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Top of the News

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The latest headlines.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

(Soundbite of music)

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Hey, good morning, everyone.

Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq today. It's the fourth such cross-border raid in five days. The Turkish military said yesterday the airstrikes had killed more than 150 rebels and hit more than 200 targets. The air raids that began on December 16th are the first large-scale assaults on Iraqi territory since the Turkish parliament approved cross-border operations in October. The Turkish government says the strikes are necessary to combat Kurdish rebels living in northern Iraq who have killed dozens of Turkish troops in recent months.

Heavy rains in Indonesia over the past couple of days triggered landslides that have killed at least 50 people and flooded areas of the country. Local officials say the deaths occurred in several districts on the main island of Java after more than 12 hours of nonstop rain. The landslides happened on the third anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Indonesians prayed at mass graves yesterday in the province of Aceh, remembering the victims.

On December 24th 2004, a massive earthquake under the sea triggered giant waves that destroyed much of the coastline of the Indian Ocean. Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra suffered most with about 170,000 people dead or missing and billions of dollars in losses.

In addition to prayer services, some villages held emergency drills, forcing thousands of people to scramble to higher ground. It was an act of remembrance and practical response in case such a disaster strikes again.

And it's been more than two years since flooding devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States. Now, there are some rare good news about the health of New Orleans. A new report says the population in that city has grown to 300,000 since Hurricane Katrina's evacuation.

NPR's Jack Zahora has details.

JACK ZAHORA: Surrounding parishes have helped keep the cities alive by providing health care and education. But the urban planning firm that wrote the report, GCR & Associates, says the city's population won't reach pre-Katrina levels unless poor neighborhoods get more money for social services.

The company's Greg Rigamer.

Mr. GREG RIGAMER (President, GCR & Associates): People who depend on these services as a primary provider for public education, public health care, public transportation, there are limited services available to support that sector of the population.

ZAHORA: Rigamer looked at several variables to estimate New Orleans' population including voter roles, home utility usage and U.S. Census data.

MARTIN: That's NPR's Jack Zahora. And that is the news, and it is always online at npr.org.

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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