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Secretary of State John Kerry is trying again to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as casualty counts rise inexorably higher. NPR's Emily Harris explains both sides' demands.

The militant group that calls itself the Islamic State have begun a new round of fighting with the Syrian regime, surrounding a base outside its stronghold in Raqqa and launching offensives in Aleppo province and Kurdish regions. The death toll in Syria this week reportedly has reached 1,700, most of whom are combatants of one sort or another.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan has a new plan to address poverty. Host Michel Martin talks with commentators Corey Ealons and Ron Christie about it and other political stories of the week.

The destruction of the holy site has drawn criticism from the Sunni allies of the so-called Islamic State and may cause a rift between the Sunni groups.

In the wake of Arizona's botched execution, Steve Inskeep talks with Amherst professor Austin Sarat, author of the recent book Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty.

The holy month of Ramadan comes to an end early next week with a celebratory feast, and Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a holiday cease-fire in Gaza. He proposed a seven-day truce.

Steve Inskeep talks with Honduran Foreign Minister Mireya Aguero de Corrales, who's in Washington to help find a solution to the thousands of Central American children arriving at the U.S. border.

One of the most conservative members of Congress, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, is defending his seat against state Sen. Jim Tracy, who is making the most of the incumbent's personal scandals.

Renee Montagne talks with former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell for an update on the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped in April by the extremist group Boko Haram.

International observers and air-crash experts visited previously unexamined pieces of the Malaysia Airlines wreckage Thursday and made some disturbing discoveries, including unrecovered human remains and what may be shrapnel holes in the plane's fuselage.

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