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10:55 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Syrian President Issues New Stamps, But Can't Deliver The Mail

One of the three stamps issued recently to commemorate Syrian leader Bashar Assad's presidential election victory.
Via Syrian Arab News Agency

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:06 pm

As the Middle East froths with blood — from Iraq to Syria to the Gaza Strip — a commemorative set of three stamps depicting Syrian President Bashar Assad may not seem hugely relevant.

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Shots - Health News
9:50 am
Thu July 24, 2014

When Federal Privacy Laws Protect Hospitals Instead Of Patients

ProPublica

In the name of patient privacy, a security guard at a hospital in Springfield, Mo., threatened a mother with jail for trying to take a photograph of her own son.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Ukraine's Prime Minister Quits After Allies Withdraw From Coalition

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:23 pm

Ukraine's prime minister announced today that he is resigning after two parties said they were withdrawing from the ruling coalition.

"I am announcing my resignation in connection with the collapse of the coalition," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said, adding Parliament could no longer do its work.

The Associated Press adds:

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Goats and Soda
9:32 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Globe-Trotting Virus Hides Inside People's Gut Bacteria

We are all Russian nesting dolls: Our intestines house many bacteria, which house many viruses. These so-called bacteriophages are likely as important for our health as the bacteria they live in.
Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:34 am

New viruses are a dime a dozen.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Thu July 24, 2014

European Court Rules Against Poland In CIA 'Black Sites' Case

Barbed-wire fence surrounding a military area is pictured in the forest near Stare Kiejkuty village, close to Szczytno in northeastern Poland. The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday.
Kacper Pempel Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:50 pm

The European Court of Human Rights ruled today that Poland broke the European human rights convention by allowing the CIA to imprison and torture two terrorism suspects in secret prisons on its soil.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu July 24, 2014

U.S. Database Glitch Delays Passport, Visa Processing

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:07 pm

The U.S. State Department's global database for processing visas and passports is experiencing problems that could cause delays for millions of people around the world who are awaiting travel documents.

The Associated Press writes:

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Goats and Soda
8:47 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Shades Of The Middle Ages: The Plague Popped Up In China And Colorado

Health officials examine rats for signs of bubonic plague in New Orleans, 1914.
U.S. National Library of Medicine

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:48 pm

The plague isn't just something you read about in medieval history books.

This past week, five cases were reported: four in Colorado and one in China.

The Colorado residents were diagnosed after coming into contact with an infected dog.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Israeli Artillery Hits U.N.-Run School In Gaza

Palestinian children, wounded in a July 24 Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, lay on the floor of an emergency room at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya. Israeli tank shells hit the compound, killing more than a dozen people and wounding dozens more who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:49 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

A United Nations-run school sheltering civilians in Gaza has been hit by Israeli tank artillery, the U.N. says. More than a dozen people have been killed, according to Palestinian officials.

Reuters quotes Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency, the main U.N. agency in Gaza, as confirming that the shelter in Beit Hanoun was hit.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

Sen. John Walsh, a Democrat from Montana.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 8:24 am

After The New York Times reported that Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least a quarter of his master's thesis, the Montana Democrat is telling The Associated Press that post-traumatic stress disorder may have played a role.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Iraq Elects Kurdish Politician To Ceremonial Post Of President

Fouad Massoum speaks to the press after an Iraqi Parliament session in Baghdad in 2010. Massoum, a Kurd, has been elected to the largely ceremonial post of president in Iraq.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:32 pm

Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum has been elected president of Iraq by the country's parliament, another step in forming a new government after months of deadlock.

As Leila Fadel reports from Irbil in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region, "Massoum took his oath vowing to protect the constitution and the unity of Iraq. He made the promise as Iraq threatens to splinter into three pieces."

The vote for the largely ceremonial post of president was delayed for a day after the Kurdish bloc of legislators asked for more time to make their pick. Massoum was their choice.

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