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Middle East

PRI's The World

Young Iraqis are 'drifting' through their country's crisis

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Once a week, when night falls in Baghdad, young men get together to drive fast cars and do stunts. The sport is called drifting, and it’s helping some Iraqis forget about the harsh realities of their country's battle with ISIS.

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PRI's The World

Syrian activists worry they won't be the ones who gain from US airstrikes

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Although the US military has the militants of ISIS in its crosshairs, it's not clear who will step in to fill any territory they may leave behind. Some activists worry that, despite finally receiving direct US intervention, the Syrian opposition will still fall short in the wake of airstrikes.

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PRI's The World

The many reasons why ISIS will be hard to dislodge in Syria

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ISIS is the most well-know Islamist group in Syria, but it faces a wide range of competition from al-Qaeda and other groups. Yet ISIS still seems well-prepared to stick it out against other militants — and even survive US-led airstrikes for the foreseeable future.

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PRI's The World

American artists practice a little shadow puppet diplomacy in Iran

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A group of Chicago-based artists put on a puppet show and got a standing ovation last week. In Iran. The 10 American puppeteers were invited to the Tehran Mobarak Puppet Festival. It was the first performance by American artists at the festival event in nearly 17 years.

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PRI's The World

These young men risk their lives to save others in Syria

Monday, September 22, 2014

While a lot of news out of Syria is mainly about death and destruction, one writer found a more positive story on his trip there. He spent a week shadowing a team of first responders who have made it their mission to stay and save lives.

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PRI's The World

Turkey's hostage problem is over, but it might stay on the sidelines versus ISIS

Monday, September 22, 2014

Turkey is celebrating the release of 46 hostages by the Islamic State movement. But Turkey still seems unlikely to be able to give its full support to the US alliance against the militants.

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PRI's The World

Yemen's peace deal brings Houthi rebels into the government, but many problems remain

Monday, September 22, 2014

A protest in Sana'a led by a northern Yemeni tribe, the Houthis, became a military assault on the capital over the weekend. Now a UN-brokered peace deal will allow the Houthis into power and end the fighting, but the situation remains complex with sectarian and tribal disputes still simmering.

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PRI's The World

The biggest threat in Yemen probably isn't what you think

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Houthi insurgency may be low on the radar of American worries in Yemen, the but the Shiite group is now in the streets of the capital and fighting government forces. And that battle could hand an opportunity to the group Western nations are focused on: al-Qaeda.

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PRI's The World

ISIS? ISIL? The Islamic State? We really still can't decide?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Governments and news outlets still can't seem to agree on what to call the militants who've named themselves the Islamic State, and now the French government is using yet another term: Daesh, an Arabic acronym. But why can't we figure out what to call these guys?

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PRI's The World

Muslim leaders in Scotland say ISIS has 'no right to call itself Islamic'

Monday, September 15, 2014

Over the weekend, the militant group ISIS posted a video showing another beheading. This time, it was of a Scottish aid worker. Muslim leaders in Scotland have banded together to reject the group's claim to Islam. Terrorism, they say, twists their religion's teachings.

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PRI's The World

Meet the young women of ISIS — on the social web

Friday, September 12, 2014

Buzzfeed reporter Ellie Hall got a disturbing look at the online world of young women — often from the West — who claim to be members of the Islamic militant group known as ISIS. They go to the Middle East to be married, raise young Jihadists and spread propaganda on social networks.

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PRI's The World

The US is having problems building a coalition to fight ISIS

Friday, September 12, 2014

The US is having some issues mobilizing a coalition in its new war on the militants of ISIS. US Secretary of State John Kerry has been traveling in the Middle East and says he has support from 10 Arab nations, but what that support actually means is uncertain.

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PRI's The World

The US war on ISIS will look a lot like the American role in Yemen and Somalia

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When the US responded to terrorism after 9/11, it used troops and massive force in the Middle East. The new war declared last night by President Obama against the terrorist organization know as the Islamic State, or ISIS or ISIL, will look very different.

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PRI's The World

Can the US 'destroy' ISIS without American ground troops?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

President Obama has committed the US to war with the Islamist militants of ISIS, but he has also limited his military options. Newsweek's Middle East editor thinks the effort might be too little, too late.

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PRI's The World

ISIS has mastered high-end video production in its new propaganda wing

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ISIS knows media and messaging, from its black and white flag to its raised index finger gesture to its tweets. Now the group has a new propaganda wing that is producing sophisticated, effects-laden videos in styles from rock videos to action movies. Reporter Bruce Wallace shares some examples and what experts think ISIS is hoping to achieve.

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PRI's The World

Graphic images of war are hard to stomach — but some say they're necessary

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When news outlets decide to publish graphic photos of war and violence, they often face censorship, opposition or anger for doing so. In the wake of the release of ISIS beheading videos, one journalist argues that there is value in bearing witness to war, even its ugliest parts.

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PRI's The World

Not everyone agrees that ISIS poses a serious threat to the US

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

National security experts agree that ISIS is bad news, but is it such bad news that it warrants an American military intervention? With President Barack Obama set to address the nation on Wednesday, suggest further actions might be a mistake.

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PRI's The World

He was the son of a top Hamas leader — then he became an Israeli informant

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Green Prince was the code name for a top Israeli informant, a man who was the son of a Hamas founder. It's also the name of a new documentary that chronicles the path of informant Mosab Hassan Yousef, and his relationship with his Israeli handler.

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PRI's The World

Mosul residents will be listening closely to President Obama's speech

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

American credibility is on the line as the US prepares to act against ISIS, but no one has more at stake than those who live in or have loved ones in the militant group's path. In the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, those people are eagerly awaiting President Obama's speech.

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PRI's The World

Obama will outline his strategy for fighting the Islamic State movement

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

President Barack Obama will address the nation Wednesday, and he's expected to make his case for further US military action against the militants who call themselves the Islamic State. The president is likely to announce a continuation of the air campaign that began against ISIS in Iraq a month ago, and the possible start of airstrikes against the militants in Syria.

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