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

Parallels - World News

Kurds Leave Life In Europe To Fight ISIS In Their Iraqi Homeland

Until August, 24-year-old Aza Betwata was in Holland, enjoying beef and cabbage and studying to be a social worker. Now, he's among the hundreds of exiled Kurds who have returned and taken up arms.

Oscar Pistorius leaves the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, after sentencing on Tuesday. Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images

The Two-Way - News Blog

Pistorius Gets 5 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend

The Olympian was convicted of culpable homicide last month — rather than a more serious charge of premeditated murder — for the 2013 fatal shooting of Reeva Steenkamp in his home.

Thomas Nellon, left, 17, and his brother Johnson Nellon, 14, of Liberia, smile at their mother in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, earlier this month. The brothers received a health screening upon arrival. The U.S. says it will step up screening measures for arrivals from Ebola-affected West African countries. Craig Ruttle/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Craig Ruttle/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

DHS: Arrivals From West Africa Must Arrive Through 5 U.S. Airports

Arrivals from West African countries where the epidemic is raging will be subject to secondary screening at JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta and Chicago.

Waverly Adcock, a sergeant and founder of the West Augusta Guard, prepares his company for inspection and battle at a Civil War reenactment in Virginia. Sara Smith, whose great-great grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, holds the Confederate battle flag. Courtesy of Jesse Dukes hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jesse Dukes

The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays

Six Words: 'Must We Forget Our Confederate Ancestors?'

The Confederate flag is a sign of bigotry to some. For others, says reporter Jesse Dukes, it symbolizes family heritage and defiance — but also what he calls a "willful innocence" about U.S. history.

President Obama casts an early ballot for the midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Politics

In Tight Races, Both Parties Bank On Early Votes

Two million people have already voted in next month's election, including President Obama. Locking in votes early is huge, particularly since control of the Senate rests in a handful of close races.

Cities like New York and Washington, D.C., have strict penalties for taxi drivers who don't pick up passengers based on their race or destination. But some investigations show that drivers routinely pass up black and brown customers. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Drew/AP

Code Switch

Apps Make Googly Eyes At Riders Tired Of Being Snubbed By Cabbies

Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have put a serious dent in the traditional taxi market and are pitching themselves as alternatives to traditional taxis that often pass by passengers of color.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System has capped how much it will pay for some common medical procedures and tests. Max Whittaker/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Shots - Health News

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments Kaiser Health News

To contain costs, some plans are capping how much they will pay for certain routine procedures, such as knee replacements. Patients can be on the hook for anything over the limit.

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Kaiser Health News

Bryan Stevenson takes on cases to exonerate people wrongfully convicted. "One of the things that pains me is we have so tragically underestimated the trauma, the hardship we create in this country when we treat people unfairly, when we incarcerate them unfairly, when we condemn them unfairly," he says. Tracy King/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Tracy King/iStockphoto

Author Interviews

One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'

When police pulled a gun on Bryan Stevenson as he was sitting quietly in his car in Atlanta, he knew he had to effect change. His memoir describes his attempts, including freeing men on death row.

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