World

2:17pm

Wed August 20, 2014
Parallels

In Syria, The U.S. Weighs A Range Of Unpalatable Options

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:35 pm

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.
Omar Sanadiki Reuters/Landov

President Obama said Wednesday that the Islamic State is a cancer that threatens all governments in the Middle East. But that raises the question of what the U.S. could or should do.

Two former U.S. ambassadors to Syria, Robert Ford and Ryan Crocker, have advocated different approaches to a conflict where there are many different options. But none is appealing and there's no guarantee, or even a likelihood that U.S. action would ultimately determine the outcome.

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2:13pm

Wed August 20, 2014
Parallels

Gaza Violence Tests Once-Unshakable Allies U.S. And Israel

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on July 23. While the two countries are close allies, they have exchanged criticism during the recent Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Relations between Israel and the United States are going through a turbulent time. The two sides — normally seen as unshakable allies — have increasingly taken to trading barbs and accusations about the other's policies and decisions, breaking diplomatic protocol.

The occasional frictions of the past few years have been exacerbated by the war in the Gaza Strip.

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6:09am

Tue August 19, 2014
Parallels

Europe's Latest Grass-Roots Movement: Cannabis Social Clubs

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 11:46 am

Eliane Detraz, a 42-year-old Swiss national member of the Sibaratas Med Can club, rolls a joint at the plantation of the association in Spain's Canary Islands in April 2013.
AFP/Getty Images

Gabriela walks into a large, dimly lit apartment, goes to a counter, buys a bag of sativa and sits on the sofa with her friends, joint in hand, like in Amsterdam. Except this is not Amsterdam. This is Barcelona, and the open sale of marijuana is illegal.

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3:03am

Tue August 19, 2014
World

'Shadow' And 'D-12' Sing An Infectious Song About Ebola

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 9:04 am

Samuel "Shadow" Morgan.
Courtesy of the artist

Ebola has been responsible for many hundreds of deaths, for fear, for panic, for disbelief and anger.

And for a catchy dance song: "Ebola in Town."

The producers behind this unlikely music are Samuel "Shadow" Morgan and Edwin "D-12" Tweh, who grew up in the shadow of war. They both spent time as kids in refugee camps in Ghana after fleeing the civil war back home in Liberia.

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3:01am

Tue August 19, 2014
World

World's Aid Agencies Stretched To Their Limits By Simultaneous Crises

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:35 am

A picture taken with a smart phone shows Syrian refugees queuing at one of the many UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) registration centers in Lebanon. At the same time that civil wars and the Ebola outbreak are plaguing countries in Africa, Syrian and Iraqi refugees are seeking help from agencies.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

For the first time, the United Nations is handling four major humanitarian crises at once: refugee crises in Syria and Iraq as well as civil wars in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, where millions are at risk of famine. Meanwhile, West Africa is experience a devastating Ebola outbreak.

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