Steve Inskeep

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U.S. forces in Syria complicated any effort by Turkey to invade for years. Now that U.S. forces are going, U.S. sanctions are not immediately having the same effect.

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The United States is pulling its forces out of northern Syria. And the Syrian government is moving back in.

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Federal prosecutors say two businessmen had a motive for making illegal contributions to U.S. political campaigns. The two men sought to remove an American diplomat in Ukraine, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday.

The two men, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were associates of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. They also have business interests in Ukraine.

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As China celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party's rule, China's ambassador to the U.S. says that it's thanks to that very system that his country has climbed the ranks of global leadership.

"We have had our own setbacks over the years," Cui Tiankai tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "But generally speaking, as a whole, we have gradually found a path for China's development that works for China."

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Wednesday unveiled a package of anti-poverty proposals to give more people — including undocumented immigrants — access to federal benefits such as Medicaid.

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Let's hear from a country that has been a special focus for President Trump.

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country will not succumb to economic pressure by the Trump administration.

"We are resisting an unprovoked aggression by the United States," Zarif told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview in New York City on Sunday. "I can assure you that the United States will not be able to bring us to our knees through pressure."

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The actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has a childhood memory: In his family's living room in London, there sat a book called Our Man in Damascus.

It's a non-fiction account of an Israeli spy who infiltrated Israel's enemy, Syria, in the 1960s. Eli Cohen was publicly executed, but not before he obtained vital military secrets.

Sacha Baron Cohen now plays Eli Cohen in The Spy, a Netflix series that dramatizes that true story.

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When former defense secretary Jim Mattis is asked about his relationship with President Trump, he has an answer ready.

"I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

Is Iran anywhere near collapse?

Amir Mohebbian doesn't think so. The conservative Iranian political thinker and news editor said so in Tehran, even though U.S. economic sanctions have blocked most of the oil exports on which Iran relies. "The situation in the economy is not good," he said, "but not so bad that [it will] kill us."

At a cancer treatment center in Iran's capital of Tehran, a doctor's fight to treat her cancer patients has become harder. As U.S. sanctions sink in, the flow of medicine and medical supplies in Iran appears to have slowed — and the reasons are difficult to pin down.

Dr. Mastaneh Sanei, an oncologist at the Roshana Cancer Center, says she's treating patients without the benefits of consistently functioning equipment and a reliable supply of drugs.

With the right treatment, she says, "you may not cure these patients, but they have the chance to prolong survival."

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And let's hear now from inside Iran and ask, how are these sanctions affecting Iran's government and its people? Well, our colleague Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition is there. He is reporting all this week from Tehran.

Hey, Steve.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep with a moment from the Gilroy Garlic Festival over the weekend. People were attending this summer food event in California, and Christian Swain of the band TinMan was onstage performing.

The United States is trying again to persuade North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program.

A senior U.S. official tells NPR that U.S. diplomats are communicating with the reclusive regime. They are passing messages through North Korea's mission to the United Nations in New York.

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The job market accelerated last month. U.S. employers added a net 224,000 jobs in June. That is far more than many analysts were expecting and also a sharp improvement over a disappointing May.

Facebook says that by next year people on apps like Whatsapp and Messenger will be able to basically text payments. This news comes as regulators are asking if the tech giant is already too powerful.

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