Parallels Many Stories, One World

Peshmerga look out from a front-line outpost — a few sandbags, soldiers, and grenades perched on the brow of a hill — to the eastern Iraqi town of Jalula. The Kurdish fighters are grappling with how to combat changing ISIS tactics. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Adi Asulin stands in the kitchen of her family's remodeled apartment north of Tel Aviv. She saved thousands of dollars by flying to China to buy furnishings and flooring directly from manufacturers. Emily Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Harris/NPR

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Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training — his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Syrian Kurdish fighter Delkhwaz Sheikh Ahmad, 22, sits with his wife Siham, 23, and their two sons, Dilyar and Ibrahim, at his brother's house on the Turkey-Syria border on Friday. He was preparing to leave for Kobani, Syria, to rejoin the fighting against the Islamic State. Lefteris Pitarakis/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Lefteris Pitarakis/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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

itoggle caption Gregorio Borgia/AP

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

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

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

itoggle caption Manu Brabo/AP

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of EGAE

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

itoggle caption Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

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

itoggle caption Andrew Medichini/AP

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

itoggle caption Miguel Tovar/STF/LatinContent/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Bobby Yip/Reuters /Landov