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

Social posts from Jihadi fighters make the war in Syria sound almost fun

From the look of their social media posts, British Islamists fighting to oust Syria's government and impose Islamic law are having a terrific time. Even the martyrs seem to be smiling. Also, you might want to thank some immigrants the next time you sip your favorite California wine. And the autobiography of famed singer Morrissey apparently was too gay for the US. All 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

It's so cold that __________ (fill in the blank)

Updated

It's cold. So cold, in fact, that all sorts of seemingly improbable things have become probable, and we share a few of them. Meanwhile, around the world, life goes on. In Turkey, police and politicians are locked in a power struggle. And in Syria, an al-Qaeda affiliate has shocked many with their quick rise to power. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.

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.

Global Scan

New evidence suggests systematic torture by Syria's government

New images and reports have surfaced of wholesale torture and starvation on the part of the Syrian regime, just as peace talks to end the war are set to start on Wednesday. On the US west coast, scientists dispel fears that Pacific Ocean fish are contaminated with Fukushima radiation. And side-by-side men's toilets at an Olympic venue have become a social media joke. That and more, in today's Global Scan.