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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

And to help us understand what's happening on Capitol Hill tonight, I am joined by NPR's Ron Elving. Hello there, Ron.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Kelly.

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Oleksandr Synytsia/Reuters 

"An act of state terrorism by Russia."

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko did not mince words about neighboring Russia following the assassination of an outspoken Kremlin critic in Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down in broad daylight in front of a luxury hotel in the center of the city Thursday. He was a former member of the Russian parliament before he renounced his citizenship and emigrated last October to Ukraine where he became a citizen.

Post-Fidel-Castro Cuba isn't that different from before

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For years, opponents of Cuba’s socialist revolution pegged the system’s downfall to the inevitable death of its leader, Fidel Castro. Yet, months after Castro’s death, there have been no major protests on the streets of Havana, no popular uprising against the ruling Communist Party.

As Gladys Esther Marta Luís can attest. She's a manicurist who is currently unemployed. For her, things have continued on much like they were before. Since the former president's death in November, she said, “I don’t see any changes,” adding, “Life seems the same to me.”

Jidenna On What It Means To Be 'The Chief'

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London comes together to remember its victims

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Hannah McKay

Hundreds of people paid tribute in central London on Thursday to the victims of a terror attack outside British Parliament a day earlier that left four dead, including a police officer and the attacker, and dozens injured.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan led the tributes in a heavily policed Trafalgar Square, vowing "Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism" after a 52-year-old UK-born man went on the rampage at Westminster.

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Carlos Barria/Reuters

I meet Nadzeya at an upscale café, somewhere in Manhattan. It’s the only place where she would meet me: somewhere crowded, so she could remain anonymous. Nadzeya, by the way, is not her real name.

Let’s get something out of the way. When people think of undocumented immigration in America, many don’t necessarily think of Nadzeya — a tall, pale platinum blonde woman from eastern Europe.

Candlelight vigil honors victims of Wednesday's terror attack in London

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Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Hundreds of people paid tribute in central London on Thursday to the victims of a terror attack outside British Parliament a day earlier that left five dead including a police officer and the attacker, and dozens injured.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan led the tributes in a heavily policed Trafalgar Square, vowing "Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism" after a 52-year-old UK-born man went on the rampage at Westminster.

U.S. Marine artillerymen are now in place on Syrian soil, north of the last stronghold of the Islamic State. A force of local Kurdish and Arab fighters is moving south, continuing to isolate the city of Raqqa.

They're in the opening stages of a major military operation that officials say could last into the fall.

What comes next is expected to have huge implications not only for the fate of ISIS but also for the relationship between Turkey and Russia, as well as the geographic outlines of the future Syrian state.

It will be very complicated.

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