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With the assistance of Russian airstrikes, President Bashar Assad's forces are pressing ahead with a major offensive around the northern city of Aleppo, a development that has sent another wave of Syrian civilians seeking refugee in neighboring Turkey.

North Korea has announced it will be firing a rocket into orbit next week — moving up a launch originally planned for later this month.

Pyongyang told the U.N. International Maritime organization the launch will be held between Feb. 7 and 14, NPR's Elise Hu reports. It had previously been scheduled for sometime between Feb. 8 and 25.

Israel made a decision last week that supporters are calling game-changing. Men and women will be allowed to worship together at the holiest place where Jews can legally pray. This could lead to other changes in Israel.

Batya Kallus, who helped negotiate the deal that led to the government decision, is jubilant.

"This is groundbreaking," she says. "We've reconceived what the Western Wall includes."

U.S. To Amp Up NATO Presence Against Russia

8 hours ago
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Abdulnasser Gharem doesn't have the background you might expect for a successful artist – let alone one famous for edgy work from Saudi Arabia. He was once a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi army. He went to high school with two of the 9/11 hijackers.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After Ebola, Surf's Up Again In Liberia

9 hours ago

"Wait for the next one!" a teenager yells, perched on a shaded rock with a group of his friends.

"That's it, that's it!" cries another, gesturing toward a swelling wave that's gathering speed as it heads toward a surfer about 25 yards offshore. When he lets the wave pass him by, bobbing over its crest on a scuffed board, the group laughs. "Look at him, he's scared."

As the U.S. presidential campaign moves into primary season, America's allies and rivals are starting to pay a lot closer attention to the candidates. That includes Russia, whose relations with the U.S. are at their lowest levels since the Cold War.

So here's a look at the U.S. campaign through the eyes of a couple of Kremlin-friendly analysts:

First of all, do Russians see the current elections as a possibility for improving relations?

In its ongoing effort to combat violent extremism, Twitter announced Friday that it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 because of what it called their connections to terrorist or extremist groups, primarily ISIS.

NPR's Aarti Shahani reports that the company says there is no "magic algorithm" to identify terrorist content on the Internet, so it is forced to make challenging judgment calls based on "very limited information and guidance."

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