World

Parallels
12:14 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Barrel Bomb Attacks Devastate Iraqi Families

Smoke rises from buildings in May after shelling on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which is currently held by anti-government fighters. Rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs.
Sadam el-Mehmedy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 12:44 pm

Human rights groups are accusing the Iraqi government of indiscriminate bombing. Baghdad officials deny that and note they're fighting a Sunni insurgency that commits mass executions and suicide bombings.

Yet rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs — the crude weapons made famous in Syria's current conflict. Barrel bombs are illegal and indiscriminate explosives, packed in things like oil drums or gas cylinders.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Sat July 26, 2014

North Korea Reportedly Tests Short-Range Ballistic Missile

South Koreans at the Seoul train station watch a TV news program showing a June missile launch conducted by the North.
Ahn Young-joon AP

North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, according to The Associated Press, which quotes an unnamed South Korean official.

The test is described as beginning with a launch in the country's southwest Hwanghae province on Saturday morning and ending when the missile landed off the east coast at the end of a 310-mile flight path.

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Middle East
9:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Is Hezbollah Hesitant To Help Hamas?

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
9:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

A Closer Look At A World In Crisis

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 12:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
9:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Israel And Hamas Pause While Kerry Negotiates In Paris

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 12:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sat July 26, 2014

U.N.: Second Black Box Found At Algerian Airliner Crash Site

An image released by the government of Mali shows the scene of the crash, just over the border with Burkina Faso.
Mali Government Xinhua/Landov

United Nations experts said they had recovered a second so-called black box at the crash site of Air Algerie flight AH5017 that went down in the desert in southern Mali.

Reuters says that "initial evidence taken from the remote crash site indicates that the aircraft broke apart when it smashed to the ground early on Thursday morning, making an attack appear unlikely."

The plane was en route from Ouagadougou, the capital of the West African nation of Burkina Faso, to Algiers when it suddenly disappeared from radar.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Sat July 26, 2014

U.S. Embassy Compound In Libya Shut Down Amid Fighting

In a photo taken on Thursday, smoke rises from a residential area in Tripoli, Libya. Deadly clashes erupted between Islamist fighters and pro-secular militias earlier this month.
Hamza Turkia Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:42 pm

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET.

The U.S. has temporarily closed its embassy in Libya and evacuated diplomats amid what is being described as a significant deterioration in security, with rival militant factions battling in the capital, Tripoli.

"Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

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NPR Story
7:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

'Back Channel' Turns Up White House Intrigue

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:33 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:11 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Israel Cabinet Agrees To Extend Cease-Fire Until Sunday

A Palestinian man leans on his car after salvaging usable items from his destroyed house in Shuja'iyya neighborhood in east Gaza City, on Saturday. Gazans are taking advantage of a brief cease-fire with Israel.
Oliver Weiken EPA /Landov

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 4:57 pm

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET.

Israel's Security Cabinet says it is willing to extend an earlier cease-fire in Gaza, NPR's Emily Harris has confirmed, until Sunday at midnight local time.

Work on neutralizing the tunnels, however, will continue, according to an Israeli official. The Israeli Defense Forces also said they will act against any violation of the extension.

A Hamas spokesman said any cease-fire that does not include the withdrawal of Israel troops from Gaza is unacceptable.

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Parallels
9:52 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

The Reasons Why Israel's Military Is In Such A Tough Fight

Israeli troops come out of the Gaza Strip on Friday following combat operations in the territory. Israel's military is the strongest in the Middle East, but has waged a series of protracted fights in recent years without winning clear-cut victories.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 8:24 am

Ever since its sweeping victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel has been regarded as the dominant military power in the Middle East. No Arab state has risked a full-fledged war in decades, and few question the conventional wisdom that Israel would swiftly defeat any national army in a traditional, head-to-head confrontation.

Yet for the third time in the past decade, Israel's powerful military finds itself in a protracted, messy fight with a small, elusive, Islamist group and has been unable to score a quick and decisive victory.

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