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Due to a polio outbreak in eastern Syria, the organization Save the Children pleaded Tuesday with both the government and rebels to instate a cease-fire and allow access to hundreds of thousands of young ones threatened by the pernicious disease.

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Americans apparently have a track record of opening their wallets to assist those in need after natural disasters at home and abroad. That was the case, at least, after the 2004 tsunami in Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. in 2005. But the picture looks different in the wake of the recent cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China, leaving international trend-watchers asking: What gives?

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