Syria

Raed Al Saleh has seen the city of Aleppo in dire straits before. As the head of the Syrian Civil Defense, he leads missions to find survivors after air raids and missile strikes.

But this week even he was shocked by the intensity of the attacks. The past few days in Aleppo are the worst the city has seen since the Syrian uprisings began five years ago, he says.

The Pentagon's final report on the deadly U.S. airstrike on a Médecins Sans Frontières trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October concludes the incident was caused by "human errors, compounded by process and equipment failures."

Syrian kids who passed through Milan's Central Station last year did something very Italian: create artwork. While they waited for trains to take them to northern Europe, Save the Children offered them a chance to draw. They could depict whatever they wanted, says psychologist Vittoria Ardino, president of the Italian Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress, who analyzed 500 of these images.

Anna Pfeifer unlocks a door to one of the apartments for unaccompanied minors in the town of Ronneby, in southern Sweden. She says there are 50 kids at this complex, all between the ages of 15 and 18. They come from countries across Africa and the Middle East — mostly boys, and a handful of girls.

It wouldn't end all the violence that's torn at Syria for years now, but two key parties — President Bashar Assad's government and a main opposition group — have agreed to a truce, according to a joint statement by the U.S. and Russia.

An image of man passing a baby under a fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border has taken top honors at this year's World Press Photo of the Year.

The photo, titled "Hope for a New Life," was taken by Australian photographer Warren Richardson and shows a man with his eyes set on the horizon, passing the infant under coils of razor-wire into outstretched arms in the moonlight.

Aid convoys reached the besieged towns of Madaya, Foua and Kefraya on Monday. Since then, aid workers have reported horrifying scenes of malnutrition and deprivation.

Meanwhile, U.N. officials are emphasizing that the need in Syria extends far beyond those towns. Almost 400,000 people are living in besieged areas in Syria, the U.N. says.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday that the state is suing the U.S. government over the settlement of Syrian refugees. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, accuses the Obama administration of violating the Refugee Act of 1980 by not consulting states on the placement of refugees.

The photo of a 3-year-old child named Aylan Kurdi, face-down on a Turkish beach, has become emblematic of the suffering of refugees fleeing Syria's civil war.

Canada's new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to bring in 25,000 Syrians within a matter of months, but it's not just his government that's handling the massive task of resettling the refugees.

Across Canada, churches, communities and businesses are all pitching in, as are many individuals, who are privately sponsoring Syrian families and covering most of their needs for the first year.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday for a resolution supporting negotiations to end the fighting and bring political stability to Syria. Adopted 15-0, "the plan calls for talks on a political solution and a cease-fire in Syria, except in those parts under the control of ISIS," reports NPR's Michele Kelemen.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to muster diplomatic support to end the civil war in Syria and get all parties focused on defeating ISIS. The passage of the resolution Friday, he said, is a step in the right direction.

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Todd Karol

What was it about Canada this year? A new prime minister (headed this week to Washington)? An attempt at taking already legendary niceness up a notch? These stories caught our eye — in a good way.

1. New prime minister makes waves

Bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S. has become an especially contentious issue. In Canada, however, they're being welcomed with open arms.

Roughly 600 Syrians from refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon will arrive by plane in Canada this evening. They're the first of 25,000 Syrians the new Canadian government wants to resettle by the end of February.

Jewish and Christian leaders are urging elected officials to show compassion to refugees, amidst public debate over allowing Syrian refugees into the country.

A letter released on Wednesday by several leading evangelical Christian churches and other groups calls on elected officials to show "compassion and hospitality" to refugees fleeing violence.

It's dangerous to practice medicine in Syria.

When I called up a physician based in the city of Aleppo, he said he'd have to call me back — there had just been a missile strike. And Doctors Without Borders has released a statement saying that one of its hospitals in Homs was partially destroyed in a bombing on Saturday.

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