Parallels Many Stories, One World

A family passes through Maktab Khaled in northern Iraq, the last Kurdish checkpoint before they make their way to Kirkuk. ISIS-controlled territory lies less than a mile away. Leila Fadel/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Leila Fadel/NPR

Pope Francis attends a session of the two-week synod at the Vatican that wrapped up over the weekend. The usually predictable event produced a robust debate among the bishops on how the Catholic Church should deal with gays as well as Catholics who are divorced or remarried. Gregorio Borgia/AP hide caption

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Student demonstrators don't want to fall behind on their studies, so volunteers built them an outdoor study hall. Some of the desks are built into the concrete highway divider. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

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A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after attacking a tank with a rocket-propelled grenade during fighting in Aleppo, Syria, in September 2012. The rebels say they are willing to take on the Islamic State, but need more weapons. Manu Brabo/AP hide caption

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Caroline De Haas, 34, launched Macholand.fr after a company responded dismissively to her complaint against its sexist advertising. Courtesy of EGAE hide caption

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Pro-democracy protesters shout slogans during a standoff with police outside the central government offices in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on Wednesday. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, shown in Kuwait last month, has played down the drop in oil prices. The country continues to pump oil at high levels, saying it wants to preserve its market share. But this has also contributed to a 25 percent drop in oil prices since June. Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

Tourists take pictures inside Wat Pho temple in Bangkok in August. Tourism, a key part of Thailand's economy, is down 20 percent this year following political violence and a military coup. Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images hide caption

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Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani, Syria, while fighting continued between Syrian Kurds and the militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border on Wednesday. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP hide caption

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Abdul-Rahman Kassig, who was formerly known as Peter, is shown with a truck filled with aid supplies for Syrian refugees. The American aid worker was seized by the Islamic State in October 2013 and the group is now threatening to kill him. Courtesy of Kassig Family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Kassig Family

Zhaxi Cairang (right), a 59-year-old Tibetan nomad, moved to a city in western China 15 years ago as part of a government effort to settle nomads. But Zhaxi says he plans to return to herding yaks next year. His son Cicheng Randing was raised in the city, but his father wants to expose him to traditional nomadic life as well. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Pope Francis poses for a photo with lay members as he arrives for an afternoon session of a two-week synod on family issues on Friday. On Monday, the Vatican issued a midway report from the Vatican expressing increased tolerance for gays and unmarried couples. Andrew Medichini/AP hide caption

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Counterdemonstrators in favor of LGBT rights wear pink triangles, reminiscent of those homosexuals were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps. Sylvia Poggioli/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Groups of rural and community police arrive in the city of Iguala on Tuesday to help in the search for 43 students who disappeared after a confrontation with local police on Sept. 26. Miguel Tovar/STF/LatinContent/Getty Images hide caption

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A Palestinian worker checks a truck loaded with bags of cement as it crosses into southern Gaza from Israel last year. Israel has restricted cement supplies to only specific projects. Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A student prays in front of a temporary altar during a rally outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on Sept. 24. Bobby Yip/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Protesters dressed as Chinese Red Guards chant during a May demonstration in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. People from Hong Kong staged a satirical rally to urge Chinese tourists to stay in mainland China. Competition for housing, grades and jobs between the two groups have produced deep tensions. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images hide caption

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Sara Pisano (left) and Danilo Spagnoli, just married by Pope Francis, smile during the wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sept. 14. Pope Francis married 20 couples on Sunday, including some who already live together or and who already have children, both technically sins in the eyes of the church. Alessandra Tarantino/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Alleged Islamic State militants stand next to an ISIS flag atop a hill in the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, called Kobane by the Kurds, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in Suruc, Turkey, on Monday. Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Two schoolgirls walk past a barricade on a street outside Hong Kong's government complex on Tuesday. Many protesters have returned to work and to school. Student leaders and government officials agreed Tuesday to hold talks on ending the protests. Chris McGrath/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chris McGrath/Getty Images