Politics & Government

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Thai legislators installed by the country's military junta have voted to impeach ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on charges of criminal negligence related to her government's failed effort to prop up the price of rice.

The fate of two Japanese hostages threatened with death by the self-styled Islamic State is unclear after the expiration of a 72-hour deadline imposed by the militants for Japan to pay $200 million to secure its citizens' release.

The Associated Press and Japanese news organizations are reporting that the militants posted a video today with a warning that "the countdown has begun." The AP adds: "The posting which appeared Friday shows a clock counting down to zero along with gruesome images of other hostages who have been beheaded by the Islamic State group."

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Saudis are mourning the passing of King Abdullah, who died early Friday at the age of 90 after a long illness.

As NPR's Kelly McEvers reported, he is being remembered as a man who laid the foundation for reform in the conservative Arab country. Dignitaries from around the world, including Vice President Joe Biden, will gather today in Saudi Arabia for Abdullah's funeral. Several Arab countries have declared a day of mourning.

Saudi Arabia's King Abullah Dies At 90

Jan 23, 2015

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Luke Whitworth came to Guinea in December of 2013. His Christian faith had deepened throughout college, and he was eager to begin work as a Baptist missionary.

Around the same time, Ebola arrived.

"At the very beginning, I'd never heard of it," he recalls.

The virus was spreading through Guinea's forest region. Whitworth was here for a two-year stay. He started researching Ebola.

"Just seeing the death rate and what it does to your body, it was scary," he says.

But he's still here — and he hasn't been back home to his native South Carolina.

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Now, in his state of the union speech this week, President Obama said the nation was emerging from crisis at home and abroad. And the crisis is certainly easing in Ohio, where Republican John Kasich is the governor.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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