Bashar al-Assad

Global Scan

Is the US secretly training Syria's rebels?

What is at stake in the ongoing Syrian civil war? Enough that the US is considering increasing its role in supporting the rebels — perhaps providing direct military support and training. Meanwhile, Roman Catholic Pope Francis says he might consider allowing priests to marry, while Belgium considers the possibility a hitman was behind an attack on a Jewish museum this weekend. That and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Paris wants all of you lovers to stop putting locks on its bridges

Paris is the city of lovers, but maybe a little less today. Paris bridges have long been a spot people publicly declared their love — with a lock. But a new effort seeks to stop that trend. Meanwhile, an account from the New York Review of Books looks at the day in the 2000s when the NSA metadata gathering program nearly died. That and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Even Mandela meets his heroes in heaven

One of Nelson Mandela's own heroes, boxer Baby Jake Matlala, died just two days after the former South African president. While those two may be meeting in heaven, down here, people are analyzing Mandela's memorial service — from Obama's handshake with Castro to a man who pretended to interpret the ceremony for the deaf. And China tries a positive spin on its pollution, all in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

Is the US secretly training Syria's rebels?

What is at stake in the ongoing Syrian civil war? Enough that the US is considering increasing its role in supporting the rebels — perhaps providing direct military support and training. Meanwhile, Roman Catholic Pope Francis says he might consider allowing priests to marry, while Belgium considers the possibility a hitman was behind an attack on a Jewish museum this weekend. That and more in today's Global Scan.

Conflict & Justice

A powerful al-Qaeda group is fighting in both Iraq and Syria

It's been quite a week for an al-Qaeda spin-off called ISIS. Last week, ISIS took over Fallujah in Iraq. But it seems some of the local Sunni tribes abandoned the group and have joined government forces fighting against al-Qaeda. Then, rebel groups in Syria combined to attack ISIS there. Borzou Daragahi of the Financial Times explains the politics that work for and against ISIS.

Global Scan

New clashes in Kiev, reviewing the guest list for Syria's peace talks, and Russian fears of 'black widows'

The situation in Kiev remains volatile, with protesters in favor of closer ties with the European Union burning buses and hurling projectiles at police. And planned Syria peace talks in Geneva this week were nearly derailed by a UN invitation to include Iran. And Russia is looking for four women it is worried may be planning suicide attacks at the Sochi Olympics. That and more, in today's Global Scan.