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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.

Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.

Next week is Congress's last before summer recess, which is often when a flurry of bills are pushed through Congress. This year, not so much, NPR's Ron Elving tells NPR's Scott Simon.

Newly-released love letters from President Warren Harding to his mistress make some wonder whether she was trying to influence foreign policy. NPR's Scott Simon talks to historian Jim Robenalt.

Bel Kaufman was a public school teacher who revealed what the New York public schools were really like. She died Friday, in Manhattan, at the age of 103. NPR's Scott Simon has this remembrance.

It was a controversial week for the National Football League. Bloomberg's Kavitha Davidson brings NPR's Scott Simon up to date.

At his ramen shop in Cambridge, Mass., chef Tsuyoshi Nishioka wants customers to follow their dreams. His philosophy? If you can finish a bowl of his ramen, you can accomplish anything in life.

The militant group that calls itself the Islamic State have begun a new round of fighting with the Syrian regime, surrounding a base outside its stronghold in Raqqa and launching offensives in Aleppo province and Kurdish regions. The death toll in Syria this week reportedly has reached 1,700, most of whom are combatants of one sort or another.

Secretary of State John Kerry is trying again to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as casualty counts rise inexorably higher. NPR's Emily Harris explains both sides' demands.

Both the government and the people of Israel have been determined to continue the country's ground invasion in Gaza, despite a growing wave of international criticism. Israelis have been shaken by claims that Hamas has a heavily fortified network of tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

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