Deborah Amos | New Hampshire Public Radio

Deborah Amos

Composer and classical pianist Malek Jandali was raised in Homs, Syria, where he was visiting his family in 2011. During that trip, Jandali was first electrified by street protests challenging the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad, both in his hometown and across the country. He composed a simple song in reaction to it, called "I Am My Homeland."

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President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reassert America's commitment to refugees after the Trump White House's slashing of the resettlement program, part of the current president's anti-immigration drive.

In 2016, President Barack Obama aimed to admit 110,000 refugees. President Trump lowered the cap on refugee admissions every year of his presidency. For fiscal year 2021, he set the cap at 15,000, the lowest on record.

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A divided United Nations Security Council approved a resolution on Saturday to allow just one border crossing — instead of the current two — to remain open for U.N. aid convoys into Syria, dealing another blow to a humanitarian assistance program for millions of displaced people.

The outcome alarmed aid groups struggling to help those trapped and in danger in the nine-year civil war.

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One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the coronavirus is that many patients die alone. Hospice is designed to provide gentle end-of-life care, so the hospice field is working to adjust to the pandemic. NPR's Deborah Amos reports.

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Canada is conducting a massive airlift, bringing thousands home at no cost in cooperation with Canada's commercial airlines. As domestic routes are cut back, repatriation flights are increasing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a live broadcast on Monday.

Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that the U.S. "will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic."

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Like many Lebanese, Jesuit priest Gabriel Khairallah has been on the front lines of anti-government protests for more than three months.

"I mean, what am I doing on the front? I am against corruption and seeking social justice, and the same for the doctors," he says.

He's done much more than protest on the streets — in recent weeks, he also opened a low-cost medical clinic in the annex of Beirut's St. Joseph Church.

In a bipartisan vote, Senate lawmakers on Tuesday approved a $738 billion Pentagon budget, which includes an authorization for punishing new sanctions on Syria, Iran and Russia for alleged war crimes in Syria.

The 86-6 vote in the GOP-dominated Senate followed a similar bipartisan vote in the Democratic-controlled House last week. President Trump was expected to quickly sign the measure.

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It's well known that President Trump wants a wall on the southern U.S. border. He insists it's urgent to curb illegal immigration. But more than any wall, new barriers to legal immigration are likely to have more bearing on people trying to enter the United States. The United States is rejecting more legal immigrants than ever before.

The first casualty in 2018 was the U.S. refugee resettlement program, says Larry Yungk, a former official at the U.N. refugee agency and now co-chair of the advisory committee of Church World Service's refugee program.

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The Syrian war is winding down after seven brutal years, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and neighborhoods in smoking ruins. President Bashar Assad is on course to win, with help from powerful allies Russia and Iran.

Now, activists who lost the challenge to Assad's rule on the streets of Syria are waging a new fight — in European courts.

"We will catch them no matter how much they hide. There is no safe place to run," says Anwar al-Bunni, a prominent Syrian human rights lawyer who fled to Germany in 2014.

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At the New York City cellphone shop where he does his homework, 9-year-old Ahmed Alhuthaifi says he misses his mom a lot.

"Sometimes, I feel like I am going to cry," he says. "Trump won't let her in."

After a years-long effort, his mother, who is stuck in Saudi Arabia, was denied a visa because of President Trump's restrictions on immigration and travel from certain countries, including Yemen. She and Ahmed's four younger siblings, who live with her, missed Ahmed's birthday celebrations on April 3.

Updated at 5:38 p.m. on Monday

The Trump administration retaliated Saturday against Syria's suspected chemical weapons attack, launching missiles with France and the U.K. targeting Syrian regime facilities.

"This is about humanity, and it cannot be allowed to happen," President Trump said earlier last week, pledging a forceful response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's aggressions.

With Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarking on a nearly three-week road show across the United States, he will have one major hurdle: Americans don't like his country very much.

Despite a 75-year economic and military alliance with Saudi Arabia and regular royal visits, 55 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the kingdom, according to a Gallup poll in February.

Even longtime U.S. adversaries like China and Cuba have scored more favorably.

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