A Syrian man is among the thousands who have fled the fighting in and around the northern city of Aleppo. Thousands of Syrians have gathered at the Bab al-Salam crossing in an attempt to enter Turkey, which has kept the gate closed. Syrian government troops, assisted by Russian airstrikes, have been making gains in the Aleppo area. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Parallels - World News

Backed By Russia, Syrian Troops Advance In A Major Battle For Aleppo

The Russian airstrikes have emboldened President Bashar Assad's army to press a major offensive in a crucial city. Thousands of civilians have fled and are massing at the nearby Turkish border.

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz initially claimed his private insurance had been canceled. It turned out his insurer had transferred him to a plan with a narrow network of providers. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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Shots - Health News

A Voter's Guide To The Health Law Chatter Kaiser Health News

A law as broad and complex as the Affordable Care Act invites both criticism and praise. Here's a look at some of the claims made on the presidential campaign trail.

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Walter Thompson-Hernandez displays a photograph of his parents, Kerry Thompson and Ellie Hernandez. Thompson-Hernandez identifies as a "blaxican" — another term for Afro-Mexican, the identity soon to be included on the Mexican census for the first time. Walter Thompson-Hernandez hide caption

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Race

Now Counted By Their Country, Afro-Mexicans Grab Unprecedented Spotlight

For the first time its history, Mexico announced it would recognize people of African descent on its official census. What does it mean for Afro-Mexicans themselves — and why has it taken so long?

Delvin Breaux, during a game against the New York Giants in November 2015. Sean Gardner/Getty Images hide caption

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My Big Break

Even A Broken Neck Couldn't Bury His Dream

Just to make it to an NFL tryout, New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux overcame long odds — like a broken neck in high school. It took years for him to work his way back up the ranks.

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About one-quarter of lower-income families with school-age children say a mobile device is their only way to access the Internet at home, according to a new study. iStockphoto hide caption

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All Tech Considered

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

In St. Joseph, La., it's not uncommon for brown water like this to come streaming from faucets. Courtesy of Garrett Boyte hide caption

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Around the Nation

Beyond Flint: In The South, Another Water Crisis Has Been Unfolding For Years

You've heard of the water crisis in Flint, Mich. But it's not the only place with a water problem. In St. Joseph, La., the water "looks like sludge," according to Louisiana's own state health officer.

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have exchanged compliments. In the words of one Putin adviser, "he more carefully listens to so-called 'silent majority' of the American nation, who don't want conflict with Russia." Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

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Parallels - World News

Who Is Moscow's Favorite Among The U.S. Presidential Candidates?

The official line in Russia is that it doesn't matter who wins in November, since it won't change what the Kremlin sees as Washington's anti-Russia stance. But some candidates are better than others.

Soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan has performed more than 80 world premieres. Elmer de Haas/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

A Fearless Soprano's Case For Contemporary Music

With more than 80 world premieres to her credit, Barbrara Hannigan, an intrepid soprano and conductor, has a knack for making modern music sound effortless and approachable.

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Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem before Super Bowl XXV — the New York Giants against the Buffalo Bills — at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991. The Giants won 20-19. George Rose/Getty Images hide caption

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The Two-Way - News Blog

#NPRreads: 4 Winning Stories To Tackle This Weekend

Whitney Houston's Super Bowl masterpiece, a man of many identities, the future of military food — and from The Guardian's archives, an extraordinary, gut-wrenching chronicle of the Delhi gang rape.

Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem poses in front of "Generation Kill," a piece made with rubber stamps, digital print and paint, at the opening night of his exhibition titled Al Sahwa (The Awakening) at Ayyam gallery in Dubai in 2014. Aya Batrawy/AP hide caption

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Parallels - World News

A New Generation Of Saudi Artists Pushes The Boundaries

Daring visual artists, whose edgy work challenges religious and political taboos, have become a critical voice in the conservative kingdom — where open calls for reform are a criminal offense.

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Alejandra Deheza finished the album SVIIB on her own after the death of her School of Seven Bells collaborator Benjamin Curtis. Clarke Tolton/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music Interviews

School Of 7 Bells, A Musical Partnership Cut Short, Crosses The Finish Line

The duo School of Seven Bells wrote its final album together in 2012. Alejandra Deheza didn't know then that her bandmate and songwriting partner wouldn't live to see its release.

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