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Michele Kelemen

Russia and Syria have temporarily halted airstrikes on the beleaguered eastern part of Aleppo, the part of the city controlled by the rebels. Instead, Aleppo has been showered with leaflets that urge rebel fighters and civilians to flee.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday his country's air force was extending for another day a "humanitarian pause" so civilians in need of medical care can get out of the city.

"We are appealing [to] countries that have influence on armed groups in eastern Aleppo to convince them to stop fighting and leave," Shoigu said.

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The U.S. and Russia are trying this week to bridge their differences on Syria to find a way to resolve the complicated war there. And this is happening as the military conflict has only intensified.

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At the start of the school year, Stephen Brooks likes to ask students at Dartmouth College to look around the globe and choose a region where they think the U.S. could pull back. Would they shrink the U.S. footprint in Western Europe, East Asia or the Middle East?

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In a report on Monday, Human Rights Watch described a harrowing series of events that took place less than a mile from a U.N. base in South Sudan's capital, Juba. On July 11, the report said, dozens of men in government uniforms "ransacked and looted" a hotel compound, first killing a South Sudanese journalist and then assaulting and raping aid workers staying there.

When Turkish officials visited Washington this week, one of their first stops was the Justice Department. They are trying to make the case that the U.S. should extradite a key suspect in last month's failed coup attempt.

Following those talks with the Justice Department, three Turkish lawmakers had tough words about Fethullah Gulen, the aging cleric who lives in rural eastern Pennsylvania and whose followers have been rounded up in Turkey in the wake of the coup.

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The nuclear deal with Iran has been in place for a year now. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was the result of complex negotiations between Iran and six world powers — the United States, France, Germany, the U.K., China and Russia. It lengthened the time that Iran would need for "nuclear breakout," ensuring that it could not rush to build a nuclear bomb undetected.

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President Obama has set a goal this year of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the devastating civil war in that country. This would be a large increase from previous years.

The latest State Department reports say just over 2,800 have come so far this year. Some activists describe it as a relatively slow start, but they say the Obama administration could reach its goal by year's end.

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