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As state-run TV cheers Vladimir Putin, cable providers have dropped Russia's last independent channel. NPR's Scott Simon interviews the editor of Dozhd TV about its struggles to stay on the air.

Mexican civilians in Michoacan State have taken up arms to fight the murderous Knights Templar cartel. Saturday is the deadline for vigilantes to register their weapons with the police.

The U.S. is advising Nigeria in the search for the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. But Africa expert Paul Lubeck tells NPR's Scott Simon he doubts the Nigerian government can make good use of the aid.

Sunday's referendum in eastern Ukraine comes as fierce battles are waged in the port city of Mariupol. A vote for independence may calm tensions, but it might also bankrupt the economy.

"If smallpox is outlawed, only outlaws will have smallpox," says one NIH virologist. Others say keeping vials of deadly virus just invites a horrific accident or theft. WHO is about to vote — again.

The Pentagon's congressionally-imposed budget cuts ran into a powerful opponent this week: Congress itself. The House Armed Services Committee rejected $5 billion worth of proposed cuts.

The NFL draft opened Thursday night, and as sportswriter Stefan Fatsis notes, it wasn't short on drama. The most talked-about draftee, quarterback Johnny Manziel, slid to the 22nd pick. Stretched across the whole weekend, the draft has become all but ubiquitous.

The new Syrian rebel leader Ahmed Jarab is in D.C., trying to get more support. He is meeting with members of Congress and the State Department, as well as National Security Adviser Susan Rice. President Obama is also expected to drop by. While the U.S. is considering stepping up its secret weapons shipments, some military analysts and officials say this aid may already be too late.

As Russians celebrated their World War II victory, President Vladimir Putin made his first visit to Crimea since its annexation to Russia. Meanwhile, pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine are preparing for a referendum Sunday.

NPR announced the selection of its new CEO: Jarl Mohn, a longtime radio DJ and former media executive, who's been a venture capitalist and corporate board member in recent years.

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