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Al-Qaida Extremists Fight For Influence In Iraq, Syria

In Syria, militias linked to al-Qaida have taken the lead in the fight against the Assad government. In Iraq, they've caused a wave of violence including bombings against civilians and attacks on government forces.
NPR

The First Latino 'Bachelor' Makes His Debut

ABC's hit reality series adds its first bachelor-of-color this season: Juan Pablo Galavis. But critics say he adds little diversity beyond The Bachelors who came before.
NPR

Kerry Leaves Jerusalem Without Much Progress On Peace Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry is wrapping up his latest trip to the Middle East. He's trying to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to agree on a "framework" deal.
NPR

Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In The Illegal Gun Trade

Women play an outsized role in the underground firearms marketplace. Often they handle illegal guns that are not for for their own use, but for men close to them. One Boston program is campaigning against gun violence, drawing connections between "crime guns" and domestic violence.
NPR

Electronic Rights At The U.S. Border: What They Can Search

This week, a federal judge upheld the government's right to search, without a warrant or "reasonable suspicion," a traveler's electronic devices at U.S. borders. The case had revolved around an American whose laptop was searched as he entered the U.S. from Canada. The federal government says such searches are rare, and, when they occur, help to protect the country. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Susan Stellin, a contributor to The New York Times, about the ruling and what rights people have at U.S. borders.
NPR

Kerry Appears To Signal Openness To Iran Role In Syria Talks

The U.S. has long opposed an Iranian role in the so-called Geneva II talks later this month, but Secretary of State John Kerry's comments in Jerusalem may be the first sign that opposition is softening. Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces are battling a range of rebel groups, some of them backed by the West.
NPR

Israel's Sharon Fights For Life, But Doctors 'Pessimistic'

The head of the hospital where Ariel Sharon is being treated says the former Israeli prime minister is "fighting like a lion," but his condition is still critical. The 85-year-old has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in 2006.
NPR

At Least 20 Dead In Baghdad Blasts; Fighting In Anbar Continues

A wave of blasts in the capital targeted Shiite areas. The attacks come as Sunni militants step up their campaign against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Qaida-linked militants have taken over parts of Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar province.
NPR

Kerry Cites Progress In Mideast Peace Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry is back in the Middle East, trying to spark some momentum in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. There's a sense of urgency on the trip, but the leaders on both sides are far from ready to sign an agreement.
NPR

Iraq's Anbar Province Under Threat From Al-Qaida

Heavy fighting has been reported in the Anbar province of Iraq this week. NPR's Arun Rath speaks to Middle East specialist Kirk Sowell about what it means.

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