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In what could mark an escalation of tensions with the West, commercial satellite images suggest that Russia is moving a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles into Eastern Europe. Russia appears to be preparing to permanently base its Iskander missile system in Kaliningrad, a sliver of territory it controls along the Baltic coast between Lithuania and Poland. Arms control experts shared fresh satellite imagery with NPR, which they say provides evidence that the Iskander will soon be...

In central Damascus, it's perfectly clear that President Bashar Assad is firmly in control. In the souks of the Old City, his face looks out of almost every shop window, pinned up next to gold jewelry or intricate rugs. No one has a bad word to say about him, at least not to a Western journalist. In rebel enclaves nearby, forces loyal to Assad are creeping back into control. After years of siege tactics, opposition forces in the suburbs of Damascus are increasingly making deals that see their...

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Khaled Abdullah/Reuters 

A new book, " The Drone Memos ," allows readers to sift through once-secret documents detailing aspects of the Obama administration’s practice of targeted killings of terrorism suspects.   “You look at those documents, and you realize immediately this is a practice we have institutionalized and entrenched and normalized,” says Jameel Jaffer, the former ACLU lawyer who led the battle to obtain the papers. “There was a time when the US would have characterized many of these as extrajudicial...

When the last remaining hospital in besieged eastern Aleppo crumbled under a wave of artillery strikes on Nov. 18, one of the casualties was 25-year-old nurse Kefah. "The last time he called me was one night before he was killed," says Dr. A.M. — an intensive care specialist based in Detroit who, for the past four years, has been providing training and support via Skype and WhatsApp to medical staff in Aleppo. He asked that we only use his initials because the Syrian government has persecuted...

In Syria, thousands of civilians are fleeing eastern Aleppo as pro-government forces advance on rebel-held territory. The city has been divided between the regime-held west and rebel-controlled east since 2012. Now, as The Two-Way reported Sunday , government forces are pushing to split the rebel-held territory in half. The pro-Assad troops have made substantial gains; according to Syrian state media and an opposition-leaning monitor, the forces have taken several key residential areas, NPR's...

Architecture was one of Adolf Hitler's passions, and he commissioned hundreds of buildings and arenas reminiscent of imperial Rome to inspire and intimidate. It's a legacy Germany has struggled to erase by re-purposing or razing Nazi-era structures. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, for example, was placed in an old SS barracks in Nuremburg, while the German Finance Ministry took over the Nazi aviation building in Berlin. The Berlin bunker where Hitler spent his final days was...

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Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

As the brutal civil war in Syria grinds on in its fifth year, it's clear that civilians have borne the brunt of the tragedy.  Syrian and Russian armed forces are regularly criticized for bombing civilians in rebel-held areas. That's well documented in media reports.  But people like Michael Beshara, a Syrian American who lives in upstate New York, argue that the Western media's portrayal of the war in Syria glosses over the human tragedy in government-controlled areas. "The problem I have...

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2016, and is being republished with minor updates following the death of Cuba's Fidel Castro. How's this for historical coincidence: Fidel Castro and his rag-tag fighters assembled in Mexico, navigated an overcrowded boat to Cuba, and unleashed a 1956 insurgency that spawned countless imitators in the decades that followed. On Thursday, Colombia and the FARC rebels signed a deal to end the last major leftist uprising in Latin...

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Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Even by the grim standards of Syria’s five-year-old civil war, the news from Aleppo has been particularly shocking in recent days.  Syrian military forces and their Russian allies appear to be trying to wipe out whatever remains of the opposition in the northern city with an intense bombing campaign.  “Continual bombardment, airstrikes going on throughout the day and night, and a huge number of children injured,” is how Caroline Anning of Save the Children described the situation in Aleppo....

Warplanes were pounding rebel-held areas of Aleppo hours after Syria's government launched a new offensive amid the collapse of a cease-fire earlier this week — and internationally renowned rescue volunteers say their centers are being targeted by the airstrikes. The regime announced the offensive on state media Thursday. "A Syrian military official said airstrikes and shelling in Aleppo might continue for an extended period and the operation will expand into a ground invasion of rebel-held...

A Syrian cease-fire went into effect at sundown on Monday, at approximately 11:45 a.m. EDT. Just hours before the start of the planned cease-fire, Syrian President Bashar Assad announced on state media that he plans to "reclaim every area from the terrorists," The Associated Press reports. Assad's government had earlier indicated it would abide by the negotiated truce. The planned week-long cease-fire is part of a deal negotiated between the U.S., which supports opposition forces, and Russia,...

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Sara K. Schwittek JDP/Reuters

Most people over a certain age remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, and have a story about that day. Fifteen years later, it's practically a cliche to call Sept. 11 a day when everything changed. But for the thousands of men and women who decided to join the US military after the attack, it really did change everything. We reached out to our online community of veterans to hear their reflections on 9/11, why they joined up, and what's happened since. Here's what they had to say. Their...

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East. Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker . Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cfBmRW3isc Surrounded by shouting, he's completely silent. The child is small, alone, covered in blood and dust, dropped in the back of an ambulance with his feet dangling off the edge of a too-big chair. He doesn't cry or speak. His face is stunned and dazed, but not surprised. He wipes his hand over his wounded face, looks at the blood, wipes it off on the chair. And he stares. The world is staring back. The past several years have seen a flood of horrific...

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