journalists try to thwart Kremlin censorship
A group of Russian journalists decamps to Latvia to strike a blow for press freedom.
New York is first state to ban fracking
Kai sits down with Marketplace's Scott Tong to talk fracking.
NPR Nation/World News