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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 29, 2014 | KERA · After caring for Ebola patients for several months in West Africa, Dr. Kent Brantly noticed last week that he had symptoms. The 33-year-old immediately put himself into a Liberian isolation ward.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Virologist Thomas Geisbert has spent decades studying Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. He speaks to Audie Cornish about the current Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, and how it might be contained this time around.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · The Eid festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, serves as a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. But one family's holiday in Gaza traces the death and displacement wrought by the war between Hamas and Israel.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Spy stories

May 9, 2014 — John le Carre's counterterrorism thriller, A Delicate Truth, appears at No.10.
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Oct 5, 2013 — Acclaimed British author William Boyd was tapped last year to write the latest James Bond novel. The new book, called Solo, takes 007 on his first trip to Africa. Boyd says the Bond of the novels is quite different from the Bond on the screen — and that he sees a definite overlap between spies and novelists.
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Oct 2, 2013 — Tom Clancy built his fascination with military hardware and history into a best-selling career writing thrillers — beginning in 1984 with The Hunt for Red October. His books were turned into Hollywood blockbusters and popular video games. NPR's Lynn Neary has a remembrance of Clancy, who died this week at 66.
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Sep 28, 2013 — In Blowback, Plame channels her expertise in nuclear counterproliferation into a "realistic portrait" of a female covert agent. Plame confesses that there's a lot of downtime in the life of a spy, but still, the CIA is "the world's biggest dating agency."
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Jul 15, 2013 — Ian McEwan's Cold War spy thriller Sweet Tooth appears at No. 15.
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Jul 5, 2013 — At No. 15, Alan Furst's Mission to Paris features a film star unwittingly involved with fascists.
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Jul 1, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, David Crist looks at America's conflict with Iran and Oliver Sacks investigates hallucinations. In fiction, Ian McEwan delivers a Cold War thriller, Tom Wolfe explores racial and ethnic conflict in Miami and Emma Straub tracks a small town girl's rise to Hollywood stardom.
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May 16, 2013 — A dirty deed and official cover-up drive the plot in John le Carre's A Delicate Truth. The novel sets its sights on old-boy corruption and corporate criminality at the heart of the "Deep State," but critic Alan Cheuse finds this latest effort lacks the tension of le Carre's Cold War novels.
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Jan 21, 2013 — In softcover fiction and nonfiction, Richard Ford tracks the fallout of two unlikely criminals robbing a bank, while Chris Pavone tells the story of a woman's transition from assassin to stay-at-home mom and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts explores Harlem's mythic and modern sides.
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Jan 14, 2013 — Though former MI5 director Stella Rimington knows better than anyone that Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love is not a realistic portrayal of life in the intelligence services, she still loves this tale of sex and violence. Which is your favorite Bond book? Tell us in the comments.
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