MIDDLE EAST: The World Health Organization has declared a polio emergency in the Middle East after UNICEF confirmed 13 cases of the rare disease that left victims partially paralyzed. Experts also have confirmed the virus is the same strain originating in Pakistan and are redoubling immunization campaigns.
REFUGEES: Thirteen Syrian refugees, members of four families and all survivors of the Oct. 11 boat-sinking off the coast of Lampedusa that killed about 300 escapees, were reunited in a Sicilian enclave a month later.
EGYPT: The trains are running again in Cairo, and Sara Labib is optimistic, in my latest WORLD column on the value of young voices to Egypt's future.
CHINA: Chinese leaders say they will ease the country's one-child policy—allowing couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child.
NIGERIA: The State Department on Wednesday designated Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization, allowing the U.S. to freeze assets, prohibit members to travel, and bar anyone from providing material support to the organization. At a House hearing on Thursday, Nigerian Habila Adamu gave testimony of his first-hand encounter with Boko Haram at his home last year.
After Adamu refused to denounce his Christian faith, the gunman shot him through the mouth in front of his wife, stomped on him, and left him for dead. He said they shouted “Allah Akbar!”—Arabic for “Allah is great”—before leaving.
PHILIPPINES: Spaced-based maps compiled by NASA are aiding rescuers in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, pinpointing areas hardest hit. Badly damaged roads and airports continue to hamper relief efforts, but aid groups are arriving with emergency supplies.