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Is the U.S. a Reliable Ally? Turks Are Wondering

The Syrian conflict has made life extremely tough for Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The recent U.S. decision to lead a coalition into battle against the Islamic State has caught Turkey off balance. Ankara's reluctance to side with the international community has made its allies question Turkish loyalty. Some are suggesting that the country is no longer a reliable partner. They argue that it's stabbing its NATO allies in the back, and that Washington should send a strong message to Turkey by kicking it out of NATO. (Turkey has been a NATO member since 1952 and has the alliance's second-largest army.)

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The Fight for Benghazi Heats Up

Two government officials in Cairo anonymously declared today that Egyptian warplanes have been bombing Islamist militias in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Shortly after that the spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency dismissed the reports as false. Just to make matters even more complicated, some reports are claiming that the planes in question are being flown by Libyan pilots.

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Venezuela Needs International Help to Tackle Crime

Last week, a shootout took place between Venezuelan police and a government-sponsored paramilitary gang known as a "colectivo." The colectivos even managed to kidnap several police officers and held them for several hours until the police stormed the hostage-takers. When the smoke finally cleared, five people were dead. A number of others were wounded.

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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, October 14, 2014

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Peter Salisbury explains how Yemen's rebel Houthi movement managed to seize control of the capital -- and the country's political fate.

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