The extremist Islamist group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shocked the world this week by conquering the northern city of Mosul, one of Iraq's largest cities and home to some 2 million people.
ISIS is also a key player in the Syrian civil war, fighting both the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and more moderate rebel forces.
The group is made of Syrian, Iraqi and foreign fighters who slide back and forth between the two countries for attacks on opponents or to take safe haven in the territory they control. Mosul is by far their biggest conquest yet.
So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."
During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."
Hillary Clinton is on a national book tour for her new memoir, Hard Choices. The book outlines her four years as secretary of state during President Obama's first term, when she met with leaders all over the world.
One of her priorities was to campaign for gay rights and women's rights. She says she saw the "full gamut" on how women were treated, and in some cases it was "painful to observe."
U.S. relations with Russia are at their lowest point since the Cold War thanks to the crisis in Ukraine. Russian defense officials are talking about a new doctrine of subversive warfare between major world powers. They accuse the West of using popular uprisings to topple unfriendly governments. And some analysts say Moscow itself is employing that strategy in eastern Ukraine. More from NPR's Corey Flintoff.
We now return to NPR's Michele Kelemen on how the White House is weighing its options in aiding Iraq and its Confrontation with ISIS extremist and finding limited options.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: For those experts who argued that the U.S. should have tried harder to reach an agreement with Iraq to leave some troops there rather than pull out completely in 2011 this is their nightmare scenario. Retired Army officer Rick Brennan did a study for the RAND Corporation that showed that Iraqi security forces just weren't ready.
Last weekend, a tractor-trailer hit a limo carrying comedian Tracy Morgan. He's still hospitalized, and comedian James McNair was killed. The truck driver had allegedly not slept for more than 24 hours. And despite the attention, the trucking industry is working to roll back a regulation, passed last year, regulating rest periods. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.