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At 86, Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word." In Paradise, a novel about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp, caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.

Syrian refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the war began. The UN said this week that 1 million refugees are now in the country. NPR's Scott Simon and Alice Fordham discuss the impact.

Afghans voted for a new president Saturday, with only scattered violence. NPR'S Renee Montagne tells NPR's Scott Simon that the vote reflects the country's tug between tradition and modernity.

Malls have long been the place to "shop till you drop." In Southern California, Forest Lawn, a funeral industry leader, has made them places to shop before you drop.

Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime."

Officials at Fort Hood, Texas, are investigating an argument that may have led to a shooting spree there this week. They are moving away from a focus on the suspect's mental health issues.

After a campaign marred by violence, Afghans voted Saturday in presidential elections for what's to be the first ever democratic transfer of power. Results are not expected for some time.

Iran reportedly nominated a diplomat with ties to the 1979 takeover of the U.S Embassy in Tehran. It's the latest sign of how hard it will be for the U.S. and Iran to overcome decades of mistrust.

Officials here adopted the education standards early and could make Oklahoma the second state to repeal them. The battle pits allies against each other: Conservative Republicans and business leaders.

While it appears the 2009 attack at Fort Hood was different in many ways from what occurred Wednesday, the latest attack is drawing attention again to security measures there.

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