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A brief encounter between two leaders has raised hope for better relations between India and Pakistan. India's prime minister hosted Pakistan's president and accepted a return invitation to travel to Pakistan. We talk here of two nuclear-armed rivals whose relations were even worse than usual, after Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008. And the meeting came as disaster struck Pakistani troops facing Indian soldiers in the Himalayas.

NPR's Julie McCarthy is going to talk us through all this. Hi, Julie.

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And let's go next to Afghanistan, where a car bomb exploded outside a U.S. air base today. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which killed nine people. This latest wave of violence follows reports of American soldiers burning several copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

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On a Friday morning, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Here's the latest on the crisis in Syria. The U.S. State Department says it has closed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, and evacuated its diplomats. The U.S. also issued a warning for all American citizens to leave the country immediately. A State Department spokewoman says the embassy was shut because of concerns that it's not sufficiently protected from armed attack.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Authorities in Los Angeles are celebrating the arrest of a suspect in dozens of fires. L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told reporters that residents can finally get some rest.

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY: Our long, four-day nightmare is over. This has been, literally, a nightmare. I haven't had a good night's sleep since last week, and I'm looking forward to one tonight.

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And let's hear one more number. In a CBS/New York Times poll released on Friday, more than half the respondents, 54 percent, said that President Obama does not deserve to be re-elected.

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