World News

How Stockton, Calif., has resisted political polarization

When customers walk into Farmers Feed Co., Mike Fleming?s first priority is to make them feel at ease. ?When they see me ? I?m a white guy ? actually speaking Spanish, they see me kind of being vulnerable and putting myself out there for them,? says Mr. Fleming, whose family-owned pet and farm supply business has stood at 1302 East Miner Street near downtown Stockton since 1941. It?s an approach to immigrant communities that popular narratives don?t often associate with Trump supporters ? and Fleming did vote for the president last November.

After brutal Syrian war, how ready is region to do business with Assad?

After more than six years of bloodshed and destruction, Bashar al-Assad?s hold on the presidency of Syria seems assured for now, which leaves neighboring countries beginning to ponder if, how, and when relations can, or should, be restored with Damascus. The issue for Syria?s neighbors is more than a tactical one.

One big reason ISIS lost the capital of its caliphate

After a four-month battle, American-backed forces in Syria captured Raqqa on Oct. 17, taking back a city that was the center of power for Islamic State?s ?caliphate? since 2014. While the victory was a military one, the real heroes may be the Muslim civilians forced to live under the harsh rule of Islamic State (ISIS) but who silently withheld support. In fact, one of the best ?weapons? used to help liberate ISIS-controlled cities in Syria, Iraq, and Libya over the past two years has been media interviews with Muslims who experienced the group?s brutality.

Election meddling? Who, us?

Meddling, that is, by the Russian government in last year?s US presidential election, according to an explosive report issued in January by the US intelligence community. Such meddling continues to this day, warn experts on digital manipulation. This issue of meddling, the Russians were told, had soured American attitudes toward Russia, and tied President Trump?s hands in his stated goal of improving US-Russian relations.

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