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Tom Bowman

A government shutdown is looming but not every federal office will close completely. Some critical services will continue as employees work without pay.
For the past two weeks, thousands of Afghans have arrived in the U.S. Many have passed through a huge makeshift processing center in Virginia. NPR reporters got an exclusive look inside the facility.
The move would extend the rare deployment of active-duty troops at the U.S.-Mexico border, rather than only National Guard soldiers and personnel.
The U.S. Army is training thousands of soldiers in tunnel warfare as tensions rise with North Korea, which is known for its extensive military tunneling.
The White House is sending mixed messages about how to handle Syria’s president. And, a U.S. Navy group is moving toward the Korean peninsula as concerns mount over the north’s missile program.
U.S. officials said that more than 50 Tomahawk missile strikes were carried out against a single Syrian air base from the USS Porter and USS Ross in the Eastern Mediterranean.
NPR’s Pentagon Correspondent Tom Bowman explains U.S. and coalition efforts to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa and the ongoing fight for the Iraqi city of Mosul. Recent airstrikes in Mosul may have led to the deaths of more than one hundred civilians, including women and children.
The U.S. considers deploying hundreds more American troops to Syria in the final phase of the war against ISIS — one that could reshape borders and relationships in the Middle East.
Politics
President Obama gave one of his final news conferences as president on Friday. Here, NPR reporters provide context on five different Obama quotes.
At a rally in Cincinnati on Thursday night, Donald Trump said he would select retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to lead the Defense Department, filling a key role in the incoming administration.
When a Pentagon official proposed flexible schedules at a town hall meeting, “They actually laughed at me,” she says. But the schedules went into place. The military also now allows 1 to 3 years off.
The U.S. publicly accused Russia of being behind the hacking of the Democratic Party, electoral meddling and other cyber-mischief, reflecting a major decision to openly “name and blame” Moscow.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the drone has become America’s go-to weapon when it comes to tracking and killing extremists. But drones have raised many legal, moral and ethical issues.
Politics
Rear Adm. Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu, who had just finished a NATO job in Norfolk, Va., is among the “pro coup fugitives” being pursued by Turkey following last month’s failed coup attempt.
The most critical question in Afghanistan today is whether the Afghan military can keep the country safe from the Taliban. An NPR team went looking for the answer, and two of the group were killed.
With fewer U.S. troops, there’s less need to treat combat trauma at the Bagram Airfield hospital. But civilian casualties continue. A surgeon at Bagram has been trying to save an injured girl’s leg.
An American service member was killed on Tuesday after an ISIS attack broke through Iraqi Kurdish defensive lines north of the city of Mosul. Kurdish Peshmerga troops also were killed and wounded. The U.S. responded with air support to beat back the attack, but fighting continued in an offensive the U.S. says was an attempt by ISIS to “show its teeth.”
Women can now apply for ground combat positions in the Marines, and training female recruits for those jobs will begin in June. But so far, no women have signed up.