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How Did the Media Become Convinced Obama Would Strike Militants in Syria?

A funny thing happened on the way to President Barack Obama's Thursday news conference: The Washington press corps came in convinced that the commander in chief was about to launch airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Syria. But Obama furiously pumped the brakes: "We don't have a strategy yet," he said. "I think what I've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are."

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In Russia, Sign a Mortgage and Get a Cat -- But Only for Two Hours

Russia's largest bank wants to lend you a cat. Isn't that nice?

What did you do for the good folks of Sberbank, the Moscow-based lender, that would make them want to drive a van to your home and drop off one of their 10 cats -- which they keep just for occasions like this -- so you can hang out with it for not more than two hours? Well, they just lent you the money for the house and, as Russian superstition has it, it's good luck for the first creature to cross the threshold of a new home to be a feline. And, yes, the cat has to be returned to the bank.

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Just How Far Will the Empire Strike Back?

Throughout the crisis in eastern Ukraine, a persistent mystery has complicated efforts to resolve a standoff that has erupted into open warfare: What does Russian President Vladimir Putin want?

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North Korea, Wrestling, and Rodman-Free Diplomacy

More than a dozen pro athletes are converging on Pyongyang this week for a sports extravaganza being billed as "The International Pro-Wrestling Festival." Participants include Bob "the Beast" Sapp, a former American pro football player who became a celebrity in Japan as a mixed martial artist; American rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the band The Fugees, is attending as a spectator. Leading the trip is Antonio Inoki, a colorful 71-year-old ex-pro-wrestler-turned-politician.  

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