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Afghanistan
2:38 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Former Taliban Stronghold Faces The Post-U.S. Future

Afghan local police officers wait outside a classroom at a training facility in Marjah. U.S. Marines are training local security forces how to maintain calm in the region.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 10:15 am

If there was a place in Afghanistan synonymous with the Taliban, it was the district of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.

Two years ago, thousands of U.S. Marines and British and Afghan forces descended on this checkerboard of villages, canals and fields. They pushed out the insurgents — but at a heavy cost.

Now, with U.S. combat forces on track to depart in the coming months, many are asking whether Marjah's relative peace will last after the Marines are gone.

'We Have Good Security Here'

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It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Under Obama, U.S. Gov't Spends At Lowest Rate In Decades, Says Journalist

President Obama is getting a bum rap on the pace of federal spending, a journalist writes.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 10:39 am

(Updated on 5/23/12 @ 11:55 am. See end of post for Romney campaign response.)

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

In Italy, A Comedian Upends Local Elections

Italian comedian Beppe Grillo poses during an interview at his home in Genoa.
Giuseppe Cacace AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:16 pm

Signs of global discontent are everywhere. States side it's represented by the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements. In Italy, it's the Cinque Stelle (Five Star) movement, founded by comedian and satirist Beppe Grillo.

Grillo's movement upset the Italian political establishment in yesterday's local elections. This wrap from Reuters will sound terribly familiar:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:50 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Shoddy Drugs Threaten Malaria Treatment

The Anopheles stephensi mosquito transmits the malarial parasite while dining on human blood. You can find this type of mosquito in Afghanistan, China, India, Thailand and the Middle East.
CDC

A look at malaria drugs being used in places that are hotbeds for the mosquito-borne illness finds that many of them are substandard or even fake.

And that's a big problem. Combinations of well-made drugs, including those that contain arteminisin, are a cornerstone of malaria treatment. But when some of the drugs are of poor quality or are outright fakes, people don't get well. Ineffective combinations can promote drug-resistant malaria.

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Politics
1:25 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Young Voters, Once Buoyed By Obama, Turn Away

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama rallied young voters to his cause with a message of hope and change. Polls show President Obama still ahead amongst the young but by considerably less. In an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times, Neal Gabler argues that the president severely disappointed many of his younger supporters and drove them away from established politics but toward new kinds of activism and public service. He calls it DIY politics.

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