Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters take up positions around the town of Gwer in northern Iraq on Sept. 18. The Kurdish militia is aligned with the U.S. in the battle against the Islamic State. Mohamed Messara/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mohamed Messara/EPA/Landov

Parallels - World News

Why Does The U.S. Like Iraq's Kurds But Not Syria's?

The U.S. urgently needs allies on the ground in Syria. Yet it has given no sign that it's willing to work with Kurdish militias who are already fighting the Islamic State group in Syria.

Alicia Keys attends the 2014 Social Good Summit, a conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world on Sunday in New York City. Taylor Hill/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Goats and Soda

Meet The Global Groups That Alicia Keys Got Naked For

The Grammy-winning singer posed in the nude (in a G-rated way) to draw attention to a dozen charities. Here's a look at the goals of the global players — and what they'd do if money were no object.

Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif. Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News hide caption

itoggle caption Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Shots - Health News

Avoid The Rush! Some ERs Are Taking Appointments Kaiser Health News

Nobody looks forward to sitting in the waiting room. So some hospitals are trying to improve customer satisfaction by offering online appointments. The pitch: "Wait for the ER from home."

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Kaiser Health News

Six years before Cassatt died she gave these boxes of chalk pastels to Electra Webb Bostwick, the 10-year-old granddaughter of her New York friend and patron Louisine Havemeyer. Click here for a closer look. National Gallery of Art hide caption

itoggle caption National Gallery of Art

Fine Art

Now That's An Artifact: See Mary Cassatt's Pastels At The National Gallery

Cassatt gave the three well-loved, wooden boxes of pastels to a friend's 10-year-old granddaughter, who later recalled: "I wasted lots of them on playing and swapping them with my friends."

In some parts of the U.S., Starbucks is testing a latte flavored with roasted-stout notes along with its seasonal autumn drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte, seen here at front. Starbucks hide caption

itoggle caption Starbucks

The Two-Way - News Blog

Stoutaccino? Starbucks Tests Coffee With Beer Flavors

Reports that Starbucks is testing a new coffee drink for autumn that incorporates "toasty stout flavors" has set off a debate over how such a concoction might taste, and whether it's a good idea.

India's Deep Space antenna in Bangalore. Twelve hours a day it retrieves even the weakest signal from the Mars Orbiter millions of miles away. The other 12 hours, NASA's global network of satellite dishes helps India track the spacecraft scheduled to arrive in the Martian orbit on Wednesday. Julie McCarthy for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Julie McCarthy for NPR

Parallels - World News

India's Orbiter To Join NASA's Maven Around Mars — On A Shoestring

India's Mars Orbiter Mission is set to reach Mars on Wednesday, just days after a U.S. NASA probe began its orbit around the Red Planet. The difference? India did it on a much tighter budget.

The new collaboration between PC Music's A.G. Cook and affiliated producer SOPHIE is a combination singer and energy drink (neither of which might actually exist) called QT. Seriously. YouTube hide caption

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The Record

A Rational Conversation: Is PC Music Pop Or Is It 'Pop'?

The dizzy, saccharine music of the London-based record label PC Music is invested in the most addictive pop of modern history, but the label's songs feel detached, almost cynical.

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