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Japan's tough new law protecting state secrets was a victory for Washington, which had long pressured its Asian ally to exert tighter control over classified information. But the controversial law has triggered widespread outrage in Japan and undermined the popularity of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food, and a new generation of young farmers wants to grow it. But many aren't buying land. Instead, they're renting it.

New Year's Day has become its own holiday of sorts for some hockey fans. The Detroit Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Wednesday in front of more than 100,000 people. The game time weather forecast: about 18 degrees, with an 80 percent chance of snow.

In 2012, "massive open online courses" were lauded as the most important trend in higher education. But this year, educators and even students rebelled against the rapid expansion of online learning. Two of the biggest MOOCs say they're making big changes in how they deliver their classes in 2014.

The Irony of Fate is the country's favorite holiday movie. Like classic American films such as It's A Wonderful Life, it captures the magic of the holidays, but in a way that is quintessentially Russian.

Michael Zusman used to be a lawyer, specializing in suing financial companies. The work literally started making him sick. Then he stumbled into baking. His new cookbook promises that you can make your own pastrami, pickles and bagels better than you can buy at your local deli.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was a political hit or miss, depending on whom you ask. Host Michel Martin and guests talk about Cruz and other politicians of note for this year's 'Tell Me Awards.'

The conflict pits the country's president against his former vice president, who is accused of plotting a coup. But the violence in the oil-rich nation also has tribal and ethnic dimensions that threaten the world's newest country.

The new year has arrived in Australia, New Zealand and other places in the Pacific. As 2014 begins around the world, we'll watch for highlights of the celebrations. Among the things to watch for: Dubai's bid to set a new world record for biggest fireworks display.

Early Tuesday, Israel released another group of Palestinian prisoners convicted of violent crimes against Israelis. Former prisoner Omar Masoud says the releases legitimize the peace process for Palestinians. But the family of his Israeli victim says it's unacceptable for Israel to sell "our blood as a gesture."

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