Pakistani police stand guard as a Pakistan International Airline plane taxis on a runway in Islamabad on Feb. 8. The national carrier has struggled in recent years with a $3 billion debt. Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Fake passports and the tools used to make them are displayed at the immigration bureau in Bangkok on Wednesday after Thai police broke up a major fake passport ring led by an Iranian known as "The Doctor." Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Students take part in a protest at the University of Hong Kong on Jan. 20. They protested after a pro-Beijing official was appointed to a senior role, amid growing worry over increasing political interference in academia. Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Parallels

In Hong Kong, A Tussle Over Academic Freedom

Students at the University of Hong Kong protested last month, saying university governance is subject to political interference from Beijing.

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North Korean employees work at the assembly line of a South Korean company at the Kaesong Industrial Complex. South Korea announced Wednesday it is shutting down the industrial park, following North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch. Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Pedestrians stand outside a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday. Stocks plunged again in Japan, and the interest rate on the benchmark bond fell below zero. Eugene Hoshiko/AP hide caption

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The Two-Way

Japan Is Selling Bonds Guaranteed To Lose You Money

With the global economy in turmoil, interest rates on some government debt are falling below zero.

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The totoaba is prized for its large bladder. Richard Herrmann/Minden Pictu via Corbis hide caption

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Goats and Soda

Chinese Taste For Fish Bladder Threatens Tiny Porpoise In Mexico

The nets that ensnare the giant totoaba fish also trap and kill the world's smallest and rarest mammal: a porpoise called the vaquita.

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Rescue workers used heavy equipment to look for survivors trapped in a building that collapsed in a magnitude-6.4 earthquake in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Doctors are about to circumcise an Indonesian baby in Bandung, Indonesia, in 2013. Indonesia authorized medical personnel to perform the procedure in 2010, then revoked the authorization in 2014. Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sushi burritos from Washington, D.C., restaurant Buredo. These are delicious, but there's no way they'll earn certification as authentic Japanese cuisine under a new program from the government of Japan. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

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Hongeo, a dish of skate left to ferment in its own urine, is a beloved delicacy in parts of South Korea — despite its overpowering ammonia smell. A sashimi platter of hongeo for three to four people usually costs anywhere from 60,000 ₩ (U.S. $49.78) to 150,000 ₩ (U.S. $124.46). Marius Stankiewicz hide caption

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Blue cans, seen sandwiched between layers of concrete, are visible at the Golden Dragon complex, which collapsed in Saturday's magnitude-6.4 earthquake in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan. Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Rescue workers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan look for survivors in the rubble of a building that collapsed in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Two-Way

In Earthquake-Rattled Taiwan, A Somber Start To Lunar New Year

Taiwanese officials canceled traditional New Year celebrations and instead went to temples to pray for earthquake victims.

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People watch a television screen showing breaking news on North Korea's long-range rocket launch on Sunday in Seoul, South Korea. Western experts consider the launch to be part of a program to develop intercontinental ballistic missile technologies, banned by multiple U. N. Security Council resolutions against North Korea. Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images hide caption

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