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Inside Sajaegi, K-Pop's Open Secret

14 minutes ago

Last fall, Malvo, an indie K-pop artist, was walking to the parking lot after a long day. He had just finished a show at a university festival near Seoul, South Korea. In the lot, a middle-aged man approached the musician, saying he had a "marketing opportunity" for Malvo and his songs. He didn't give his phone number, or his name.

On the ground floor of the concrete high-rise that became the headquarters of the protest movement in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, slogans scrawled in black and a mural of a fish dressed in a suit disappear under coats of white paint.

The young Iraqis erasing the murals are followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite Muslim cleric whose support fueled the largely secular protests against government corruption that broke out last October.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an "infodemic" — an overwhelming amount of information on social media and online sites. Some of it's accurate. And some is downright untrue.

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

NPR's Rachel Martin talks to ex-acting Director of National Intelligence David Gompert about reports Trump was angered when he learned lawmakers were briefed on Russia's support of his reelection.

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NPR's Noel King talks to Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima about intelligence officials warning House lawmakers that Russia wants Trump reelected. Trump is furious Congress got the briefing.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 8:57 a.m. ET

Afghan forces, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and the Taliban militia will begin a seven-day "reduction in violence" across the country beginning Saturday midnight local time (2:30 p.m. ET Friday) — a possible prelude to a broader peace deal following two decades of war, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

The quasi cease-fire was hammered out during protracted negotiations in Qatar that began in 2018. It could ultimately lead to a significant reduction of the approximately 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Gov. Gavin Newsom made homelessness the focus of his State of the State address Wednesday, reflecting not only Californians' top concern but also nearly 20 years of wrangling on an issue that has followed him from San Francisco City Hall to the Capitol in Sacramento.

"No amount of progress can camouflage the most pernicious crisis in our midst," Newsom said, "the ultimate manifestation of poverty: homelessness."

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